DERA ISMAIL KHAN/PESHAWAR, Islamabad (Reuters) – Several Pashtun ethnic rights activists were killed and at least 25 were wounded in a Pakistan tribal region on Sunday, when Taliban militants attacked their gathering and security forces opened fire on protesters during disturbances that followed.
The violence took place in Wana, the main administrative center for South Waziristan, one of the most volatile of the tribal lands on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
Local tribesmen and one security official, speaking on condition on anonymity, said two people were killed and 25 wounded. But Manzoor Pashteen, the head of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), said in a posting on social media that at least 10 people died and 30 were wounded during Sunday’s violence.
In his Twitter post, Pashteen described how Taliban fighters had first attacked the PTM gathering. Later angry protesters threw stones, prompting “indiscriminate” firing by security forces, he said.
The PTM became prominent after the killing of a Pashtun youth by police in the southern city of Karachi in January. Since then it has held rallies across many towns and cities.
Ali Wazir, a PTM leader who was wounded in the attack, told Reuters that the militants wanted PTM to leave the area and were “dictating an end to PTM activities in Wana”.
Some PTM members said they suspected the gunmen who attacked them belonged to a Taliban faction that has covert support from Pakistan’s powerful military. The military, which denies fostering proxy groups, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The PTM alleges that thousands of Pashtuns were targeted in state-organized killings after Pakistan joined the U.S.-led war on terror in 2001 and launched major military operations against militant strongholds in tribal areas between 2009 and 2014.
The military has been engaged in talks with PTM members to address some of their grievances.
Pashteen called for protests at U.N offices in response to the latest outrage.
“Pashtuns wherever should protest now and those who cannot should do it tomorrow in front of the UN offices because this state doesn’t listen to our voice,” Pashteen said.
PTM supporters in Peshawar protested outside the Islamabad Press Club late on Sunday evening.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assembly on May 27 approved the merger of the province with the semi autonomous tribal areas and frontier regions, in a move aimed at bringing them into Pakistan’s political mainstream.
منظور پښتین د پاکستان ادارو ته خبردارې ورکړېدی چې هغوي که هر ډول ظلم هم وکړي، د ناکامۍ سره به مخ کیږي.
د پاکستان د خیبر پښتونخوا د وزیرستان په سیمې کې طالبانو د پښتون ژغورنې د تحریک په یو مخکښ مشر علي وزیر او په عام ولس ډزې کړیدي چې تراوسه پورې پکې په لسگونو کسان زخمیان دي. د زخمیانو دقیق شمیر لا تروسه ندی معلوم خو منطور پښتین په خپله وینا کې ادعا کړې چې تروسه لس تنه وژل شوې او دیرش رخمیان دي.
ځایي سرچینو د امریکا غږ ډیوه راډیو ته ویلي چې طالبانو په واڼا کې نن د یکشنبې په ورځ د پښتون تحریک په مشر علي وزیر ډزې وکړې، دغه برید نیم ساعت دوام وکړ خو علي وزیر ترینه روغ وتلی دی. په دغه برید کې شاوخوا لس تنه زخمیان شویدي او ځایي روغتون ته انتقال شویدي.
د دغې پیښې نه وروسته منظور پښتین په خپل فیس بک په یوې لایو وینا کې د پاکستان ادارو ته خبردارې ورکړ چې “مونږ پوهه یو چې طالبان څوک دي، تاسو چې څه هم کوئ، ماتې به خورئ، شکست به ستاسو مقدر وي.”
منظور وویل د پاکستان ټولې ادارې په ترهگرۍ کې ککړې دي، هغه وویل “د دوي لاسونه د پښتونو په وینو ککړ دي. پي ټي ایم د امن لپاره تحریک شروع کړیدی چې د پاکستان اساسي قانون یې اجازه ورکوي. خو دوي ترهگر ترهگر کوي. د پاکستان ادارو خپل ظلم ته دوام ورکړیدی.”
هغه وویل چې نن په واڼا کې د خلکو په مخکې پوځیان د طالبانو شاته ولاړ و او په خلکو یې ډزې وکړی.
“د پاکستان د ټولو لویه اداره پوځ، دوهمه لویه اداره طالبان او بیا آی ایس آی او رینجرز دغه کارونه کوي. چې پښتنو د سولې لپاره مبارزه پیل کړه نو دوي ورته بیا دا چل شروع کړ.”
منظور پښتین د نړۍ د ټولو پښتنو نه یو ځلې بیا غوښتنه وکړه چې د وروستیو پیښو په ضد دې احتجاج وکړي.
له بلې خوا د پاکستان جیو ټلویژون رپورټ ورکړیدی چې په پیښور کې د نامعلونو کسانو په ډزو کې دوه تنه وژل شویدي.
Min far kom tillbaka från Afghanistan för några dagar sedan och han har spenderat sin tid i de södra delarna av Afghanistan. Han menar på att läget är så illa att det är svårt att föreställa sig att det kan bli värre.
Sveriges Radio skriver följande:
Flera provinser i landet riskerar att falla till talibanerna om inte regeringen agerar, hävdar parlamentsledamöterna.
Säkerhetsläget i Afghanistan är värre än vad regeringen låter påskina, menar flera av ledamöterna. Och de lägger skulden på landets säkerhetstjänster.
En av parlamentsledamöterna, Allah Gul Mujahid säger till nyhetstjänsten Tolo News att Afghanistans president, Ashraf Ghani, får felaktig information av antingen inrikesministern eller försvarsministern, rörande säkerhetssitationen ute i landet.
En annan ledamot, Rangina Kargar, hävdar att i tio distrikt i regionen Faryab så är det endast centralorterna och poliskontoren som för närvarande står under regeringens kontroll.
Försvarsministeriet har svarat på kritiken med att säga att flera operationer för närvarande pågår och att de olika motståndsgrupperna håller på att tryckas tillbaka.
Men säkerhetsläget på många håll i Afghanistan är fortsatt svårt. I måndags dödades exempelvis 25 personer i huvudstaden Kabul i ett attentat utfört av självmordsbombare tillhörande IS.
Bara några timmar senare, även det alltså i måndags, dödades elva barn i ett bilbombsattentat mot en Natokonvoj i Kandahar, i södra Afghanistan. Åtta rumänska Natosoldater skadades även i det dådet.
Enligt en amerikansk rapport som släpptes i april kontrollerade de afghanska myndigheterna i början av året endast 56 procent av Afghanistans yta.
Den afghanska militären är tillika fortsatt starkt beroende av amerikanskt militärt stöd. I förra veckan var det nära att huvudstaden i provinsen Farah föll till talibanerna.
Regeringsstyrkorna hade bedömt inte lyckats slå tillbaka talibananfallet om det inte varit för att USA snabbt skickade dit omfattande flygunderstöd.
USA:s strategi i Afghanistan har uppenbarligen inte lyckats. Och i linje med det meddelades det tidigare i veckan att Trumpadministrationen utsett en ny befälhavare för de amerikanska styrkorna i Afghanistan.
Generallöjtnant Austin Miller har tidigare varit chef för de amerikanska specialförbanden, och han har själv tidigare tjänstgjort i den så kallade Delta force.
Frågan är om han kommer att lyckas med det alla hans företrädare misslyckats med.
Tens of thousands of Pashtuns are demanding an end to extrajudicial killings and abductions they blame on the Pakistani state – and a charismatic young man has become their spokesman.
