A native of Fayzabad in the province of Badakhshan and the son of an Uzbek father, Tahir Badakhshi graduated from the Habibiyya High School in Kabul and entered the College of Law and Political Sciences of Kabul University. He joined the PDPA at its inception in 1865, but quit it in 1968 to set up an organization of his own, the Sitam-e-Milli (Against National Oppression). The main emphases of his organization were “a Maoist-type revolution, in which the peasants would be given local power in the countryside, and on countrywide mobilization of minority population to combat internal colonialism by the Pashtuns.…Badakhshi considered that the Soviets were aiding Pashtun dominance and exploitation of the non-Pashtuns; hence his dislike of the Soviets” (Shahrani, “Saur Revolution,” 157). Badakhshi also attempted to unite Tajiks, Uzbeks, and others in an autonomous region against the Pashtun “domination.” In the late 1950s Badakhshi, who then lived in Kabul, expressed his ethnic and regional identity by wearing clothing made only in Badakhshan. But he lost credit and followers after he divorced his Badakhshani wife and married a Kabuli girl, a sister of Kishtmand. He was moderate and cooperated with the Khalqi government by joining it as the head of the Publications Department in the Ministry of Education. Badakhshi was imprisoned in 1978 and eliminated by prison authorities during Amin’s rule. In 1979 his faction was named the Organization of the Toilers of Afghanistan (SAZA), and its few leaders cooperated with the Soviets and the Kabul regime, forming some militia contingents and serving in various administrative capacities.