Afghan rivals accept deal

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The Independent Online
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Most Afghan leaders agreed yesterday to allow President Burhanuddin Rabbani to retain office for 18 months and install his bitter rival, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, as prime minister, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, said.

But details of the deal were yet to be completed, Mr Sharif said after chairing a meeting of the rival leaders on the fourth day of talks aimed at ending bloodshed in Afghanistan. 'A majority has agreed to accept Rabbani . . . There is also consensus on Hekmatyar becoming prime minister, barring one or two parties,' Mr Sharif said, without naming the dissenting groups.

If these groups continued to oppose the plan 'we will have to go by the majority view,' Mr Sharif added.