The U.S. wants Iran to stop meddling in Afghanistan by supporting those who would undermine the authority of the interim government of Hamid Karzai. Yet last week, the Tehran government claims, it was asked by both Karzai and Washington to hold off on expelling a fanatically anti-American warlord who has been organizing a campaign against the new government in Kabul and its U.S. backers. Administration officials deny that the U.S. has made such requests.
Iran?s curious claim concerns the paunchy Pashtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who currently lives in Tehran. The former prime minister who has fought against every Afghan government since 1979 has made no exception of the latest administration in Kabul. He recently told an interviewer that Karzai's government "has no value or meaning" as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan. It seems far-fetched that a tribal chieftain secluded in a villa in northern Tehran, his phone lines cut and official visits banned could pose any threat to neighboring Afghanistan. Hekmatyar has been holed up in Iran since being driven out of Kabul by the Taliban in 1996, and has little support, even his one-time followers, and lacks the war chest to raise an army. Most Afghanis loathe him as the commander responsible for reducing Kabul to rubble in a fierce power struggle with rival commanders that killed tens of thousands of people in the early 1990s. But his virulent anti-Americanism makes him a dangerous loose cannon amid the power struggles that persist throughout the Pashtun heartland. And he makes no bones about his intentions: "We prefer involvement in internal war rather than occupation by foreigners and foreign troops," he told an interviewer. And his anti-American rhetoric may be more than just wild ranting by a marginal former mujahid. Reports from Kandahar suggest his followers have been involved in attacks on the U.S. airbase there, and have also been seeking out allies among disaffected local warlords for a campaign against the new government and its American allies. Unconfirmed reports from Afghanistan also suggest that Hekmatyar's supporters may have been conspiring with his erstwhile Taliban foes in Pakistan to launch a new campaign against the Americans and the Karzai government. Not surprisingly, the U.S. wants Iran to end Hekmatyar's activities. And Iran's reformist elected government appears inclined to comply. They shut down his offices two weeks ago and the country's top foreign policy body, the Supreme National Security Council, voted last week to expel Hekmatyar from Iran. But Iranian media reports suggested the delay in implementing that decision resulted from urgent appeals from Washington and Kabul to hold off on expelling him. The Iranian daily Qods recently quoted an official source saying that "Karzai has asked Tehran to keep Hekmatyar in Iran so that Kabul is always informed about his whereabouts and activities." One possible reason for requesting the delay: Following the closure of his offices, Hekmatyar warned that he would return to Afghanistan if forced to leave Iran. According to a spokesperson, the State Department hasn't sent any direct messages to Tehran about Hekmatyar. But Washington's preference is clear: "We're not looking for him to go back to Afghanistan," says the spokesperson. Iran would have liked him gone sooner, but according to Foreign Minister Kharrazi: "The reason Hekmatyar is still in Iran is because our friends and those outside the region have requested it, but he is free to leave the country." Presumably, though, not if he's headed home. Sources close to Iran's Foreign Ministry claim Tehran will expel Hekmatyar from the country next week, following the visit of Hamid Karzai. And close associates expect that his next home may be in Baghdad. REFERENCE: Iran, Afghanistan Juggle Hot Potato Hekmatyar By Tony Karon and Azadeh Moaeveni Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002 http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,212595,00.html
The National Islamic United Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (aka, Northern Alliance or United Front), was established in 1991-1992 in opposition to the Soviet-installed communist government of Afghanistan led by President Najibullah. Due to infighting, the Northern Alliance disintegrated after the fall of the communist regime, but it was reorganized in 1996 when the Taliban overthrew the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA), led by then-President Burhanuddin Rabbani (Institute n.d., HRW Oct 2001a). The aim of the reconstituted coalition was to support the ISA government and to oppose the Taliban, but membership of particular groups in the Northern Alliance has been fluid over time. The Northern Alliance was formally led by former President Rabbani, but its military might centered in Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated in Afghanistan in September 2001 (HRW Oct 2001a). Hezb-e [Hezeb, Hizb-i, Hizib] Wahdat-i Islami-yi Afghanistan (aka, Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, or Hezb-e Wahdat) is one of the main groups included in the Northern Alliance, and had joined the coalition by 1992 (Institute n.d.). When Afghanistan’s communist government fell in 1992, Hezb-e Wahdat was formed to unite the country's eight Shi'a parties. It is the main Shi'a party in Afghanistan and draws its support from the ethnic Hazara minority (HRW Oct 2001a). In 1996, the Taliban overthrew the Islamic State of Afghanistan led by President Rabbani, who fled the country, while other leaders, including Ahmad Shah Massoud and Uzbek leader General Abdul Rashid Dostum, pulled back to the north. Fighting continued throughout 1997 and 1998 as the Taliban attempted to wrest control of the north from the opposition (HRW Oct 2001b).
According to Human Rights Watch:
“Dostum had carved out [in the north] what amounted to a mini-state comprising five provinces which he administered from his headquarters…west of…Mazar-i Sharif. In Mazar-i Sharif, Dostum's forces controlled the city through an uneasy alliance with Hizb-i Wahdat, which had a stronghold in the large Hazara population in Mazar-i Sharif” (HRW Oct 2001b). In May 1997, Dostum was betrayed by one of his deputies, known as “Malik,” who entered into an alliance with the Taliban, enabling the latter to occupy Mazar-i Sharif. As that alliance quickly deteriorated, however:
“[h]undreds of Taliban soldiers were killed in the streets of Mazar-i Sharif, and some 3,000 were taken prisoner by Malik, and allegedly also by Hizb-i Wahdat, and summarily executed. In August 1998 Taliban finally took control of Mazar-i Sharif and massacred at least 2,000 people, most of them Hazara civilians, after they took the city” (HRW Oct 2001b).
