Pakistan's president said today he would allow inspection of border refugee camps to show that Afghan rebels are not being trained and armed there, and suggested that international peacekeeping force be stationed in Afghanistan as a means of ending the crisis.
President Mohammed Zia ul-Hag, addressing Pakistan's elected representatives, said Afghanistan could seal its border with Pakistan to be sure that no arms or rebels are being sent from Pakistan. The Soviet Union moved thousands of troops into Afghanistan to back a government coup in December and as many as 90,000 remain, helping the Afghan Army fight Moselm rebels.
Zia described as "totally baseless" charges that Pakistan has been providing military training and arms to rebels. He said he would permit inspection of the camps in Pakistan by an international body "any time it wants" to prove that only humanitarian relief is being provided.
He also proposed that an international peace force from Islamic and nonaligned countries be set up to ensure that there is no foreign interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.
"I am making these suggestions in all sincerity in the largest interest of world peace and regional security," Zia declared.
In reference to Soviet charges of Pakistani interference in Afghanistan and reports from the United States that Washington was arming the Afghan rebels, Zia said that his country "does want to involve itself in superpower rivalry."
Pakistan indicated unwillingess to accept an offer of $400 million in U.S. aid intended to strengthen its defenses against any Soviet threat. It said it would depend upon its own "unity and strength" and the "time-tested friendship" of China.
Zia's foreign affairs adviser, Agha Shahi, said withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan would enable Pakistan and the Soviet Union "to immediately repair our bilateral relations." Shahi said Pakistan's stand on the troops withdrawl was free from "any element of anti-Sovietism."
"The Soviet Union is capable of playing an important role in ensuring peace and stability in our region and, by virture of its enormous resources, of making a positive contribution towards the prosperity and well-being of the people of Pakistan," Shahi said.
He also said no defense pact between Pakistan and China would be necessary because of the "dependable friendship" between the two countries.