Basir Ahang | Hazara People | Translated by Liaquat Ali Hazara
In August, last year, it was reported from Kunduz Province in north Afghanistan, that a young couple have been stoned to death by the Taliban. Although this barbaric act was severely condemned by various Human Rights organisations including Amnesty International who demanded of the Karzai government to bring the perpetrators into justice, yet this case, like hundreds of other cases in government offices, was buried under the dust and nobody pursued them.
As far as I know, the same problem has occurred in various parts of Afghanistan in abundance and the proclamations of them are the detested Taliban, the Group which takes responsibility of these crimes with pride. This abhorred Group, during their rule in this country, had declared all abominable to the citizens except eating food and drinking water. Aside from the crimes and massacres, they had enacted laws which deprived women of their fundamental rights and even they were not allowed to go out for shopping.
In respect to the previous month’s stoning of this young couple in Kunduz Province, the video of the crime has cracked the means to it. This video is a proof of the crimes of the Taliban rule. The member of this loathful Group, whom Hamid Karzai calls his brothers and Farooq Wardak appealed to them for reconciliation in a visit to the UK a few days ago, in broad-day light and in the presence of hundreds of people, permanently silenced Sadiqa 23 and Khayyam 28 in Kunduz Province in north Afghanistan “because of their affection to each other” with the stones bearing religious manuscript. This incident needs not be elucidated and that the tragic incidents are broadcast via Tolo TV, are really censured being dejecting and horrifying.
The killers of Sadiqa and kheyam and the perpetrators of hundreds of other distressing crimes in this country are the Taliban. They, at present, without carpel and gun that they had 10 years ago, commit these crimes, but this time with complete support of Farooq Wardak as a democratic and manpower organ, perpetuate these crimes.
It is good that our attention has been drawn towards the past ill-doings of this Group (the Taliban), so that we are aware of. If the people do not realize to take Karzai into task who is looking for ways to give supremacy to this loathsome Group, we may be subject to worse incidences.
A brief to the past:
The Taliban from day one of their ruling warned the non-Pashtun nations of Afghanistan that who call themselves separate entities, should leave the country or they should be Muslims like them (the Taliban). After this warning, Abdul Manan Niazi, the Taliban spokesman, in post occupation and the announcement of a three day massacre in Mazar-e-Sharif, he proclaimed that the Tajiks should go to Tajikistan, the Uzbeks to Uzbekistan and the Hazaras to Ghoristan (graveyard).
They forced the Hindu and Sikh citizens of the country to wear special costumes in order that they can be recognized. After the pronouncement of Mullah Niazi, the Taliban started door to door search of the non-Pashtun areas in various parts of the country and the innocent Hazaras were massacred in large numbers for being non-Pashtun. Witnessing these depressing crimes and genocide in Parwan, Mazar-e-Sharif and Bamiyan, exacerbated with the time passing and even the non-Pashtun passengers were forcefully taken off vehicles to be killed.
Examples of these types of mass killings were executed in different parts of Afghanistan but the worse one, subjected to the genocide of the Hazaras took place in rear Kunduz, Shaajoi District and Zabul province in autumn 1999.
At that time, the District Chief of Shaajoi was very close to Mullah Omar and belonged to Qandahar Province who had commanded his people to shoot those who are identified as Hazaras. This Taliban Commander would carry out complete vehicles’ search en route to Ghazni and Qandahar taking the Hazara passengers captive and decapitating them at night. The genocide and mass killings of the Hazaras continued for a month and after hundreds of Hazara leaders consisting of spirituals and elders, with the dispatch of a letter from the Taliban Leadership Council and the UNO, tended to cease in the mid crimson of the UN, it terminated.
I will never forget the incidents of mass killings of the Hazaras. I must say that this is not a story but I, the talebearer, have witnessed these incidents myself.
Hazara Massacre in Kanda Posht
30 November, 1998 Shah Joy District, Zabul Province, Afghanistan
I was a student of 10th class when the Hazaras of Ghazni Province were harassed due to the three year economic siege of the Taliban, were compelled to surrender and within days, the Taliban brought them under occupation. Nahur, Jaghori and Malistan fell into invasion of Taliban one after another. Maulvi Abdul Haq Wasiq, the supporter of General Interrogation Taliban, who was then shouldering the responsibility for disarmament of the Hazaras of Ghazni, in a trip to Jaghori and Malistan districts, demanded that without interference of the Taliban army, they have to surrender their arms and ammunitions or else they will have to face fierce clash.
In this trip, Abdul Haq Wasiq was escorted by an Arab Advisor and tens of commandos of Pakistan army who even did not know Pashto, were communicating in Urdu with one another. Fear, intimidation and the tiring and back-breaking three year economic siege, which had compelled people to surrender, took away all resources from them within five days. Hence, with settlement of the Taliban into districts and para-military troops of “Amr-Bil-Maaruf – Command and Prohibition” accelerated the pace of harassing and torturing people.
The Taliban troops, after thorough settlement in these areas, would apprehend Hazara youths on various pretexts and send them to prisons. This trend made people believe to lose hope and start suffering from poverty. Migration, at that time, had become unbearably difficult and if any Hazara wished to travel, should have obtained a Migration Letter from the Taliban or else they would be disembarked off the vehicles and tied with cloudburst.
There was no way left and I also intended to migrate with my peer. I arrived at Ghazni where I waited in a queue for two days to seek permission to leave the country but there was no acquaintance at sight which compelled me to bribe them with an amount of Rs. 5, 000/- Pakistani Rupees (being the official currency of the Taliban). From Ghazni, I travelled to Kandahar into a Coaster, we arrived at Shah Joy District at noon, at one kilo meter in Shah Joy bazaar near a big bridge, where the Mujahedeen stayed at a time, our vehicle was stopped by the Taliban, everyone was scared. One of the passengers, knowing Pashto language and resembling the Pashtun, asked the Tajik driver what the matter was. The driver paused for a moment and then continued in Persian that probably there is a burial programme of all of us. He, further, continued that in the last one month in Shah Joy District, all Hazara passengers were alighted here so that they can be killed.
Now, someone has got the news who has been stopped, he said that it was a worse incident one day ago, he witnessed, “12 vehicles loaded with corpses, were being transported to Ghazni to be handed over to their families.
The driver had not completed his talk when two white helicopters of the UN landed on the ground. Apparently, the UN had arrived under a mutual understanding with the Taliban to take hold of the dead bodies for their transmission to Ghazni for their families.
When the UN corps alighted the helicopter, the Taliban distanced from us to guide them towards the ditch where the corpses were dumped, hereinafter, we also gathered courage to alight our vehicle and walk down to see them from near. The UN personnel consisted of three countries who were probably Americans and Canadians with two Arabs, some Afghanis and an Indian with long beard, Afghan costume and wearing caps. They were accompanied by a photographer to capture the pictures of dead bodies.
Four of us could only dare to get closer to them. When we reached the incident site, we witnessed dozens of tortured corpses were ten days old. It was really shocking. Children, women, young and old were all lying like befallen trees. Crows had eaten their eyes while stray dogs had torn their legs into pieces.
Without the members of the Taliban, who stood guarded with Kalashnikovs around the pit, all others left the site with tearful eyes. One of the UN personnel, who was the photographer by profession, solicited from the Taliban to take two pictures of the corpses from distance before switching off his camera. The dead bodies were all of Hazaras, mostly inhabitants of Ghazni wishing to escape to Pakistan after complete settlement of the Taliban in parts of the country but they had been captured here with the children and wife to be shot or beheaded.
A number of the slain passengers were these who didn’t have circumstantial information of the area, fell prey on their return from Iran or Pakistan.
