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From American Cigarette to Russian Match; 7 April and Communist System in Afghanistan

7 April coup agents did not have a native theory. They were supported from the outside and they could not recognize the Afghan community to prescribe a remedy for the pain of the people of this country, as it was said.

The seventh and eighth April are destiny making days in the history of Afghanistan. Both days witnessed massive policy making transformation in the country. Seven April coincides the bloody coup against Dawuod Khan, the first Afghan president, and eight April represents the overthrow of Dr. Najib government, the last communist president in the country. On 7 April, Daoud Khan along with his family and bodyguards were killed by leaders and members of People’s Democratic Party and his rule destroyed as the government of Najib was destroyed by Mujahidin in 8 April.

Mohammad Daoud is known as “Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan” in the history of Afghanistan. He was a member of Zaher Shah family, but has the dream of absolute sovereignty in Afghanistan. He had never been satisfied with second position, preferring to be the first person of a village than the second person of a country. Eventually, overthrew the 40-year government of Zaher Shah through a white coup (without bloodshed) announcing presidency system.

Although, he was trying to have good and satisfied relations with America and the Soviet, but his diplomacy changed at the end, as it is said: “Daoud Khan decided to establish a balanced relationship in his foreign policy between the two powers, the Soviet and the USA, as he himself said to light American cigarette with Russian match, but later practically turned to Westernization to reduce the Soviet power and its puppets in the country.”

Contrary to Moscow’s desire, he traveled to Libya, Yugoslavia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and managed to achieve favorable economic fulfillment in pursuit of the seven-year Afghan construction plan; but his measures provoked Russia’s sensitivity. After a while, the president of Afghanistan sharply responded to the sensitivities of the Russians during a meeting between Daoud and Leonid Brezhnev. In fact, the coldness of the slow-moving relations became apparent, and changes were not run in the favor of Daoud Khan. This man had become a barrier against the advance of the Russians.

But Russians had other options too. They did not give up Afghanistan. It was not important for Moscow to back up this or that, but the goal was expansionism. In the meantime, the People’s Democratic Party operating under socialist and Russian-backed ideas in the country, managed to gain the more political support of Brezhnev.

During this period, although Daoud Khan carried out some useful work, but interference by parties backed by external factors and political turmoil hampered him to reach his ambitions. Moreover, the assassination of Mir Akbar Khaibar, one of the heads of democratic party in Kabul’s Shash Darak by unknown men made the situation more serious. The members of Democratic Party considered the government responsible for the assassination and launched a massive demonstration under the pretext of burning Khaibar.

“After the demonstration, the president concluded to destroy the Democratic Party, imprisoning its leaders including Nur Mohammad Taraki and Babrak Karmal. Arresting Hafizullah Amin, another leader of the Democratic Party delayed for some time, during the time, he could order a military operation and coup against the government to the party’s supporters and fans. The affiliated militants somehow took the control of military forces by killing superior officers and Daoud Khan’s loyalists. These forces paralyzed all Daoud Khan’s power centers in Kabul by taking the control of air forces, releasing the party’s leaders from prison.” (Nurzahi, Amini, 1388, page 42)

The Members of the Democratic Party surrounded Daoud Khan and his cabinet at the presidential palace. Some cabinet members fled the area using the opportunity, but Daoud could not escape due as his family was inside the palace. Clashes continued for hours, the party targeted and bombarded the presidential palace through Bagram base, killing Daoud Khan and all of his 17 family members. This revolution is known as 8 April in the country. In fact, the Russians were the supporters of this revolution. The revolution brought about many changes in the country, bolding the Russian roles in Afghanistan, the interference of Americans in the country through political parties and movements as well as it formed religious and ethnic movements and Jihad that was misused.

“The Insurgency led to the Soviet’s Red Army military involvement in 1358 and nine-year war 1358 – 1367 between Afghan Mujahidin and the Soviet,” (7 April/

Therefore, 7 April started with blood and ended with blood. 7 April coup agents did not have a native theory. They were supported from the outside and they could not recognize the Afghan community to prescribe a remedy for the pain of the people of this country, as it was said: “this basic point is important about communists that they were affected by the Soviet pole and brought Marxism, socialism and communism ideologies into Afghanistan and fought for it without understanding it.” (Qaderi, 1393: p. 3)

Anyway, 7 April has its for and against due to some reasons; some strongly hate this history and some fight for it. But what seems really fundamental, is to learn from these catastrophes and major historical changes.
Sayed Abdul Basir Mesbah – Baghlan University professor and communication researcher
Translated by Taher Mojab

Qaderi, Ali. (1393), 7 and 8 April; two events with similar consequences, Afghanistan newspaper
Nurzahi, Amini, Abdul Naser. (1388) Afghanistan; history and ups and downs, Neday-e Islam Magazine, No. 39 and 40
Wikipedia: (هفت ثور

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