Saur Revolution caused horrible consequences
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some elderly Kabul residents still remember the horrific consequences of a military coup overthrowing the government of Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan, Afghanistan’s first president, on this day 34 years ago.
However, some Kabul residents support the April 27 1978 coup led by the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) named as Saur Revolution, but others oppose it and instead support April 28 that marks the victory of mujahideen over the Soviet forces.
The PDPA government soon witnessed uprisings against it in various parts of the country and the regime embarked on purges of opponents until the Soviet Union intervened in Dec 1979 and so the conflict escalated.
The rebels continued resisting the Russian and Afghan government forces for nine years, eventually forcing the Soviet Union to withdraw forces from Afghanistan in Feb 1989.
No clear figures of Afghans killed in the conflict are available, but it is said nearly two million Afghans were either killed or wounded and more than five million others forced to migrate to foreign countries.
On April 27, 1992, mujhideen entered Kabul and took over from Russia-backed Afghan president Dr. Najibullah. But soon rival jihadi leaders entered a power struggle that sparked bloody clashes between mujahideen groups. More than 60,000 people were reportedly killed in these internal fights in Kabul alone.
A resident of Khair Khana area of Kabul, Shafiqa called April 27 and April 28 both the blackest days in Afghanistan’s history and said it was the legacy of the two events that Afghans continued to lose their lives.
The 70-year-old said her younger brother was killed by the government of Najibullah and her husband was killed in a rocket attack during infighting between mujahideen in 1991.
Abdul Jamil, a 65-year-old resident of Pul-i-Padshah area said the April 27 was the day when the destruction of Afghans began. About April 28, he said “this day was the survival of Afghanistan, but unfortunately our people suffered further casualties and more destructions after the mujahideen started internal fights.”
He said the situation of people during Najibullah’s regime had been better as compared to their situation under mujahieen. He said less crimes and destructions took place during Najib’s rule.
Rabia, 50, a teacher at the Bo Ali Sena Balkhi High School, also viewed the two days as black days in the history of Afghanistan for giving birth to decades-long miseries and difficulties.
She said after the 1978 coup, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government arrested her father and brother and her mother died of a heart attack. She said her father and brother had been missing since then.
Rabia said she had been praying for the success of mujahieen, but she did not know their victory over the Soviet forces would bring further grief and sorrow to the nation.
She said during the 1990s civil war, she went to a relative’s home to attend a party and the same night her own house was destroyed by a rocket attack fired by one of the mujahideen’s factions.
Waqif Hakimi, a spokesman for the Jamiat-i-Islami party, said some people viewed both April 27 and 28 as black days, but it was not right.
He said the people of Afghanistan had rendered scarifies of 1.5 million lives to become victorious after 14 years of armed campaign against cruelty and barbarism. He said it would not be justice call the April 28 a black day.
Prof. Azizullah Mansour, a pro-revolutionary, defended the 1978 coup, saying it was an important event in the history of the country.
However, he said the individuals involved in the coup could not carried on serving the people for being inexperienced and immature. He said the day should not be dubbed as black day.
Also Gen. Abdul Wahid Taqat, who served during former President Dr. Najibullah tenure, said events unfolded after the ouster of Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan were not more devastating than what happened during the civil war.
He said targets of the 1978 coup could not be achieved due to interferences by the US and its puppets such as Hafizullah Amin who worked for the US interest.
He said after the withdrawal of Soviet troops, then President Dr. Najibullah announced national reconciliation, but mujahideen rejected his call and staged attacks which led to another decade of bloodshed and war in the country.
He noted during the period of King Nader Shah and King Zahir Shah, the people of Afghanistan had been suppressed paving the ground for a coup, which finally took place in 1978.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.