A compelling, bearded tribesman in his early 30s, Manzoor Pashteen is the unlikely figurehead for protests that have now mushroomed into a wider movement that threatens to upset a precarious balance ahead of general elections.
He represents people who say they were brutalised during decades of war in the border areas Pakistan shares with Afghanistan. NGOs say thousands of people have been reported missing in regions such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan.
Over the weekend thousands of people attended a rally in Lahore, defying calls from the authorities to boycott the event, and despite officials briefly detaining some leaders of the movement in raids.
The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM, Pashtun Protection Movement) is expressly peaceful, and its demands are within the limits of Pakistani law. But the pressure it has placed on the country’s leaders is telling.
Even army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa has become involved, calling the protests “engineered”, implying they are following a hostile foreign agenda, although they appear spontaneous.
‘Terrorists in uniform’
Secunder Kermani, BBC News, Lahore
“What kind of freedom is this?” the crowd chant. It’s the chorus of the anthem of this protest movement, and one that encapsulates the myriad grievances from Pakistan’s “war on terror”.
A common thread is a feeling that Pashtuns have been caught between the militants and the military for years. One man from the Swat Valley tells me how on a single road there would be checkpoints by both the Taliban and the army. If you were clean-shaven the Taliban would accuse you of being pro-government, if you had a beard soldiers accused you of being an extremist.
At a stall on the side of the protest, activists are writing the names of young men allegedly in the custody of the intelligence services, but never produced in court. It’s one of the most sensitive issues in the country – I’m surrounded by people wanting to tell me what happened to their relatives.
Resentment towards the powerful military establishment is expressed most boldly by the slogan, “The ones responsible for terrorism are the ones in uniform”. This kind of open challenge is more or less unprecedented in recent times, and seems to be growing.
So far there has also been an almost total media blackout of PTM rallies, which attract substantial support.
It is a notable contrast to the air time given on Pakistan’s increasingly controlled media to small bands of anti-PTM protesters. Those didn’t get much traction with the public and are suspected of links with the military.
Manzoor Pashteen speaks Pashto in his native Mehsud dialect. But unlike other young tribesmen he is educated, and can speak Urdu and English with the same ease.
He says he never realised he would get such support but he’s clear about what needs to change.
“People were oppressed. Their life had become intolerable. Curfews and insults by the army soldiers had stripped them of their pride,” he told BBC Pashto’s Khudai Noor Nasar in March.
Since February, he and his supporters have travelled across the Pashtun heartlands, from Quetta to Peshawar, attracting huge crowds and exposing never-ending stories of misery, death and destruction.
Many see the PTM as breaking new ground in the political landscape of a country where proxy wars have disenfranchised large populations not only in tribal areas and the north-west, but also in Balochistan, southern Sindh province and the northern areas along the border with China.
Mr Pashteen has said his movement won’t participate in electoral politics. But even then, one expects them to have a strong off-stage voice when elections are held this summer.
Well-known lawyer and columnist Babar Sattar has written that Pashteen’s social consciousness may be rooted in his Pashtun identity, “but the questions he is asking are relevant for all of us”.
The debate triggered by the PTM is about the “coercive relationship between a citizen and the Pakistani state; [about] the character, priorities and actions of our state that are undermining… their rights to life, liberty, dignity and equality”.
Despite the media blackout the PTM has been successful in getting its message over through social media, with the help of a growing number of activists, mostly from areas seen as marginalised.
In fact, Mr Pashteen says social media came to his rescue when he was arrested after protests against the army and its intelligence service, the ISI, last year.
“Our house had been surrounded by the army who picked up my father and uncle and detained them at a nearby checkpost,” he said in the BBC Pashto interview. “When I went there, they arrested me and put me in a room. They said protests against the army were detrimental to their morale.”
Soon, news of his arrest reached friends who spread the word, prompting protests in his support.
“So they [the military] took me out and brought me to a brigadier who said we are releasing you, but tell your friends to stop their campaign.”
Manzoor Pashteen was born and raised in South Waziristan, which was the earliest of the Pakistan Taliban sanctuaries in the post-9/11 period.
Like many other tribal districts and parts of the north-west, the local population’s freedoms and livelihoods were held hostage – either by the army or the militants, who were seen as the military’s proxies despite all the denials.
The son of a school teacher, he was lucky to have easy access to education which continued when his family left conflict-ridden South Waziristan in 2010. It was a time when families had to move from their villages and take refuge in faraway towns and cities like Bannu, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.
For that generation, political awareness was shaped by exposure to life outside Waziristan, and their experience of disempowerment when they moved back to their villages.
As one former senator, Afrasiab Khatak, puts it, “the lava accumulated through all these troubles and tribulations was waiting to erupt. It was only a matter of time”.
That time came when a young man called Naqeebullah from South Waziristan was killed by police in an alleged “staged encounter” in Karachi on 13 January. Police said he was a militant but his family say he was just an aspiring model.
This provided the spark for a demonstration outside the Islamabad press club in January. At first nobody took much notice, but then numbers began to swell. A shipping container turned up and they made it a stage with a sound system and began making speeches, some extremely critical of the security establishment.
After 10 days it had evolved into a wider movement for the “liberation of Pashtun people from the tyranny” of Pakistan’s security establishment.
People come from far and wide to the rallies, many with pictures of the missing in search of information.
“I only knew the conditions in my own area. But when we heard stories from other areas – from Swat, or Bajaur – we realised that it was the same all over,” Manzoor Pashteen says.
He relates one incident that led to protests two weeks before his arrest last October.
A bomb had killed a soldier in the village of Shamkai in South Waziristan.
“The army clamped a curfew in the area, and ordered all people to come out of their homes,” he says. “They made the women sit to one side and tortured the men one by one in front them. One epileptic boy died during torture while his mother and father were watching.”
The BBC put these claims to the military, but received no response.
But many say it is still fair to ask if Pashtuns could be partly to blame for allowing their youth to join militancy. It is a question that Manzoor Pashteen dismisses.
“The Pakistani state promoted militancy. It used Islam as a motivating factor,” he says.
“These are not my words. These are the words of Colonel Imam [a former ISI operative] who said he trained 95,000 youth; or the words of then army chief Pervez Musharraf, who said ‘we trained them, we brought mujahideen from all over the world, and they were our heroes’.
“When it suits them to bomb us, they’ll bomb us; when it suits them to send us rations, they’ll send us rations; when it suits them to set our people to kill others, they will train them and facilitate them,” Manzoor Pashteen says.
“Waziristan is their captured territory. It took us tribals 30 years to find out that we fought the Russians not for Islam, but for American money.”
|Source:||BBC News, Islamabad||By:||M Ilyas Khan|
Within 48 hours of the Pentagon’s confirming the identity of the US soldier arrested for the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, there are mounting questions about the official explanation of the bloody events of March 11.
Nearly every fact asserted by US officials in Kabul and Washington has been challenged, either by the villagers where the massacre took place, by the Karzai government in Afghanistan, or by those acquainted with the arrested soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38.
The most important questions are those raised by the villagers who survived the rampage. They have been repeatedly quoted, both in Afghan government accounts and in reports published in the international press, as describing several uniformed American soldiers participating in the bloodbath, not the lone gunman described by the Pentagon.
