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Pakistan moves to end Afghan conflict

After nearly 13 years of war in Afghanistan, the Pakistani government has moved decisively to end the conflict, which has left more than a million people dead, devastated the country's economy and driven 3-million refugees, nearly a fifth of the country's population, across the border into Pakistan. A vital supporter of the fundamentalist Islamic guerrillas in Afghanistan since Soviet tanks roared into the country in December 1979, Pakistan late last month abruptly ceased supplying weapons to the rebels and endorsed efforts by the United Nations to end the fighting and bring democracy to the country. In doing so, Islamabad is no longer insisting on the installation of an Islamic government in Afghanistan as a condition of a final settlement.

Candidate's loss could hurt de Klerk

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa _ An election for a single seat in parliament from this town where no black stays out after sundown could test political reform in South Africa. The election pits President Frederik de Klerk's National Party candidate against a candidate from the rival white Conservative Party, which wants to stop reforms and is luring many whites from de Klerk's crucial support base. Voting has been taking place for the past three weeks. The polls close Wednesday, and the mood here seems to be much against de Klerk.

N. Korean workers

to get pay raises

TOKYO _ Communist North Korea announced on Saturday a rare wage increase for all workers, some of whom will see their earnings rise by more than 40 percent. At the same time, the government announced an increase in government purchase prices for agricultural goods. Both increases are to go into effect next month. The current average wage was not given, but South Korean government officials say North Korean white-collar workers earn between $26 and $39 a month, compared with an average $678 in South Korea. There was no explanation of how the government, reportedly in the midst of economic difficulties, would pay for the raises.

Croatian extremists accused of abuses

NEW YORK _ The U.S. Helsinki Watch Committee has written to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman demanding an investigation into what it says are well-founded reports of human-rights abuses by extremists. In the Feb. 13 letter, the human-rights organization also called for punishment for those responsible. It outlined what it said were "violations of the laws of war in the current conflict between Croatian and Serbian forces and the Yugoslav army, including the summary execution of civilians and disarmed combatants." Croatian officials were not available for comment.

Colombian police charged in killing

BOGOTA, Colombia _ Two Colombian police officers stopped a Japanese executive, shot him four times and then stole his car, authorities revealed Saturday. Mazda Motor Corp. vice president Tsuioshi Mokuda, who later died of his wounds, was driving at night on a highway in the capital of Bogota when police officers stopped him in order to steal his car Jan. 24, authorities said. The incident was kept silent until police released a detailed crime report Saturday, the Colombian press agency Colprensa reported. National Police Gen. Miguel Gomez Padilla told local television that the two officers were jailed and charged with abandoning their posts and aggravated homicide. A civilian also involved in the crime was charged with car theft.

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