Russian invasion behind Afghans’ misfortunes: analysts
KABUL (Pajhwok): On the eve of the 36th anniversary of former Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, political analysts on Saturday said the Russian invasion, mujahideen’s mistakes, Taliban atrocities and NATO violations did not allow the country to come out of quagmire and anarchy.
The 36th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan will be marked tomorrow (Sunday). A 120,000-strong red army equipped with sophisticated weaponry invaded Afghanistan and installed Babrak Karmal as president of the country.
The invasion was followed by uprisings in various parts of the country, sparking a bloody decade-long conflict that resulted in Soviet Union defeat and subsequent disintegration.
During the invasion, Afghanistan was turned into rubble. More than one million people were killed, thousands more maimed, and another five million migrated to neighboring Iran and Pakistan.
Wahid Muzdah, a political analyst, said after the end of Soviet invasion, there were some hopes that Afghanistan would once again become a developed, prosperous and peaceful country, but the mistakes that followed disappointed the Afghans.
He said the people of Afghanistan had the hope that their country would emerge stronger after suffering from a decade of miseries, fighting and loss of millions of lives during the Russian invasion. “But now people think the Soviet Union was better option and they wish they had not fought the red army as they look at the current situation of the country.”
He said the masses remained disappointed due to the lack of peace and stability in the country after decades of fighting, the presence of world’s strong armies. He said the Afghans were once again developing ties with Russia in a hope to end the so-called war against terrorism.
Younus Fakor, another analyst, said emotions had declined with the passage of time. Everyone now understood the Russian invasion was a huge mistake which shouldn’t have happened. He said mujahideen and Taliban committed grave mistakes that pushed the county into chaos and instability.
Sayed Ahmad, whose both legs are paralyzed and has mental problems, said he was twice imprisoned during the Soviet invasion. “The inmates were tortured for being Muslim. They were electrocuted, burnt or even their nails pulled out,” the wailing Ahmad recalled.
“Everything was being governed by Russians and their puppets in the Afghan regime,” recalled Sayed Ahmad.
Ahmad, now 53, was an officer in the Afghan air force. He remembered prisoners were being taken to the backyard of the notorious Pul-i-Charkhi prison for execution.
Ahmad said no Afghan remained indifferent towards the invasion and everybody played his part in defeating the red army.
“The day the red army invaded the country even the defence minister was not aware. The Soviet fighter jets bombarded villages on a daily basis, killing people and forcing them into leaving their homes,” he recalled.
Engineer Bashir, a Kabul resident, said his brother, who was a law and political science teacher in the police academy, had disappeared during the Soviet occupation. He added they did not know about his brother’s whereabouts until last month they read his name in a book called “martyrs without graves”.
“Mohammad Daud was an honest and sincere man. He was a patriot and when he was martyred he did not own anything,” he said of his brother whose only wish was to see a stable and developed Afghanistan. Bashir said his second pilot brother was also imprisoned and subsequently killed.
The Soviets also suffered huge casualties in Afghanistan. Based on reports, some 14,450 red army soldiers had died, another 49,980 wounded and 330 more went missing.
Gen. Boris Gromov was the last soviet soldier to leave Afghanistan crossing on foot the Friendship Bridge spanning the Amu-River on February 15, 1989. It is said he did not even want to look back.
Bilateral relations between Russia and Afghanistan took a new turn after former president Hamid Karzai developed some differences with the US leadership on future of Afghanistan, peace talks with the Taliban and the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).
A top Russian diplomat has recently said Moscow is in contact with the Taliban to counter the threat from the Islamic State, also known as Daesh.
Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special representative in Afghanistan, in an interview on Wednesday said his country was sharing information with the Taliban against the IS.
In combating Daesh, Zamir Kabulov said Moscow and Taliban had a commonality of interest. “Taliban interests objectively coincide with ours.
“I have said before that we have communication channels with the Taliban to exchange information,” he added.
Kabulov claimed both Afghan and Pakistani Taliban had refused recognising Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as a caliph.
But Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group did not need foreign assistance to combat the IS.
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