In a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Friday, relatives of the victims reiterated their claims of multiple gunmen. Karzai told reporters, “They believe it’s not possible for one person to do that,” referring to the multiple killings in two adjacent villages in Kandahar province. “In four rooms, people were killed, women and children were killed, and they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire. That, one man cannot do.”
US embassy and military officials have refused to respond to these charges, and Afghan officials said the Americans were not cooperating with the Afghan investigation into the atrocity. Sergeant Bales was shipped out of the country before Afghan officials could interrogate him, and the Pentagon indicated that his trial would be conducted on US soil—making it unlikely that the Afghan witnesses can participate except by video testimony.
The New York Times admitted that despite the US claims that a lone attacker was responsible for the massacre, “most Afghans see it as similar to the night raids [by US special forces], including Mr. Karzai, who on Friday portrayed it as the latest in a long string of episodes in which coalition forces have killed Afghans.”
Karzai described the American forces as “demons” and the burning of Korans earlier this month as “Satanic acts that will never be forgiven.” He said the massacre in Kandahar province “was not the first incident, indeed it was the 100th, the 200th and 500th incident.”
He told a press conference, “This has been going on for too long. It is by all means the end of the rope here.”
Doubtless Karzai’s reference to the “end of the rope” was an expression of his own nervousness over the likely fate of his beleaguered and unpopular regime, entirely dependent on the American forces whose atrocities he is obliged to criticize.
In a further indication of the Afghan population’s hatred of the US-NATO occupation, the US military revealed that a 22-year-old Marine killed in Helmand province last month was shot in the back of the head by an Afghan soldier. This is the seventh acknowledged death of an American soldier at the hands of an Afghan “comrade” in the past six weeks.
The information on the alleged attacker released by US officials has been at least as dubious as their accounts of what took place March 11. For six days, the Pentagon sought to keep the name of the US soldier secret, an extraordinary and unprecedented act of political censorship that drew no criticism in the US media. Fox News finally made Bales’s name public on Friday, and the rest of the media then followed suit.
Initial accounts attributed to military sources claimed that Bales had been having marital problems, that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury during a previous tour of duty in Iraq, and that he had lost part of his foot there in the blast from an improvised explosive device. He was also described as under additional stress because his home had just been foreclosed on.
Many of these details proved to be false. Both Bales’s lawyer and local media in Seattle-Tacoma describe his marriage as apparently happy. There had been no “Dear John” letter from his wife Karilyn, as was initially suggested. The foreclosure was on a home that Bales and his wife were renting out, not the one in which she lived, although that home was put on the market for sale the week before the massacre.
Bales bought this home in 2005 for $279,000 and it was going on the market as a “short sale” that would have left he and his wife $50,000 in debt—a situation that is all too common for working class and middle-class homeowners in the United States.
The government account of the massacre was summed up by an unnamed official who told the New York Times, “When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped.” As Bales’s attorney John Henry Browne responded, “The government is going to want to blame this on an individual rather than blame it on the war.”
The Obama administration and the Pentagon want to dismiss the massacre in Kandahar province as an aberration, the action of a “rogue” soldier, someone who inexplicably carried out actions at odds with the US mission in Afghanistan. The truth is that the March 11 massacre is a concentrated expression of the role of the US military in Afghanistan, and in every impoverished country bombed, invaded or occupied by American imperialism.
Bales, if he committed the actions which he is accused of perpetrating on March 11, is a war criminal who deserves trial and punishment. But the more important war criminals are those in the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and throughout the US political establishment who are responsible for more than ten years of war in Afghanistan, and who are plotting new wars in Syria, Iran and elsewhere.
Source: Global Research, By: Patrick Martin
A good post that takes up the recent report from Human Rights Watch- “Today We Shall All Die”: Afghanistan’s Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity.
Afghanistan officials sanctioned murder, torture and rape, says report
Human Rights Watch accuses high-ranking officials of allowing extrajudicial killings and brutal practices to flourish after fall of Taliban
Top Afghan officials have presided over murders, abduction, and other abuses with the
tacit backing of their government and its western allies, Human Rights Watch says in a
A grim account of deaths, robbery, rapes and extrajudicial killings, Today We Shall All
Die, details a culture of impunity that the rights group says flourished after the fall of the
Taliban, driven by the desire for immediate control of security at almost any price.
“The rise of abusive political and criminal networks was not inevitable,” the report said.
“Short-term concerns for maintaining a bulwark against the Taliban have undermined
aspirations for long-term good governance and respect for human rights in Afghanistan.”
The report focuses on eight commanders and officials across Afghanistan, some of them
counted among the country’s most powerful men, and key allies for foreign troops. Some
are accused of personally inflicting violence, others of having responsibility for militias
or government forces that committed the crimes.
Kandahar’s most powerful commander, the former head of the intelligence service and a
key northern governor are among those implicated. All of the accused have denied the
allegations against them.
Some have ties to the former president Hamid Karzai, who as early as 2002 warned that
security would be his first priority. “Justice [is] a luxury for now; we must not lose peace
for that,” the report quotes him saying soon after coming to power. While he was in
office, a blanket amnesty law for civil war-era crimes was passed.
There are also multiple links to America’s military and government, sometimes beyond
the liaisons that were essential for troops on the ground.
When Assadullah Khalid, the former head of the country’s spy agency, was badly injured
in a Taliban assassination attempt, Barack Obama and the former defence secretary Leon
Panetta both went to visit him in the American hospital where he was recovering.
In doing so they chose to ignore a long history of accusations of rape, torture, corruption
and illegal detentions, some of it from US diplomats or their allies, detailed in the HRW
A confidential Canadian government report from 2007 warned that “allegations of
human rights abuses by [Khalid] are numerous and consistent” and he was described as
“exceptionally corrupt and incompetent” in a leaked US embassy cable.
Khalid has previously dismissed the allegations against him as fabrications. “I know
there is nothing (in terms of evidence),” he said in 2012, when his nomination as spy
chief stirred up controversy about his past. “This is just propaganda about me.”
Another favourite of US forces, Kandahar’s police chief Abdul Razziq, was pictured last
year arm in arm with a beaming three-star US general, who credited him with improving
security in the political and cultural heart of southern Afghanistan.
Yet his rise to power he has been dogged by a trail of allegations of extrajudicial killings,
forced disappearances and torture, some described by HRW in gruesome detail. As early
as 2006, when still leading a unit of border police, he was accused of the abduction and
murder of 16 men, said to be in a revenge killing for the death of his brother.
“The acting commander of border police in Kandahar, Abdul Razzaq Achakzai [Raziq],
has acknowledged killing the victims, but has claimed (claims now proved false) that the
killings took place during an ambush he conducted against Taliban infiltrators,” a report
by the office of the EU envoy to Afghanistan said then.
Since he took control of the province’s police in 2011, the United Nations has
documented “systematic” use of torture in Kandahar’s police and intelligence units, and
the Human Rights Watch report lists multiple cases of men detained by Kandahar police,
whose mutilated corpses were found discarded days later. Raziq has repeatedly denied
all allegations of wrongdoing.
Raziq has categorically denied all charges of abuse, as attempts to undermine him.
“When someone works well, then he finds a lot of enemies who try to ruin his name,” he
told the Atlantic in 2011.
Last year he told the New York Times: “I don’t think people fear me … at least I don’t
want them to fear me.”
