Mohammad Najibullah

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Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai (Pashto: نجيب الله), originally just Najib, (August 6, 1947 – September 28, 1996) was the fourth and last President of the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also considered the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.

Contents

Early years

Najibullah was born in August 1947 to the Ahmadzai sub-tribe of the Ghilzai Pashtun tribe. Though born in Kabul, his ancestral village was located between the towns of Said Karam and Gardēz in Paktia Province, this place is known as Mehlan. He was educated at Habibia High School and Kabul University, where he graduated with a doctor degree in medicine in 1975.

Political career

In 1965 Najibullah joined the Parcham faction of the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and in 1977 joined the Central Committee.

In 1978 the PDPA took power in Afghanistan, with Najibullah a member of the ruling Revolutionary Council. However, the Khalq faction of the PDPA gained supremacy over his own Parcham faction, and after a brief stint as ambassador in Iran, he was dismissed from government and went into exile in Europe.

He returned to Kabul after the Soviet intervention in 1979. In 1980, he was appointed the head of KHAD, the secret police. Under Najibullah's control, it is claimed that KHAD arrested, tortured and executed tens of thousands of Afghans. It has been reported that Najibullah sometimes executed prisoners himself.[1] In 1981 he was promoted to full membership in the Politburo. Meanwhile, a change had taken place in Kabul. On May 4, 1986, under pressure from the Soviet Union, Babrak Karmal resigned as secretary general of the PDPA and was replaced by Dr. Najibullah. Karmal retained the presidency for a while, but power had shifted to Najibullah.

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