Afghan Millat Party

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Afghan Social Democratic Party
Leader Stanagul Sherzad
Founded 1966
Ideology Pashtun nationalism
Social democracy (Officially)

The Afghan Social Democratic Party (Pashto: افغان ټولنپال ولسواک ګوند‎), more commonly known as the Afghan Millat Party (افغان ملت ګوندAfğān Millat Gund; "Afghan Nation Party") or simply the Afghan Millat, is a Pashtun nationalist[1][2] political party in Afghanistan. Controversially, the party's leadership describes it as social democratic,[3] but it is not recognized as such by the Socialist International. The party's current leader is Stanagul Sherzad who became the new leader after the 6th party congress on October 3, 2012.


Afghan Social Democratic Party was founded on March 8, 1966, by a group of influential bureaucrats associated with the ruling elites. However, it was officially declared on March 27 of that year.[4]

Ghulam Mohammad Farhad, an Afghan intellectual served as the first President of the party. Afghan Millat looks after the interests of the Pashtun ethnic group and has its support only from them.[5] The party favors the ideas of Pashtunization of Afghanistan and a Greater Afghanistan (i.e. it claims the Pashtun-speaking parts of Pakistan for Afghanistan).[5]

In the 1969 parliamentary elections, Farhad was elected to the parliament.[6]

After the Saur Revolution in 1978, the party was banned. Farhad was imprisoned, but released in 1980.

In exile in Pakistan, the party operated under the auspices of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan.

In 1986–1987, dialogues took place between the government and the party and some leading party members were released from prison.[6] However, the party chose to stay outside of the governing coalition. The relations with the government split the party into three factions; with one faction led by Shams-ul-Huda Shams, one by Qudratullah Hadad and the other by Mohammad Amin Wakman. It is Wakman faction that is currently led by Afghanistan's Finance Minister,[7] Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady, the son-in-law of the NIFA leader Pir Gailani.[6]

Wakman branch[edit]

In 1995 Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady took over the Wakman branch. Under his leadership, the party toned down its Pashtun nationalist profile and sought support amongst non-Pashtuns.[8] The Wakman branch of the party is recognized by the Afghan government as the "Afghan Millat Party"[9]

After the fall of the Taliban government, the party leader Ahady has been included in the government as Finance Minister. The party supported Hamid Karzai in the presidential election and receives support from Karzai. The party has around 10 MPs.[6] The party officially registered themselves in Afghanistan on May 16, 2004.

Shams branch[edit]

Shams-ul-Huda Shams applied for recognition of his party in 2004, but it was under Ajmal Shams, his son, that it achieved official recognition in May 2007 as "Afghan Mellat Milli Motaraqi Gwand – افغان ملت ملي مترقي ګوند" (Afghan National People's Progressive Party).[10]

History of leaders[edit]

# Picture Leader From To Birth Death Notes
1 Ghulam Mohammad Farhad.jpg Ghulam Mohammad Farhad March 8, 1966 1984
2 Mohammad Amin Wakman 1987 1995
3 Anwarul Haq Ahadi.JPG Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady 1995
4 Shams May2013.jpg Shams-ul-Huda Shams 1987 2005 2005 Shams led his own faction of Afghan Millat Party


  1. ^ Amin Saikal, "Modern Afghanistan: A History Of Struggle And Survival", p. 166
  2. ^ Gilles Dorronsoro, "Afghanistan: Revolution Unending, 1979–2002", CERI series in comparative politics and international studies, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2005, p. 71. Google-Books
  3. ^ Socialist affairs and Women & politics, Socialist International and Socialist International Women, 1990. "The Afghan Social Democratic Party, ASDP, celebrated its 25th anniversary in Peshawar, Pakistan, on 8 March 1991. The ASDP is the oldest social democratic party..." (pg. 27)
  4. ^ Emadi, Hafizullah. Politics of the Dispossessed Superpowers and Developments in the Middle East. New York: Praeger, 2001. p. 28.
  5. ^ a b Zalmay Khalilzad, "The Security of Southwest Asia", University of Michigan, 2006, ISBN 0-566-00651-0
  6. ^ a b c d Ruttig, Thomas (November 2006) "Islamists, Leftists – and a Void in the Center. Afghanistan's Political Parties and where they come from (1902–2006)" Archived May 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Konrad Adenauer Foundation
  7. ^ "Who is Who of Afghanistan" Institute for Afghan Studies (IAS)
  8. ^ "Political Parties: 10. Afghan Nation aka Afghan Social Democratic Party (Afghan Mellat)" Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty; from Internet Archive
  9. ^ "New Afghan party sets agenda, backs talks with insurgents" May 30, 2007 BBC Monitoring, South Asia – Political, Text of report by Mashhad Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran External Service on May 29, 2007
  10. ^ National Afghanistan TV, Kabul, in Dari, 1430 GMT May 22, 2007, as reported by BBC Monitoring South Asia

External links[edit]