After the fall of Mazar-i Sharif to the Taliban, the Northern Alliance began to look beyond their traditional Uzbek, Hazara, and Tajik ethnic constituencies. They were joined by a Pashtun faction, and renamed themselves the United Front. Meanwhile, the armed conflict continued as the Taliban sought to gain control of the entire country (HRW Oct 2001b).
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY HEZB-E WAHDAT IN AFGHANISTAN BETWEEN 1997 AND JANUARY OF 2000.
The U.S. Department of State reported in its 1999 annual report on human rights in Afghanistan:
“Masood's forces and the Northern Alliance members committed numerous, serious abuses….Anti-Taliban forces bombarded civilians indiscriminately….Armed units of the Northern Alliance, local commanders, and rogue individuals were responsible for political killings, abductions, kidnappings for ransom, torture, rape, arbitrary detention, and looting” (U.S. DOS 23 Feb 2000).
The report also stated that, as head of the Northern Alliance, Rabbani "received nominal support from General Dostam, and [a] faction of the…Hezb-e Wahdat” (U.S. DOS 23 Feb 2000).
In its 1999 annual human rights report on Afghanistan (covering the events of 1998) Human Rights Watch reported:
"As has been the case throughout the [civil] war [in Afghanistan], all parties to the conflict were responsible for violations of international humanitarian law. Over 180 people were killed in a barrage of rocket attacks fired on Kabul by…[Northern Alliance] commander Ahmad Shah Massoud on September 20-22. Reprisal attacks on civilians, indiscriminate rocketing and shelling of cities, and summary executions of captured prisoners were also reported….Those in areas controlled by the opposition were subject to abuses…, including extrajudicial killings, rape and arbitrary detention” (HRW 1999).
According to a 1999 report prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur to Afghanistan, after the fall to the Taliban of Hezb-e Wahdat stronghold Bamyan city in the central province of Hazarajat, retreating Hezb-e Wahdat fighters summarily killed 30 Taliban prisoners who were being detained at Bamyan prison (UN 30 Sep 1999).
In October 2001, Human Rights Watch cited Hezb-e Wahdat and other groups within the United Front for "serious human rights abuses” in late 1999 and early 2000 during their armed struggle against the Taliban (HRW 6 Oct 2001). Human Rights Watch charged that "[t]he various parties that comprise the United Front also amassed a deplorable record of attacks on civilians between the fall of the Najibullah regime in 1992 and the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 1996” (HRW 6 Oct 2001).
4. PARTICULAR GROUPS TARGETTED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE.
The 1999 UN report by the Special Rapporteur to Afghanistan cited allegations that "during its rule of Hazarajat, and particularly in Bamyan, Hezb-e-Wahdat failed to maintain law and order and the behaviour of its forces towards Tajiks living in Bamyan centre, Kohmand and Saighan districts led hundreds of Tajiks to leave Bamyan during 1996 and 1997” (UN 30 Sep 1999).
Human Rights Watch stated in a 2001 press release:
"Abuses that were reported from an area controlled by a United Front faction in late 1999 and early 2000 include summary executions, burning of houses, and looting, principally targeting ethnic Pashtuns and others suspected of supporting the Taliban” (HRW 6 Oct 2001).
In its annual report on the human rights situation in Afghanistan for 2002, Human Rights Watch reported:
"In the last months of 2001 and first months of 2002, there was a wave of attacks on Pashtun civilians in the north of the country, seemingly because they shared the same ethnicity as the Taliban leadership. Specifically, troops associated with the predominately Uzbek party Junbish-i Milli-yi Islami-yi, led by Rashid Dostum, the predominately Tajik party Jamiat-e Islami, led in the north by Ustad Atta Mohammad, and the predominately Hazara party Hizb-i Wahdat, led in the north by Mohammad Mohaqiq, were all implicated in systematic and widespread looting and violence in almost every province under their separate control, almost all of it directed at Pashtun villagers. In scores of villages, homes were destroyed, possessions were taken, and men and boys were beaten and in some cases killed.…[T]here were several reports of rapes of girls and women. In Chimtal district near Mazar-e Sharif, and in Balkh province generally, both Hizb-i Wahdat and Jamiat forces were particularly violent: in one village, Bargah-e Afghani, Hizb-i Wahdat troops killed thirty-seven civilians, the largest known intentional killing of civilians since the fall of the Taliban” (HRW 2003). REFERENCE: Afghanistan: Information on Hezb-e Wahdat Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2012, 12:27 GMT http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,USCIS,,AFG,,3f5203a34,0.html Shiite Jihadists in Afghanistan Ozer CETINKAYA April, 2009 http://www.eurasiacritic.com/articles/shiite-jihadists-afghanistan
Given Gul’s longtime, vocal animosity for Washington, it’s not inconceivable that he would get his hands dirty with the insurgents at such a primitive tactical level, planning car bombs like a Pakistani Tony Soprano. Like many journalists, I have sat in his living room in Ralwalpindi, headquarters of the Pakistani army, and heard him bitterly intone against the Americans. When I last visited in August 1997, on the sour bicentenary of Pakistan’s schism with India, the country was flooded with AK-47s, heroin and Afghan refugees. The Americans had used Pakistan like a hammer to beat the Russians, Gul said, and then walked away. The Taliban were in power in Kabul, but the CIA was conspiring to overthrow them, he charged. The American embassy was trying to infiltrate Pakistani police and army units. He railed against U.S. “meddling” in the country. Even the FBI had barged into the country, he groused, swooping down in a dusty market town to capture Mir Aimal Kasi, a Pakistani fugitive who had shot and killed CIA employees at their gate in McLean, Va. in Jan. 1993. Kasi, Gul claimed, “was an agent of the CIA ... He was working inside of Pakistan and outside of Pakistan." He knew that, he said, because he had a dossier on the Kasi clan, which had worked with the ISI to deliver supplies to the mujaheddin. I asked for proof. It never came. When my taped interview with him was published, he denied ever saying such a thing. (A year later, in a jailhouse letter to me, Kasi said he never worked for the agency and was inspired to fire on its gates by pictures of Iraqi troops strafed by American planes.) When Gul wasn’t railing against the