Tuesday, July 15, 2008

President of the Republic ( September 1979 – December 1979 )

His rule was notable for its brutality. The Soviets admitted that perhaps 500 PDPA members had forfeited their lives. Amin now assumed leadership and carried out his own purges of the PDPA. Attempting to pacify the population, he released a list of some 18,000 people who had been executed and blamed the executions on Taraki. The official Afghan figures are much higher-15,000 to 45,000.

Additional to that, Amin was not a popular person. He was rapidly accumulating as enemies a large group of very angry relatives of victims, and PDPA members must have lived in fear of their lives.

During this period, many Afghans fled to Iran and Pakistan and began organizing a resistance movement to the "atheistic" and "infidel" communist regime backed by the Soviets. Although the groups organizing in the Pakistani city of Peshawar would later, after the Soviet invasion, be described by the western press as "freedom fighters".

In mid-November 1979 Amin launched a large military operation against the resistance at Sayd Karam in Paktia Province. The offensive was successful, eliminating as many as 1,000 or more resistance fighters, relatives, and supporters, driving most of the remainder into Pakistan, and obliterating sympathetic villages.

Amin also began unfinished attempts to moderate what many Afghans viewed as an Anti-Islam regime. Promising more religious freedom, repairing mosques, presenting copies of the Quran to religious groups, invoking the name of Allah in his speeches, and declaring that the Saur Revolution was "totally based on the principles of Islam." Yet many Afghans held Amin responsible for the regime's harshest measures and the Soviets, worried that their huge investment in Afghanistan might be jeopardized, increased the number of advisers in Afghanistan.

Amin worked to broaden his base of support and purged the PDPA of his perceived enemies. His regime was still under pressure from the insurgency in the country and he tried to gain Pakistani or American support and refused to take Soviet advice.

Because of or in spite of this, Amin attempted to solidify his hold on the country militarily. This display of independent nationalism was not tolerated by Moscow, and in December 1979, the Soviets began their invasion of Afghanistan

No comments: