People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was the most important, the most organized and the most comprehensive communist party which seized the political power through conducting 1978 coup.
It then started a crisis which led to destroy the political, economical and social infra structures of the Afghanistan, the consequences of which lasts till now.
The crisis also led to fully demolition of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. A compressed theme about the PDPA is narrated here from the book entitled “The commence and terminate of political movements in Afghanistan” by Eng. Mesbahzadeh.
The first communist core which led to PDAP establishment in Afghanistan formed in 1963 in Kabul. Nur Mohammad Taraki, Babarak Karmal, Mohammad Taher Badakhshi, Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar, Sediqallah Rouhi, Mohammad Ali Zahama, Mir Akbar Kheyber and Dr. Abd al- Hadi Mahmudi were the members of the aforementioned core. The core was called as overseer committee.
The overseer committee formed 30 organization loops in Kabul and paved the way to hold the foundation congress of PDAP. The foundation congress of PDAP was held secretly in 1st January 1965 at Nur Mohammad Taraki’s home in Kartehchar district of Kabul.
The twenty seven founding members of the congress were Nur Mohammad Taraki, Babrak Karmal, Taher Badakhshi, Gholam Dastgir Panjshiri, Shahrallah Shahpar, Soltan Ali Keshtmand, Dr. Saleh Mohammad Zirai, Dr. Shah Vali, Abd al- Karim Misaq, Nur Ahmed Nur, Dr. Mohammad Zaher Zardan, Akram Kargar, Soleyman Layeq, Sayyed Abd al- Hakim Sharei Jozjani, Adam Khan Zazai, Mula Mohammad Isa Kargar, Eng. Khalyar, Lawyer Abdallah Jaji, Abd al- Qayum Qaveem, Ata Mohammad Shirzai, Ghulam Mohie Al-Din Zarmalwal, Hadi Karim, Abd al- Hakim Helal, Mohammad Hasan Bareq Shafiei, Sayyed Nurallah Kalali, Mohammad Zaher Ofoq and Abd al-wahab Safi.
In foundation congress Nur Mohammad Taraki, Babrak Karmal, Taher Badakhshi, Gholam Dastgir Panjshiri, Shahrallah Shahpar, Soltan Ali Keshtmand and Dr. Saleh Mohammad Zirai were elected as the key members of central committee while Dr. Shah Vali, Karim Misaq, Dr. Abd al- Zaher and Abd al- Wahab Safi were elected as understudies of central committee of communist PDAP. In the congress Nur Mohammad Taraki was appointed as secretary general and Karmal was appointed as second secretary. The statute of the party and the main lines of the program were approved.
In 1966 the central committee of the PDAP developed and Mohammed Ismaeil Danesh, Hafizallah Amin, Sharei Jozjani, Mohammad Zaher Ofoq, Dr. Abd al-majid Darmangar, Mohammad Hasan Bareq Shafiei, Nur Ahmed Nur and Ghulam Mojaddad (Soleiman Layeq) approved as understudies of the committee.
Also Nur Mohammad Nur and Dr. Shah Vali were accepted as the members of the central committee. The political office of the central committee was composed of Taraki, Karmal, Badakhshi, Panjshiri, Keshtmand and Shah Vali. By the way the inconsistency between Taraki and Karmal enhanced and PDAP split into the Khalq and the Parcham factions. At the split treshhold the central committee of PDAP had 9 key members and 10 understudies.
Through publishing the Parcham journal, Karmal led faction disclosed the differences and split of the PDAP into two groups: Khalq (Masses) and Parcham (Banner), headed by Taraki and Karmal, respectively in the spring of the year 1967. In fact in 1967 two separate parties of Khalq and Parcham were formed and known as PDAP and continued their works.
The key members and understudies of central committee of Khalq faction were: Nur Mohammad Taraki, Taher Badakhshi, Dr. Shah, Vali, Dr. Saleh Mohammad Ziri, Karim Misaq, Ismaeil Danesh, Hafizuah Amin, Dr. Zaher Zardan, Dr. Darmangar and Mohammad Zaher Ofoq.
The key members and understudies of central committee of Parcham faction were: Karmal, Dastgir Panchshiri, Shahrallah Shahpar, Soltan Ali Keshtmand, Nur Ahamd Nur, Abd al- Hakim Sharei, Soleiman Layeq, Hasan Bareq Shafeiei and Abd al- Vahab Safi.
