Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Taliban Phenomenon - 10

Ahmed Quraishi wrote:

The ‘Kid’ In Kabul By AHMED QURAISHI Thursday, 25 September 2008.

According to one Pakistani official source, close to 8,000 foreigners have infiltrated Pakistani territories over the past two to three years. Yes, Pakistan did have a domestic religious extremism problem but it consisted of small groups and not armies with endless supply of money and sophisticated weapons and, apparently, advance knowledge of Pakistani military movements.

Confused About Taliban? Learn About The Good Taliban, The Bad And The Ugly By Sajjad Anwar Sunday, 28 September 2008.

The Good Taliban are those who are patriots, they understand the situation created by the enemies of Pakistan. They support the Army and its various agencies that are all busy protecting Pakistan. The Good Taliban also include the Afghan Taliban, who is the original Taliban. They are good not because we like or dislike their policy, but because they, too, have never attacked Pakistan or Pakistanis.

I am looking for the Proverbial Zionist Conspiracy [as per Zaid Hamid] and Zhindu Conspirators but couldn't find any instead I found good old Kalima Reciting Maulvis killing each others like dogs.


UN staffers in Afghanistan collected eyewitness accounts of each massacre, including names of many of those who conducted them and those killed. Their reporting also notes the roles played by "foreign militia,” -- Pakistanis and fighters with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization.

"There have been 15 massacres of civilians over the last four years,” said one of the UN officials. "These have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself. If there is a massacre, it has been authorized by him or the ministry of defense. And the firing squads are presided over by the biggest commanders.”

The exhaustive, clinical report describes the massacres in Yakaolang, a district of Bamiyan province that straddles a key supply route to northern Afghanistan. Bamiyan is the province where Taliban zealots earlier this year destroyed two ancient Buddhas carved into a mountainside. The Taliban briefly lost control of Yakaolang in December 2000, when an ethnic Hazara militia, the Hezbi Wahdat, seized the area. The atrocities occurred the following month, after the Taliban returned.

Based on interviews with several hundred people who survived or who witnessed the massacres, as well as preliminary forensic work on grave sites, the report was written to provide the basis for a prosecution of Taliban commanders and leaders for crimes against humanity. It describes victims being lined up, their hands tied behind their backs, shot and dumped in mass graves, of a young boy being skinned alive, of civilians being beaten to death, all during a two-week reign of terror by some of the Taliban's most senior commanders and Arab militants. "In no way was Yakaolang an isolated, or locally organized event,” but rather a "a centrally organized operation,” the report said. Thus, "it seems clear that the Taliban central command in the Ministry of Defense in Kabul and the Office of the Amirul Momineen” -- the "Commander of the Faithful,” meaning Omar -- "would have been kept abreast of developments throughout the operation.”

The UN staffers said they had evidence of radio conversations between Omar, at his base in the southern city of Kandahar, and those committing the massacres. The staffers said other top Taliban officials also supervised the operation by radio. They identified them as the chief of army staff, Mullah Fazil, Intelligence Minister Qari Ahmadullah and Defense Minister Ubaidullah Akhund. The targeting of the Shiite Hazaras in the Yakaolang killings was nothing new. Many within the Taliban consider adherents of Shia Islam to be apostates, and Taliban-Hazara fighting has been among the most vicious in Afghanistan's recent years of civil war.

UN report accuses Afghan MPs of torture and massacres

Declan Walsh in Kabul The Guardian, Monday June 12 2006

A controversial UN report that has been shelved for 18 months names and shames leading Afghan politicians and officials accused of orchestrating massacres, torture, mass rape and other war crimes.
The 220-page report by the UN high commissioner for human rights, which the Guardian has obtained, details atrocities committed by communist, mujahideen, Soviet and Taliban fighters over 23 years of conflict. Originally scheduled for release in January 2005, the report's publication has been delayed repeatedly due to sensitivities over identifying former warlords still in positions of power.

"The UN has been intimidated. It is afraid to rock the boat because of these guys," said Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch. "But the boat is taking on water and they are going to pull it down."

Debate over the role of former warlords has grown more heated since anti-foreigner riots rocked Kabul two weeks ago, casting clouds over the $12bn (£6.5bn) western-funded reconstruction effort. European diplomats are angered that days after the riots President Hamid Karzai appointed 13 former commanders with links to drugs smuggling, organised crime and illegal militas to senior positions in the police force. The names were inserted at the last minute into a list of 86 police chiefs that had been selected by US, German and Afghan officers as part of a drive to professionalise the corrupt force.

The most controversial appointment is that of the new Kabul police chief, Amanullah Guzar. Ranked 202 in a list of 270 candidates, Mr Guzar was appointed by Mr Karzai in place of a candidate ranked 12th. Documents circulating among western diplomats allegedly link him to extortion, land grabbing and the kidnapping of three UN workers in late 2004. Speaking at Kabul police headquarters, Mr Guzar said: "President Karzai appointed me and he knows all about my past. Let anyone with allegations bring them to court."

A European official said the 13 appointments had strained Mr Karzai's relationship with foreign donors and further eroded his credibility with ordinary Afghans. "This is not acceptable to us. If we let people who have committed human rights abuses and economic crimes slip through, Afghans are going to start asking what we are doing here," he said.

Jawed Ludin, Mr Karzai's chief of staff, said the 13 names were added to ensure balance. "It's very sensitive. Building institutions should not be seen as sidelining any sector of society, especially the mujahideen," he said.

Another government official said: "Keeping mujahideen commanders out in the cold is not a good strategy because it turns them into an anti-state element." Mujahideen, communist and Taliban leaders feature prominently in the UN "mapping" report. Based on press reports and human rights testimony, it presents little new information but offers the first comprehensive survey of wartime atrocities between 1978 and 2001.

According to the report one commander testified that before the Afshar massacre of Shia civilians in 1993, jihadi leader Abdul Rasool Sayyaf told his officers: "Don't leave anyone alive - kill all of them." During the subsequent killing, according to the report: "One eyewitness reported ... he had seen an elderly Shia man nailed to a tree and then shot in the head." Mr Sayyaf is now an extremist MP who leads a pro-Karzai faction in parliament.

Co-author Patricia Gossman said the report was "not a bill of indictment" but a "truth telling" exercise to help Afghans confront their past. She said she was "bewildered" by the delays in publishing. "It sends the wrong signals. This is something Afghans wanted to see and it's really disappointing we couldn't live up to that."

A UN spokesman, Aleem Siddique, said the report had been presented to the Afghan government and may be released within a month. "We need to ensure it is published at an appropriate time," he said.

In a separate development yesterday the Afghan government said it was considering creating units of armed tribesmen to help protect areas from Taliban fighters. In southern Helmand province, former governor Sher Muhammad Akhundzada says he has enlisted several hundred tribesmen. "I have raised 500 people and am working on their registration. The finance ministry pays them $200 a month," he told Reuters

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