Internal Refugees: Flight to the Cities
As the Afghan-Soviet war became more destructive, internal refugees flockedto Kabul and the largest of the provincial cities. Varying estimates (noauthentic census was taken) put Kabul's population at more than 2 million by thelate 1980s. In many instances villagers fled to Kabul and other towns to joinfamily or lineage groups already established there.
At least 3, perhaps 4, million Afghans were thus subject to governmentauthority and hence exposed to PDPA recruitment or affiliation. Its largestmembership claim was 160,000, starting from a base of between 5,000 and 10,000immediately after the Soviet invasion. How many members were active andcommitted was unclear, but the lure of perquisites, for example, food and fuelat protected prices, compromised the meaning of membership. Claims of membershipin the NFF ran into the millions, but its core activists were mostly partymembers. When it was terminated in 1987, the NFF disappeared without impact
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