In the first central committee of PDAP ethnic composition of the party was such that the key members were 3 Pashtuns, 2 Tajik, 1 Uzbek and 1 Hazara while the understudies were 2 Pashtuns, 1 Tajik and 1 Hazara.
Although PDAP and especially the Parcham faction were illegal, they were supported by the monarchy and in particular Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan. They contributed in 1964 coup led by Daoud Khan. Both the factions in PDAP supported the coup and had membership in the first cabinet of Daoud Khan.
In 1976, the relations between PDAP and Daoud Khan darkened and both the factions of Khalq and Parcham felt dangerous. Finally they reached a fragile agreement on reunification in august 1977 and formed central committee plenum.
In the plenum an agreement was achieved on unification based on the decisions made by the founding congress. As a result Nur Mohammad Taraki was appointed as the secretary general and Babrak Karmal was assigned as vice president (second secretary) of PDAP. The differences, however, did not come to an end. The Kalq faction wanted more portion in military affairs but Parcham facion underscored equal portions of the military and leadership affairs. The latter also disapproved surrendering the military leadership of PDAP to Hafizallah Amin.
The two factions in deed had united under foreign pressures (USSR) and the reunification was very fragile. The communists’ unsuccessful experiments were repeated several times by Jihadi groups in Jihad era and after that. These groups in fact increased the poor peoples’ pain.
Any way, while PDAP could not solve its internal problems, it sought to seize the power through hostility and violence and overthrew Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan’s regime and executed him. The PDPA seized power in a military coup in 1978 which is best known as the Saur Revolution and established communist regime known as Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
The communist regime faced people’s opposition and committed many murders and genocide. It created a crisis which led to depravity of Afghanistan.
A little after Saur Revolution the differences between the two factions of Khalq and Parcham in communist regime resumed. The purification of Parcham faction’s members from the government positions started in July1978. The political office of PDAP published a statement and accused the Parcham faction of conspiracy against Taraki in August 1978. Consequently many members of Parcham faction were exiled or put in jail.
After the purification of Parcham members, the discrepancies among the Khalq members peered so that Hafizallah Amin killed Nur Mohammad Taraki and seized power in September 1986. He then purified pro-Taraki comrades. Hafizallah Amin who had lost Russians’ trust intended to accede to Pakistan and USA, but Russians did not give him the opportunity. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, ousted Hafizallah Amin and brought Karmal back to be President of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal, exiled leader of the Parcham faction of the PDPA was installed by the Soviets as Afghanistan's new head of government. The remanence of Khalq faction was joined with Parcham faction.
The disability of the Soviets red army to repression of Islamic resistance of Afghanistan people and also election of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party accounted for the end of Karmal’s regime. In May 1986 he was replaced as party leader by Mohammad Najiballah. In November 1986, under increasing pressure from Moscow, Karmal stepped down from the presidency and Dr. Mohammad Najiballah substituted him.
Revitalized in Najiballah era, Khalq faction committed a coup led by Shahnawaz Tanai who served as former minister of defense under the Soviet-backed communist regime of Dr. Najiballah. The coup connected by Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Hekmatayr Hizb-i Islami was repressed by government regime comrades.
After Tanai coup and Najib attempt to strengthen Pashtun’s forces inside and outside the communist regime, ethnic issue in PDAP which meanwhile renamed as Watan Party incurred new differences among communists based on ethnic and nationality affinities and finally led to 25th April 1992 coup by pro-Karmal’s comrades against Dr. Najiballah. As a result communist regime was overthrown and Watan Party was outlawed by Mujahedeen.
The 25th April 1992 coup was performed in the verge of communist regime collapse by Parcham faction inside the Watan Party which resulted in Najib’s escape and his refuge in United Nation agency in Kabul.
PDAP had several statutes in its political life. The first PDAP statute was published as intents of people democratic in 6 articles in Khalq leaflet in 1966. In this statute focus was made on economical issues, Pahstun ethnic affairs and fighting against imperialism.
The PDAP’s statute was published undisclosed a year after its establishment in spring 1967. In the first article of the statute the nature of PDAP was explained as: “PDAP is the superlative form of political organization and scout of the labor class and all the plodders of Afghanistan. PDAP’s ideology is scientific Marxism-Leninism and it is based on voluntary alliance of pioneers and cognizant sectors of Afghanistan people, i.e. labors, farmers, tradesmen and intellectuals.