Americans, he was reportedly conspiring with Kashmiri separatists, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which evidently sponsored the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. In late 2008, Washington fingered Gul to the United Nations as one of four former top Pakistani intelligence officers supporting Islamic terrorism. Gul was also accused by the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of authoring the first assassination attempt upon her after her return to Pakistan. And so on. None of this is a surprise to U.S. officials, who have had to live with the Pakistani army’s duplicity on Afghanistan since coalition forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001. The first reaction Pakistan’s leadership to the Wikileaks reports was telling. "These reports reflect nothing more than single-source comments and rumors, which abound on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the Pakistani ambassador said in a prepared statement, “and are often proved wrong after deeper examination." Gul's first reaction was to call the allegations “absolute nonsense.” “I have had no hand in it,” he told The New York Times, adding, “American intelligence is pulling cotton wool over your eyes.” The ex-general had a more measured response later. “Report of my physical involvement with al-Qaeda or Taliban in planning attacks on American forces is completely baseless,” Gul told The Wall Street Journal. “I am not against America, but I am opposed to what the American forces are doing in Afghanistan.” REFERENCE: The audacity of Hamid Gul By Jeff Stein By Jeff Stein July 26, 2010; 1:30 PM ET http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/07/the_face_of_pakistani_treacher.html Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert By MARK MAZZETTI, JANE PERLEZ, ERIC SCHMITT and ANDREW W. LEHREN Published: July 25, 2010 A version of this article appeared in print on July 26, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/asia/26isi.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=hamid%20gul&st=cse
General (R) Hamid Gul on Shia Sunni Issue.
KARACHI: Former spy chief of Pakistan General Hamid Gul was reportedly a member of the US intelligence firm Stratfor, it emerged on Wednesday. A report published in the Indian daily Times of India http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-28/india/31107425_1_intelligence-analysis-firm-private-intelligence-agency-stratfor-emails says that approximately five million emails of the Texas-based think tank were revealed by WikiLeaks. “Whereas seemingly large numbers of Stratfor’s subscribers and clients work in the US military and intelligence agencies, Stratfor gave complimentary membership to General Hamid Gul, the controversial former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006,” the report said. The former ISI chief, who served from 1987 to 1989, remains a controversial figure in the local and international media. According to TOI, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused Stratfor of running a network of paid informants, monitoring activist groups on behalf of major multinationals and making investments based on its secret intelligence. Stratfor, meanwhile, rejected claims that there was anything improper in the way it handled its informants. WikiLeaks alleges that Stratfor fronts as an intelligence publisher, but is in fact a private intelligence agency. Its clients reportedly include Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and United States government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Marines and the Defence Intelligence Agency. REFERENCE: Hamid Gul a complimentary member of Stratfor, says report 29th February, 2012 http://dawn.com/2012/02/29/hamid-gul-a-complimentary-member-of-stratfor-says-report/
Ahmed Ludhiyanvi's Fatwa of Apostasy Against Pakistani Shia Community
Former ISI Chiefs Exposing Sectarian Terrorists (ARY Dr. Shahid Masood)
In a television programme aired recently, former chief of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and an important leader of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) General (retd) Hamid Gul cast doubts over the authenticity of a picture run by the website of The Express Tribune. The picture in question was that of Malik Ishaq, commander of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), who was shown to be in attendance at the DPC meeting in Multan – a meeting also attended and addressed by General Gul. During a talk show on Aaj TV, host Wajahat S Khan showed Gul the picture on The Express Tribune’s website as evidence of Ishaq’s attendance – in response to which the retired general alleged that the photo had been doctored. When he was further challenged by the show’s host, Gul resorted to questioning the reporter of the story. The Express Tribune takes strong exception to General Gul’s allegations and contends that the picture is authentic. It was taken by our photographer, who was assigned to cover the gathering. In fact, the picture was also run by other newspapers. If Gul has the slightest doubt regarding the authenticity of the photograph, we ask him to take the matter to court. Express Media Group Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012. REFERENCE: Notice: A note to Hamid Gul Published: February 16, 2012 http://tribune.com.pk/story/337252/notice-a-note-to-hamid-gul/ Difa-e-Pakistan: Malik Ishaq out to 'defend' Pakistan http://tribune.com.pk/multimedia/slideshows/329282/
Malik Ishaq attended Multan rally: Jamaatud Dawa
LAHORE: Chief of banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Malik Ishaq was in attendance at the Difa-e-Pakistan Council rally in Multan, a spokesperson for the council’s member organisation Jamaatud Dawa has said. “General (retd) Hamid Gul was wrong in denying Ishaq’s presence at the rally. He was present on stage,” said Yahya Mujahid, a spokesperson for Islamic chairty, which is blacklisted by the United Nations for its alleged ties to LeJ but not by the Pakistan government. Gul, in an interview with Express News television channel, had categorically denied that Ishaq was present at the rally. “It was DPC’s unanimous decision that Ishaq will not address the rally,” Mujahid told The Express Tribune on Friday. “It’s a simple rule that whoever addresses the people from stage at a DPC rally cannot be a member of a banned militant outfit.” Mujahid was attending an emergency protest, called by the JuD outside their main mosque Jamia Qudsia in Lahore under the DPC’s banner, against resumption of Nato supply routes and trade talks with India. The council has also called a meeting of heads of member parties on February 19 in Islamabad.
