United Nations, N.Y.
For the fourth time since December 1979, the United Nations General Assembly has demanded that Soviet troops be pulled out of Afghanistan.
An overwhelming majority of nonaligned nations voted against the Soviet Union. The vote was 114 in favor, with 21 against. Last year's vote in a similiar resolution was 116 in favor and 19 against.
From the podium the Soviet Union was strongly criticized by representatives of the United States, China, Egypt, France, and many others.
However, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Yaqub Kahn sounded a mildly optimistic note in referring to the ongoing mediation of UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, between Islamabad and Kabul. These talks represented ''tentative progress'' and ''were of a constructive nature,'' he said.
There have been signs that the Soviet Union might be interested in an internationally acceptable solution but that a settlement may still be a few years away. ''Elements of a package deal will come into place when Sino-Soviet relations will have markedly improved and a measure of detente will have been restored to Soviet-US relations,'' says a diplomat close to the process.