The Afghanistan government has launched a big offensive in Paktiar province in an apparent effort to quell opposition before winter sets in and makes roads impassable.
SV & CU: Muhammad Hashim Al Mujaddidi speaking in Arabic (2 SHOTS)
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Background: The Afghanistan government has launched a big offensive in Paktiar province in an apparent effort to quell opposition before winter sets in and makes roads impassable. A spokesman for the Majahadeen Moslem fighters said they were using mainly captured rifles, submachine guns and mortars in an effort to overthrow the left-wing government in Kabul. The Moslem forces are estimated by Reuters News Agency to have up to 55,000 men, women and boys under arms. When Afghanistan's new leader Hafizullah Amin assumed power in September he appointed a committee to write a new constitution so that the country, he said, according to the people's wishes. He also called on amnesty, but the fighting continues in the provinces in what has been called 'a holy war'.
SYNOPSIS: An influential member of the main group fighting the kabul government forces is Muhammad hashim al Mujaddidi, a spiritual leader of the Majahadeen. Interviewed during a visit to Pakistan, he said that the 1,000 year ole religious society is waging a Jehad against Godless forces. He says it makes no difference whether Afghanistan was ruled by Hafizullah Amin, or the man he deposed, former President Noor Mohammad Tarakki; both, he said, were Communist and anti-Moslem.
Muhammad Hashim al Mujaddidi spoke of an entire family numbering about a hundred people, including women and children, which he said was imprisoned by the communist regime in Kabul. He says that a total of about 20,000 Afghani Moslems have been killed by systematic bombing and shelling. But Afghanis, he said, will always oppose any regime opposed to their established faith and tradition.
Many people have been made homeless through the fighting, and an estimated (by reuters News Agency) 100,000 (one hundred thousand) refugees have fled the country since the start of the fighting. Muhammad Hashim al Mujaddidi says these people now face a bleak winter, with shortage of warm clothing and adequate shelter.
In the interview the Moslem leader said the Majahadeen were organising their own relief operation, but the plight of the Afghani refugees is as serious as those from Vietnam, and a global assistance project is needed.