36th anniversary of Soviet invasion marked in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): The 36th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan was observed in Kabul on Sunday, with participants of a gathering calling the anniversary “a black day” in Afghanistan history and demanded compensation for war victims and punishment for the two communist factions’ leaders.
Sixth of Jadi month of Afghan calendar (Sunday) marks the 36th anniversary of the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. A 120,000-strong red army equipped with sophisticated weaponry, invaded Afghanistan and installed Babrak Karmal as president of the country 36 years ago.
The invasion was followed by uprisings in various parts of the country, triggering a war that lasted ten-long years and resulted in the Soviet Union biggest defeat and subsequent disintegration.
During the invasion, Afghanistan was turned into rubble. More than one million Afghans lost their lives, thousands were maimed and another five millions migrated to neighboring Iran and Pakistan.
A civil society group “Afghan Society for Social Reforms and Development (ASSRD)” or Jamiat-e-Eslah on Sunday organized a gathering to condemn the Russian invasion in Kabul.
Abdul Jalal Jalal, the head of board of directors of the group, recalled Afghans in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran would condemn the Russian invasion as a black day and the tradition continued even after Afghanistan gained the independence, but in recent years, the day was denounced by a small number of people.
The 6th of Jadi (27th of December) should be widely denounced each year as a black day in the history of Afghanistan to enable the young generation to recognise the murderers of millions of Afghans, he said.
The invasion was recognised as the 20th century’s biggest crime by the international community, he said, adding that except civil society, no one else had ever asked any national or international organisation to compensate the destruction caused by the war, he said. “We campaigned for Dr. Abdullah during elections, but the expectations of Mujahiddin were not fulfilled,” he said.
The director of the civil society group, Dr. Abdul Saboor Fakhri, said it was the will of Allah that Soviet troops tasted defeat and Afghans became a free nation.
“The blood of human being is valuable, but religion and freedom is more valuable, so the ideology should remain forever,” he said.
A professor at Kabul University, Gul Rahman Qazi, said Jihad against the Soviets had become mandatory for Afghans, so they did it, but the bloodshed continued till now. What the martyrs wished was to have a safe and secure Afghanistan, he added.
While pointing to the last presidential elections and foreign interference in the polls, he asked “was John Kerry from this country to decide between two Afghans (Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah). From whom to complain, don’t we have elders in our country to resolve our own problems? What is the difference between this time and the jihad era?”
“Afghans should be united and should not let others interfere in our internal affairs,” he said.
In a resolution letter, the participants asked the government to prosecute officials of the then two communist parties. It said those responsible for killing and burring hundreds of Afghans in mass graves should be identified and prosecuted in Afghanistan and the war compensation should be taken from the invaders.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ministry of Defence condemned the Soviat invasion in a statement that the invasion forced millions of Afghans to leave their country.
It said the Afghans had rendered countless sacrifices and put up strong resistance against the Russian invasion.
The Defence Ministry said the Afghan security and defence forces were ready to defend the country’s soil.
The Taliban also called condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as a dark day in the history of Afghanistan. In a statement, the group said the war gave birth to different problems for Afghanistan and its effects were still visible on people’s lives.
The statement said Afghanistan was destroyed during the invasion and more than 1 million Afghans lost their lives and millions more Afghans were obliged to migrate to other countries.
According to reports, more than 14450 Soviet soldiers had been killed and 49980 others wounded and 330 had been missing during the more than a decade of the war.
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