The Soviet withdraws
After six years of negotiations, with the support of the
United States and the Soviet Union, an Afghan-Pakistani
agreement was signed in Geneva. According to COUNTRYAAH,
this agreement formed the basis for coexistence between the
two states, guaranteed a non-intervention agreement and
ensured the opportunities for voluntary return for refugees.
Another document, signed by Afghanistan and the Soviet
Union, referred to the withdrawal of Soviet troops, which
began a month later.
3,000 guerrillas from Jamiat-i-Islami announced a request
to be included in the amnesty, but the ceremony in Herat,
where they were to hand over their weapons, developed into
an ambush where the senior military chiefs were killed. The
PDPA changed its name to Watan, the Fatherland Party.
In September 1991, the Soviet Union and the United States
agreed not to send weapons to either the Afghan government
or the rebels. The deal left the direct confrontation to
Saudi Arabia and Iran, which had financed the Afghan "mujahedins".
The dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that the regime in
Kabul no longer received support from abroad.
President Najibullah was replaced in mid-April 1992 after
seeking refuge at the UN headquarters in Kabul. The
country's leadership was overseen by 4 vice presidents. The
authorities declared their readiness to negotiate with the
rebels and met outside Kabul with Jamiat-i-Islami leader
Ahmed Sha Massud. Mass's presence in Kabul caused vigorous
protests from the mujaheddins, who were largely pushouts
from the southern and eastern parts of the country. The
leader of the Hezb-i-Islami fundamentalist group, Gulbudin
Hekhmatyar, threatened Pakistanin launching bombings of the
capital if the government did not resign. Provisional
President Abdul Rahim Hatif stated that the government would
be transformed into a coalition involving all rebel groups.
In the days that followed, the forces of Massud and
Hekhmatyar initiated direct acts of war in Kabul.
A temporary government, headed by Sibgatullah Mojadidi
took over power in late April. The alliance between the
moderate Muslim groups, led by Ahmed Sha Massud, appointed
Minister of Defense by the new government, won control of
the capital and banished the Muslim fundamentalists, led by
Gulbudin Hekhmatyar. Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Russia were
among the first to recognize the new Afghan government.
On May 6, 1992, a provisional council officially
dissolved the Watan Party that had been leading Afghanistan
since 1978. The council formed a special court to convict
former Communist leaders who had violated Islamic or
national law. Furthermore, the secret police, KHAD, and the
advisory assembly were dissolved.
Some changes demonstrated the government's intention to
introduce Islamic legislation: banning the sale of alcohol
and trying to introduce new laws that forced women to cover
their face and wear the traditional Islamic dress.
In late May, the majority of Afghan rebel groups,
including Hezb-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Islami, proclaimed a
peace deal. The first point agreed was the holding of
elections over the course of a year and the withdrawal of
the part of Defense Minister Ahmed Sha Massud's militia and
of Abdul Rashid Dostam's Uzbek people from Kabul.
A few days later, President Modjadidi miraculously
escaped an attempted assault. On May 31, the ceasefire
between the leading guerrilla factions was interrupted. In
the first days of June, the Afghan capital was again
transformed into a battlefield, with open war between
Hezb-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Islami forces. After a week of
war actions, 5,000 killed could be registered. Kabul became
a city ravaged by war.
Mojadidi retired on June 28 to be replaced by Buranuddin
Rabbani, the leader of Jamiat-i-Islami. On his accession, he
stated: "We have only one requirement in our program, UNIT.
We will not take a single step without consensus! ”
Hekhmatyar continued the fight against Kabul, demanding
Massud step down and a withdrawal of Abdel Rashid Dostam's
militias. He had been a member of the Communist government,
but had left it in favor of the Islamic groups that had
The United Nations published a $ 10 million aid program
to provide food and medicine to the part of the population
that had fled Kabul. As a result of the war, Afghanistan's
economy was in ruins, with 60% of its production equipment
destroyed. Afghanistan became the world's largest producer
Pakistani government, which had previously been the main
support of the Mujahedins, decided to cut off arms and food
smuggling across its border with Afghanistan, thus weakening
Hekhmatyar, who was accused of destroying relations between
the two countries. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees
estimated the number of Afghan refugees to be 4.5 million.
Of these, approx. 3 million are in Iranian territory. The
Iranian government, in turn, threatened to expel the many
refugees, of whom the majority belonged to Afghan minority
The leaders of eight rival factions announced a peace
treaty in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 1993. In the agreement,
backed by Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Rabbani
and Hekhmatyar agreed to share power for a period of 18
months until the holding of elections. Rabbani remained on
the post of President and Hekhmatyar became Prime Minister.
Powerful General Abdul Rashid Dostam, whose militia
controlled northern Afghanistan, did not attend the peace
Hekhmatyar took office on June 17 and Massud resigned as
Minister of Defense, a post taken over by a commission
composed of several groups. The prime minister relocated his
residence far outside the capital. A few days later, forces
loyal to Hekhmatyar launched bombings of Kabul.
In September, Russian government forces and Tajiks
launched war actions against insurgent Tajiks, allies with
Afghans, at the Tajik border. Despite charges from Moscow
and Dushanbe, the Afghan authorities refused to be involved
in the conflict and requested that the Russian forces be
withdrawn from Afghan territory.
Dostam's militias, allied with Prime Minister Hekhmatyar,
launched an offensive against the capital in January 1994,
and the fighting threatened to dissolve the country. Kabul
remained divided into zones, controlled by rival groups,
while 75% of the capital's 2 million inhabitants fled. In
June, upon termination of his term, Rabbani refused to
resign - and this was extended by the Afghan Supreme Court.