Apology to media
He also apologised for statements made against the media at the council’s Karachi rally. “The statements should be condemned in the strongest terms. I, as a representative of JuD, have written letters of apology to media organisations.”
The spokesperson said that the DPC is an organised platform. “Funding [for the organisation] is provided by member parties while host parties for different rallies fund events in their own cities,” he explained. For instance, he said, JuD hosted the Lahore rally, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat organised the one in Multan, Sheikh Rasheed hosted the Rawalpindi event and Jamat-e-Islami hosted the Karachi rally. “The nationwide networks of all member parties provide support in organisational procedures.”
In defence of Hafiz Saeed
Amir Hamza, a senior leader of the JuD, said that the reason the US is against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed is because he speaks out about human rights violations by US allied forces in the region. He also blamed former president Pervez Musharraf for joining hands with the US in the ‘war on terror’ and the Balochistan crisis. CORRECTION: Former president Pervez Musharraf’s name was erroneously written as Pervez Sharif. The error is regretted. REFERENCE: Malik Ishaq attended Multan rally: Jamaatud Dawa By Rabia Mehmood Published: February 17, 2012 http://tribune.com.pk/story/337998/malik-ishaq-attended-multan-rally-jamaatud-dawa/
Now, we come to the second generation of officers who were in key decision-making positions during 80s. Former Director General (DG) of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General (Retd) Hameed Gul’s anti-American rhetoric in post-retirement phase makes headlines off and on in national news media. It is interesting that when he was DGISI, US ambassador attended the meetings of Afghan Cell of Benazir government. In fact the major decision of Jalalabad offensive in 1989 was made in one of those fateful meetings. To date there has been no evidence (no statement by any other participants of those meetings or by General Hameed Gul himself) that Mr. Gul made any objection to the presence of US ambassador in these meetings, which had wide ranging impact on national security. It is probable that Mr. Gul was at that time a top contender for the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) race, therefore he didn’t wanted to be on the wrong side of the civil government. When he was sacked, then he found the gospel truth that US was not sincere. Another example is of former Chief of Afghan Cell of ISI, Brigadier (Retd) Muhammad Yusuf. For five long years, he was a major participant in a joint CIA-ISI venture of unprecedented scale in Afghanistan. During this time period, he worked with several different level US officials and visited CIA headquarters in Langley. In his post-retirement memoirs, he tried his best to distance himself from the Americans. His statements like, ‘Relations between the CIA and ourselves were always strained’, ‘I resorted to trying to avoid contact with the local CIA staff’, ‘I never visited the US embassy’ and vehement denial of any direct contact between CIA and Mujahideen shows his uncomfortability of being seen as close with the Americans.5 Pakistan’s former foreign minister Agha Shahi in a conversation with Robert Wirsing said that in 1981 during negotiations with US, he gave a talk to a group of Pakistani generals on the objectives of Pakistan’s policy toward US. He stressed the importance of non-alignment and avoidance of over dependence on superpowers. Few days later one of the generals who attended Shahi’s briefing met him and told him that Americans should be given bases in return for the aid.6 The officer would not dare to make that statement public in view of the prevailing sentiments of the public. The hawkish generals of Zia reassured US about the full Pakistani support. John Reagan, the CIA station chief in Islamabad stated, “Their attitude was that Agha Shahi was doing his own thing, that we needn’t be concerned about it”.7 General Zia and DGISI Akhtar Abdur Rahman had very cordial relations with CIA director William Casey. To offset that uncomfortable closeness with Americans, Zia and Akhtar were portrayed as holy warriors of Islam and modern day Saladins. According to one close associate of Akhtar, ‘They (Casey and Akhtar) worked together in harmony, and in an atmosphere of mutual trust’.8 The most interesting remarks about the death of CIA Director, William Casey were made by Brigadier Yusuf. He states that, “It was a great blow to the Jehad when Casey died”.9 He did not elaborate whether by this definition one should count Casey as Shaheed (warrior who dies in battle in the cause of Islam). It will quite be amusing for Americans to know that one of their former CIA director is actually a martyr of Islam. In fifty-five years, we have come full circle, and in 2002, a retired Major General laments about the US and gives a long list of grievances. He states, “Discarding General Ziaul Haq when no more needed must never be forgotten. The treatment meted out to Pakistan after the victory in Afghanistan in late eighties cannot be forgiven ... It can be safely presumed that before mobilizing its armed forces on the borders of Pakistan, the US has (take it for sure) given a nod to India... Remember the visit of Mrs. Indira Gandhi to the USA and getting a silent approval from there before attacking East Pakistan in 1971. And the Pakistanis kept waiting for the seventh fleet to come to our rescue... They have already done a great damage to Pakistan by imposing an anti-Pakistan government in Afghanistan”.10 Very limited knowledge, paranoia, disregard of the facts, total lack of perception and extreme simplicity is quite evident from the statement and not a very good sign of the intellectual level of senior officers at highest decision making process. REFERENCE: Tale of a love affair that never was: United States-Pakistan Defence Relations Columnist Hamid Hussain analyses an ON and OFF affair. http://www.defencejournal.com/2002/june/loveaffair.htm
