Mohammad Najibullah Biography

(2nd President of Afghanistan)

Birthday: August 6, 1947 (Leo)

Born In: Gardez, Afghanistan

Mohammad Najibullah was the President of Afghanistan from 1987 to 1992. He was ousted from the power when the mujahideen took over Kabul. Though he was the de-facto ruler of Afghanistan for five years, his government was not recognized by the majority of the international community. Najibullah was a medical graduate but he never really worked as a doctor. He joined the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan at the age of 18 and quickly became an important member of the party and worked as a bodyguard of one of the leading members of the party. Najibullah later on went on to head the Afghan intelligence agency KHAD for some years with Soviet support and his work for the agency was regarded as effective although he was known to order indiscriminate torture of opponents. However, his biggest coup was that of establishing himself as the leader of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan and he used that as the stepping stone to becoming the de-facto ruler of the country. Najibullah’s rule in Afghanistan was widely despised as he clamped down of freedom of speech and turned the Marxist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan into a Muslim party. His regime was dependent on the support of the Soviet Union. The dissolution of Soviet Union and the internal collapse of his government, led to his ouster from power.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai

Died At Age: 49

Presidents Afghan Men

political ideology: Political party - People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (Parcham)

Died on: September 27, 1996

place of death: Kabul, Afghanistan

Cause of Death: Assassination

More Facts

education: Kabul University

  • 1

    What was Mohammad Najibullah's role in the Soviet-Afghan War?

    Mohammad Najibullah served as the head of the Afghan secret police during the Soviet-Afghan War.

  • 2

    What led to Mohammad Najibullah's downfall as the President of Afghanistan?

    Mohammad Najibullah's downfall was primarily due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to the withdrawal of Soviet military and financial support to Afghanistan.

  • 3

    Did Mohammad Najibullah attempt to negotiate with the Mujahideen before his fall from power?

    Yes, Mohammad Najibullah made several attempts to negotiate with the Mujahideen in order to end the civil war in Afghanistan, but these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.

  • 4

    What were the main challenges faced by Mohammad Najibullah during his presidency?

    Some main challenges faced by Mohammad Najibullah during his presidency included widespread corruption, internal power struggles, and the escalating conflict with Mujahideen forces.

  • 5

    What was the outcome of Mohammad Najibullah's government following his removal from power?

    After Mohammad Najibullah was ousted from power, his government collapsed, leading to the eventual takeover of Kabul by the Mujahideen forces.

Childhood & Early Life
Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai was in February 1947 in the Patkia province in Afghanistan. His father, Akhtar Mohammad Khan, served as a trade delegate for the Afghan government in Pakistan and the family was relatively well off.
Najibullah initially grew up in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan and he studied at the Habibia High School located in the city. Subsequently he studied at the St. Joseph’s School located in Baramulla in Kashmir.
After finishing his high school education, Mohammad Najibullah took admission to Kabul University where he studied medicine. It was in the year 1975 that he graduated with a medical degree. Ten years prior to graduating from university he had joined People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, a communist group.
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During his years with the People’s Democratic Party, Mohammad Najibullah had been the bodyguard and advisor of one of the elected representatives of the party. It brought him closer to the leadership and in 1977 he entered the Central Committee of the party after being elected.
When the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan came to power in Afghanistan in the year 1978, Mohammad Najibullah was made the Afghan Ambassador to Iran. But, soon, a power struggle broke out within the party between the two factions—the Parcham, to which Najibullah belonged, and the Khalq. In the same year, he was fired and forced to go into exile in Easter Europe.
After spending a year in exile, Mohammad Najibullah returned to Afghanistan in 1979 after the Russians established a government dominated by the Parcham faction of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Najibullah was made the chief of the Afghan intelligence agency named KHAD. Two years later he became a member of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan Politburo.
During Mohammad Najibullah’s tenure as the head of KHAD, the intelligence agency became brutally efficient and that caught the eye of the Soviet leadership. The KHAD was turned into a ministry in 1986 and in the same year he became the General Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
Mohammad Najibullah seized power on 30 September 1987 and effectively became the President of Afghanistan with full support from the Soviet Union. During his reign he stated that the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan members were no longer Marxists and further announced that they were all Muslims. Najibullah curbed freedom of speech and only allowed those parties to contest elections that did not have ideologies with which he was not comfortable. He turned Afghanistan into an Islamic State.
With the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991, the foreign aid to his government dried and this spelled the doom for Najibullah. In 1992, he was ousted from the power was prevented from fleeing the country. He took refuge in the UN compound in Kabul and lived there till 1996.
Major Works
Although his leadership of his country was littered with allegations of poor governance, Mohammad Najibullah is regarded as one of the best chiefs of the Afghan intelligence agency, the KHAD, and his work for the agency helped in keeping the country safe from external dangers.
Personal Life & Legacy
Mohammad Najibullah got married to Dr. Fatana Najib. The couple had three daughters.
Mohammad Najibullah had thought that since he was living as a refugee within the UN compound in Kabul he would not be attacked by his enemies but on 28 September 1996 the Taliban stormed the compound. He was reportedly castrated, dragged across the streets and then hanged in full public view.
Facts About Mohammad Najibullah

Mohammad Najibullah was known for his interest in poetry and literature, often composing his own verses.

He implemented several social reforms during his time as President of Afghanistan, including efforts to improve education and women's rights.

Najibullah was fluent in multiple languages, including Pashto, Dari, and Russian, which helped him engage with a diverse range of people within Afghanistan.

He had a reputation for being a skilled negotiator and was known for his diplomatic efforts to try and bring peace to the war-torn country.

Najibullah was also an avid sports enthusiast and enjoyed playing soccer in his free time, showcasing a more personal and relatable side to his leadership.

See the events in life of Mohammad Najibullah in Chronological Order

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