Khalis and the Moderate Parties

Khalis and the Moderate Parties

Four more mujahidin leaders were recognized by the Pakistan government in1979: Yunis Khalis, another militant Islamist, and three religious leaders withmonarchist affiliations, Sighatullah Mujaddidi, Sayyid Ahmad Gailani, andMuhammadi Muhammad Nabi. Khalis split a section of the Hezb-i-Islami away fromHekmatyar. The oldest of the party leaders, Mawlawi Yunis Khalis, was anaccomplished scholar, with strong roots in his eastern Pushtun tribe, theKhugianis of Nangrahar. A former colleague of Rabbani's in the Islamist circleat the university, he agreed with his political gradualism. Roy claims he leftbecause Hekmatyar had avoided combat to conserve his forces. His party retainsits name as identical to Hekmatyar's, Hezb-i-Islami.

The three so-called moderate party leaders arrived in Pakistan during theTaraki-Amin period. Their moderation related to their willingness to see Afghangovernment restored to secular leadership--Gailani and Mujaddidi had close tiesto the royal family. Yet each was a prominent religious leader who exemplifieddedication to the jihad and a strong infusion of traditional Islamic values, forexample, enforcement of the Sharia, in a post-Marxist government.

Mujaddidi was the leading survivor of an extraordinarily influentialNaqshbandi (Sufi) family which had emigrated from India at the beginning of thecentury. It had played a major role in the revolt against King Amanullah in 1929and later became affiliated with the more conservative dynasty of Nadir andZahir Shah. More than 100 of Sibghatullah Mujaddidi's relatives were massacredat Amin's command early in 1979. His family holds the rank of pir(saint) in the Sufi order which is the basis for its large religious followingthroughout Afghanistan. Sibghatullah is not a pir, but a conservativeMawlawi. His party, the Jubha-i-Melli-i-Najat Afghanistan (Afghanistan NationalFront) essentially consists of Naqshbandi followers.

Gailani is a pir of the Qadiriyya Sufi order. His followers arelargely Ghilzais, especially the Suleimankhel and Khugiani tribes centered inNangrahar Province. Sayyid Ahmad Gailani adopted a secular life, married intothe royal family and owned a car dealership prior to the Marxist coup. Hisparty, based largely on a Durrani network of khans and his Ghilzai discipleswith a scattering of Sufi followers elsewhere, is the Mahaz-i-Melli IslamiAfghanistan (National Islamic Front of Afghanistan). Gailani has represented theroyal family in resistance politics.

Muhammad Nabi is a mawlawi (Islamic scholar) who taught at madrasasin Ghazni and Logar. Much of his large following in Afghanistan was generated bythe spread of his graduates throughout the country. His was the largest networkof commanders--mostly ulamas--in the early years of the war. His forceswere represented in every region. Nabi was also politically active before thewar. He served in the 1965 parliament where he was celebrated for giving BabrakKarmal a physical beating. He has led the Harakat-i-Inquilab-i-Islami(Revolutionary Islamic Movement).

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