The second statute of PDAP was ratified in second plenum of central committee of the party in 14th April 1970 when the party was governing the country led by Babrak Karmal. This statute was modified and completed in 14th march 1971.
In 1981, the leading officials of PDAP were totally 60 ones who composed the key members and understudies of political bureau of central committee, secretariat members, key members and understudies of central committee.
Babrak Karmal the secretary general of PDAP, Soltanali keshtmand, Ananihta Ratebzad, Gholam Dastgir Panjshiri, Nur Ahamd Nur, Najibulah, Mohammad Aslam Vatanjar and Mohammad Rafei were the key members of political bureau of central committee while Mahmud Beryalai and Mohammad Ismaeil Danesh were the understudies of political bureau of central committee. Karmal, Dr. Saleh Mohammad Ziri, Nur Ahamd Nur, Mahmud Beryalai, and Niaz Mohammad Mahand were the members of secretariat of central committee of PDAP.
The key members of central committee of PDAP were Babrajk Karmal, Asadulah Sarwari, Emtiaz Hasan, Anahita Ratebzad, Borhanodin Ghyasi, Habib Mangal, Khlailulah, Razmohammad Paktin, Soltan Ali Keshtmand, Soleyman Layeq, Sayyed Mohammd Golabzoy, Shah Mohammad Doost, Shirjan Mozdooryar, Saleh Mohammad Ziri, Abd al-rashid Arian, Abdozzohoor Razmhoo,Abd al- Qader, Abd al- Qayoom Noorzai,Abd al- Majid Sarboland, Abd al- Wakil, Ghulam Dastgir Panjshiri, Feda Mohammad Dehneshin, Ghul Agha, Gholda, Lyval Shahzar, Mohammad Aslam Vatanjar, Mohammad Esmaeil Danesh, Mohammad Hasan Bareq shafiei, Mohammad Hasan Peyman, Mohammad Rafei, Mohammad Farooq, Mohammad Hashem, Mohammad Yasin Sadeghi, Mahmud Beryalai, Mirsaheb Karwal, Najmodin Akhgar Kavian, Najibulah, Nezamodin Tahzib, Nazar Mohammad, Eng. Nazar Mohammad , Nur Ahmed Nur and Niaz Mohammad Mehmandwere who were totally 42. The understudies of the PDAP were Babah Jan, Jamileh Ploosheh, Heshmat Keyhani, Khoda Nur Bawar, Doost Mohammad, Sattar Pardli, Sayyed Amirshah Zereh, Sayyed Ekram Peygir, Sayyed Tahershah Peykargar, Abdosamad Azhar, Abdurrashid Waziri, AbdulGhafar Lakanwal, Mohammad Anwar, Farzan, Mohammad Allah Safi, Nuralhagh Olumi and Honar Gheyrat.
The second statute of PDAP was ratified and published in Dr. Najib Presidency era in 1990. The favorites and researchers can analyze the truth, honesty, capability and mental, political and ideological variations of the PDAP leaders and followers from the very beginning of the establishment till now through studying the statute. The party has been split into various divisions and these have registered in ministry of justice.
It is to be noted that not only the domestic and foreigner authors, researchers, observers and political analyzers, and some of the PDAP leaders and individuals who criticize its ideology and deeds, but also those who have maintained their ideological and emotional links with its corpse confess that PDAP was a communist party and had a main role in creating a crisis in Afghanistan and its destruction.
Dastagir Panjshiri, one of the founders and leaders of PDAP in a message for a meeting of PDAP members in Malmo city in Sweden in 8th July 2003, admires the bloody 7th Saur coup and PDAP communists’ deeds in unsettling the political, social and economical stability of Afghanistan. Meanwhile he confesses that PDAP was an undercover agent in Afghanistan for the soviets, he admits that PDAP initiated the crisis with coup though he calls it armed revolution, created political obstruct, repressed the freedom, fought against the religion and peoples’ values, attempted for destroying economical and political structures of Afghanistan and imposing USSR model structures which was opposed by Afghans and paved the way for foreigners invasion to Afghanistan.
Following the crisis after the collapse of communist regime and PDAP disintegration, various factions and rivals of the party had undoubting role in fights which led to Kabul destruction either under the name of mujahedeen or in Taliban era. These factions divulged against each other.
Author: Sayed Mohammad Bagher Mesbahzadeh