Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Soviets

Afghans Mark 30th Anniversary Of Soviet Withdrawal

February 15 marks the anniversary of the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan after a bloody nine-year war. Related News.
Related NewsSoviet Withdrawal, A Date To RememberEx-Soviet Soldier Who Stayed Behind Talks About Life In HeratHundreds of Afghans, who said they are families of war victims, gathered at the Loya Jirga tent in Kabul on Friday to mark the 30th anniversary of Soviet troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The speakers of the ceremony said the past years’ gains should be protected in any process which will help the country to move towards peace.“There are lots of people who have misused the sacrifices of martyrs.They should know that the heirs of the martyrs will stand on their own feet after this,” said Attaullah Safi, member of a newly-founded forum on war victims’ families.One speaker at the ceremony said they represent thousands of Afghans who lost their lives during the Soviet-Afghan war. “My first demand and expectation on behalf of the forum is a lasting peace and a peace with dignity,” said Abdul Razaq Bashardost, an organizer of the event.Those who attended the event said they want a bigger role in the peace process and that they support elections, democracy, and peace in the country.
Meanwhile, Abdul Wahid Qatali, head of the Administrative Office of the President, said the last big mission of President Ghani is to make the country stable and leave a sustainable Afghanistan for the next generation.Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan Thirty years ago today 5 February 1989, the former Soviet Union announced its complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, ending a nine-year war that claimed the lives of millions of Afghans.
In 1979 the Soviet Union entered then neighboring Afghanistan in the hope of shoring up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. Quickly almost 100,000 Soviet Union soldiers took control of major cities and highways around the country, but war soon broke out with the rise of the Mujahideen.
The war lasted nine years and, in that time, an estimated one million civilians, including children, were killed, along with 90,000 Mujahideen fighters, more than 20,000 Afghan troops and over 14,000 Soviet soldiers.Marking the anniversary, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday on that “Feb 15 marks the end of the Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan.Since the invasion, Afghans have paid a heavy price in life and treasure. I pay tribute to the Afghan nation in the fight against the Soviets and to those who have lost their lives during and after the withdrawal.
“But none of that has broken our resolve as a nation to invest in and to rebuild our country together. In the same spirit, we must be self-reliant economically to achieve full independence.“I, therefore, encourage all Afghans to stand behind government’s reforms agenda to increase our productivity and economic growth in order to restore a nation free of war and instability for our future generations,” he said.In 1979 Hafizullah Amin was the ruler of Afghanistan.The Soviets were told by its KGB spies that Amin’s rule was a threat to the part of Central Asia that was the USSR and they suspected that he was not loyal to the Soviet Union.The Soviets also suspected that Amin was behind the death of his predecessor president Nur Muhammad Taraki.In light of this they decided to remove him and on 22 December 1979, Soviet advisers to the army of Afghanistan took many steps. They stopped all telecommunication links in Kabul.No messages could come inside the city, or go outside the city. Soviet air force troops also reached Kabul.Noting some danger, Amin sought refuge in the presidential palace but on December 27, about 700 Soviet troops took over major government and military buildings in Kabul.On the same night, the Soviet troops reportedly destroyed Kabul’s communication systems and minutes later stormed the presidential palace.
By morning, Amin and his two sons had been killed. Babrak Karmal was immediately appointed as head of government and ruled the country until he resigned in 1986.Dr Najibullah Ahmadzai took over in 1987 and ruled until 1992.Soviet soldiers remained in control of most major cities thereafter, while the Mujahideen continued to fight them around the country.Globally there was dissatisfaction about the Soviet’s occupancy and the then president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, said the Soviet action was “the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War”.By the mid-1980s, many Mujahideen groups had organized themselves and were receiving help from a number of countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
At the time, Islamabad felt the Soviet war in Afghanistan was also a threat to Pakistan.As the war continued, and more and more Soviet soldiers were killed, the USSR’s leader at the time, Mikhail Gorbachev, was quoted as saying their war in Afghanistan was a “bleeding wound”.
The Soviets were also treated as invaders and morale among Soviets was low.But after their withdrawal, peace in Afghanistan remained elusive as civil war broke out.

