New Delhi, India
The commander of Afghanistan's most vital rebel stronghold agreed to a truce with the Soviet Union earlier this year, a Western diplomat said. He said Ahmed Shah Massoud, commander of guerrilla forces in the strategic Panjshir Valley, agreed to a truce in direct talks with Soviet occupation forces. The commander's reasons were not immediately known, but diplomats speculated he was seeking time to stockpile weapons, harvest crops, and strengthen rebel unity. According to Western diplomats, the truce appeared to be holding, allowing the planting of crops.