Opposition General Homayun Baha declares that if the Soviet Union did not conquer Afghanistan because it was not interested, and claims that the Communists were developing the country well before the Mujaheddin began the process which culminated in the Taleban.
An Afghani opposition general, Homayun Baha, declared in an exclusive interview to Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias, that he misses the Communist days. He declared, “During the Communist regime, many religious extremists criticised the government, but the regime was not a treacherous one”. He added that the Communists were developing the country, but that they were not given enough time.
The US-backed and financed Mujaheddin were the first phase of the anti-Soviet assault which later developed into the phenomenon of the Taleban (students of Islam).General Baha declared that if the Soviet Union had wanted to conquer Afghanistan, it would have done so, because “it could have used all its military might and nobody in Afghanistan would have had the strength to resist”. He said that the Soviet period had not been an invasion, but that the Afghan Communist regime, led by Dr. Najib Mohammed Najibullah had requested the assistance of the Soviet Union to stabilise the regime against religious fanatics within and outside the country.
He said that the communist regime did not persecute Islam, that the mosques remained open and continued their activity normally. However, the Mujaheddin became more and more fanatical and performed atrocities similar to the Taleban. The general recalls one instance when someone showed him a large plastic bag, full of women’s breasts. The women in Afghanistan lost their rights the moment the Communist regime fell.
Regarding the Taleban, General Homayun Baha declared that there were Afghans who are Taleban, but that the majority of the Taleban are not Afghans. He said they are a repressive, fanatical force mainly manned by Pakistanis, Arabs and Chinese Uighurs. He said he was not convinced that Mullah Omar is an Afghani: “I think he is from Pakistan”.
On the present military situation, General Baha declared that “If the Americans do not send troops to the Northern Alliance, the Taleban will not be defeated”. However, General Baha proves that to be anti-Taleban does not necessarily mean being pro-American. “America is an imperialist country and has committed so many crimes in the world that the world hates the super-power and wants to overthrow it”.
General Baha said he is not a Communist and that Najibullah’s regime was more a democratic people’s republic than a Communist state. He said that he missed those times because for the first time, Afghanistan was making progress and the people had rights.
As regards the future, General Homayun Baha does not believe in King Zaher Shah. “The people hated him because he was not capable of developing Afghanistan...nothing was done to improve the conditions of the population”.
“The Taleban are like cockroaches. You cannot kill them in one room and leave a nest in another because they will come back...these nests are in the Pakistani Madrassas (religious schools), where in the morning they teach the Qu’ran and at night, warfare”.
The answer is in social development programmes, which Afghanistan had in the times of President Najibullah. The United States of America, in aiding the Mujaheddin to overthrow the regime simply because it was backed by Moscow, began the process which they are now so desperate to end.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL
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