Open main menu

Parcham (Pashto/Persian: پرچم‎, meaning "Banner" or "Flag") was the name of one of the factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, formed in 1967 following its split. The Parcham faction seized power in the country after the toppling of Hafizullah Amin in December 1979 (Operation Storm-333).

The basic ideology of the Parchamis was one of a gradual move towards socialism in Afghanistan. The Parcham faction supported this idea because they felt that Afghanistan was not industrialized enough to undergo a true proletarian revolution called for in the Communist Manifesto. The Parcham faction had more urban based members who belonged to the middle and upper middle classes.[1] Opposed to the more moderate Parchamis were the radical Khalq faction. The Khalq (meaning "People") developed a more vigorous line, advocating an immediate and violent overthrow of the government and an establishment of a Soviet-style communist regime.

Parcham leader Babrak Karmal was replaced by Mohammad Najibullah in 1986. In 1990, the Parcham-led PDPA converted itself into the Watan Party of Afghanistan, with references to Marxism-Leninism removed.


  1. ^ "Ethnic Factor in Afghanistan (by Hamid Hussain) - Media Monitors Network". 2003-04-09. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  • Arnold, Anthony Afghanistan's Two-Party Communism: Parcham and Khalq (Histories of Ruling Communist Parties) Hoover Institution / Stanford University. 1983. (ISBN 0817977929)
  • Kakar, M. Hasan Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and Afghan Response, 1979-1982. University of California Press. 1997. (ISBN 9780520208933)
  • Rasanayagam, Angelo. Afghanistan: A Modern History. St. Martin's Press. 2005