Last Marxist president of Afghanistan. Known for his oratorical skills, political abilities, Pushtun nationalism, and ruthlessness as the head of the notorious State Security Committee or KHAD (1980–86). Soviet loyalist and a strongman of the Parcham (Banner) faction of the Communist Party (PDPA); became secretary general of the PDPA (1986–92) and president of Afghanistan (1987–92). Unable to flee the country when the mujahidin took over in April 1992, he took refuge in the UN compound in Kabul. Killed by the Taliban; his body was mutilated and hanged on a public square.