The report also details large-scale corruption, that is said to have eroded both security
and confidence in the government, while stuffing the coffers of abusive strongmen.
Lucrative contracts for logistics and security allowed some to maintain militias under
official cover, and pay off the Taliban instead of trying to defeat them, HRW said, while
other security officials were involved in drug production and trafficking.
Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency
International, and the compromised justice system also badly undermines
accountability, with little sense among ordinary Afghans that abusers will ever be held to
“Initiatives ostensibly undertaken to curb corruption and other abuses have had
virtually no impact, for the same reasons there has been no progress tackling impunity in
other areas,” the report said. “Officially, the United States has backed anti-corruption
measures, while at the same time reportedly protecting officials accused of corruption
who have been deemed vital to the war effort.”
Atta Mohammad Noor, the influential governor of northern Balkh province is one of
those the report says profited from Nato projects to expand the security forces, using
them to absorb and fund his own militias, hundreds of men strong. They have been
accused of abuses for which HRW says Atta bears responsibility, even if he is not head of
a formal chain of command. Atta denies the allegations in the report.
“The informal nature of militias can make it difficult to establish who has ultimate
command responsibility for their actions,” the report says. “However, the available
evidence indicates that they could not operate without Atta’s consent and have been
effectively under his control, including at the time of the alleged abuses.”
It quotes him telling one villager who complained about killings by a militia group under
his command in 2011. “Please forgive [the killer], it was just a mistake.”
Atta in 2011 said that two of the militias he ran were needed to secure his province
because Karzai’s government refused to increase police and army ranks there. “The
people who complain about militia are people who have links with the Taliban,” he told
the Wall Street Journal.
Human Rights Watch called on the Afghan government and its international backers to
do more to hold the security forces to account. Despite meticulous documentation of
many cases of abuse, there has not been a single prosecution for torture.
Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, said his government would not tolerate
torture and thanked HRW for the report, but did not respond to the individual
Source: The Guardian
Afghanistan’s new government should prosecute officials and commanders whose serious human rights abuses have long gone unpunished.
Read the whole report here: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2015/03/03/today-we-shall-all-die-0
By the end of the year, Congress will have appropriated more money for
Afghanistan’s reconstruction, when adjusted for inflation, than the
United States spent rebuilding 16 European nations after World War II
under the Marshall Plan.
A staggering portion of that money — $104 billion — has been
mismanaged and stolen. Much of what was built is crumbling or will be
unsustainable. Well-connected Afghans smuggled millions of stolen aid
money in suitcases that were checked onto Dubai-bound flights. The
Afghan government largely turned a blind eye to widespread
malfeasance. Even as revelations of fraud and abuse stacked up, the
United States continued shoveling money year after year because cutting
off the financial spigot was seen as a sure way to doom the war effort.
As the Pentagon winds down its combat mission there at the end of
the year, it’s tempting to think of the Afghan war as a chapter that is
coming to an end — at least for American taxpayers. But, as things stand,
the United States and its allies will continue paying Afghanistan’s bills for
the foreseeable future. That commitment was solidified Tuesday as the
American ambassador in Kabul and Afghanistan’s security adviser signed
a bilateral security agreement that will keep a small contingent of NATO
troops there for at least two years.
The United States and NATO partners recently agreed to spend $5.1
billion a year to pay for the army and police, until at least 2017. Western
donors are expected to continue to give billions more for reconstruction
and other initiatives, recognizing that Afghanistan won’t be weaned off
international aid anytime soon. In fact, the government appears to be broke.
A few weeks ago, Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry made an urgent
plea to the United States for a $537 million bailout, warning that it would
otherwise not be able to make payroll. That’s part of a broader,
worrisome trend. The International Monetary Fund estimates that
Afghanistan will face a financial gap of roughly $7.7 billion annually
between now and 2018.
If the flow of money is to keep going, the Afghan government has to
prove that it can be trusted. And, for its part, Congress should not
hesitate to cut off the aid if corruption remains unabated.
Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, who took office on
Monday, has pledged to stamp out graft. “I am not corrupt, and I am not
going to encourage corruption, tolerate it or become the instrument,” the
president, a former World Bank executive, told the BBC in an interview.
That will be easier said than done in a country where back-room
deals are the norm. Mr. Ghani can show he is serious by appointing and
empowering a new attorney general willing to take on unscrupulous
officials. His proposal to lead a new procurement board is commendable
because it would make him personally accountable.
Of the $104 billion that American lawmakers have appropriated for
Afghan reconstruction, nearly $16 billion remains unspent, according to
John Sopko, the inspector general who is overseeing the reconstruction
effort. As one of the poorest nations on earth, Afghanistan clearly has
plenty of needs. But the American agencies tasked with spending the
money must do a better job identifying priorities, setting realistic goals
and adopting stronger safeguards.
Delivering a speech at Georgetown University recently, Mr. Sopko
marveled at the Marshall Plan comparison. “What have we gotten for the
investment?” he asked.
Jag har tidigare skrivit om ensamkommande flyktingbarn från Afghanistan. Jag har fått en hel del negativa kommentarer kring ämnet då jag utmärkande pekar ut en specifik etnisk grupp från Afghanistan. Av de efterforskningar jag har gjort har det visat sig att över 90% av de ensamkommande “flyktingbarn” från Afghanistan utgörs av den etniska gruppen Hazara. Hazarerna är av mongolisk härkomst vilket gör det svårt att avgöra hur gamla dessa är.
Det har tidigare skrivits spaltmeter om hur just denna minoritetsgrupp är förtryckta i Afghanistan men i dagens Afghanistan är det tvärtom. Den etnisk grupp som har fått det bäst ställt både ekonomiskt, utbildningsmässigt är just Hazarerna. Områden där just Hazarerna bor är helt konfliktfria och där existerar inte ens Talibaner. Jag anser att de ensamkommande flyktingbarn från Afghanistan som i själva verket inte är flyktingbarn utan är vuxna män ljuger om sin ålder för att få stanna i Sverige. Det är organiserad flyktingsmuggling med färdiga mallar av “cases” som redovisas för Migrationsverket som blint litar på alla utsagor från dessa män.
Det hade varit intressant om Migrationsverket kunde sammanställa bättre statistik på dessa män så att även etniciteten kunde registreras för att lättare styrka min tes om att mer än 90% av ensamkommande flyktingbarn från Afghanistan är Hazarer som genom just organiserad flyktingsmuggling tar sig till Sverige. Samlar man på sig denna typ av statisk kan man med sunt förnuft ställa sig frågan varför just Hazarer utgör en så dominerande andel av ensamkommande flyktingbarn från Afghanistan? Är förtrycket mindre allvarlig mot övriga folkgrupper i Afghanistan?
In Afghanistan, women are determined to protect new-found freedoms. For the BBC’s 100 Women season, I met the women poets who face great risk, including death threats, to express their deepest thoughts.
In a little room tucked behind a Kabul cinema bedecked with Bollywood billboards, Afghan women are waging a literary war that is both personal and political.
They call poetry their sword.
“We take pure and sacred words and express our feelings with those words,” explains 29-year-old Pakisa Arzoo, with an energy as bright as her striking emerald green veil.
“But I know my society has this belief that writing poetry is a sin.”
A few dozen women writers meet every week to share poetry in a quiet place sealed off from the din of a bustling neighbourhood, and the pressures of a deeply conservative society.
