While US, British, Australian and Kiwi troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, that country’s former communist rulers are plotting a comeback.
Exiled members of the former People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan are returning to the country to re-found the organization. They plan to hold a Congress in Kabul later this year and rename the organization the Democratic Party of Afghanistan – named after another Marxist party of similar name perhaps?
The PDPA was the ruling communist party that led the country “on a path of socialism” before being ousted from power in 1992 by Taliban. Thousands of PDPA members were slaughtered or driven into exile where they have functioned over the years as scattered groups.
Exiled members met recently in Germany to unite their ranks and agree on an approach to reestablishing a legal political party on Afghanistan soil.
“The main goal is to return to Afghanistan and bring a situation of peace and stability in the region,” said Dr. Zalmay Gulzad, professor of Social Sciences at Harold Washington Community College in Chicago. Gulzad was born in Afghanistan and came to the U.S. as a student in 1971 and stayed. “Once peace is achieved the movement will evolve into different stages.”
In an interview with the Communist Party USA’s People’s World, Gulzad said the new DPA would join the growing democratic movement in Afghanistan that includes a strong women’s movement, intellectuals, students and even some members of the Parliament.
Media reports have noted nostalgia for the PDPA governing years. Many people say times were better then; there was more stability and security. The government built a lot of schools, provided education and health care, according to Gulzad. Many feel “that period was better than during the repression of the Mujahideen and today’s American bombs.“
“It’s a different situation,” he continued. “The conditions are good for unity to bring peace to Afghanistan. Even before Sept. 11, 2001, members of the PDPA returned and became members of Parliament and they’ve been working within the function of government.“
Gulzad termed the Karzai government a corrupt “puppet regime” and said U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry is really running the country.
Gulzad said the main threat to the stability of the Afghan government comes from a resurgent Taliban. While the people don’t want U.S. troops in the country, they fear a return of the Taliban to power, he said.
“The people will not accept a puppet regime. They will work with the Karzai government because of the situation with the Taliban. Once peace comes, people will bring a genuine people’s government,” he said.
“If the Taliban retook power they would be a very regressive force. The Afghan people wouldn’t accept it. Remember there was a civil war – north versus south and within the south they were fighting the Taliban. And the region’s countries would get involved in arming various factions – Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China.“
“The institutions of U.S. imperialism are highly developed. Pres. Obama can’t change it alone. He has very good intentions but the people around him – e.g. the Pentagon, CIA, they are not really allowing him to move from that policy,” said Gulzad
The American people have to demand a change in foreign policy to end U.S. involvement and close down the foreign military bases, he said.
“So long as the imperialist mentality exists – hostility to Iran, China, etc. the U.S. is in a good spot,” he said. Which helps explain why they are rejecting offers from Russia and China to help, he said.
“Russia wanted to help Afghanistan, but were denied by the US. Russia has a long history with Afghanistan. Most of the highways and infrastructure were built by the Soviets. They have all the blueprints.”