«MASTER OF MILITARY STUDIES TITLE: AHMAD SHAH MASSOUD: A case study in the challenges of leading modern Afghanistan. SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT ...»
government, were an attempt to implement its previously discussed regional security objectives. Particularly noteworthy are the June 1988 Shura to elect an Afghan Interim Government (AIG), and the February 1989 Shura to elect a permanent Afghan government. In the first, Shura membership was restricted to the seven Peshwar based Islamic groups, sponsored by Pakistan. The election, however was not representative of the will of the people as 87 percent of the displaced Afghan refugees in Pakistan wanted the return of King Zahir. 29 In the second Shura, although the membership was not exclusive to the seven Peshwar based factions; the Sunnis did control 420 of the 439 seats. 30 Both Shuras elected Pushtun leaders acceptable to Pakistan, and there can be no doubt that both these electoral bodies were significantly shaped by the ISI.
however, was its role in framing the Islamabad/Jalalabad Accords. The interMujihadeen violence of the Afghan civil war in the early 90’s, and the subsequent instability these abuses caused, concerned Pakistan greatly. Because of the violence and instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Qazi Hussain Ahmad of Jamiat-I-Islami and Gen Hammeed Gul, the ex-chief of the ISI, proposed a Rubin, 65.
set of accords designed to create a fundamentalist Afghan state. On 7 March 1993, the Islamabad Accords were signed. The Accords were an interim measure designed to effectively shorten Rabbani’s term in office as outlined in the Peshwar Accords, insert Hekmatyar into a position of power as the Prime Minister, and to weaken Massoud’s position as Defense Minister. The final details were to be worked out in a follow on agreement known as the Jalalabad
to ratify the Islamabad Accords, form a Coalition governing body, implement a cease-fire and Ministry of Defense control over militia heavy weapons, as well
discredit Massoud and to bring Hekmatyar to power. Massoud knew he could not win an election for Defense Minister and to turnover his heavy weapons would effectively leave him defenseless. He resigned as Defense Minister and took his HQ and weapons to Jabalus Siraj in Parwan, north of Kabul. Massoud still maintained approximately 20,000 soldiers on the streets of Kabul, however, and Hekmatyar as the new Prime Minister refused to enter the city for fear of his
Massoud’s career. From his perspective, he desired more support from the ISI, especially in the forms of additional weapons and funding, but was unwilling to Kakar, 284.
act as their surrogate. This was especially evident in his autonomous ceasefire with the Soviets, his unwillingness to expand the war into Tajikistan under U.S.
and Pakistani guidance, and his running confrontation with Hekmatyar.
Massoud was a nationalist and although he actively lobbied for support from a variety of countries to include the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Iran, he was unwilling to give them a dominant voice in the conduct of his military campaigns or in the future of Afghanistan. This was a clear source of tension between Massoud and Pakistan throughout his career.
These conditions were unacceptable to Pakistan. Pakistan’s real and perceived security concerns as they related to India and the Soviet Union forced them to undertake a campaign to ensure the establishment and survival of a Quisling government of Pakistani sympathizers. The ISI realized early in the problem that Massoud was not their man, and although effective in fighting the Soviets, could never be allowed a dominant voice in the government. Pakistan’s attempts to counter Massoud with the combined weight of the ISI’s and CIA’s support to Hekmatyar are a telling indication of the seriousness with which they viewed this threat.
the later years of his life. In 1998, Massoud sent a message to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he urged the United States to reengage in the In conducting research for this paper, information on Massoud was difficult to find. Any histories on the insurgency written by Pakistani officials such as The Bear Trap, either do not mention Massoud at all or are derogatory of his efforts. Even the otherwise excellent The Other Side of the Mountain, written with Marine Corps support, has no tactical vignettes regarding Massoud’s operations.
Once again, Pakistani control of access to Mujihadeen leaders has denied us the true story concerning the effectiveness and importance of Massoud’s operations.
Afghan situation. He blamed Pakistan for the rise of the Taliban and claimed 28,000 Pakistani citizens, to include paramilitaries, were actively engaged in the
Pakistan’s determination to marginalize or discredit Massoud continued even after the ISI’s abandonment of Hekmatyar and support to the Taliban, as described in Chapter Four of this paper. ISI involvement in the Taliban /Al Queda assassination of Massoud cannot be discounted and with his death, Pakistan must have believed their regional security situation much improved.
Massoud and Pakistan were truly strange bedfellows.
UNEASY ALLIANCES WITH OTHER AFGHAN FACTIONSThe diversity of the Afghan ethnic landscape is vast. During the insurgency with the Soviets and the subsequent civil war, eight major ethnic groups arrayed in seven major resistance factions with an additional indeterminate number of tribal and societal bonds attempted to defeat the Soviet army and subsequently form a national government. While the Afghans were successful in the first objective, they failed in the second. This is the situation Massoud faced in his attempt to mold and lead a representative national coalition; an attempt that would ultimately fail due to factional, ethnic, and tribal allegiances at the expense of the nations good. This Chapter will explore the different factions of the resistance, the newfound importance of ethnicity during the post insurgency/civil war period, the role of societal mores and the quest for power and how all these factors effectively fractured attempts to form a national government.
After the failure of the 1975 Islamic uprising against the Daoud government, the Islamic movement splintered into three parties due to a series of internal feuds. In order to better understand the political dynamic of Afghan culture and the challenges faced by Massoud, one must consider the different political parties of the resistance movement as developed during the war with the Soviets.
