Afghanistan: TIME OF CHANGES

Author: A. Akhmedzyanov


Afghanistan: TIME OF CHANGES. (By Staff Correspondent A. Akhmedzyanov. Izvestia, May 23, p. 4. 800 words. Condensed text:) Kabul - ... The first steps are being taken to carry out the government-proposed task of building a society in Afghanistan that is free of the exploitation of man by man.

The Bakhtar News Agency reports that Prime Minister Noor Mohammad Taraki, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, has met with representatives of the various nationalities of Afghanistan. The April revolution, he said, abolished all forms of racial, linguistic and ethnic discrimination. From now on all citizens of the republic, including representatives of national minorities, have the right to serve their own people. The appointment of new governors in the Afghan provinces will put an end to the powerless position of the local population.

The new revolutionary authorities have set to work energetically. Ministers are on the job virtually around-the-clock. A 15-minute interview to a journalist is a generous gift.

Eyeing the clock, the Minister of Agriculture does not recount his concerns, but formulates them in a businesslike way: "Agriculture is the mainstay of Afghanistan's economy. Approximately 85% to 90% of the country's population lives in the countryside, and 70% to 80% of the national income comes from agriculture, but its productivity is one of the lowest in Asia. Therefore, we say that land reform is the backbone of our revolution. We have made the first point in our program the implementation of democratic land reform in the interests of the working peasants, with their active participation. But carrying out such a reform in our country is by no means an easy task. There are 200 to 300 major landlords in the country who own from 5, 000 to 20, 000 jeribs of land (one jerib is 0.2 hectares).

"At the same time most peasants own only one to five jeribs of land. Many of them ...

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