Settam-e-Melli

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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-PashtunsTajik, Uzbek, and other minorities—and it has been variously described as an anti-Pashtun separatist group and as a Tajik and Uzbek separatist group.[1][2][3][4][5][6] "Information on Settam-e-Melli is vague and contradictory, but it appears to have been an anti-Pashtun leftist mutation."[7]

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.[3][6] The group emphasized "militant class struggle and mass mobilization of peasants" and recruited Tajiks, Uzbeks, and other minorities from Kabul and the northeastern provinces.[3]

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,[1][8] but the true identity and aims of the militants who kidnapped Dubs is uncertain,[9] and the circumstances are "still clouded."[10] 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.[11]

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).[12] A Setami leader, Bashir Baghlani, went over to the government in 1983, and was made Minister of Justice.[13]

The Setamis continued to play a prominent role among the non-Pashtun northeastern Afghan militias, playing a part in Ahmad Shah Massoud's defeat at Shahr-i Bozorg in 1990.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Diego Cordovez & Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 34-35.
  2. ^ Dan Caldwell, Vortex of Conflict: U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq (Stanford University Press, 2007), p. 24.
  3. ^ a b c Senzil Nawid, Language Policy in Afghanistan: Linguistic Diversity and National Unity, in Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors (Koninklijke Brill NV 2012), p. 42.
  4. ^ M. Hassan Kakar, Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982 (University of California Press, 1995), p. 58.
  5. ^ Asger Christensen, Aiding Afghanistan: The Background and Prospects for Reconstruction in a Fragmented Society (NIAS Press, 1995), p. 24.
  6. ^ a b Frank Clements, Badakhshi, Tahir (?-1979), in Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia (2003), p. 37.
  7. ^ Anthony Arnold, Afghanistan's Two-party Communism: Parcham and Khalq (Hoover Press, 1983), p. 39.
  8. ^ Jagmohan Meher, America's Afghanistan War: The Success that Failed (Gyan Books, 2004), p. 64.
  9. ^ Mohammad Khalid Ma'aroof, Afghanistan in World Politics: A Study of Afghan-U.S. Relations (Gian Publishing House, 1987), p. 117.
  10. ^ Robert C. Gray & Stanley J. Michalak, American Foreign Policy Since Détente (Harper & Row, 1984), p. 99.
  11. ^ Anthony Arnold, Afghanistan, the Soviet Invasion in Perspective (Hoover Press, 1985), p. 154.
  12. ^ a b 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
  13. ^ 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