Amil recites her poem with an emphatic cadence that captures everyone’s attention. It is a story they all know well.
“The fire of war has started and is burning the country / My heart is burning in these flames, my body is burning.”
The Mirman Baheer literary society brings women together to share and publish their poems, and find strength in greater numbers. It now counts a few hundred members in clubs in several Afghan cities.
“It’s our form of resistance,” explains one of the society’s founders, Sahira Sharif, a member of parliament.
Afghan women are drawing on their own traditions to break taboos. For centuries, in a largely illiterate society, women used verse as a means of expression and escape from lives largely controlled by men, except for their deepest thoughts.
Women poets have gone down in history. The warrior poet Malalai – who famously fought British troops in the 1880 Battle of Maiwand – and Rabia Balkhi – one of the first poets to write in modern Persian – are the stuff of legend.
Most members of the society in Kabul are educated women in professional jobs. But most still write under pen names. Some are chaperoned by male relatives who sit in neat rows of chairs on the other side of the room.
Others write in secret, their work hidden from their families. Determined and defiant, they take brave risks to belong to this special sorority, if only by telephone.
When a phone rings at the back of the room, Pakisa Arzoo rushes to take the call.
A schoolgirl is on the line with her poem from a village on the outskirts of Kabul.
Ms Arzoo carefully holds the mobile phone next to a crackling microphone so everyone can hear her tribute to her teacher.
“As I am serving today, I have become a doctor / Teacher, if I am an engineer today / It is all because of your hard work / That today I have become a soldier of this nation / I can feel all the pain and suffering you have been through…”
“When we recite our poems, we remove our pain,” says Seeta Habibi, Country Director for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, a group established with the help of writers living in the United States.
“We talk to the paper with our pen and we fight for our rights on paper,” she explains. “Someday we hope we will win.”
Threats from the Taliban in the west of Afghanistan forced Ms Habibi, the only female journalist in her province, to leave her home.
Karima Shabrang faced a similar fate in her village in the remote northern province of Badakhshan. Local elders condemned her as a bad moral influence for her romantic laments of love and loss.
“They said I should be got rid of. They meant I should be killed,” she recalls in the simple mud brick home in the poor suburbs of Kabul where she now lives with two brothers who came to her rescue.
She recites a poem with mementoes of Badakhshan around her: a striped rug of bright colours; a quail, issuing its staccato call from its cage.
But her explicit images of intimacy seem to belong to another place.
“I miss you… my hands are stretching from the ruins of Kabul… I want to invite you to my room for a delicious smoke… and you will give me refuge in your shivering red body.”
Is poetry worth a life in exile?
“I would prefer a dignified death to a life lived as a hostage in silence,” is Ms Shabrang’s softly voiced, strongly worded reply. Her work was recently honoured with an award by the Afghan chapter of PEN.
“It’s true these topics are not acceptable in today’s society but that doesn’t mean what I express is not true.”
‘Stronger than a letter’
Truth can be hard to tell in country struggling to emerge from 30 years of war.
The walls of the Kapisa Writers and Poets Society, two hours’ drive north of Kabul, are plastered with photographs of Afghan kings, presidents, and warlords.
That does not stop Dr Masouda from taking on the men with guns.
“Oh my God, all the warlords testing their weapons again and earning a lot of money out of war…” she recites from a handwritten poem.
But local commanders threatened her with dire consequences if she did not censor her published work. I ask her what they did not like about her poems.
“The truth, the truth,” she insists. “They want us to ignore crimes in Afghanistan, killings and bombings.”
But for all the poets’ pain, they believe they are making progress.
“Last year, five women won poetry prizes and their families realised poetry could be something positive,” says Dr Sharif, an MP.
“If a family member takes a step with them, even for just one hour or one day, it helps their struggle with wider society.”
At the poetry club in Kabul there is a poem to Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai.
“I stand in your presence, president / Take my request. / I have come tired, restless and injured. / Your criminals made me cry.”
I later ask the president if he knew about the poem.
“Yes,” he replies with immediate recollection. “The poet read it to me when I visited her province.”
“A poem is always stronger than a letter,” says Dr Sharif.
As worries mount over their fragile gains of the past decade, women writers are now waging their own fight for their rights, including their right to write and be heard.
Copyright. April 6, 2013
By: Dr. Rahmat Rabi Zirakyar, Independent Scholar, USA
دا زموږ قسمت دی چې په ویـنو کې مزل وهـو یو قـدرت چې ووهـو بیا بل وهـو بیا بل وهـو
Destiny demands we wade through pools of blood.
We have defeated the powerful repeat we must defeat, and yet once more.
–A Pashto couplet
The above Pashto couplet points to the fate of the ancient Pashtun nation stretched between Oxus in the north and Indus in the south and reflecting historic trade and invasion routs. The battle between the former Silk-istan and current Pipeline-istan is now determining the Pashtun destiny. Pashtuns are the superpower of egalitarian conscience and a culture of resistance. In such capacity they have been fighting against militarily superior (super)powers reflecting humankind inherent desire to be free. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1980-88) characterized the Afghan resistance against the fomer Soviet “Evil Empire” as “man’s highest inspiration for freedom.” Also, he praised the former Mujahedin as “the moral equal of our Founding Fahters .” But in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy the war in Afghanistan has been, to a great extent, put forth as a war for human rights of the Afghan people, namely to liberate them from the oppression of Taliban and the majority Pashtuns. Some nine years prior to the disaster of September 11, 2001, “CIA World Fact Book” (a type of “finished intelligence”) had reduced statistics of the majority Pashtuns in Afghanistan. We shall go to the roots of this corrupt strategy. I am very thankful to Dr. Daud Miraki and Dr. Zaman Stanizai for their suggestions and constructive criticism of the rough draft of this writing.
The independent nature of the Pashtun people had unavoidable consequences for the Pashtun Nation. Their spirit of self-determination has collided with the colonial powers of the past and with the imperial powers of today.
With approximately 60 million in Afghanistan and on the other side of the British- imposed Durand Line (1893), current Pakistan, it is a potent force that has made the global powers with local and regional agendas nervous. Consequently, throughout history, the enemies of Pashtuns have conspired to undermine them by suppressing them directly or used local minorities to do their bidding. In the 20th century, when a charismatic King, Amanullah Khan (1919-29) led Afghanistan, British conspired and used a local bandit of minority Tajik background (Bacha Saqaw: the son of water carrier) to undermine independent Pashtun rule and the promise of progress on the horizon effectively elevating Afghanistan from underdevelopment.
Sixty years later in 1992, Afghanistan suffered from another Saqawi (by connotation, Saqawi is synonymous with chaos, anarchy): After the demise of the Soviet installed regime, Afghan minorities of the Northern Alliance embarked on a wicked campaign of fabrication and lies. The Massoud-Rabani regime destroyed the UN transitional plan and created an anarchy, a state of disorder and lawlessness that was called “The SecondSaqawi” (Samsor Afghan). They inherited an anti-Pashtun initiative from the former Soviet Union that had a peace accord with Ahmad Shah Massoud (See Richardson). Massoud might have attempted to undermine Pashtun demographics during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. Hence, when the government of Burhanudin Rabani and his protégé Commander Ahamd Shah Massoud came to power in 1992, a more scrupulous and malicious campaign was launched to fundamentally change the demographic landscape of the Pashtun people in official records.