General Hamid Gul supported Pervez Musharraf on 12 Oct 1999
Hamid Gul, a retired general, accuses Mr Sharif of having presided over an administration which had failed to deliver the goods. "Sharif turned out to be a great destroyer of national institutions," he told the BBC. "Look at what he did to the judiciary. "He stripped them of power, put a set of judges against the chief justice, did the same to the press. "He gagged the parliament and finally he wanted to do the same to the army." REFERENCE: World: South Asia Pakistan's coup: Why the army acted Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/473297.stm
QUETTA: Fourteen people belonging to the Shia community were killed while seven injured in a firing incident near the Western Bypass in Quetta on Tuesday morning. About 20 people were on board a bus when unidentified gunmen appeared on a motorcycle and opened fire at the vehicle enroute to Hazara Ganji. Conflicting media reports stated that the passengers were lined up and subsequently shot by the assailants. Express 24/7 correspondent Mohammad Kazim reported that the passengers were on their way to the fruit and vegetable market when the assailants opened fire. “The bus was carrying people mostly from the Hazara community who were returning from Quetta,” senior police Hamid Shakeel told Reuters. “Four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened fire on a bus in the outskirts of Quetta,” local police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP. “The death toll has risen to 14. Two of the injured who were in critical condition died in hospital. Now 13 Shiite Muslims and one Pashtun have been killed in the attack,” he said after initially putting the death toll at 10. Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area and initial investigations of the incident is underway. Sectarian violence is on the rise in Quetta as 26 Shia pilgrims were killed in a firing incident last month in Mastung, about 30 kilometres southeast of Quetta, when a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran. The Mastung attack was claimed by banned militant outfit Laskar-e-Jhangvi. Protesting violence - Up to 400 furious Hazaras demonstrated outside the Bolan Medical Complex where the wounded were taken for treatment, condemning the government for inaction over sectarian groups, said police official Wahid Bakhsh. Angry protesters also reportedly set ablaze the bus that was attacked by the assailants. “These are not random killings but demonstrate the deliberate targeting of the Shia by armed groups,” said Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi. “These attacks prove that without an urgent and comprehensive government response, no place is safe for the Shia,” Zarifi added. The rights group said it had recorded details of at least 15 attacks specifically targeting Shiites across Pakistan. “Continued failure to address sectarian violence will only exacerbate the general breakdown in law and order in Pakistan,” it said. Pakistan’s own independent rights watchdog said the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups, which have been implicated in thousands of deaths in past years. Tuesday’s attack “exposes once again the diminishing writ of the state”, warned the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). Balochistan is also rife with militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists who rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s wealth of natural resources. REFERENCE: Sectarian attack: Gunmen kill 14 people in Quetta By AFP / Express / Reuters Published: October 4, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/266547/sectarian-attack-gunmen-kill-12-people-in-quetta/
Timeline of attacks on Shia Hazara community 2011
Shia community condemns Quetta bus attack
Why this is happening?
March 7, 1993: A scene of the signing ceremony of "Islamabad accord" between the "Afghan leaders" under the eyes of their Pakistani, Iranian and Saudi god-fathers. Setting left to right: Ahmed Shah Ahmadzai (Ittehad-e-Islami), Sheikh Asif Mohseni (Harkat-e-Islamic), Gulbbudin Hikmatyar (Hizb-e-Islami), Burhanuddin Rabbani (Jamiat-e-Islami), Sibghatullah Mujjadidi (Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli), Muhammad Nabi Muhammadi (Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami), Syed Ahmad Gaillani (Mahaz-e-Milli), Ayatullah Fazil (Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami) --- Amongst the more sinister-and little known events during Rabbani’s reign, was the massacre of Hazara residents of Kabul which included the rape of countless girls. As we have all seen, the press has been solemnly covering Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination in Kabul on September 20th. To quote just the Guardian: “Afghanistan Peace Process in Tatters”. It won’t take much to view him as a martyr who could have saved Afghanistan, much on the lines of Ahmad Shah Massoud, canonized by the French media, as we know. Already in the late 60s and 70s, Rabbani was active in Muslim youth movements opposed to progressive Prime Minister Daoud, organizing along with Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was to become his closest ally and Gulbeddin Hekmatyar demonstrations orchestrated by the Sharia Faculty on the campus of Kabul University. In one of these, Hekmattyar famously threw acid against girls’ legs. Rabbani was the leader of the Afghan branch of the Jamiat-e-Islami, a political party of strong Fundamentalist leanings, not known for its open-mindedness. His party was one of the seven recognized by Pakistan at the time of the fight against the Soviet Intervention, all competing for American aid and resources and Rabbani positioned himself as the leading Tajik warlord with an agenda of his own.
Massoud, his military leader, and his men were the first to enter Kabul at the fall of the Communist government in 1992 and civil war ensued, one of the bloodiest periods of Afghan history. Rabbani at the time was made president, Massoud remained his military commander. They fought over Kabul against the coalition of Dostum and Hekmatyar. Amongst the more sinister- and little known events during his reign, was the massacre of Hazara residents of Kabul which included the rape of countless girls. It is said that Massoud acted on direct orders from Rabbani The Guardian’s reporters forgot to consult their own archives whilst bemoaning the passing of Rabbani. On Nov. 16th 2001, they ran this story:
On February 11, 1993, Massoud and Sayyaf’s forces entered the Hazara suburb of Afshar, killing – by local accounts – “up to 1,000 civilians”, beheading old men, women, children and even their dogs, stuffing their bodies down the wells”
March 19, 1993: Jama’at-i-Islami chief, Qazi Hussain Ahmad (second from R) discussing the implementation of Islamabad accord with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Jalalabad. Also seen in the picture is Egypt’s Akhwanul Muslmeen (second from L). - Need one be surprised that the Kabuli population actually greeted the arrival of the Taliban in 1994 with relief and gratitude. Anything was better than this senseless chaos. None of the politicians responsible for this reign of terror – Rabbani included – was ever brought to trial although the Tribunal of the Hague would have been appropriate. Unaccountability, as usual in Afghanistan, triumphed which contributes to the lack of confidence in politics and politicians in this country. Rabbani, as we know, was to revamp himself as a peace-broker, as the headof Afghanistan’s high peace Council which up till now does not seem to have achieved very much. Some of the appeal of that position may have grounded in the $200m trust fund for reintegration that he was handling. So what was the point of this killing? The Jamiat is a typical offshoot of Political Islam movements and the distance between them and the Taliban cannot be said to be very great, especially when it comes to human rights and especially women’s rights. In fact all the competing factions in Afghanistan seem to have this attitude in common. So once again, we are back to tribal issues and especially territorial power brokerage in a country where the term ‘nation’ still does not have any meaning. Especially for the old generation of Mudjhadeen in power : the younger generation in cities has begun to think beyond stereotypes, but this, sadly, has hardly been encouraged by the powers in place. One of the major failures of the US and the coalition (and there are many) has been the inability to instil this notion by backing up competing groups, many led by notorious war criminals, in a continuous race for resources and privilege and a government bent on dividing to rule. REFERENCE: Rabbani: an alternative obituary - SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 ONLINE ISSUE NO. 70 http://www.viewpointonline.net/rabbani-an-alternative-obituary.html Carol Mann is a Franco-British social anthropologist and art historian writer and novelist. She specialize on Gender and Armed Conflict, from a historical point of view, but especially on Bosnia and more than anything Afghanistan. A PhD in Sociology, she has been involved with aid projects in war zones since 1993. She has been involved with aid projects in Bosnia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She blogs at: http://carolmann.net/wordpress/
March, 1993: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Burhanuddin Rabbani, with Ghulam Ishaq Khan, former President of Pakistan, in Islamabad. - By the mid-1980s, the tenacious Afghan resistance movement was exacting a high price from the Soviets, both militarily within Afghanistan and by souring the U.S.S.R.'s relations with much of the Western and Islamic world. Informal negotiations for a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan had been underway since 1982. In 1988 the Geneva accords were signed, which included a timetable that ensured full Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan by February 15, 1989. About 14,500 Soviet and an estimated one million Afghan lives were lost between 1979 and the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Significantly, the mujahideen were party neither to the negotiations nor to the 1988 agreement and, consequently, refused to accept the terms of the accords. As a result, the civil war continued after the Soviet withdrawal, which was completed in February 1989. Najibullah's regime was able to remain in power until 1992 but collapsed after the defection of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostam and his Uzbek militia in March. However, when the victorious mujahideen entered Kabul to assume control over the city and the central government, a new round of internecine fighting began between the various militias. With the demise of their common enemy, the militias' ethnic, clan, religious, and personality differences surfaced, and the civil war continued. Seeking to resolve these differences, the leaders of the Peshawar-based mujahideen groups established an interim Islamic Jihad Council in mid-April 1992 to assume power in Kabul. Moderate leader Prof. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi was to chair the council for 2 months, after which a 10-member leadership council composed of mujahideen leaders and presided over by the head of the Jamiat-i-Islami, Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani, was to be set up for 4 months. During this 6-month period, a Loya Jirga, or grand council of Afghan elders and notables, would convene and designate an interim administration which would hold power up to a year, pending elections. But in May 1992, Rabbani prematurely formed the leadership council, undermining Mojaddedi's fragile authority. In June, Mojaddedi surrendered power to the Leadership Council, which then elected Rabbani as President. Nonetheless, heavy fighting broke out in August 1992 in Kabul between forces loyal to President Rabbani and rival factions, particularly those who supported Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami. After Rabbani extended his tenure in December 1992, fighting in the capital flared up in January and February 1993. The Islamabad Accord, signed in March 1993, which appointed Hekmatyar as Prime Minister, failed to have a lasting effect. A follow-up agreement, the Jalalabad Accord, called for the militias to be disarmed but was never fully implemented. Through 1993, Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami forces, allied with the Shi'a Hezb-i-Wahdat militia, clashed intermittently with Rabbani and Masood's Jamiat forces. Cooperating with Jamiat were militants of Sayyaf's Ittehad-i-Islami and, periodically, troops loyal to ethnic Uzbek strongman Abdul Rashid Dostam. On January 1, 1994, Dostam switched sides, precipitating large-scale fighting in Kabul and in northern provinces, which caused thousands of civilian casualties in Kabul and elsewhere and created a new wave of displaced persons and refugees. The country sank even further into anarchy, forces loyal to Rabbani and Masood, both ethnic Tajiks, controlled Kabul and much of the northeast, while local warlords exerted power over the rest of the country. REFERENCE: Background Note: Afghanistan December 6, 2010Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5380.htm
