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    West seen behind Soviet defeat in Afghanistan

    KABUL (PAN): A number of former pro-Soviet Afghan officials on Wednesday accused the West of encouraging the 1979 invasion and subsequent defeat of communism. However, mujahideen rejected the view as flawed.

    The Soviet troops, equipped with modern weapons, invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979 through the Hairatan dry port and installed a puppet regime in Kabul to achieve their long-term designs.

    Faced with a heroic resistance from Afghans, the Soviet invaders started withdrawing from the country on May 15, 1988. Lt. Gen. Boris V. Gromov, the commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan, left the country on Feb. 15, 1989.

    Former Wolesi Jirga member from southern Kandahar province and a senior official of the Soviet-backed government Noorul Haq Alumi said the West, particularly the US, had played a key role in encouraging the aggressve act and the USSR breakup.

    “The US sought revenge on the USSR for the Vietnam humiliation,” he said, adding Soviet troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan after installing the Dr. Najibullah government.   

    There were certain internal and external factors behind the Russian defeat, said another former Afghan official during the Soviet occupation and ex-MP, Dr. Abdul Kabir Ranjbar.

    The Russians left after signing the Geneva Agreement in 1988 with Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, he recalled, saying washington had played the most important role in the Soviet retreat by arming the mujahideen.

    But Ustad Muhammad Akbari, a former jihadi commander and parliamentarian from Bamyan province, strongly believed that Afghans’ courage and commitment had brought about the fall of the Soviet Union. “No doubt, the West supported Afghanistan, but the war was fought by Afghans.”

    Legislator from Kabul, Maulvi Irfanullah Irfan, said: “Martyrdom was an honour for mujahideen and that is why they easily defeated a superpower of the time.” He insisted the USSR had left behind a weak government that was vanquished by mujahideen.