Please follow and like us:

US, Russia and Blackwater mercenaries plot different futures for Afghanistan

It would be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future, writes Saeed Naqvi. Two parallel peace processes on Afghanistan are underway.
In Doha, Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan has held extensive round of talks with Taleban leaders, spread over several days last month.
The authorship of this process is, quite jealously, America’s. But on February 5 and 6, Taliban and other Afghan political groups also met in Moscow.
A roadmap for the future, titled the Moscow Declaration was announced. Among its nine points is one which also suggests coordination with the Doha process – there is no jealous guarding of ownership of the peace process here.
Anyone interested in peace is the joint author. The declaration was immediately rubbished by the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
“Moscow declaration will not have impact on the peace process in Afghanistan” said palace spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri.I have Russian estimates of five years ago.
They may have changed, but in those days the Russians were convinced of 30 US bases in Afghanistan.Of these, the ones at Bagram, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Helmand, Shindand (Herat) and Mazar-e-Sharif were, by the sheer volume of masonry and architecture, not temporary.
These bases will remain. Are we then talking about a qualified departure?If the US is actually planning departure, why would it build a consulate in the heart of Mazar-e-Sharif on a scale which would dwarf large embassies? Renaissance is the only reasonable hotel in Mazar-e-Sharif.
It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future.
“All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.
”After Obama announced on December 1, 2009 the US intention to leave Afghanistan in July 2011, I had argued in a paper for the Observer Research Foundation that Americans can simply not leave Afghanistan. I have been proven right so far.
And now once again the “We are leaving” story has been let loose. True, this time the circumstances are different, but let us take a look.
Last July, Zalmay Khalilzad and Morgulov Igor Vladimirovich, Russia’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, (who was behind the scenes in the intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow on February 5 and 6) attend a high power meet in New Delhi on regional issues.In a more cooperative world order, one would have expected the representatives of the US and Russia to exchange notes on Afghanistan.
What transpired was to the contrary. Vladimirovich made an allegation that startled the gathering.
“ISIS fighters were being flown to Northern Afghanistan from Syria” was the claim. The Afghan air space is under the control of the US and the government in Kabul.
“So, who is responsible?” Khalilzad offered a tepid denial. The denial lacked credibility because the Russian allegation had been preceded by another made by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatullah Khomenei.
In the course of his Friday address on January 30, 2018. Khomenei said, “The US transfer of IS terrorists to Afghanistan is aimed at creating a justification for its continued presence in the region.
”In countries surrounding Afghanistan, doubts about American intentions may be more muted but are just as strong. It is deeply ironical that Jihadism, terrorism and Islamism manufactured in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 80s, may be returning to complete the circle.
Indeed, there is a certain inevitability about Islamic militancy becoming a tool of American foreign policy. The triangular romance between Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh will ensure this state of affairs for as long as this romance lasts.
Let me explain the inevitability. When animal rights groups forced the famous annual fox hunt to stop in South India’s most Anglaise hill station Ooty, I expressed my curiosity to the master of the hunt: “What have you done to the hundreds of hounds of high pedigree trained diligently for the hunt?” The lovely canines had been transferred to an expensive kennel from where dog lovers could acquire them.
So now we know what to do with redundant foxhounds of high pedigree? What does a state like Saudi Arabia do with spare Islamic militants who have been heavily equipped and trained to kill at the cost of billions? They can only be relocated to newer theatres of conflict like Afghanistan. From here they can plague all the countries the US wishes to destabilize – Xinxiang in China, the Caucasus in Russia, Iran and Pakistan, too, if it does not behave according to the US diktat.
To make the confusion worse, Erik Prince, founder of the world’s biggest mercenary military company, which has mutated from Blackwater to Academi and Triple Canopy, is back in Afghanistan floating the idea of US troops to be replaced by Prince’s mercenary army. His plan that Afghanistan be administered by a “viceroy” was shot down by National Security Adviser H.
R. McMaster and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
After the two were shown the door, Prince has been all over Afghanistan again in and Khalilzad’s notice. The only person who has refused to meet him in Kabul is President Ghani.
The writer is a journalist based in IndiaTags:Analysis Saeed Naqvi Related PostsMemoryMagic Latch February 15, 2019News AnalysisA Gnarled Oak with a Broken Heart February 15, 2019Next Post Can everyone have health insurance in Pakistan? Leave a Reply Cancel replyThis site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please follow and like us: