Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
Mojaddedi in September 2014
Acting President of Afghanistan
In office
28 April 1992 – 28 June 1992
Preceded byAbdul Rahim Hatif (acting)
Succeeded byBurhanuddin Rabbani
Speaker of the House of Elders
In office
December 2005 – 29 January 2011
Preceded byVacant
Succeeded byFazel Hadi Muslimyar
Personal details
Born(1926-09-27)27 September 1926
Kabul, Emirate of Afghanistan
Died11 February 2019(2019-02-11) (aged 92)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Political partyAfghan National Liberation Front

Sibghatullah Mojaddedi (Pashto: صبغت الله مجددي; Dari: صبغت‌الله مجددی; 27 September 1926[1] – 11 February 2019)[2] was an Afghan politician, who served as Acting President after the fall of Mohammad Najibullah's government in April 1992. He was the first leader to call for armed resistance against the Soviet-backed regime in 1979 and founded the Afghan National Liberation Front at the time; later becoming a respected figure among the various Afghan mujahideen. He served as the chairman of the 2003 loya jirga that approved Afghanistan's new constitution. In 2005, he was appointed chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, upper house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, and was reappointed as a member in 2011. He also served on the Afghan High Peace Council. Mojaddedi is considered to have been a moderate Muslim leader.[3]

Early years

Mojaddedi was born on 27 September 1926 in Kabul, Afghanistan.[4][5][6][7] His family, the Mojaddedis, are a well-known Pashtun family of religious scholars from Kabul[8] who trace their ancestry to Mujaddid Ahmad Sirhindi, a prominent 16th-century Islamic scholar and Naqshbandi Sufi.[5][6][9][10]

Mojaddedi studied Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. In 1952 he returned to Afghanistan to teach in high schools and at Kabul University, where he became known as an advocate of Afghan political independence.[5][6] In 1959 Mojaddedi was accused of conspiring against then Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev and was imprisoned without trial until 1964.[5] It is believed his leftist brother, Rahmatullah Mojaddedi, passed information to Babrak Karmal and in turn to the Daoud government that Sibghatullah planned to blow up a bridge in Kabul targeting the Soviet delegation's motorcade in a visit.[11] After release, he was forced into exile for his outspoken comments regarding Soviet influence in Afghanistan. His period in exile was spent in several countries such as Denmark and Pakistan before his entry into Afghan politics.[5][6]

Afghan resistance

Following the Saur Revolution in 1978, the new communist Khalq government killed Mojaddedi's brother and several of his relatives.[12] During exile in Peshawar, Mojaddedi founded the Jebh-e-Nejat-e Melli (National Liberation Front) group.[10] He was the first person to call for a nationwide jihad against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, on March 13, 1979. Throughout the Soviet-Afghan War he made many contributions for the Afghan mujahideen cause. His militia was most prominent in Kunar Province.[13]

Mojaddedi's vision was an Islamic republic, possibly with a restored monarchy. He was opposed to Islamic fundamentalism and harbored friendly feelings towards the West.[14]

In 1988, he was elected head of the Afghan Interim Government, based in Peshawar.[15]

Presidency (1992)

Further information: Politics of Afghanistan

In April 1992, he was elected the chair of the Islamic Jihad Council that was set up to establish a post-Soviet Afghan government.[3] He entered Kabul on 28 April amid a large crowd and assumed the new Islamic republic, and offered a general amnesty to all Afghans except the deposed President, Mohammad Najibullah, whose fate would be decided by "the public". His election was supported by all mujahideen guerilla factions except the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin, whose forces started firing rockets at the capital; violent clashes took place between them and soldiers of the new coalition near the Interior Ministry building. Mojadeddi pleaded with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to lay down their arms, and commented "Mr. Hekmatyar was our brother. We were not expecting such an action. It is not allowed to him according to religion, according to Afghan tradition, to do this."[12]

During the period that Mojaddedi was President of Afghanistan, the Ariana plane carrying him to Kabul was hit by an RPG as it was landing at Kabul International Airport. The plane landed safely, with no fatalities.[16][17]

This position lasted for three months, although some sources say that he stayed in power for only two months.[3][18] In May 1992, Burhanuddin Rabbani established a new leadership council, which undermined Mojaddedi's leadership, resulting in his resignation and handing over power to a new council.[3][18]

Later political career

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Mojaddedi returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan and became chairman of the 2003 loya jirga, the assembly which approved Afghanistan's new constitution. He caused controversy there by publicly calling Malalai Joya a "communist" and "infidel" after her speech, for which he later apologized.[19] Amnesty International said that Mojaddedi and the jirga's leadership curtrailed freedom of speech at the assembly,[20] including refusing to launch a vote on changing "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" to "Republic of Afghanistan" despite getting enough signatures, publicly calling the delegates who signed it "unbelievers" and "apostates".[21][19]

