In Moscow, mum's the word on Najib
Moscow yesterday further signaled its disenchantment with its client government in Kabul. The pro-Soviet People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) has failed to become a nationally recognized force, said a front-page article by novelist Alexander Prokhanov of the weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta (circulation 3.8 million).
Soviet forces had originally gone into Afghanistan in 1979 to defend a socialist revolution, Mr. Prokhanov wrote. At the time the revolution seemed ``irreversible,'' he added.
These ``illusions'' were dissipated, Prokhanov said, ``when crowds, thousands strong, carrying green Islamic banners and crying `Allah is great' stormed district party offices.''
Instead of referring to antigovernment guerrillas by the usual pejorative ``bandits,'' Prokhanov called them mujahideen - meaning holy warriors, a term the guerrillas use.
``The original aims proclaimed by the PDPA have not been achieved. The party and the revolutionary government have themselves repudiated them. If this is the case, the presence of Soviet forces in the country loses its meaning. A departure is inevitable and logical,'' Prokhanov stated.
Prokhanov traced Soviet misperceptions of the Afghan revolution to blunders by analysts and experts. ``The experts evaluating the situation in the country were mistaken, so were specialists on Islam, diplomats, politicians, and military men.''
Prokhanov blamed the PDPA's problems on political mistakes, doctrinaire behavior towards Islam, and policies which offended Afghan tradition. Afghan society was a ``medieval broth'' of nomadic tribes and warlords. ``Yet on this swamp it was intended to build a socialist edifice,'' Prokhanov commented sarcastically.
The article made no mention of Afghan chief Muhammad Najibullah.