Nature of the war

The Islamic Revival Party (IRP), representing traditional Islamic values and customs, was the largest and best-organized force in the opposition.

Allied with the IRP were a number of organizations advocating democracy and national independence, the most important being the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT).

The Pamiri organization La'li Badakhshon (Ruby of Badakhshan) was concerned primarily with enhancing the autonomy of Badakhshan.

Conflict between regionally based Tajik sub-groups

The war can best be understood as a conflict between regionally based Tajik sub-groups, with Khujandis and Kulobis on the post-communist side confronting Garmis, Pamiris, and other sub-groups on the opposition side. As a result of the uneven development of Tajikistan during the Soviet period, people in some parts of the country, especially Leninobod and Kulob Provinces, were deeply influenced by the Soviet system, while the inhabitants of many mountain districts remained attached to traditional ways.