Detailed Biography of Ahmad Shah Masood

Ahmad Shah Masoud was born in the year 1953 in the village of 
Jangalak, Bazarak district of Panjshare valley.

He was born to a family that had immigrated from "par-e-darya", 
today's Tajikistan, to Afghanistan. The name of this family was  

Dost Mohammad, Masoud's father, was a Dagarwal in the border
guard of Afghanistan. He therefore spend most of life in Kabul

Masoud received his primary and secondary education in Lesa-e-
Isteqlal. Later Ahamad Shah Masoud joined Pole-e-Technic of 
Kabul and dropped out during the first semester.

During the reign of Daud Khan, he along with other members of a
party called  "Jawanan-e-Musulman" fled to Pakistan. Jawanan-e-
Musulman was founded on 1969 by Abdul Raheem Niazai [fourth year
student of the faculty of Theology (Shariat)]. 

IT is not quite clear when Masoud joined the Jawanan group. It
appears that at the time when he fled to Pakistan he was not a 
distinguished member of the movement.

In year 1975 the Afghanistan vs Pakistan relationship was at 
its worst. The then prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfaqar Ali
Butto commisioned the Pakistani intelligence, ISI, to create
unrest in major cities and strategic points, forcing the governemt
to spread its forces and thus pave the ground for a coup by the
Ikhwani groups within the army.

To launch this plan a group of Afghans were recruited and trained
in the Bala-Hesar of Peshawar. Among these young men was Masoud,
Gulbudin and members of Jawanan-e-Musulman. 

Masoud mission was to creat unrest in Panjshare.

This attempt by Pakistan failed. The failure of this coup attempt 
had very grave consequences for both the Pakistanies as well as
the Jawanan-e-Musulman.

As an aftermath of this attempt for the Jawanan:

	A good number of these Jawanan, upon arrival to their
	target areas, were captured and executed.

	In Panjshare and Laghman some short term unrest was noted
	but it failed to have its desired effect i.e a military coup 
	among the army in Kabul.
The general public, especially religious leaders, did not join in
with this attempt. What more, they took the Government's side.

Following this failure, the surviving members of Jawana-e-Musulman 
blamed Masoud for giving away the game to Daud Khan. The suspicion
was so strong that for a while Masoud remained under house arrest in 
Peshawar Bala Hesar. 

As a result of the deep animosity between Masoud and Gulbudin, animosity
that stemmed from the failed coup attempt, Masoud withdrew from Jawanan-e-
Musulman and joined Rabani's newly created party in Pakistan. This
party was called Jamait-e-Islami.

Pakistan government and its intelligence observers  came to the conclusion
that the Radical Islamist Movement  does not have popular support. The
embarassment and condemnation that Pakistan faced as a result of this 
failed attempt in Afghanistan, made Butto to withdraw his support from
the Radical Islamist movement. In fact he took some effective measures 
towards betterment of relations with Kabul. The Jawanan movemnet that 
had lost its credibility and base in Kabul, once again lost their foothold 
and credibility in Pakistan.

The Jawanan movement was resurected when on April 1978 the communists 
took over Kabul. It gained more importance when on December 1979 the 
Soviets army invaded Afghanistan.

During this period the people rose against the Communist regime and the
invading force. This uprisal gave the Jawanan an opportunity to return
to Afghanistan.

By then resistance had already began among the people of Afghanistan. 
With the resistance already in full swing back home, the Pakistani ISI 
undertook the formation of Tanzeems in Peshawar . Masoud, who by now 
had been appointed a Jamiat commander in Panjshare, returned to Panjshare 
in winter of 1979-80.

Masoud was the first person to bring weapons to Panjshare from 
Pakistan. In spring of 1980 he began his first battle against the 
government and the Soviets. 

During the years of 1980-81, Masoud liberated most of the Panjshare
valley from the hands of Communist elemetns and undertook some major
battles in the region. This made him one of the important commanders
in the area and this attracted both the attention of Kabul regime as
well as Western journalists [especially french one with whom Masoud could 
speak a little French from Lesa Isteqlal years]. 

During the end of year 1981 Masoud succeeded in securing the major
areas of Dara-e-Khanj from which Zamarud [precious stones] was being 

The capture of this open treasury gave Masoud extensive and unprecedented
financial opportunity. According to Associated Press [10th September 1982,
Radio Free Afghanistan] Masoud's yearly income from the Dara-e-Khanj 
precious stone mines reached 100 Milion dollors. 

In year 1982, in order to freely exploit this treasurey in Dara-e-Khanj, 
Masoud signed a ceaze fire agreeemnt with the Soviets. This ceazefire
was in effect until April 1984. 

Out of the vast financial resources from Dara-e-Khanj plus the understanding 
and ceazefire with the Soviets, Masoud created Shora-e-Nazar which in 
essense was more of a coalition of the regional commanders all under one 
command - Masoud's.

Aided by Western intelligence experts, he began forming a network of spies 
that kept him aware of the progress of other commanders and Jihady/Soviet 
activities in the region.  While feeling at home with the Soviets and his 
ceazefire treaty, he gave West the impression that he was a better source
of intelligence information from within the regime and Soviets in the area. 

At this time the  most important operations carried out by Shora-e-Nazar was

	The operation at Nahreen, Farkhar, Kelifgan, Keshm, Koran-wa-Munjan.

This operation re-iterated the impression that these regions were part of
the unified front of the Northern regions of Afghanistan under the leadership
of Masoud. After this operation Masoud did not achieve any important victories
duirng the 1986 but these events give birth to a parallel policy by Kabul 
and the Soviets to disintegrate the Afghan army by creating the Northern Zone 
which later on constituted the first and major step towards the disintegration
of the country.

To be continued [Last update, Aug 1997]

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