This malicious and hateful campaign consisted of using the government apparatus to undermine Pashtun majority status by fabricating statistics and sharing them with international organizations including the CIA World Fact Book. This wicked yet strategic plan intended to cement the position of Afghan minorities in any future geopolitical dealing. Hence, in October of 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan, the custodians of the post-1992 Tajik-led government, the Northern Alliance served the US’s interest and used those fabricated statistics that it secured during their reign (1992-1996) to make their case.
A Deliberate anti-Pashtun Campaign
Nineteenth century Muslim influential Scholar and anti-colonialist Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan (1837-1897), in his book “Tatmatul Bayan Fi Tarikhul Afghan”, paid attention to Pashtuns as the prevailing element of Afghan social structure (Prof. Sediqullah Reshtin, New Reseach (Peshawar/Pashtunkhwa, 1979, p. 98):
پوهاند صدیق الله رښتین، نوې څیـړنې(پیښور، پښتونخوا، ۱۹۷۹، مخ ۹۸ )/ د افغانستان قــومي جوړښت د افغانستان لپاره د واک فونډیشن شپـږ کلنه(۱۹۹۶-۱۹۹۱) سروې او څیـړنه،لمریز ۱۳۷۷= ۱۱مخ، ۱۹۹۸
The deliberate undertaking by the Massoud-Rabani regime (April 1992-September 1996) to downgrade majority Pashtun demographics was immediately reflected in CIA World Fact Book (July 1992). What was the purpose of this tactic? This pursuit is deeply rooted in the nature of Soviet/Russian design, which backed minority ethnic politics to override national politics in Afghanistan. A U.S.-educated and prolific socio-political analyst of Afghan descent Dr. Stanizai has succinctly explained the Soviet strategy in Afghanistan.
I will organize his approach in six steps.
STEP ONE: The Soviets/Russians focused on the debasing of “the most resistant” of the ethnic groups; namely, the majority Pashtuns because they were usually the leading group in the Afghan armed forces, a majority among the Afghan resistance organizations, and “the cultural core of Afghanistan’s ‘national’ identity”. To clarify his statement, Dr. Stanizai writes that the “uncompromising” resistance commander Zabihullah Mujahedwas “the only” non-Pashtun, whom the Soviets “wanted dead” and whose unyielding position “may have done him in”.
STEP TWO: The Soviets/Russians worked on curtailing the numerical strength of the Pashtun population: They stepped up their military operations and aerial bombardments of the Pashtun areas in the south, while leaving the non-Pashtun areas in “relative calm” and “virtually intact”. Indeed, at one point, the Soviets contemplated the idea of “moving the capital” from Kabul to Mazar-e Sharif in the north, the second largest Afghan city, “replacing Kandahar, which laid in ruins”.
STEP THREE: In 1989 the Soviet forces retreated beyond the northern borders of Afghanistan, due to two realities on the ground: They pulled back only “after making sure” that (a) the resistant Pashtuns had been “weakened sufficiently”, and they would not be pursued into Central Asia (as the then U.S. President George H. Bush pursued “a rapprochement with a kinder and gentler declining” Soviet Russia).
STEP FOUR: The non-Pashtun minorities in the north were organized in the Northern Alliance (originally named: Supervisory Council of the Northern Regions= shora-e nezar-e safahat-e shamal). This was a unified minority front to fight against “all aspects of the Pashtun life”. Dr. Stanizai writes that “thus on the eve of the centennial” of the colonial Durand Treaty that had divided Afghanistan in 1893, “a deep chasm was created in the ethno-linguistic mosaic” of Afghanistan.
STEP FIVE: Supported by the Soviets during the resistance and their staunch former Afghan Communist leader Babrak Karmal’s generals, the Northern Alliance leader Massoud claimed victory in Kabul in Apil of 1992 and replaced Karmal’s successor Dr. Najibullah, an ethnic Pashtun. Massoud attributed his triumph to the Northern Alliance, to which Karmal ethnically belonged. This gesture was symbolic in the ethnic political arena organized around “Tajik supremacy” while undermining, targeting and depriving the Pashtun majority. The Northern Alliance under the leadership of Massoud was implementing “the ‘anybody-but-Pashtun’ agenda”.Massoud forced President Sebghatullah Mujadidi, a figurehead, out of office after two months and replaced him with Borhanoddin Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik.
With the onset of the Tajik-centered government installed and run by the Massoud-Rabbani team, a deliberate anti-Pashtun campaign began with the explicit goal of defrauding Pashtuns of their identity,using the State apparatus and institutions. Using bureaucratic fraud and coercion, large segment of Pashtuns inside Afghanistan and returning refugees from Pashtunkhwa (former NWFP: 1901-2010) were given new national identity cards that identified them as Tajiks. This was part of a calculated campaign to undermine the majority status of Pashtuns and fraudulently increased the percentage of Tajiks.Other ethnic minorities targeted Pashtuns violently by terrorizing them. For example, Hazara forces targeted Pashtun homes and violated Pashtun families until they were forcefully evicted from their homes, particularly in the 3rd and 4th districts of Kabul. Similarly, Uzbek militia looted homes in the predominantly Pashtun districts of the city until Pashtuns abandoned their homes and became refugees inside and outside the country. At the “national” level, “the ethnic cleansing campaigns began in the north”, where entire Pashtun villages were depopulated through campaigns of terror. Also, for further information on Massoud’s links to Soviets/Russians ,see U.S. thorough and trustworthy expert on Afghanistan, author, and journalist Richardson, who traveled to Afghanistan in 1986, 1987, 1990,1991and 1997.
Consequently, the Tajik led government of Massoud-Rabbani concocted new census aimed at distorting the ground realities of Afghan society by reducing Pashtuns from nearly 60% to 38% and increaseing the proportion of Tajiks from 12% to 25%. The Kabul regime disseminated these figures to international organizations as official data ( Stanizai received this information from the late Afghan academician Abdul ShakurRashad (1921-2004), whose private home-based library was looted by Northern Alliance warlords). Soon these fabricated population figures were reflected in the CIA World Fact Book (July 1992) and most probably from this source to the National Geographic World Atlas and the World Almanac, among other publications. The CIA even sent CDs of the above data to Russian libraries (an Afghan living in Russia reported about this information in printed Afghan media in Western Europe. Zirakyar). For more information about the above six steps, consult Stanizai, “From Identity Crisis to Identity in Crisis in Afghanistan”. Electronic version: December 16, 2009. http://www.stanizai.org/ [November 15, 2012]. Stanizai is a sharp political analyst in Afghan and Islamic affairs.
Today( April 25, 2013), I received an important write up by Richardson, who is not in reality a “Pashtun Ghost Writer”, but a resourceful and honest American journalist, author and expert on the issues of Afghanistan.The anti-Pashtun plot discussed in Talooqan conference of 2003 might have been running parallel to the CIA’s statistics that reduced majority Pashtuns to the largest minority in Afghanistan (Talooqan is the capital of theTakhar province in northern Afghanistan).This plan reminds us of the former Soviet leader Brezhnev’s scheme to divide Afghanistan in 1981. The Talooqan plan was forged by American private imperialism and Russia, the successor of former social imperialism. The late Burhanuddin Rabani, the former Tajik president of the civil war period (1992-96), participated in the Talooqan conference. “The anti-Pashtun orientation of the Bush Administration financed and fueled the conference, which was reported to have cost $75 million dollars.” At the Talooqan conference of 2003 “were present all factions of the Northern Alliance accompanied by an ever-present throng of Communist generals,” but the majority Pashtuns “were denied representation” in the above conference. (Richardson, April 25, 2013).
Afghan Ethnic and Linguistic Statistics Collected from the CIA World Fact Book (1981-2012 = 1360-1391 Solar Hijri)
According to CIA, its own “CIA World Fact Book” is one of the three types of “finished
intelligence”, which means “the final product of intelligence cycle”, which in turn is the process by which information is (a) received, (b) refined( “analyzed and interpreted”) into intelligence and (c) presented to policymakers. The other two types of finished intelligence are “The President’s Daily Brief” and the “National Intelligence Estimates”. Former intelligence officer Robert L. Suettinger relates that National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) “necessarily have to devolve into a realm of speculation”. The October 2002 prewar intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction soon became nothing more than the “mashroom cloud” of lies. After this war, however, U.S. and British leaders justified their action by focusing on the character of Saddam Hussein rather than on the evidence for his capabilities. British leader Churchill mentioned to Soviet leader Stalin at the Teheran Conference in 1943: “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
Social and Political Science Professor and President of American Political Science Association (2001) Robert Jervis wrote: “All too often…intelligence estimates tell us more about interests and foreign policy preferences of powerful groups in government than it does about what the other side’s intentions and capabilities are.”
In context of “the clash of civilizations”, the CIA’s statistics for Afghan ethnic and linguistic groups can be interpreted.
The following table presents the estimated statistics of Afghan ethnic and linguistic groups from 1981 to 2012. From 1992, the percentage of Pashtuns and their language was significantly lowered in the CIA World Fact Book. The year 1992, when the CIA lowered the Pashtuns’ statistics, their attempt coincided with the onset of pro-Tajik regime of Massuod and Rabani in Afghanistan, which destroyed the UN transitional plan.
Afghan Demographics in CIA World Fact Book 1981-2012
|Year||Ethnic Group Percentage||Total Population||Language Percentage|
|کال||قومي سلنې||ژبـنئ سلنې||ټول وګړي|
|1981(1360)||Pashtuns 50%||Pashto 50%||15,193,000|
|Tajiks 25%||Farsi(Persian) 35%|
|Hazaras 9%||Uzbeki,Turkmeni 11%|
|Uzbeks 9%||all other languages 4%|
|All others 7%|
|1990(1369)||Pashtuns 50%||Pashto 50%||15,862,293|
|Tajiks 25%||Farsi 35%|
|Hazaras 12%-15%||Uzbeki,Turkmeni 11%|
|Uzbeks 9%||all other languages 4%|
|All others 3%-4%|
|1991(1370)||Same as above||Same as above||16,450,304|
|1992(1371)||Pashtuns 38%||Pashto 35%||16,095,664|
|Tajiks 25%||Farsi 50%|
|Hazaras 19%||Uzbaki,Turkmeni 11%|
|Uzbeks 6%||all other languages 4%|
|All others 12%|
|2001(1381)||Pashtuns 38%||Pashto 35%||26,813,057|
|Tajiks 25%||Farsi 50%|
|Hazaras 19%||Uzbaki,Turkmeni 11%|
|Uzbaks 6%||all other languages 4%|
|All others 8%|
|2006-2012||Pashtuns 42%||Pashto 35%||(31,056,997)|
|(1385-1391)||Tajiks 27%||Farsi(Persian) 50%||31,889,923|
|Hazaras 9%||Uzbeki & Turkmeni 11%||32,738,376|
|Uzbeks 9%||all other languages 4%||33,609,937|
|All others 13%|
July 2012 estimates…. 30,419,928
|Data collected and organized from the “CIA World Fact book” by Rahmat Zirakyar|
Now, the question is justifiable whether the reduction of Pashtun statistics in the “CIA World Fact Book”(1992-2012 ) is self-serving, a mask for U.S support for minority rule in Afghanistan following the 911 catastrophe?
Shedding Light on CIA World Fact Book Statistics for Afghanistan
It is important to mention that ethnic divisiveness was first used by Russia in the Caucasus and Central Asia in the 18th and 19th century as a vehicle for dividing and conquering. During their occupation of Afghanistan (December 1979-Febraury 1989), the Soviets tried to lower statistical significance of the majority Pashtuns in their country. The purpose of this politics was to prepare Afghanistan for partition. To achieve this goal, the Soviet military operations tremendously debased and dehumanized Pashtuns while recruiting non-Pashtun Massoud, Dostam and others to facilitate the transition of northern tier of Afghanistan into the Soviet system. There were two probable ways for the realization of this design: Via partition of Afghanistan or its eventual annexation to Central Asian Soviet republics, where Afghan Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmen have ethnic kinsmen.
The name of Afghan communist Babrak Karmal (1929-1996) is synonymous with the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1989). In his era (1979-1986), a campaign for population census was launched to manipulate Pashtun population statistics. To effortlessly manipulate the demographic realities, most of the time this question was asked: “In which language are you fluent?” ( ba kodam lesan mosalat asted?).
به کدام لسا ن مسلط استید
(Private information shared with me by a member of the Central Committee of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Zirakyar).
Since many Pashtuns are able to speak Pashto as well as Dari, their answers reflecting confidence in both languages were manipulated to mask the true size of the Pashtun people and falsely elevate Tajik percentage in the country. This way, the pro-Soviet Karmal’s census crew camouflaged the ethnic identity o Pashtuns. Generals of the Karmal faction sided with Ahmad Shah Massoud and helped him to consolidate power in Kabul in April of 1992 whereby effectively neutralizing the U.N. transition plan. Consequently, this maneuvering coalition along ethnic and linguistic lines led to the “Second Saqawi”: anarchy and the civil war (1992-1996).
It is important to know that the academic landscape of international relations and global politics faced certain fundamental morphological transformation. After all, the Soviet Union was on its deathbed and a new reformulation had to emerge to both make sense of the emerging changes and serve as forecasts for future policy formulations. Hence, soon after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in February of 1989, “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (1990) by Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern History Bernard Lewis and “The Clash of Civilizations?” (1993- expanded to a book in 1996) by renowned Political Scientist Professor Huntington) emerged. Generally, the West discovered Islam (officially radical Islam) as the “New Communism”. In context of such political mentality, CIA World Fact Book statistics for Afghan ethnic and linguistic groups can be interpreted.
The CIA World Fact Book is published each year in the month of July. As we know, the anti-Pashtun Northern Alliance came to power in Kabul in the month of April 1992. In less than three months after this event, the CIA World Fact Book was published in the month of July, in which the statistics of majority ethnic Pashtuns were considerably reduced from 50 percent to 38 percent and those of their language from 50 percentage to 35 percent. I want to explain this issue: For the first time in 1992, The CIA World Fact Book considerably lowered the statistical significance of Pashtuns. (Zirakyar, 2009; and Richardson, 2009, p.275).
