Abdul Haq ( Demirskii via Wikimedia ) and Margaret Thatcher ( Library of Congress via Wikimedia )

On 11 March 1986, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invited Mujahideen terror leader Abdul Haq to Downing Street where she welcomed him and they posed together for a photograph. Haq was head of Hizb-I-Islami or the Party of Islam. He made it clear that he didn’t care if civilians died in his rocket attacks on Russian troops and less than two years earlier, in September 1984, he had planted a bomb at Kabul airport which killed 28 people including many children. Haq openly defended the indiscriminate bombing, declaring that he wanted  ‘to warn people’ against sending their children to the Soviet Union’. 1

When Mrs Thatcher’s spokesman was asked why she was meeting Haq while she refused to meet Nelson Mandela’s ANC or Yasser Arafat’s PLO, she responded that it was different since the Afghans were killing a foreign invader. 2 The following month, Britain started to secretly supply Afghan terror groups with shoulder launched blowpipe surface to air missiles which were later used to shoot down both military aircraft and passenger airliners.3  MI6 and the CIA also continued to dispense a range of other weapons, until by the time the Soviets left in 1989 it was estimated that some 300,000 to 400,000 Afghans had been armed.4


  1. Gordon Corera, MI6: Life and Death in the British Secret Service, Phoenix, London, 2012, p. 304 and Gerard McNamara, “The History of Britain’s Deadly Collusion with Terror,” MintPressNews.com 26 May 2017 accessed online at https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-history-of-britains-deadly-collusion-with-terror/228230/
  2. Gordon Corera, op. cit., p. 304.
  3.  Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World, Vintage, London, 2003, p. 63  https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SvRhIh5sbWAC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=blowpipe+passenger&source=bl&ots=d6f8VksAG9&sig=LI5ttolOy4F0RTwcT_voEW0JGK0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjF37CFmI_cAhUpIcAKHW_uAJoQ6AEIUDAL#v=onepage&q=blowpipe%20passenger&f=false
  4. Gordon Corera, op. cit., p. 308.

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