< < <
Date Index
> > >
Interview with Afghan comrade
by Seyed Javad
16 February 2002 10:41 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >


An interesting interview about the history of Left in Afghanistan ....

Here's some stuff from Afghanistan. Interesting history, typical Left
> Adil Khan is a central leader and member Central
> Committee of Sazman-e-Inqlabi Kargaran-e-Afghanistan
> (Afghan Labour Revolutionary Organisation-ALRO). Adil
> has been active in Afghan socialist movement for last
> 21 years. All his family has been active in this
> movement and has offered great scarifices. One of
> Adils brothers was hanged .He himself has served a
> nine-year jail term and has been short injured.
> Farooq Sulehria interviewed Adil Khan in November 2000
> for Weekly Workers Struggle (WS). Adil spoke at length
> on the history of Afghan left.
> The events following September 11 have generated a
> wide interest across the world in Afghanistan. This
> interview gives an insight into the Afghan left
> movement. Excerpts.
> WS: First of all, could you please narrate a little
> bit about the history of Afghan left?
> Adil: The left movement in Afghanistan started
> building up in early 1960s. The Afghan left was, from
> its beginning, divided into two camps i.e. pro-Mascow
> and the Maoists. The Peoples Democratic Party of
> Afghanistan (PDPA) represented pro-Masco trend while
> Sazmanan-e-Jawnan-e-Mutraqi (Progressive Youth
> Organisation) held Maoist ideology and believed in
> armed struggle.
> Noor Muhammad Tarakai, Sulman Laiq, Babrak Karmal and
> Noor Ahmad Noor were the leading PDPA leaders. They
> would get help as well as advice from Masco. The PDPA
> believed in forming a government through electoral
> process. In 1968, the PDPA split into two factions
> following differences between Tarakai and Babrak
> Karmal. Both factions became famous following their
> respective organs i.e. Parcham (Flag) and Khalaq
> (People). The same year Peoples Youth Organisation
> launched a paper called Shoala-i-javaid (Forever
> Flame) but it was banned after its 11th publication.
> The members of Progressive Youth Organisation became
> famous as Sholai following their papers name.
> Similarly Parcham and Khalaq members were known as
> Parchami and Khalaqi.
> Shoala-i-javaid propagated the ideas of armed struggle
> and was very vocal against feudalism. In 1079, a
> faction led by Engineer Usman split from the Shoalais.
> The other faction led by Dr Faiz Ahmad formed
> Sazman-e-Rahai Afghanistan (Afghan Labour
> Organisation-ALO).
> The ALO sent a big chunk of its urbanised cadre to
> countryside in order to organise peasantry but this
> urbanised cadre couldnt withstand the hardships of
> countryside life and returned to the cities. This
> policy did not prove a success rather it led to a
> split. This split organised itself as
> Ittehad-e-Rah-e-Communist (Communist Path
> Alliance-CPA). The Communist Path Alliance also
> launched a paper called Akhgar (Iskra in Russian).
> In 1978, the PDPA formed a government following an
> army coup led by PDPA members.
> WS: Would you like to narrate something about Afghan
> revolution?
> Adil: In 1973 when Daud Shah with Soviet Russian
> support dethroned Zahir Shah, the PDPA welcomed it.
> Two of the PDPA leaders, Faiz Muhammad and Hassan
> Sharq, became ministers in Dauds cabinet Both were
> KGB agents. Daud was very close to Moscow and was
> famous as Red Prince. In 1977, Daud toured Saudi
> Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Europe. Following his
> tour, he allied himself with the USA and was no more a
> friend of Moscow. On April 22, 1978 a Parchami leader
> Akbar was murdered. This murder was a conspiracy.
> There was a big protest in Kabul against this murder.
> Tarakai, Hafiz Ullah Amin and Babrak Karmal were
> jailed for leading this demonstration. The PDPA
> members inside armed forces decided to go for a coup
> and led by Aslam Watanyar, Afghan army attacked the
> Royal Palace. Daud along his family was killed in the
> bloody coup. Aslam Watanyar made Ailan-e-Inqlab
> (Announcement of Revolution) while Hafizullah Amin
> addressed the nation. All these events are still fresh
> in my memory.
> WS: How did your party react to the PDPA government?
> Adil: A debate was initiated inside ALO on the
> question of lending support to PDPA government. But
> ALO rather decided to launch an armed struggle .Not
> only ALO but other left groups decided so as well. ALO
> formed an alliance with nationalist parties and
> launched an armed struggle.
> In 1978, ALO went through another split led by Majeed
> Kalaqani. Kalaqani raised the slogan that *Soviet
> Russias enemy is our friend. He also had differences
> over the question of peoples war and guerrilla war,
> party membership. He was arrested along with Mir
> Fakharud Din, Aziz Rasul Jurat, and Engineer Nadir Ali
> in 1980.All was hanged. His faction, however, is still
> active.
> The ALO decided to launch an insurrection on August 5,
> 1979. This insurrection was led by ALO at the head of
> a ten-party alliance. The failure owed to inexperience
> and imamturity. Despite taking over radio station and
> few army cantonments, the attempt to take over the
> government met a failure. The PDPA government
> initiated a campaign of terror against our party.
> Hundreds of party workers were hanged. Thousands were
> sent to jail. Me myself along with my three brothers
> was arrested. I was not active then politically. I was
> arrested because of my brothers. Following the
> insurrection, whatever forces were left, these forces
> were re-organised in independent areas. Work among
> the students was also re-organised. Fortnightly Front
> and Gul-e-Surkh (Red Flower) were launched while a
> paper called Siam-e-Aqrab was launched from Germany.
> But since that insurrection till today, it has been a
> period of extreme hardships and miseries. The PDPA
> targeted us as well as the fundamentalists left no
> stone unturned to eliminate us. Our 12 thousand
> comrades have been either killed or kidnapped by the