There were a large number of dead bodies but, unfortunately, I could not stay there longer due to lack of time. The driver told me that we have to move out of here as they are engaged. When we boarded, the driver gathered more courage and disclosed in a long conversation that I have witnessed it several times that the Taliban walked the Hazara and Tajik passengers off vehicles and tied them with cloudburst immediately. He said that he has never felt any danger due to his command of Pashto language and appearance but due to the incidents of these massacres, he is really terrified as they have changed into nightmares to disturb him at night.
He, further, said that the exact number of Hazara people killed in Kanda Posht -Shah Joy District is unknown; however, the Taliban enquiry has confirmed 4000 dead bodies.
In short, when I reached in Quetta, Pakistan – after numerous humiliation and insult for being a Hazara – the news of genocide of 10, 000 Hazaras in above mentioned area was circulating. For them, it was a mere example of massacre and killings of people by Taliban. This Group paved the way of hundreds of rivers of blood in their ruling, which should never be forgotten.
At present, Hamid Karzai and others like Farooq Wardak, due to tribalism and Fascism, are spending millions of dollars of the peoples of Afghanistan and trying perpetually to impose the Taliban on people, being detested for their crimes against humanity. The people have to wake up to stop another disaster and river of blood.
This Group and many other murderers of innocent people, in front of your eyes, despite having the blood stains of your brothers, sisters, wives and children are appointed on top government positions by Hamid Karzai and with the spent of huge amounts of money from government exchequer, they are sent to the Parliament, the apex legislature organ of the country.
Take a look at the record of the Taliban and see why people like Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, Abdul Salam Zaeef, Abdul Salam Rockiti, Naeem Kochi also known as Maulavi Cable and tens of others, who would bath with your blood, instead of being apologetic and in places like prisons, have again been imposed on you with full support of Hamid Karzai and other factions including Farooq Wardak.
Look at Sayyaf and his black deeds which indulged thousands of people into a bloodbath and ask yourself as to why he is blossoming then before, and with full support of Karzai and his team appear on political spectrum of Afghanistan and claim to be the legislators of the country and for his induction millions of dollars are spent in one night.
Ask yourself that instead of the Parliament, why they are not behind the bar and like hundreds of other criminals who have been prosecuted in various countries, why they are not handed over to the judiciary?
Ask yourself that where this money comes from to be spent on Sayyaf who offers the members of Parliament with a lofty amount of 40, 000 US dollars and a vehicle costing $15, 000 US dollars to buy their vote?
There is no need to blame as you can witness all occurrences yourself should you look at the past happenings. Hence, we had better cure this concocted cancer. We need to find a way of justice in the country with collaboration:
Now, you have less time and only you can choose one from the three following:
1- Being left for humiliation, wretchedness and injustice forever.
2- The court trial of these criminals and re-establishment of a responsive and elected government which should treat all citizens equally regardless of ethnicity, religion and race.
3- Or going towards analysis, provided there is no way available for resolution, it is better that the country should be analysed rationally so that the Group of people in Afghanistan whose destiny has been played with for hundreds of years, depriving them of all rights and privileges, should be given their due rights.
This country has no value for people who have never seen them in this context. This is enough of three hundred years of injustice and cruelty. People have tolerated them more than their patience and courage, showing forbearance. Not only this inflection has been apprehended by the teams of the ruling clans but they have increased these cruelties and injustice against their countrymen/people.
I have jot down these pains and miseries for my fellow countrymen, for those who have experienced the predicaments and know these hardships. Perhaps, this writing has much fetidness but it is pain and however you tend to write, pain is pain.
I have written the incidents of these massacres after a long time as I did not wish to sadden others of these tragic incidents which have penetrated deep into my bone but, today, after watching the film of lapidation of unsuccessful fellow countrymen, Sadiqa and kheyam, the filthy pain awoke and I thought to share it with you.
With the hope of the destruction/defeat of ignorance, Fascism and injustice in the motherland of my forefathers.
Long live the sorrowful and distressed compatriots!