CHAR ASYAB, AFGHANISTAN
The leader of Afghanistan's powerful Hezb-e-Islami party, which has refused to join the country's new government, claimed yesterday Kabul was still controlled by forces loyal to former communist leaders.
"Communist regiments are not prepared to quit the city," Gulbuddin Hekmatyar told reporters at a military base in Char Asyab, about 12 miles south of Kabul.
In the two months since a new Islamic government was formed here, former government militia forces led by General Rasheed Dostum have emerged as the most powerful group in Kabul.
Ustad Farid, a Hezb-e-Islami loyalist who is the prime minister-designate, has refused to take up his post because of the security situation.
Hekmatyar spoke a few hours before interim President Sibghatullah Mojadedi was due to resign to make way for his successor Burhanuddin Rabbani under an accord signed by resistance leaders in Peshawar, Pakistan.