Watanjar, Aslam (1946-)
An Andar Ghilzay Pashtun from Zurmula in Paktia, Aslam Watanjar was trained as a tank officer in the Soviet Union after he had graduated from the Military Academy in Kabul. He was almost illiterate. He took part in the overthrow of the monarchy in 1973, but his role in the communist coup of 1978 was more conspicuous. Instructed by Amin, he initiated the march of tank forces from the motorized forces of numbers 4 and 15 near Pul-e-Charkhi against the government. He was in charge of the operation until Amin took over from him in the evening. Following the coup, Watanjar was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of communications. Later he served successively as minister of the interior, of defense, and again of the interior until he joined others in a plot against Amin. When the plot failed, he took refuge in the Soviet embassy along with Sarwari and Gulabzoy. Along with them, he served as a guide for the invading army. After the invasion he was promoted to membership in the central committee and the Revolutionary Council and was appointed minister of communications. In June 1981 he was added to the politburo.