Mr. Karzai is in Rome on a diplomatic mission to try to persuade King Zaher Shah to return, given that he is the symbol of stability and unity in this ethnically divided country.
After three centuries of Pashtun rule, the country was set off-balance by interference from abroad after the communist regime led by Dr. Najibullah was destabilised by Mujaheddin and later, Taleban, sponsored, equipped and trained by alien forces. The attempt by the Soviet Union to support this regime was unsuccessful due to the hostility of these two movements and what ensued was a taking of power by peoples other than the traditional Pashtun.
Karzai and Mohammed Shah, moderate Pashtun, seem at the present moment to be the point of equilibrium, at least until the gathering of the tribes, or Loya Jirga, in six months’ time.
The return of King Zaher Shah could be set for 21st march, the first day of Spring and a 5,000-year-old festivity in Afghanistan, called Day of Nowruz (The Return of Life).
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign