Panjshir Front was a military association of the Afghan opposition in the Panjshir Valley during the Soviet –Afgan War (1979–1989) under the command of field commander Ahmad Shah Masood . The Panjshir Front played a leading role in organizing and coordinating the military and political activities of the fronts by the type of the Islamic Army – the Islamic Society of Afghanistan – in five (5) northeastern provinces adjacent to Panjshiru; Kunduj, Baghlan, Takhar, Parvan and Kapisa
ronts, the so-called “Supervisory Council” was created, which resolved military-political and economic tasks in organizing the activities of the anti-government forces of the entire region. Later such associations began to be established in the west and south of Afghanistan, the main role in them was played by the Islamic Society of Afghanistan party.
A front of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, and other peoples.
The degree of influence of the IPA of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the northeastern and northern provinces of Afghanistan, due to a large number of Pashtun living in the region that inhabited this region in the 19th and 20th centuries, was also high.
The mass resettlement of Pashtun to the northern provinces of the country – Afghanistan’s Turkestan, Kattagan (a historical region in the north-east of the country), and Badakhshan, from the places of their traditional residence (eastern, south-eastern, and southern provinces) at the turn of the century was called “Pushtunization” of the northern territories.
It was aimed at blocking the threats of separatism at the northern borders and strengthening the power of the rulers of the Emirate (Pashtun by nationality) over the local – “non-Pashtun” population: Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and other peoples.
At different times, the supply of the Panjshir Front in Andarab, Najrab, and Kukhistan was blocked by the detachments of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan. This led to the fact that in the Panjshir valley from the center of the Islamic Society of Afghanistan in Peshawar (Pakistan) foreign aid was no longer supplied: weapons, equipment, and food, paralyzing the activities of the detachments of the IOA A.Sh. Masud.
Structure of Panjshir Front
The expansion of the territory controlled by the Panjshir Front dictated the creation of military and administrative structures simultaneously. There were created: judicial committees, a committee on culture, a council for education and culture, as well as a council of the ulama. The Panjshir Front created 22 (twenty-two) bases scattered throughout the length of the valley.
In order to help the weak bases, mobile groups were created, capable of entering the battle on the Panjshir before it developed and attacking the enemy in areas beyond the valley. They were sent to help the bases that were subjected to the offensive of the Soviet troops.
Each of the bases was located in one of the secondary gorges adjoining the valley and subdivided, in turn, into two main and one auxiliary garrison; thus, some flexibility was achieved, and it was difficult for the Soviet troops to liquidate the base with a swoop. The composition of the mobile groups was recruited from among the various bases of the Panjshir valley.
This approach increased the fighting spirit of the Panjshir people and helped to establish interaction between various bases and minimizing the contradictions that sometimes occurred between the front leadership and the command of some of the bases.
focused on expanding the territory of military operations against the OKVA
The leadership of the Panjshir Front since the beginning of the armed struggle was focused on expanding the territory of military operations against the OKVA. To achieve this result was possible: the distribution of weapons, financial assistance, combat training – directing to neighboring fronts, to enhance combat experience and skills. The main political task of the Panjshir Front was to represent a symbol of the Afghan resistance.
Geography of Panjshir
Son of slain leader Ahmad Shah Masood also enters into politics
Panjshir Gorge is an extended, narrow valley, surrounded, on both sides enclosed by high mountains. On both sides to it adjoins a set of small gorges. It is located to the northeast of Kabul, the capital of the DRA and borders on the provinces: Parvan, Kapisa, Lagman, Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan.
There are two strategic points with the Panjshir: Salang called the people’s throat Kabul and the military airfield Bagram. The Panjshir Front actively used this intimacy in the fight against ACVA and the Government forces. In this regard, the leaders of the front came to the conclusion that one of the main tasks is to establish unity of action between territorially close fronts.
Logistics support to panjshir front
The success of the Panjshir Front is largely due to the formation of the rear reserves. In the upper part of the valley, there are significant deposits of emeralds. The population of these regions from time immemorial led their development, the income received from the sale of realized rough jewelry, in the amount of 20% transferred to the Panjshir Front.
In the upper reaches of the Panjshir canyon, in Pavat, in the villages: Pirjah, Mabain, Zaradhak – 10-13 kilometers southeast and east of the settlement Pishgor, each of which was concentrated from 20 to 40 mines, as well as in the Darkhin gorge. The population of this region existed with funds from the sale of emeralds and paid a quartile from the mined stones to the treasury of the panjshir front.
The emerald, extracted in the valley, was transported to Pakistan for processing, and from there it was distributed all over the world. The amount of funds raised for emeralds, on average per year was up to $10 million. Mining on rocky grounds was carried out by Japanese drilling rigs with the involvement of Western European engineers. In addition to the extraction of emeralds, Ahmad Shah Massoud’s supporters in Dzharm county in Badakhshan province extracted lapis lazuli.