THE MASSACRE IN MAZAR-I SHARIF On August 8, 1998, Taliban militia forces captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in northwest Afghanistan, the only major city controlled by the United Front, the coalition of forces opposed to the Taliban. The fall of Mazar was part of a successful offensive that gave the Taliban control of almost every major city and important significant territory in northern and central Afghanistan. Within the first few hours of seizing control of the city, Taliban troops killed scores of civilians in indiscriminate attacks, shooting noncombatants and suspected combatants alike in residential areas, city street sand markets. Witnesses described it as a “killing frenzy” as the advancing forces shot at “anything that moved.” Retreating opposition forces may also have engaged in indiscriminate shooting as they fled the city. Human Rights Watch believes that at least hundreds of civilians were among those killed as the panicked population of Mazar-i Sharif tried to evade the gunfire or escape the city. REFERENCE: AFGHANISTAN: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/afghan/
AFGHANISTAN MASSACRES OF HAZARAS IN AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghanistan/ Afghanistan: Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan Last Updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011, 12:43 GMT http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6a87c4.html Eyewitness Testimonies conducted by our Hazara Sources of the Killings in Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan August 8, 1998 http://www.hazara.net/persecution/mazar2.html
AFGHANISTAN MASSACRES OF HAZARAS IN AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghanistan/ Afghanistan: Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan Last Updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011, 12:43 GMT http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6a87c4.html Eyewitness Testimonies conducted by our Hazara Sources of the Killings in Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan August 8, 1998 http://www.hazara.net/persecution/mazar2.html
MASSACRES OF HAZARAS IN AFGHANISTAN This report documents two massacres committed by Taliban forces in the central highlands of Afghanistan, in January 2001 and May 2000. In both cases the victims were primarily Hazaras, a Shia Muslim ethnic group that has been the target of previous massacres and other serious human rights violations by Taliban forces. These massacres took place in the context of the six-year war between the Taliban and parties now grouped in the United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (the “United Front”), in which international human rights and humanitarian law have been repeatedly violated by the warring factions. Ethnic and religious minorities, and the Hazaras in particular, have been especially vulnerable in areas of conflict, and Taliban forces have committed large-scale abuses against Hazara civilians with impunity. In this report Human Rights Watch calls upon the United Nations to investigate both massacres and to systematically monitor human rights and humanitarian law violations by all parties to Afghanistan’s civil war. The massacre in Yakaolang district began on January 8, 2001 and continued for four days. In the course of conducting search operations following the recapture of the district from two Hazara-based parties in the United Front, the Taliban detained about 300 civilian adult males, including staff members of local humanitarian organizations. The men were herded to assembly points in the center of the district and several outlying areas, and then shot by firing squad in public view. About 170 men are confirmed to have been killed. REFERENCE: 1 Secretary-General, United Nations, “Secretary-General very concerned about reports of civilians deliberately targeted and killed in Afghanistan,” January 19, 2001, as posted on Relief Web, http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf (accessed February 16, 2001). Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif NOVEMBER 1, 1998 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1998/11/01/afghanistan-massacre-mazar-i-sharif November 1998 Vol. 10, No. 7 (C) AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/afghanistan/
The killings were apparently intended as a collective punishment for local residents whom the Taliban suspected of cooperating with United Front forces, and to deter the local population from doing so in the future. The findings concerning events in Yakaolang are based on the record of interviews with eyewitnesses that were made available to Human Rights Watch and other corroborating evidence. The May 2000 massacre took place near the Robatak pass on the border between Baghlan and Samangan provinces. Thirty-one bodies were found at one site to the northwest of the pass. Twenty-six of the dead were positively identified as civilians from Baghlan province. Of the latter, all were unlawfully detained for four months and some were tortured before they were killed. Human Rights Watch’s findings in this case are based in large part on interviews with a worker who participated in the burials and with a relative of a detainee who was executed at Robatak. These accounts have been further corroborated by other independent sources. With respect to both massacres, all names of sources, witnesses, and survivors have been withheld. Mullah Mohammad Omar, the head of the Taliban movement, has stated that there is no evidence of a civilian massacre in Yakaolang and blocked journalists from visiting the district, until recently accessible only by crossing Taliban-held territory. On the night of February 13-14, 2001, however, United Front forces recaptured Bamiyan city, the provincial capital. The offensive secured an airport and a road link to Yakaolang. On January 19, 2001, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement expressing concern about “numerous credible reports” that civilians were deliberately targeted and killed in Yakaolang. The secretary-general called on the Taliban to take “immediate steps to control their forces,” adding that the reports required “prompt investigation” and that those responsible should “be brought to justice.”1 REFERENCE: 1 Secretary-General, United Nations, “Secretary-General very concerned about reports of civilians deliberately targeted and killed in Afghanistan,” January 19, 2001, as posted on Relief Web, http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf (accessed February 16, 2001). Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif NOVEMBER 1, 1998 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1998/11/01/afghanistan-massacre-mazar-i-sharif November 1998 Vol. 10, No. 7 (C) AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/afghanistan/
