NEW DELHI, DEC. 12 -- Afghan guerrilla leaders, reacting to this week's summit talks in Washington, reiterated sharply today that no settlement of the future of their country is possible without their participation, according to reports from Pakistan.
While they labeled the Washington talks as a "failure" regarding the Afghanistan issue, the tenor of their remarks indicated a sense that negotiations on the country's future are inching toward the critical stage.
"The failure in resolving the crisis through the superpower summit has once again demonstrated the fact that there could be no solution without the participation of Afghan freedom fighters in the actual negotiations," Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said in Peshawar, Pakistan.
"Reagan and Gorbachev can only solve the problems in the West, but for Afghanistan, those who have sacrificed families, homes and land will say the final words."
Yunis Khales, spokesman for the seven Afghan resistance groups based in Peshawar, said, "There is absolutely no change in the . . . situation vis-a-vis Afghanistan. How can Reagan and Gorbachev reach a solution over the heads of thousands involved in a bloody war against the occupation of their land by a superpower?"
The strident public statements by guerrilla leaders underscored the difficulties Reagan and Gorbachev would have in announcing progress on an Afghan settlement even if their private discussions had pointed in that direction.
Most experts expect public indications of progress in the talks to emerge in ongoing U.N.-sponsored discussions in Geneva between the Pakistani government and the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. There have been suggestions that the next round of talks in Geneva could occur as early as February.
During the Washington summit, Gorbachev publicly expressed a willingness to set a 12-month timetable for the withdrawal of about 115,000 Soviet troops from Afghanistan once other aspects of an end to hostilities are settled.
In addition, the Soviet leader appeared to close one of the holes in discussions on terms of a pullout by declaring that Soviet troops would return to their bases once a withdrawal was announced. The United States committed itself to end assistance to the Afghan rebels if an accord is reached.
Halting aid to rebel forces is one of the points already reportedly agreed upon in the Geneva talks, but the actions of Soviet forces during the withdrawal period had been an uncertainty.
Undersecretary of State Michael Armacost acknowledged this point during a session with foreign journalists yesterday in Washington. Armacost reportedly said it was noteworthy that the Soviets said they would engage in "no further military activity, other than self-defense measures."
U.S. officials have said that they would not place the Afghan guerrillas in a defenseless position during the settlement process. Special correspondent Kamran Khan contributed to this article from Karachi, Pakistan.