In 2005 he became chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, Afghanistan's upper house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, and he was reappointed as member in 2011.[5] He also served on the Afghan High Peace Council.[22]

On 26 August 2015, Mojaddedi launched a new political coalition, the Council of Jihad and National Political Parties.[23]

Later life and death

2006 Assassination Attempt

Two suicide bombers carried out an attack in Kabul on 12 March 2006 against Mojaddedi, while he was a member of the upper house and head of a reconciliation committee aimed at engaging former Taliban members.[24] The attackers blew up a vehicle filled with explosives next to his car as he was being driven through the streets.[25] Four pedestrians were killed and Mojaddedi was slightly injured, with burns to his face and hands.[24]


Mojaddedi was falsely reported to have died on 9 February 2016.[26] He was subsequently reported to have been present at a ceremony commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan on 15 February 2016.[27] It was reported on 12 February 2019 that Mojaddedi had died.[2] He was 93.[28]


  1. ^ "سوانع مختصر پروفیسور حضرت صبغت الله مجددی ریس دولت اسلامی افغانستان / نگارنده شاآغا صدیق مجددی". [کابل] : انجمن فرهنگی ومطبوعاتی جبهه ملی نجات افغانستان، [1375؟]. 11 February 1979 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ a b "Former Afghan President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi dies". The Khaama Press News Agency. 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Gladstone 2001, p. 8
  4. ^ Amstutz, Bruce (1994). Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. DIANE Publishing. p. 406. ISBN 0-7881-1111-6. Retrieved 20 July 2013. Born in 1925, he completed high school in Kabul and then went to Al-Azhar University in Cairo to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in Islamic law and jurisprudence.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Afghan Bios (14 April 2012). "Who is Who in Afghanistan: Mojadedi, Sibghatullah Hazrat Sahib Mujadidi Mojadidi". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Safis Web (24 September 2006). "Profile: Sibghatullah Mojaddedi". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  7. ^ Linschoten, Alex Strick van; Kuehn, Felix (2012). An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan. Oxford University Press. p. 492. ISBN 9780199927319.
  8. ^ Stedman & Tanner 2002, p. 70
  9. ^ Eide, Kai (2012). Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: An Inside Look at What Went Wrong-And What We Can Do to Repair the Damage. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. Chapter Three. ISBN 978-1-6160-8464-6. Retrieved 20 July 2013. Eighty-year-old Mojadeddi, a Pashtun, had been Karzai's mentor during the mujahideen times and was a deeply respected and moderate politician.
  10. ^ a b Eur 2003, p. 94
  11. ^ "Afghanistan".
  12. ^ a b Gargan, Edward A. (29 April 1992). "Rebels' Leader Arrives in Kabul And Forms an Islamic Republic". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Concise Biography of Prof. Sibghatullah Al-Mojaddedi by Rahimullah Mojaddedi". 9 April 2018.
  14. ^ Amstutz, J. Bruce (1994). Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. Diane Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7881-1111-2. OCLC 948347893.
  15. ^ Eur 2003, p. 65
  16. ^ Harro Ranter (29 May 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 154M YA-TAP Kabul".
  17. ^ "Afghanistan: Blood-Stained Hands: III. The Battle for Kabul: April 1992-March 1993".
  18. ^ a b Runion 2007, p. 116
  19. ^ a b "From Sufi Sheikh to President: Historic mujahedin leader Mujaddedi passes away". 13 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Afghanistan: Freedom of expression an essential right - Afghanistan". 2 January 2004.
  21. ^ "Mujaddedi callsdelegates 'infidel'". 2 January 2004.
  22. ^ Kumar Sen, Ashish (28 September 2010). "Afghan 'peace council' draws fire". Washington Times. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Mojadedi announces the establishment of a new political council". The Khaama Press News Agency. 27 August 2015.
  24. ^ a b Human Rights Watch 2007, p. 40
  25. ^ "Former Afghan President Survives Bomb, Blames Pakistan". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
  26. ^ ""صبغت الله مجددی" رئیس جمهور اسبق افغانستان در گذشت". Aftab. 9 February 2016.
  27. ^ ولسمشر غني پر طالبانو او اسلامي حزب د سولې غږ وکړ. BBC (in Arabic). 15 February 2015.
  28. ^ "Former Interim President Sibghatullah Mujaddedi Passes Away". TOLOnews. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.


Political offices Preceded byAbdul Rahim HatefActing President of AfghanistanActing 1992 Succeeded byBurhanuddin Rabbani