Settam-e-Melli (Dari Persian for "National Oppression"), variously romanized as Setam-i-Milli, Setami Milli, Setam-i-Meli, Setam-e-Meli, Setami-i-Milli, and Setame Melli, was a political movement in Afghanistan, led by Tahir Badakhshi. The organization was affiliated with the Non-Aligned Movement, and was opposed by both the Afghan monarchy and by the Soviet-aligned People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. National Oppression was a Marxist, Maoist, pro-Beijing group, although it also drew support from the Soviets at times. Its followers were mostly Persian speakers and included many Shia. Most of its members were non-Pashtuns—Tajik, Uzbek, and other minorities—and it has been variously described as an anti-Pashtun separatist group and as a Tajik and Uzbek separatist group. "Information on Settam-e-Melli is vague and contradictory, but it appears to have been an anti-Pashtun leftist mutation."
The group was founded in 1968 by Tahir Badakhshi, a Tajik who formerly had been a member of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and split with the party. The group emphasized "militant class struggle and mass mobilization of peasants" and recruited Tajiks, Uzbeks, and other minorities from Kabul and the northeastern provinces.
Responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, on February 14, 1979 at the Kabul Hotel is sometimes attributed to Settam-e-Melli, but the true identity and aims of the militants who kidnapped Dubs is uncertain, and the circumstances are "still clouded." Some consider the allegation that Settam-e-Melli was responsible to be "dubious," pointing to a former Kabul policeman who has claimed that at least one kidnapper was part of the Parcham faction of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
During the Taraki-Amin period, the Setamis withdrew to the Afghan countryside, though as an urban movement this removed them from their powerbase. During the 1979-1986 rule of communist president Babrak Karmal, the Setamis became closer with the government, partially as Karmal had been personal friend of Badakhshi (who had been killed in 1979). A Setami leader, Bashir Baghlani, went over to the government in 1983, and was made Minister of Justice.
- Diego Cordovez & Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 34-35.
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- Asger Christensen, Aiding Afghanistan: The Background and Prospects for Reconstruction in a Fragmented Society (NIAS Press, 1995), p. 24.
- Frank Clements, Badakhshi, Tahir (?-1979), in Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia (2003), p. 37.
- Anthony Arnold, Afghanistan's Two-party Communism: Parcham and Khalq (Hoover Press, 1983), p. 39.
- Jagmohan Meher, America's Afghanistan War: The Success that Failed (Gyan Books, 2004), p. 64.
- Mohammad Khalid Ma'aroof, Afghanistan in World Politics: A Study of Afghan-U.S. Relations (Gian Publishing House, 1987), p. 117.
- Robert C. Gray & Stanley J. Michalak, American Foreign Policy Since Détente (Harper & Row, 1984), p. 99.
- Anthony Arnold, Afghanistan, the Soviet Invasion in Perspective (Hoover Press, 1985), p. 154.
- Gilles Dorronsoro. Revolution unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the present.. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-85065-703-3, ISBN 978-1-85065-703-3
- J. Bruce Amstutz. Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. DIANE Publishing, 1994. ISBN 0-7881-1111-6, ISBN 978-0-7881-1111-2