Online dictionary of Afghanistan war: Panjshir valley,Pashtu,Pashtun,PDPA,Peshawar,Quetta,Saur revolution,Soviet invasion,Tajik,Taliban

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Panjshir valley

alternative words: Panshir valley, Panjshir
keywords: locality
related topics: Taliban , Soviet invasion , United front , Ahmad Shah Masoud , Kabul
related web sites:
explanation: Located in the north east of Kabul and surrounded by Hindu Kush mountains Panjshir valley has played important role in Afghan war due to its vicinity to Kabul and its strategic value: a main road goes to Tajikistan through Khawak pass. The late commander Masoud organized resistance against Soviet occupation and got the name of lion of Panjshir. It has then become the base of northern alliance. Panjshir river goes through the valley of 2000m high and comes out near Bagram airport in 50km north of Kabul.


alternative words: Pashto, Pashtu language, Pashto language, Pashtun language, Pushto, Pukhto
keywords: language
related topics: Pashtun , Afghanistan , Dari
related web sites:
explanation: Pashto language is spoken in the south and east of Afghanistan, and another side of frontier in Pakistan. Pashto is an Indo-European language and owns some similarities with Persian language. Pashto is spoken by more than 1 third of the Afghan population. The constitution of 1964 declared Pashto and Dari as 2 official languages of Afghanistan.


alternative words: Pakhtun, Pathan, Pashtoon, Pakhtoon
keywords: race
related topics: Pashtu
related web sites:
explanation: Pashtu speaking people are called Pashtuns. They are living on the both side of frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The total number of Afghan Pashtuns is 7,5 millions and form the largest ethnic group in Afganistan while Pakistani Pashtuns are 14 millions. They are farmers, herdsmen and soldiers, and form multiple tribes under patriarchal authorities. Their dominant religion is Sunni Islam. Pakistani Pashtuns are supposed to have emigrated from Afghanistan between 13 and 16th centuries.


alternative words: People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, Afghan communist, Communist
keywords: communism, organization
related topics: King Zahir , Saur revolution , Muhammad Taraki , Babrak Karmal
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Pro Soviet communist organization founded in 1965 by Taraki and Karmal during a liberal period promoted by King Zahir. They were soon split into Parcham (flag) faction of Taraki and Khalq (people) faction of Karmal. After Saur revolution of 1978, they were reconciled with a Russian meditation but soon split again: Khalq faction dismissed all the Parcham ministers. They regained the posts after a Russian intervention in late 1979. PDPA disintegrated when Mujahideen arrived in Kabul in 1992.


alternative words: Peshawar city
keywords: pakistan, town
related topics: Muhammad Daoud , Taliban , Pashtun , Burhanuddin Rabbani , Ahmad Shah Masoud , Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
related web sites:
explanation: Ancient capital of Gandhara kingdom more than 2000 years ago, Mughul emperor built there a fortress. During the regime of Daoud then Soviet occupation, many Afghans such as Rabbani, Daoud and Hekmatyar fled to Peshawar to organize an Islamic resistance. Peshawar has been also an important center to form Taliban soldiers thanks to its inhabitants, most of them Pashtuns. The total population is 750,000. Incidentally, Peshawar means "place at frontier" in Pashtu language.


alternative words: Quetta city, Kwatah
keywords: pakistan, town
related topics: Kandahar , Pashtu
related web sites:
explanation: Capital of Balutchistan in the western Pakistan near Afghanistan border, Quette has been a strategic city since old times thanks to its communication network with Iran and Afghanistan. The ancient capital of Afghanistan, Kandahar is 200km northwest from Quetta through Khojak pass. Quetta became a part of British India in 1876. The great earthquake of May 1935 completely destroyed Quetta. The total population is about 280,000. Incidentally, Quetta means "fort" in Pashtu language.

Saur revolution

alternative words: Saur uprising, Saur revolt, Saur insurrection, Saour revolution, Saour uprising, Saour revolt
keywords: communism, event
related topics: Muhammad Daoud , King Zahir , Hafizollah Amin
explanation: After Daoud's coup against King Zahir with a participation of communists, may of them entered his cabinet. But soon their relation became strained due to his iron fist policy. The assassination of Mir Akbar Khyber, an important figure of PDPA provoked a popular riot in April 1978 (Saur means April in Afghan) and communists militaries recruited by Amin encircled the presidential palace. Daoud was killed with his entourage and Democratic republic of Afghanistan was proclaimed.

Soviet invasion

alternative words: Russian invasion, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Soviet Afghan conflict, Soviet Afghan war
keywords: communism, event
related topics: PDPA , Muhammad Taraki , Hafizollah Amin , Babrak Karmal , Najibullah Ahmadzai , Mujahideen
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Pro soviet regime led by Taraki was collapsed by a putsch of Amin in September 1979. In a bad term with his nationalist stance, Brezhnev decided to invade Afghanistan in December 1979 with 80,000 men to replace Amin with more manageable Karmal. But in spite of an aid of soviet troops, the communist regime was unable to subdue Mujahideen backed by Pakistan and USA. Due to a huge loss (13,000 soldiers killed), Gorbachev evacuated soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988-89.


alternative words: Tadzhik, Tajiks
keywords: race
related topics: Afghanistan , United front , Ahmad Shah Masoud , Herat
related web sites:
explanation: Tajik forms the second largest ethnic group of Afghanistan with 5 million of population and live in northeastern region on the both side of the border with Tajikistan. Tajik language belongs to the same family as Farsi (Persian language). They form the essential part of the United front's troops like ex defense minister, and the late commander Masoud. Their dominant religion is Sunni Islam but the minority living in western Afganistan around Herat believes Shi'a Islam.


alternative words: Talib, Taleban, Taleb, Talibaan, Student
keywords: islam, organization
related topics: Kandahar , Muhammad Omar , ISI
related web sites: ,
explanation: Literally "students", they suddenly emerged in late 1994 at Kandahar, when 30 students guided by an Islam teacher, Muhammad Omar, succeeded to drive out local Mujahideen. Endorsed overwhelmingly by the people tired with perpetual combats among Mujahideen factions, Taliban quickly captured most of Afghanistan. Most important decision-making structure is "shura", a council of mullahs. Though they are controlling 90% of Afghanistan, few countries have recognized their regime. They are now at war against USA.

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Last update: 18/08/08 21:17