> fundamentalists. Some of the comrades are still
> missing.
> WS: These comrades were killed and kidnapped by the
> fundamentalists in Afghanistan or in Afghan
> immigrants camps in Pakistan.
> Adil: Both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Dr Faiz was
> kidnapped and martyred in Pakistan by the group led by
> Gulbadin Hikmatyar. It's a long list of comrades who
> were killed, kidnapped and went missing. We have
> compiled a list in the form of a book that lists ten
> thousand comrades who were killed or went missing.
> While if comrades killed by the PDPA government is
> included in this list then the number reaches a figure
> of 23 thousand.
> WS: Wasnt it a mistake not to support the Afghan
> revolution?
> Adil: Not at all. We did not approve of the strategy
> of a coup. We dont believe in that even today. A
> revolution without mass support can never succeed.
> Also the PDPA after forming its government never made
> an endeavour for left unity. Rather it launched a
> campaign of terror against other left groups. For the
> PDPA government, Enemy Number One was not the
> fundamentalists but we Shoalais. The PDPA government
> bombed the villages. They annoyed the masses. The
> reforms were imposed from above through state
> apparatus without a change in the mass consciousness.
> Babrak-Tarakai differences were another reason behind
> the degeneration of PDPA government. Initially,
> Tarakai posted Babrak Karmal and Dr Najib and other
> important Parcham leaders as ambassadors to other
> countries. The PDPA control was taken over by Khalaq
> faction led by Tarakai.Tarakai was known as Superman
> and Lenin II. But the Khalaq faction itself became
> factionalised. Tarakai on his way home from Havana via
> Moscow was arrested by Hafizullah Amin group and was
> secretly murdered. Hafiz also could not stay in power
> more than three months. The state repression reached
> its peak under Hafiz. On December 27 came the soviet
> armies. I can still remember these scenes. These
> scenes flash before my eyes like a movie. The Parcham
> members were congratulating each other .in Kabul one
> could see soviet soldiers all over the town. Hafiz was
> murdered along his family. Babrak was put in his place
> with a full support from Moscow. A new era of terror
> was unleashed. Perhaps even Stalins period was not so
> repressive as was this. The Pul Charkhi prison in
> Kabul had 70 thousand prisoners. Dr Najib was heading
> the secret service these days. In case a Shoal was
> arrested, Najib himself investigated him. Our comrade,
> Engineer Faiz was tortured to death by Dr Najib
> himself. He was jumping over Faiz stomach till he
> died. It was a bad time for Khalaqis as well but they
> were not killed but sent to jail. But we were given no
> concession. Arrest meant death.
> WS: But why the resistance to the PDPA government was
> not led by ALO but it was taken over by the
> fundamentalists despite it was ALO that launched it?
> Adil: Initially it was led by us. We attracted the
> masses.Gulbadin Hikmatyar and Daud Siaf were in
> Pakistan since Daud days because they were facing a
> treason case. When soviet armies came to Afghanistan
> the CIA decided to settle score. They started
> organising and patronising the fundamentalists. They
> were given both money and guns. While we were targeted
> both by the PDPA government and the fundamentalists.
> WS: Why the Afghan revolution was not able to sink its
> roots despite radical reforms?
> Adil: The PDPA government abolished the feudalism. It
> introduced education reforms. Art was promoted through
> film and television. Selling of women for marriage was
> banned. But the question is unless the mass
> consciousness is changed; a revolution can not
> succeed. We must realise that 95 per cent of Afghans
> are illiterate while 85 per cent of the population
> lives in the countryside. Religion is a big influence.
> The feudalism is still present in its most crude form.
> When land reforms were introduced, feudal lords and
> mullahs (Muslim priests) declared it contrary to Islam
> saying that the feudal lords were blessed with the
> land by Allah and the government was not authorised by
> the Islamic teachings to deprive them of their land.
> The peasants refused to take the land. They thought it
> contrary to Islam.
> In 1987, Dr Najib replaced Babrak Karmal. He
> celebrated the return of soviet forces a s the Day of
> Deliverence. Took many initiatives to please the
> masses. The PDPA was renamed as Hizb-e-Watan
> (Motherland Party). Afghanistan was renamed as
> Democratic Afghanistan. But it was too late.
> WS: How is Hizb-e-Watan these days?
> Adil: All the Hizb ministers were corrupt. The were
> hated by the masses. Their ideological degeneration
> can be gauged from the fact that recently their
> central leader Salman Laiq declared that we were not
> communists neither we are even now.
> WS: When was your party formed?
> Adil: We are a split from ALO. The new leadership that
> took over the party in 1986 after Dr Faiz refused to
> follow the line set by Dr Faiz. Differences arose over
> the question of tactics. In 1990, we gave a notice to
> the party leadership. But it was in vain. In 1996 we
> finally split from them.
> WS: Where does your party have most of its basis?
> Adil: In Afghan camps in Pakistan but also in Afghan
> areas where Taliban do not hold control. I cannot
> reveal details owing to the risk to the lives of our
> comrade.
> WS: What sort of difficulties your party is facing
> these days?
> Adil: We dont have any party office, no full-timer.
> The party has to take care of the families of martyred
> comrades. At the minutes, party is taking care of 45
> such families. The party is trying to organise its
> newspaper. Recently we published one issue.
> WS: What is the immediate solution to Afghan crisis?
> Adil: First of all, we want democracy so that we have
> freedom of expression.
Communism List _______________________________________________

Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: Click Here
< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >