Tarehki was born in 1296 in the area of Nave Moghur related to Qazni province, started working in a Pashtun company in Kandahar as a worker in 1311. while he was working there, he attracted the attention of Mohammad Rasul Pashtun, head of the company, and consequently was sent to Bambai, India to continue his job for the branch of the same company, where he was influenced by Communist ideas. Nur Mohammad Tarehki was one the most active members of Wish Zalmian, and the main manager of Engar newspaper which played prominent role in directing Wish Zalimian Party to left. Tarehki was sent to Washington following repression of Wish Zalimian Party, cooperating Maivand Wall, Afghanistan ambassador, as press attaché of the embassy. As it is said, Tarehki was recalled to Kabul due to his incapability, he then opened "Nur House of Translation". In 1343, he was appointed as the general secretary of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) during the congress of establishing the Party, subsequent to 7th of Sawr revolt in 1357, he became the head of government and Communist Regime. In Sonbulleh (Sharivar) 1358, while he was purging his Party internally, was murdered by his loyal trainee, Hafizullah Amin. Tarehki was considered to be a writer as well who mainly wrote stories, not many of his works are left. His published works are as follows:
1- New life (Marxism-Leninism philosophy)
2- Ding Mosaferi
4- Peasant's sickle
Early life (1)
Nur Muhammad Taraki was born to a rural Pashtun family in July 15, 1913. He worked as a clerk in Bombay, India where he took night school and learned English.
Early political career
On January 1, 1965, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was founded. The PDPA, a communist party in fact if not in name, was established for the primary purpose of gaining parliamentary seats. It was composed of a small group of men, followers of Nur Mohammad Taraki and Babrak Karmal, both avowed Marxist-Leninists with a pro-Moscow orientation.
Most observers described the 1965 elections as remarkably fair. Taraki was elected to Parliament in 1965, and started one of the first major leftist newspapers, Khalq (Masses), which lasted little more than a month before being silenced by a government ban.
In 1967 the PDPA split into two groups: Khalq (Masses) and Parcham (Banner), headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki and Babrak Karmal, respectively. The split reflected deep ethnic, class, and ideological differences. The Khalq faction was more militantly Marxist and somewhat more independent of the Soviet Union than the Parcham faction.
President of the Republic
On April 19, 1978 a prominent leftist, Mir Akbar Khyber, was killed by the government of Mohammed Daoud Khan. His death served as a rallying point for the Afghan communists. Fearing a communist coup d'etat, Daoud ordered the arrest of certain PDPA leaders, including Taraki and Babrak Karmal, while placing others, such as Hafizullah Amin, under house arrest.
On April 27, 1978 the coup was initiated, reportedly by Hafizullah Amin while still under house arrest. Mohammed Daoud Khan was killed the next day along with most of his family. The PDPA rapidly gained control and on May 1, Taraki became President. The country was then renamed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA), installing a regime that would last, in some form or another, until April 1992.
Taraki became president, prime minister and General Secretary of the PDPA. However, the rivalry between the Khalq and Parcham factions continued. The Government was divided between President Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin of the Khalq faction against Parcham leaders such as Babrak Karmal and Mohammad Najibullah.
After three months, President Taraki sent the Parcham leaders to India, Iran and Turkey as ambassadors. Babrak Karmal became the Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and his mistress, Anahita Ratebzad, as the Ambassador to Yugoslavia, while Mohammad Najibullah became Ambassador to Iran. Taraki then began to purge Parcham members from his government with many being arrested and executed.
Barbrak Karmal was recalled but went into hiding with Anahita Ratebzad in the Soviet Union fearing execution if he returned; Muhammad Najibullah followed them. Taraki then stripped them of all official positions. Amin became prime minister on 28 March 1979 with Taraki remaining President.
On December 5, 1978, he sponsored a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union (later used as a pretext for the Soviet invasion). Major uprisings occurred regularly against his government.
During its first 18 months of rule, the PDPA brutally imposed a Marxist-style reform program, which ran counter to deeply rooted Afghan traditions. Decrees forcing changes in marriage customs and pushing through an ill-conceived land reform were particularly misunderstood by virtually all Afghans. In addition, thousands of members of the traditional elite, the religious establishment, and the intelligentsia were imprisoned, tortured, or murdered.
Taraki was also responsible for introducing women to political life. A prominent example was Anahita Ratebzad, who was a major Marxist leader and a member of the Revolutionary Council. Ratebzad wrote the famous New Kabul Times editorial (May 28, 1978) which declared: “Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country .... Educating and enlightening women is now the subject of close government attention.”
Taraki as president of Afghanistan attended a conference of the Non-Aligned nations in Havana, Cuba. On his way back he stopped in Moscow to meet with Leonid Brezhnev. Taraki reached Moscow on March 20, 1979 with a formal request for Soviet ground troops.
Alexei Kosygin, then Premier of the USSR, told him: “We believe it would be a fatal mistake to commit ground troops ... if our troops went in, the situation in your country ... would get worse.” Despite this statement Taraki negotiated some armed support: helicopter gunships with Russian pilots and maintenance crews, 500 military advisors, 700 paratroopers disguised as technicians to defend Kabul airport, also significant food aid (300,000 tons of wheat).
Brezhnev further warned Taraki that full Soviet intervention “would only play into the hands of our enemies – both yours and ours.” Brezhnev also advised Taraki to ease up on the drastic social reforms and to seek broader support for his regime. Finally, he advised Taraki to remove Prime Minister Amin, and warned him that Amin was probably preparing an assassination attempt on Taraki.
The intense rivalry between Taraki and Amin within the Khalq faction heated up. By September 1979, Taraki's followers had made several attempts on Amin's life.
Taraki's death was first noted in the New Kabul Times on October 10, which reported that the former leader only recently hailed as the “great teacher ... great genius ... great leader” had died quietly “of serious illness, which he had been suffering from for some time.”
Less than three months later, after the Amin government had been overthrown, the newly installed followers of Babrak Karmal gave another, very different account of Taraki's death. According to this account, Amin ordered the commander of the palace guard to have Taraki executed. Taraki reportedly was suffocated with a pillow over his head.
Amin's emergence from the power struggle within the small divided communist party in Afghanistan alarmed the Soviets and would usher in the series of events which lead to the Soviet invasion.
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