INTRODUCTION: Afghanistan is celebrating the third anniversary of Marxist rule.
GV PAN Kabul street scenes
CU Cherry blossoms
SV & CU Street scenes (2 shots)
GV PAN Hospital and grounds
GV PAN Politechnic campus with students (2 shots)
SV Students at politechnic (3 shots)
CU ZOOM TO GV Red flag over former Royal Palace with tank on monument outside
GV & CU Armed guards outside palace (4 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Afghanistan is celebrating the third anniversary of Marxist rule. In April 1978, a bloody coup, known as the Saur Revolution, brought Nur Mohammad Taraki to power and gave Afghanistan its first Marxist government.
SYNOPSIS: Kabul has seen three presidents since the revolution. Taraki was replaced by his hardline communist deputy premier, who in turn was killed in a Soviet backed coup. The Soviet intervention brought world-wide condemnation, and the spring revolution also signals renewed anti-government guerrilla fighting.
Security forces in the capital have been put on high alert after reports of attacks around Kabul and intensive military activity in the provinces. But police kept a low profile.
Afghan officials are keen to show off the social achievements of the revolution, rather than the discontent still simmering in the country. This new hospital was recently opened and schools and colleges are awaiting their students for the new term.
An intensive literacy campaign followed the revolution, and this term almost 150 schools in Kabul provide free and compulsory education. The current five-year plan calls for a restructuring of the education system to dilute Islamic influence. Between the breakdown of Islamic influence. Between the breakdown of Islamic superiority and growing Marxist influence, the discontent grows.
There is little Soviet strength evident in the capital, but the emphasis is very much on Marxist symbolism and a strong military. Kabul is calmly awaiting the commemorations of the Saur Revolution on 27 April, but in the provinces the anniversary is more likely to be marked by renewed violence.