On February 16, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson called for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch is concerned that such a commission would take too long to establish; the need is for a small team of experts that could be deployed immediately. The Taliban’s denial of responsibility for the Yakaolang massacre, and its failure to hold its commanders accountable for these and other abuses against civilians by its forces, make it critical that the U.N. itself investigate both cases. There have been preliminary discussions within the U.N. on the feasibility of investigating the Yakaolang massacre; a similar discussion also took place after the Robatak massacre, although no further action was taken. These discussions should be resumed. In doing so, however, the U.N. should not repeat the missteps that resulted in an inconclusive 1999 field investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, into the 1997 killing of Taliban prisoners by United Front forces in Mazar-i Sharif and the reprisal massacre of Hazara civilians by Taliban forces the following year. To allow an effective investigation into the cases documented in this report, the U.N. should adopt the measures outlined below. REFERENCE: 1 Secretary-General, United Nations, “Secretary-General very concerned about reports of civilians deliberately targeted and killed in Afghanistan,” January 19, 2001, as posted on Relief Web, http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf (accessed February 16, 2001). Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif NOVEMBER 1, 1998 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1998/11/01/afghanistan-massacre-mazar-i-sharif November 1998 Vol. 10, No. 7 (C) AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/afghanistan/
March 7, 1993: A scene of the signing ceremony of "Islamabad accord" between the "Afghan leaders" under the eyes of their Pakistani, Iranian and Saudi god-fathers. Setting left to right: Ahmed Shah Ahmadzai (Ittehad-e-Islami), Sheikh Asif Mohseni (Harkat-e-Islamic), Gulbbudin Hikmatyar (Hizb-e-Islami), Burhanuddin Rabbani (Jamiat-e-Islami), Sibghatullah Mujjadidi (Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli), Muhammad Nabi Muhammadi (Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami), Syed Ahmad Gaillani (Mahaz-e-Milli), Ayatullah Fazil (Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami)Warlord's men commit rape in revenge against Taliban Boston Globe, February 24, 2002 By David Filipov, Globe Staff BALKH, Afghanistan - In a country where women have long lived in the shadows, rape is an especially potent political weapon. To this, the women of northern Afghanistan can attest - at least those who dare speak publicly. The ouster of the Taliban by the US-backed Northern Alliance did not stop the use of rape as a way to demoralize and dominate. But what has changed since the fall is the identity of the victims, now mostly Pashtun families and displaced people living in camps, the losers following the defeat of the Pashtun-dominated Taliban. The crime is perpetrated, say victims and aid workers, by the men who answer to warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, a Northern Alliance commander whose 3,000-man army, Junbish-e-Millie, now rules much of the country's north. http://www.rawa.org/rape2.htm
March 7, 1993: A scene of the signing ceremony of "Islamabad accord" between the "Afghan leaders" under the eyes of their Pakistani, Iranian and Saudi god-fathers. Setting left to right: Ahmed Shah Ahmadzai (Ittehad-e-Islami), Sheikh Asif Mohseni (Harkat-e-Islamic), Gulbbudin Hikmatyar (Hizb-e-Islami), Burhanuddin Rabbani (Jamiat-e-Islami), Sibghatullah Mujjadidi (Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli), Muhammad Nabi Muhammadi (Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami), Syed Ahmad Gaillani (Mahaz-e-Milli), Ayatullah Fazil (Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami)Approximately 300,000 children are believed to be combatants in some thirty conflicts worldwide. Nearly half a million additional children serve in armies not currently at war, such that 40 percent of the world's armed organizations have children in their ranks. Since their ratification of the Optional Protocol, many armies, including that of the United States, adjusted their enlistment policies in compliance with the new regulations. Child Soldiers Around the World Author: Eben Kaplan December 2, 2005 http://www.cfr.org/human-rights/child-soldiers-around-world/p9331
March 7, 1993: A scene of the signing ceremony of "Islamabad accord" between the "Afghan leaders" under the eyes of their Pakistani, Iranian and Saudi god-fathers. Setting left to right: Ahmed Shah Ahmadzai (Ittehad-e-Islami), Sheikh Asif Mohseni (Harkat-e-Islamic), Gulbbudin Hikmatyar (Hizb-e-Islami), Burhanuddin Rabbani (Jamiat-e-Islami), Sibghatullah Mujjadidi (Jabha-e-Nijat-e-Milli), Muhammad Nabi Muhammadi (Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami), Syed Ahmad Gaillani (Mahaz-e-Milli), Ayatullah Fazil (Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami) The older child soldiers receive basic weapon training and are trained to go onto the battlefield. Younger ones are employed for domestic functions – as cleaners, cooks or personal attendants. Other functions include using these children as sex slaves or for espionage. Child Soldiers in Afghanistan IPCS SPECIAL REPORT www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/100752309IPCS-Special-Report-44.pdf Mukhtar is an infantryman in Afghanistan's rebel army. He can shoot a man in the beard from a standing position at 200 m or point out camouflaged Taliban bunkers through miles of dust. His platoon leader says the green-eyed soldier is the finest he has ever commanded, and Mukhtar takes the compliment with a shrug of his skinny shoulders. "I have been in the army for a long time," he says. "So I should be good at my job." Indeed, Mukhtar is a four-year veteran of Afghanistan's draining desert war. But he is only 15 years old. The Child Soldiers By HANNAH BEECH Farkhar Sunday, Nov. 11, 2001 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,182805,00.html