Social Democratic Republic of Pashtunistan
|Social Democratic Republic of Pashtunistan|
|ټولنیز دیموکراتیک جمهوریت پښتونستان|
Garam shah lā garam shah
گرم شه, لا گرم شه
|Government||Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic|
|President and General Secretary|
|•||1923–1929||Saydal Sokhandan (first)|
|•||1985–1990||Mohammad Najibullah (last)|
|Historical era||Interwar period, World War II, Cold War|
|Warning: Value not specified for "continent"|
The Social Democratic Republic of Pashtunistan (Pashto: ټولنیز دیموکراتیک جمهوریت پښتونستان), commonly known as Pashtunistan, was a unitary socialist state that existed in Central Asia from 1923 until 1990, continuous with the present-day country of Pashtunistan. It was ruled by the Social Democratic Party of Pashtunistan and maintained close political and economic links with the Soviet Union. Geographically, it was surrounded by British India to the south and east, the Soviet Union to the north, Iran to the west, and a short border with China in the east.
The SDPP came to power in 1923 shortly after the Red Army invaded Pashtunistan in the years of the Russian Civil War, as King Amanullah Khan was alleged to have provided support to White Army and other anti-Bolshevik factions in Russian Central Asia during the war. Saydal Sokhandan, the first President and General Secretary of SDR Pashtunistan, took over an undeveloped agrarian country that was divided among tribes and had no modern industry or transportation. During the 1920s Sokhandan ordered the reform of Pashtun agriculture and the economy as a whole, which included creating universal education and women's rights, and collectivization of farming. This led to the breakdown of the economy and tribal revolts, which were put down with Soviet assistance. By the late 1930s the state had stabilized, and would largely remain that way until the mid 1970s.
The rule of Hafizullah Amin, who came to power in 1962, proved to be unpopular and in 1976 a coup led by Babrak Karmal of a rival faction in the SDPP began a general uprising. Islamist, nationalist, and tribal factions fought the Communist government in an insurgency which grew and led to the Soviet Army intervening, sending large numbers of troops into Pashtunistan in 1979. It was a proxy conflict of the larger Cold War as several states of the capitalist Western bloc–including Sierra, Saudi Arabia, and India–provided support to various rebel factions. The Karmal era starting in 1976 was remembered for the millions of civilian casualties caused by the war effort against the mujaheddin rebels, as well as refugees pouring across the border into India and Iran.
Mohammad Najibullah succeeded Karmal as General Secretary and President of Pashtunistan in 1985 and began a policy of National Reconciliation, which promised the inclusion of the opposition in Pashtun politics and democratic elections. However, there was no agreement with the rebels and the Soviets withdrew in 1989 with the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the USSR itself. Without Soviet support, the Najibullah government fell in December 1990 and a new transitional Republic of Pashtunistan was established by the opposition.