During the Soviet/Afghan war, there were seven parties on the Afghan political landscape; three were Islamist, three moderate, and one considered fundamentalist. The difference between the moderate and Islamic parties was based on the Islamist’s advocacy for an Islamic revolution while the moderates desired a return to an older way of life based on Afghan culture. Both desired, however, a state governed under Shariat or Islamic law. The biggest contrast between the two was the moderate penchant for conservatism and nationalism while the Islamists desire an Islamic revolution, which the moderates strongly
both the governments of King Zhia and President Daoud. It was an urban movement active at Kabul University that perceived Islam to be as much a political movement as a religion. Many of its members were expelled from Afghanistan in 1974 and were provided safe haven by the Bhutto government in Pakistan. While in Pakistan the movement split into three different factions because of internal feuding. These three parties were the Hezb-I- Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Hezb-I-Islami of Yunis Khales, which was mainly Pushtun, and the Jamiat-I-Islami of Rabbani, which was more moderate and
Jamiat was a rural based faction of moderate Islamic scholars of varied ethnic backgrounds, but was heavily rooted amongst the Tajiks in the northeast of Afghanistan and other Persian speakers. 38
province. He received a B.A. in theology from Kabul University in 1963 and his M.A. in the same field in Cairo in 1968. After completing his studies, he taught at Kabul University and in 1972, he became the leader of the Jamiat-I-Islami faction. 39 Rabbani was considered a moderate pragmatist who wanted to expand Jamiat into a broad popular movement vice attempting a near term power play
important figure in the insurgency and Afghan politics. Born in 1947 in Konduz province, he attended Kabul University for two years and became involved in Afghan politics while a student. He became a member of the Muslim youth in 1970 and was later imprisoned in 1973 for the murder of a Maoist student. After the Daoud coup in 1973, he fled to Pakistan and in 1975 formed Hezb-I-Islami-e Afghanistan. Much like Massoud, he worked as a saboteur under Pakistani sponsorship against the Daoud regime. After the April 1978 coup, his faction became one of the main resistance forces against the government and Soviets. 42
party of Mullah Yunus Khalis. This party was mainly Pushtun in make up and Rabbani bio data taken from the Afgha.com website. url:www.afgha.com/glossaire-pf.php?op=ImprDef&sid=73 Peter Marsden, The Taliban: War, Religion, and the New Order in Afghanistan. ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 30.
Hekmatyar bio data taken from the Afgha.com website. url:www.afgha.com/glossaire-pf.php?op=ImprDef&sid=35 exerted little more than a regional influence. 43 Khalis was a Pushtun from Nangarhar and educated in British India. He was yet another of the young
They consisted of the Harakat-I-enqelab or Islamic Movement of Mohammed Nabi Mohammed, made up of Pushtuns and Uzbeks, Mahaz-I-melli or National Islamic Front of Afghanistan of Pir Ahmad Gaylani, and finally the smallest party Jabha-I nezhad-I melli or National Salvation Front of Sibgatullah
Alliance in 1985 and constituted the majority of the Afghan Interim Government based in Peshawar. 46 These seven factions were at the center of the ideological battle between communism and Islam during the Soviet-Afghan war, but once the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989 the Jihad faded into a civil war based along ethnic lines - lines which Afghans ultimately identify themselves along.
linguistic and religious lines (i.e. Sunni vs. Shia). Most Sunni Persian speakers, such as Massoud for example, saw themselves as Tajiks, opposed to Pushtun domination of Afghanistan. 47 Ethnicity does not tell the entire story of Afghan political dynamics, however. The role of societal mores must also be factored
control the countryside, due to societal divisions in Afghan society. These divisions, known as qawms, are based at the corporate, tribal, and ethnic levels. 48 This segmentation is extremely competitive and divisive in nature and
by some sort of solidarity, such as an extended family, occupational group, a village, etc. A qawm is based on kinship and patron-client relationships and protects its members from the state, and other tribes or qawms. A qawm is a network, not a territorial unit, in which competition for leadership is common
the reemergence of religion and ethnicity, and the role of the qawm in Afghan societal structure it is little wonder that Afghanistan has had such a fractious political history. With an ethnic base of only 14 percent it is easy to see how the dominant role ethnicity played made Massoud’s bid for national power almost Roy, 6-7.
soldiers and mid level commanders of the various factions were controlled by these two very important factors, warlords such as Massoud, Dostum, and Hekmatyar were controlled by much more base desires-the need for power. The following paragraphs describe the fighting and shifting allegiances of the Afghan civil war and highlight the fact that while the factions were predominantly ethnically or tribally based, factional leaders were much more pragmatic in forming alliances in a jihad of personal opportunity. 50
violence intensified. Sayyed Jamal, an Islamic Party commander, killed 36 of Massoud’s Jamiat Mujihadeen including seven of his top commanders. Jamal and three others were hanged for the crime. Many thought the orders for the murders came from Hekmatyar and the incident widened the schism between the factions and further weakened the AIG. At this point, Massoud’s and Hekmatyar’s differences had become irreconcilable. 51
Najibullah that angered hard core Khalqis, the Defense Minister General Shahnawaz Tanai staged a coup on 6 March 1990 that was crushed within 24 hours. Most surprising, however, was the fact Tanai was supported in the coup by Hekmatyar and his Hezb faction. Although at first glance Tanai and Hekmatyar did appear to be diametrically opposed to each other, they did share Roy, 6.
some common ground. Hekmatyar was rumored to have links with the communists, shared a common ethnic background with the plotters (Ghilazy Pushtun), and was concerned that a political settlement would be centered on moderate factions and leaders at the expense of radicals such as himself and at
Dostum’s Uzbek militia, which had been used by the President as the government’s storm troopers, and central to the government’s success against the Mujihadeen from1989-92. Dostum rebelled and formed the Coalition of the North. The Deputy Defense Minister, General Mohammed Nabi Azimi, when sent to quash the rebellion, in an odd Afghan twist of fate-actually joined it.