(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Guide to Political Groups in Afghanistan

TRISA Handbook 8: Political Groups in Afghanistan

  • 47 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • December 9, 2009


Political Parties in Afghanistan

  • Most political groupings in Afghanistan are based on alliances that were formed during the military struggles of 1979-2002
    • Many have connections with ex-Mujahideen factions
  • During the 2005 presidential election, since parties‟ identification was not allowed for candidates, party based coalition could not function in parliament
    • In the 2009 presidential election, political parties could support a candidate who was a member
  • In Afghanistan, political parties are seen as controversial and are not seen as a potential positive force by the government or the public
  • The Political Parties Law of 2003 requires all political parties to be registered with the Ministry of Justice and observe the precepts of Islam
    • Some 82 parties have gained such recognition as of the end 2007; but hundreds of political groups claim to be active in the country today, the majority of which have little to no political power
  • The government fears that encouraging political parties will fuel civil tensions and contribute to the existing deteriorating security
    • The government places emphasis on building national unity and preventing groups from forming in Parliament on the basis of ethnicity, language, region or any other potentially divisive factors1
  • For most parties, particularly the new or smaller ones without well known leaders, their information is not known or widely disseminated
  • There are numerous reasons why parties formed and are forming but two main raisons stand out:
    • New opportunity
  • Especially after the fall of the Taliban
    • Disputes with current leadership
  • Political groups in Afghanistan are very fluid, coalitions, fronts and political alliances form and dissolve quickly
    • Allegiances between groups shift according to the convictions of their leaders rather than by ideology
  • Individual parties split, reunify and/or rename themselves constantly, leading to confusion in party existence and names

Major Pro-government Parties

  • Islamic Society of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Jamihat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan)
  • Afghanistan‟s Islamic Mission Organization (Tanzim Dawat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan)
  • Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Afghanistan)
  • National Islamic Front of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Mahaz-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan)
  • Afghanistan National Liberation Front (Hezb-e-Tanzim Jabha Mili Nejat-e Afghanistan)
  • Afghan Social Democratic Party (Hezb-e-Afghan Melat)
  • National Movement of Afghanistan (Nahzat-e-Mili Afghanistan)

Major Opposition Parties

  • The United National Front – UNF (Jabhe-ye-Motahed-e-Mili)
  • New Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Naween)
  • Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin – HiG
  • Party of Islam – HiK (Hezb-e-Islami)
  • Party of Islamic Unity of The People of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e Islami Mardom Afghanistan)
  • National Movement of Afghanistan (Nahzat-e-Mili Afghanistan)

Other Political Parties

  • Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
  • Rome Group
  • Freedom Party of Afghanistan(Hezb-e Azadee-e-Afghanistan)
  • The National Understanding Front-NUF (Jabahai Tafahim Millie)
  • National Youth Union of Afghanistan (Hezb-e Hambastagi-yi Milli-yi Jawanan-i Afghanistan)

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