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  Rise of the Mujahiddin
By Afghanland.com: During Hafizulla Amin's term in power, many Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran 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"--as if their goal were to establish a representative democracy in Afghanistan--in reality these groups each had agendas of their own that were often far from democratic.

Outside observers usually identify the two warring groups as "fundamentalists" and "traditionalists." Rivalries between these groups continued during the Afghan civil war that followed the Soviet Abdul Haqwithdrawal. The rivalries of these groups brought the plight of the Afghans to the attention of the West, and it was they who received military assistance from the United States and a number of other nations.

According to Afghanland.com, the real mujahiddin were local resistance fighters who took arms to defend their own neighborhood, or a group of neighbors or friends joined to defend their village or town against the soviet red army. Commanders such as Abdul Haq "Lion of Afghanistan" in areas south of Kabul, Ismael Khan "Lion of Herat" in Western Afghan province of Herat and Ahmad Shah Masood "Lion of Panjsher" in the Northern town of Panjsher became more prominent due to their legendary tactics and bravery. But lack of weapons and proper training forced these local warriors to join either one of the the political parties established in Pakistan in order to receive supplies from United states through Pakistan. The Aid was given to the Pakistani government to distribute to afghan freedom fighters but, unfortunately most of the money and supplies were engulfed by Pakistan and the rest were distributed to the movement that would benefit Pakistan the most and that was Hizb-e-Islami of Hekmatyar

General Boris Gramov, commander of ex-soviet invading army in Afghanistan, has revealed that leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan Ahmad Shah Masoud had inked an agreement with Moscow that ensured safe passage to the former USSR troops through Salang and Panjsher valleys during the Afghan jihad.

He reveals that when the first Russian troops left Hairatan on Afghan-Uzbek border for Kabul via land route in 1980, the soviets feared that the passage of the army through Salang valley and high peaks of Panjsher valley which were manned by the mujahideen of Ahmad Shah Masoud was not only difficult but also almost impossible. The army of famed Jihadi commander Ahmad Shah Masoud, Gramov said, could convert the area into graveyard for the Russian troops by only throwing rocks.

Gramov says at that critical time the then Khad chief Dr. Najibullah acted very shrewdly and contacted Ahmad Shah Masoud who demanded direct talks with the Russians. The Soviet General says they immediately met Masoud and signed an agreement with him that ensured safe passage of Russian army through the dangerous Salang and Panjsher valleys and thus onward to the southern, central and eastern Afghanistan.
Ahmad Shah Masood
General Gramov says Ahmad Shah Masoud in return continued to get Russian assistance. He says Masoud sometimes used to stage sham skirmishes with the Russian to put off chances of suspicions about his activities among other mujahideen groups. He says the Soviets feared that Masoud would use the agreement for dishonest gains but he acted on the accord and avoided creating problems for the Russian army till its withdrawal in 1998.

Gramov further says that on the one hand Masoud had an agreement with the Russians for safe passage at Salang pass and on the other his military council Shura-i-Nazar, fought with them on many fronts in northern Afghanistan and killed many Russian troops.

The fundamentalists based their organizing principle around mass politics and included several divisions of the Jamiat-i-Islami. The leader of the parent branch, Burhanuddin Rabbani, began organizing in Kabul before repression of religious conservatives, which began in 1974, forced him to flee to Pakistan during Daoud's regime. Perhaps best known among the leaders was Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who broke with Rabbani to form another resistance group, the Hizb-e-Islami, which became Pakistan's favored arms recipient. Another split, engineered by Yunus Khales, resulted in a second group using the name Hizb-e-Islami--a group that was somewhat more moderate than Hekmatyar's. A fourth fundamentalist group was the Ittehad-i-Islami led by Rasool Sayyaf. Rabbani's group received its greatest support from northern Afghanistan where the best known resistance commander in Afghanistan--Ahmad Shah Masood a Tajik, like Rabbani, operated against the Soviets with considerable success.

Hekmatyar, Rabbani and Mojadidi SeatedThe organizing principles of traditionalist groups differed from those of the fundamentalists. Formed from loose ties among ulama in Afghanistan, the traditionalist leaders were not concerned, unlike fundamentalists, with redefining Islam in Afghan society but instead focused on the use of the sharia as the source of law (interpreting the sharia is a principal role of the ulama). Among the three groups in Peshawar, the most important was the Jebh-e-Nejat-e-Milli led by Sibghatullah Mojadeddi. Some of the traditionalists were willing to accept restoration of the monarchy and looked to former King Zahir Shah, exiled in Italy, as the ruler.

Other ties also were important in holding together some resistance groups. Among these were links within sufi orders, such as the Mahaz-e-Milli Islami, one of the traditionalist groups associated with the Gilani sufi order led by Pir Sayyid Gilani. Another group, the Shia Muslims of Hazarajat, organized the refugees in Iran.

Success was finally achieved  in 1989 when the soviets began to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and thus ended the struggle against foreign invaders. The Mujahiddin began to lay down their weapons and returned to their normal lives, but the war lords began to dig in for battle for power and used ethnicity, language and faith as tools to lore supporters to fight against their own brothers in order to satisfy warlords and power mongers.

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