Hafizullah Amin

Afghan communist revolutionary, politician and teacher (1929–1979)

Hafizullah Amin (1 August 192927 December 1979) was General Secretary of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, who served as the leader of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

Quotes edit

  • Our homeland's enemies, the enemies of the working class movement all over the world are trying to penetrate into the PDPA leadership and above all woo the working class party leader but the people of Afghanistan and the PDPA both take great pride in the fact that the PDPA and its General-Secretary enjoys a great personality which render him impossible to woo.
    • As quoted in Beverley Male (1982) Revolutionary Afghanistan: A Reappraisal, page 167
  • Any person and any element who harms the friendship between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union will be considered the enemy of the country, enemy of our people and enemy of our revolution. We will not allow anybody in Afghanistan to act against the friendship of Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.
    • As quoted in Beverley Male (1982) Revolutionary Afghanistan: A Reappraisal, page 183
  • Those who boast of friendship with us, they can really be our friend when they respect our independence, our soil and our prideful traditions.
    • As quoted in Beverley Male (1982) Revolutionary Afghanistan: A Reappraisal, page 183
  • You are the one who should quit! Because of drink and old age you have taken leave of your senses.
    • Amin on Nur Muhammad Taraki, as quoted in Nabi Misdaq (2006) Afghanistan: Political Frailty and External Interference, page 125
  • Comrade Stalin showed us how to build socialism in a backward country: it's painful to begin with, but afterwards everything turns out just fine.
    • As quoted in Rodric Braithwaite (2010) Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89, page 76

Quotes about Amin edit

  • Nine months later, however, the Politburo reversed itself, launching a massive invasion of Afghanistan, the consequences of which would more than confirm Kosygin's prophecy. The reasons reveal how "ideological bondage" led to strategic disaster. Having for the most part lost the support of the Afghan people, the leadership in Kabul fell into near civil war during the summer of 1979. In September, Taraki, just back from Moscow, tried unsuccessfully to assassinate his chief rival, Hafizullah Amin, only to have Amin arrest and execute him. That upset Brezhnev, who had personally promised Taraki support; it also alarmed Soviet intelligence, which knew that Amin had studied in the United States and had now initiated quiet contacts with Washington. The concern, as one K.G.B. officer put it, was that Amin was "doing a Sadat on us"—that if left in power, he would kick the Russians out, allow the Americans in, and invite them to place "their control and intelligence centers close to our most sensitive borders." There seemed to be no alternative to replacing the new Afghan leader, but the only way to do that, the Soviet defense ministry insisted, was to send in some 75,000 troops to crush whatever internal resistance or foreign intervention might follow.
  • Mengistu had built a confinement ward almost to rival Pol Pot’s in the lunatic asylum of communist politics. Far from being controllable, he had used Soviet and Cuban assistance more or less as he liked. The same was true in Afghanistan. Two communist groups, Khalq and Parcham, had existed since the mid-1960s. These were bitter rivals but formed themselve into a united People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan and campaigned against President Mohammed Daoud and his slow pace of reform. Modernity seemed to be postponed for decades. In April 1978 the Khalq carried out a successful coup against the Daoud government and Khalq leaders Hafizullah Amin and Nur Mohammed Taraki seized power. This came as a surprise to the Kremlin, which had been supporting Daoud. Parcham warned Moscow of the dangers of Khalq extremism. Amin pressed on with executions of the regime’s open enemies. Civil war broke out. Islamist rebellions of the various ethnic groups sprang up everywhere. Amin sought to win support by announcing a campaign for universal literacy and land reform. But little was achievable in an environment of unending violence and social insecurity. Amin had Taraki murdered in October 1979; he was also showing signs of wanting a rapprochement with Washington. It was in this situation of political disintegration and intensifying carnage that the Soviet leadership took its fateful decision to intervene militarily in December.
    • Robert Service, Comrades: A History of World Communism (2010)
  • The Khalq’s seizure of power in Kabul was the last of the twentieth-century communist revolutions and demonstrated beyond peradventure that communism had no chance of surviving in power without resorting to massive repression. The Soviet comrades were frequently appalled by what they witnessed. They belonged to a generation which remembered the horrors of Stalin’s rule, and they could hardly believe the recklessness of Pol Pot, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Hafizullah Amin. These were revolutions led by men wilder than the early Bolsheviks, wilder even than Stalin and Mao. They attempted to solve problems of economics, administration, ethnicity and religion by surgical force. Their mayhem kicked up a storm of hatred for communism. Yet the gradualist approach of Salvador Allende was hardly more successful; his regime was hurtling towards economic disaster and political disintegration even before Pinochet struck. Communist revolutionary rule proved to be a passage down a cul-de-sac.
    • Robert Service, Comrades: A History of World Communism (2010)
  • Despite his Soviet connections, prominent Afghans viewed Amin not so much as a communist but rather as an ambitious and ruthless Pashtun nationalist who would not hesitate to use any means to eliminate his rivals.
    • Deepak Tripathi (2010) Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamic Terrorism, pages 41-42
  • I noticed long ago that Amin has the tendency to concentrate power in his own hands but I did not attach any particular significance to this. However, recently this tendency has become dangerous.
    • Nur Muhammad Taraki, as quoted in Rodric Braithwaite (2010) Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89, page 65

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: