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Khadamat-e Etela'at-e Dawlati (Persian 'خدمات اطلاعات دولتی') translates directly to English as: "Government Information Agency". However, this phrase is more correctly translated as Government Intelligence Service. Khadamat-e Etela'at-e Dawlati, almost always known by its acronym KHAD (or KhAD), is the main security agency and intelligence agency of Afghanistan, and also served as the secret police during the Soviet occupation. Successor to AGSA (Department for Safeguarding the Interests of Afghanistan) and KAM, KHAD was nominally part of the Afghan state, but it was firmly under the control of the Soviet KGB until 1989. In January 1986 its status was upgraded and it was thereafter officially known as the "Ministry of State Security"(Wizarat-i Amaniyyat-i Dawlati, or WAD).

After the December 1979 Soviet invasion, KAM was renamed and came under the control of the KGB. This was an agency specifically created for the suppression of the Democratic Republic's internal opponents. However, KHAD has continued to operate after the fall of the Soviet backed government in 1992 and acted as the intelligence arm of the United Front or "Northern Alliance" during the Civil war in Afghanistan (1996–2001).


Directors of KHAD and its predecessors


Little is known of its internal organization, but KHAD's system of informers and operatives extended into virtually every aspect of Afghan life, especially in the government-controlled urban areas. Aside from its secret police work, KHAD supervised ideological education at schools and colleges, ran a special school for war orphans, and recruited young men for the militia.

Its importance to Moscow was reflected in the fact that it was chiefly responsible for the training of a new generation of Afghans who could be loyal to the Soviet Union. Another important area was work with tribes and ethnic minorities. KHAD collaborated with the Ministry of Nationalities and Tribal Affairs to foster support for the regime in the countryside. KHAD also directed its attention to Afghanistan's Hindu and Sikh religious minorities

KHAD was also responsible for co-opting religious leaders. It funded an official body known as the Religious Affairs Directorate and recruited pro-regime ulama and mosque attendants to spy on worshipers.

Some sources give 60 percent of the PDPA party membership as belonging to the armed forces, Sarandoy, or KHAD.

Political factions

KHAD also had a political role that was clearly unintended by the Soviets. It was initially headed by Mohammad Najibullah, until he became President of Afghanistan in 1986. Najibullah and other high officials were Parchamis. As head of the KHAD apparatus, Najibullah was also extremely powerful.

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