The ousted king of Afghanistan is calling the situation in his homeland very grave and says a representative government is its only hope for peace and stability.
In a rare interview, former king Mohammed Zahir Shah tells today's London Sunday Telegraph newspaper he fears the Northern Alliance will not allow his majority Pashtun tribe to be part of the next government.
He said it would be very wrong to drag the Afghan people back into ethnic warfare.
The 87-year old king has lived in exile in Rome since he was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 1973. He says he is ready to sacrifice his health and whatever is left of his life to return to Afghanistan as part of a broad-based government.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was ousted by the Taleban in 1996, made a surprise return to Kabul Saturday, promising to set-up such a government as soon as possible.
He said this depends on the Afghan people and the efforts of the United Nations.
A U-N special envoy (Francesc Vendrell) is also in Kabul to persuade the Northern Alliance to take part in a conference on post-Taleban rule.
The Northern Alliance insists on holding an international conference in Kabul. But U-N officials believe meeting in a neutral place would encourage Pashtun participation.