chapter  4
27 Pages

The Opposition

WithAmin Saikal, William Maley

The Soviets were for the most part content to leave most of the smaller towns and countryside either in the hands of, or wide open to, opposition forces and to concentrate on pressing the claim that the 'People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan' was the only legitimate party in Afghanistan. The Soviet strategy was flawed from the outset because it did not properly take into account the precise character of the opposition to communist rule which had emerged in Afghanistan coup and which grew in dramatic ways in the wake of the invasion itself. The reaction to the Soviet invasion which in the long run was to thwart the USSR's objectives was organised, armed opposition. Sufi brotherhoods have not historically proved to be passive in the face of assault from instrumentalities of power, whether indigenously Afghan or external; on the contrary, they have often provided the basis for relentless opposition to any encroachments upon their style of religious practice.