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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1986

GRU DOSSIER ON NAJIBULLAH

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    Biography of Najibullah, General Secretary of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) from a dossier of the USSR Armed Forces General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate.
    "GRU Dossier on Najibullah," 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A. A. Lyakhovskiy Plamya Afgana (Flame of the Afghanistan Veteran) (Moscow: Iskon, 1999), pp. 369-70. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117300
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Muhammad Najib (Najibullah) was born in 1947 in the province of Paktia into a prosperous family. He is a Pushtun and a Sunni Muslim. His father Akhtar Muhammad was the leader of a tribe and maintained relations with the former president of Afghanistan, M. Daud. Najibullah’s roots are from the Ahmadzai, part of the Gilzai union of Pushtun tribes.

In 1964 Najibullah entered the medical school of Kabul University. He joined the “Parcham” faction of the PDPA in 1965. He was twice arrested in 1966 for active participation in anti-government demonstrations [vystupleniya]. He followed B[abrak] Karmal after the Party split in 1967. He was imprisoned in 1969 for political activity. In 1970 he was elected Secretary of the underground PDPA City Committee in Kabul from the “Parcham”.

Nevertheless, in 1975 he graduated the University and began his profession as a gynecologist; he worked several years in a number of provinces. He joined the united CC PDPA in 1978. After the coup in April 1978 he became a member of the DRA Revolutionary Council. In June of that year (when N[ur] M[ohammad] Taraki and Hafizullah] Amin were in power) he was sent to Iran as DRA ambassador.

But he was removed from the post of ambassador in the summer of 1979 and emigrated to Yugoslavia. In the process he appropriated $100,000 from Embassy funds. He returned to his homeland after the entry of Soviet troops into the DRA. In 1980 he headed the state security organization and was again elected to the Revolutionary Council. He has been a member of the CC PDPA Politburo since 1981 and since 1985 he has been the Secretary of the CC PDPA for Ministry of Defense [MO], Ministry of State Security [MGB], and Ministry of Internal Affairs [MVD] issues.

He is an intelligent, clever, and a vicious politician. He is vain and ambitious.

A Pushtun nationalist, he is one of the motivating spirits of the policy of “Pushtunization” of Afghan society. Within his closest circle he speaks only in Pashto. He is inclined to select colleagues not for their professional qualities but for their personal devotion to him, predominantly relatives and fellow-villagers [zemlyaki].

He knows English, is married, and has three daughters. His wife is from a wealthy family. [From the dossier of the USSR Armed Forces General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate on M. Najib]