People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
|People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan|
Hezb-e Demokratik-e Khalq-e Afghanistan
|Leader||Last leader: Dr. Mohammad Najibullah|
The Khalq (1966)|
|Youth wing||Democratic Youth Organization of Afghanistan|
|Membership||50,000 (December, 1978-January, 1979)|
The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was the ruling political party in Afghanistan in the period 1978-1992. It was a communist party. Under it's leadership, they launched a lot of democratic reforms, and from being an Islamist feudal military regime, the PDPA changed it to a Socialist country with secular and European-like laws and rule.
It was generally based on Secularism until 1987, when reforms started a more
It was founded in 1936. It was inspired by Joseph Stalin, and it was quickly a member of the Comintern. In 1973, they helped Mohammed Daoud Khan, that was the cousin of then-monarch Mohammad Zahir Shah, to owerthrow the monarchy and etablish a republic. Like the monarchy had been, Khan's regime was neutral in the Cold War, and got aid from both the United States of America and the Soviet Union for development.
Though, Khan's rule became repressing, opponents of the regime was arrested, and he banned parties like the PDPA, and a lot of its members were imprisoned or executed. This led to the Saur Revolution at April 27, 1978. "Saur" is the Dari name for the month in the Islamic calendar, that started on April 21. This was a revolution were the PDPA, together with military deserters and independent activists overtrew Khan's regime by assassinating him. Also his family was shot. After the revolution, Afghanistan remained a single-party state, but now under the more democratic PDPA government. Nur Mohammad Taraki became president and Hafizullah Amin became prime minister. The name of the country was changed from the Republic of Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
As a result of the revolution, Afghanistan was indistrualized and reformed. Before the revolution, women had low rights in Afghanistan. The new government abolished laws that forced women to wear Muslim clothes and head clothes such as hijab and burqa. Forced marriage was banned. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan gave equal rights for both men and women. Also, the freedom of speech was highly promoted.
Though most of the Afghan population supported the revolutions and the reforms, they was not welcomed by the Islamist extremists. Some of these were Ahmad Shah Massoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. They claimed that they had to start "Jihad" (holy war) against the Communist government. They made a lot of terrorist attacks, and many people was killed. The government answered by violently crushing down the rebellion. In early 1979, the Maoist group ALO allied with the Islamists, that called themselves Mujahideen (soldiers of God).
In October 1979, president Nur Muhammad Taraki was killed by unknown perpetrators. He was killed on the order of prime minister Hafizullah Amin. Amin took over the political power in the country. Amin was a supporter of Joseph Stalin, and wanted to go back to the former Stalinist ideology that the party had removed in the 1970s. Amin etablished an authoritarian rule, and killed thousands of people under his regime. The Soviet Union tried to have talks to Amin about human rights, but Amin didn't listened to anything. This, together with that Amin had been became president by killing the former president, made them believe that only an invasion could stop Amin. Also, an invasion would have been appropriate for both the Soviet Union and the communist rule in Afghanistan, because they also could place troops in Afghanistan to stop the terrorists/insurgents operating in the country, and ensure democracy and peace in Afghanistan.
At December 24, 30,000 Red Army soldiers and KGB agents in Afghan uniforms were placed in Afghanistan. They stormed the presidential palace at December 27. Amin only had 1700 soldiers, and didn't had a chance against his former ally the Soviet Union. Amin was killed by a KGB agent. The codename for the invasion was Operation Storm-333.
After the overthrow of the Amin government, the Soviet government installed a more stabile and democratic leader, Babrak Karmal. Troops were placed in Afghanistan to chrush the Islamist uprising.
The Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan in February 1989.
In 1986, the Soviet government, led by Mikhail Gorbachev, installed a new leader Mohammed Najibullah. He was a religious Muslim, though he was communist supported the communist government. He carried out reforms based on Islamic principles. In 1987, the state religion was changed from state atheism to islam. In 1990, it was founded a communist party called the Democratic Watan Party of Afghanistan. It was in fact the same as the PDPA, and its members was also PDPA members. "Watan" means homeland.
Despite Najibullah's reforms, the Islamist terrorists remained fighting, and his government was overthrown April 28, 1992, the day after the 14th jubileum day of the Saur Revolution. The PDPA's democratic government was replaced with a provisional government by different Islamist groups, known as the Islamic state. All women had to wear veils and traditional Islamic clothes, and all women that was working in the TV or at hospitals were fired (see Women's rights in Afghanistan - Wikipedia). The worst extremists, they in Taliban, al-Qaeda and Hezb-i-Islami, remained fighting against the Islamist coalition government. After the coup in 1992, Najibullah and some other communist leaders was arrested, accused of "war crimes".
In 1996, the Taliban took control over the government in Afghanistan. They held a totalitarian regimes, with mass-killings. Most of the PDPA members that hadn't fled the country was hanged.