What is the purpose of inflating the population size of non-Pashtun minorities while downgrading the majority Pashtun demographics? The lasting and enduring relations between CIA and Northern Alliance suggest that both of them needed each other’s cooperation in reducing Pashtun ethnic and linguistic statistics. This deliberate and self-serving undertaking by the CIA to lower Pashtun socio-linguistic data is indicative of a public relations ploy for a world-wide support for an unjust war, which was packaged as a just war: to free the majority (minority non-Pashtuns) from the so-called oppression of the minority (majority Pashtuns). This statistical-psychological operation helped Washington to disenfranchise and alienate the majority Pashtuns. Hence, the CIA World Fact Book reduced the size of Pashtun population in Afghanistan from majority Pashtuns to the largest ethnic group in their country.
Two reliable Afghan scholars whose names need not be disclosed told me (Zirakyar) that three men were “involved” (dakheel) in the process of reducing Pashtun statistics: Two (R.F. and E.E) are non-Pashtun Afghans holding PhD’s in linguistics, and the third one (T.F.) is a U.S. expert on Afghanistan with good ties to “Zal” (Zalmay Kh.). From the two non-Pashtun Afghan linguists one is a translator and teacher in a U.S. military establishment, and the other was a high-ranking politician in previous Afghan governments. Both of them had maintained very good relations with Massoud-Rabbani regime in Kabul (April 1992-September 1996). Once again, this information substantiates my assertion that the CIA and the Massoud-Rabbani regime needed each other’s cooperation to decrease the majority Pashtun demographics. Massoud and his acolytes hated Pashtuns, particularly their language Pashto because it has the substance for the national identity of Afghanistan as a state and as a country. A Pashto proverb says: “Don’t kill the beggar, just take away his begging bowl.”
ملنګ مه وژنه، کچکـول ورنه واخـله
Colonialism not only controls colonized people through administrators of the dominant colonial culture but indirectly by using subservient members of the colonized culture. Colonialism and imperialism are considerably similar and each energizes the other: Their motive is to exploit the colonized or controlled nations. Massoud served as dues ex machina in the Soviet, Iranian and American political agenda in Afghanistan.
A U.S.-born Eric Margolis is a veteran journalist, writer and “Eisenhower Republican,” who writes mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam. He came to the conclusion in 2009 that America cannot establish peace and stability in Afghanistan unless the majority Pashtuns (“55%”) are “enfranchised”, namely “dealing directly with Taliban”, who are “part of the Pashtun people”.
The following tabulation presents the ethnic and linguistic statistics presented by the late Afghan Academician Abdul Shakur Rashad as a reaction to the false demographics published in the CIA “Word Fact Book” only three months after the onset of pro-Tajik regime, in July 1992.
Date and Place of Publication
Percentage of Major Ethnic Groups
Prof. M. Ali
|The National Languages of
|The World of Geoethnology||
M. Mahjub Yawari
1987 (5th Ed.) Iran
|World’s Largest Languages||
|History and Establishment of
Abdul Azim Walyan
Afghanistan and the Taliban
|Afghanistan Federal System||
M. Enam Wak
|The World Almanac||
In the second row of the above table, the last name of German-speaking Austrian expert on Afghanistan is misspelled (Clumborg). Its correct spelling is Klimburg. Max Klimburg holds graduate degrees in Art History and Ethnology. His book was published in 1966 with this complete title “Afghanistan: Das Land im historischen Spannungsfeld Mittelasiens”. I am very sure that this is the book quoted in the above table. Now, I will turn to other western sources dealing with Afghan demographics.
Estimates of Afghan Ethnic Statistics Presented in Other Western Sources
Gul Janan Sarif indicated in his dissertation thesis (1972) that from 11-12 million Afghans circa nine million have Pashto as mother language. H.F. Schurmann estimated ( 1962) that Pashtuns make up at least half of the Afghan population. Similarly, D.N. Wilber (1962) figured that Pashtuns make up 50%-60% of the Afghan population. According to Area Handbook for Afghanistan (4th edition, 1973), from 16 million Afghans “over 8” millions are Pashtuns. According to. Magnus and Naby (1998), the Pashtuns “form the most important and probably the most numerous ethnic group in Afghanistan….the standard estimate is that 40 to 50 percent of the [Afghan] population is” Pashtuns (p.12). Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. III (1992) estimates that Pashtuns “constituted from 50 to 60 percent of the population of prewar Afghanistan . Derbyshire and Derbyshire (1996 ) wrote that Pashtuns “comprise the largest group, 54% of the total population.” The official languages of Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari “or Persian” that are “spoken by 52% and 30% of the population respectively.” Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN’s important foreign affairs show (GPS), was discussing with Peter Galbraith (former U.N. Representative to Afghanistan). Here Zakaria spoke of “majority Pashtuns, 50%”. April 11, 2010). Arnold was a U.S. intelligence officer assigned to Afghanistan, Germany, Sweden, Burma, Japan, and England. He retired in 1979. In his book (1983, P. 2), Arnold wrote that Pashto is “the native tongue of about 55 percent of the population. Nevertheless, Arnold is pointing out to a prevailing and strange linguistic reality in Afghanistan: “Oddly, although Pashtuns comprise over half the population, their language is not the dominant one.”
Nyrop and Seekins (2001/ Electronic Version) stated that most population statistics in Afghanistan are founded on estimates. The first and “most scientific demographic survey” was implemented in Afghanistan in 1972-1974 by the State University of New York for the United States Agency for International Development (AID), in cooperation with the then Afghan government. This survey declared a settled population of 10.8 million. However, it did not report the nomadic population, which was “separately estimated at slightly more than 1 million” (p.99). On the same page we can read that the Afghan population estimate in 1995 amounted to 18.4 million. A few pages later we can easily decipher another population estimate in 1996: “approximately” 40% of Afghans were Pashtuns, successively followed by 25.3% Tjiks,18% Hazaras, 6.3% Uzbeks, 2.5% Turkmen, while other ethnic groups totaled to 7.9% including 1% Qizilbash (p. 104). Now, take a look at another population size of Pashtuns in 1995 on the same page: “The largest and traditionally most politically powerful ethnic group” of Pashtuns reached in 1995 “an estimated 10.1 million…”(p.104). If we divide this estimated number by the estimated total population number, the result for Pashtun population size shall be nearly 55%, unless it is an error committed by the authors/editors (Nyrop and Seekins)? 10,100,000/18,400,000=0.5489=55% Pashtuns.
Even U.S. Central Command General Tommy Franks (June 2000-July 2003) who led the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, spoke of “majority Pashtuns” (see below).
Let’s take a look at a few French sources. According to Encylopedia de L’Agora (2013): Pashtuns make up 38% and their language Pashto35% , Tajiks are (25%), and “perse afghan” (Dari ) 50%, Hazarasare19%, Turkmens are 11%. As reported by Le petit Larousse (2011): Pashtuns are 40% and Tajiks are 30%. As stated in Larousse Encyclopedique (2007): Pashtuns amount to 40%. Pursuant to ONG show (Tomorrow’s Afghanistan) created in 2001: Pashtuns constitute 40%), Tajiks 32%, Hazaras 9%. In keeping with Atlas Economique Mondial (2000), Pashtuns consist of 38%, Tajiks 25%, and Hazaras 14% of the Afghan population. I am very thankful to Dr. Osman Rostar Taraki for sharing the above French data with me (March 13, 2013).
The French statistics for Afghan ethnic composition need to be scrutinized. They illustrate the French government’s strong inclination toward an anti-Pashtun group and its so-called “legendary” commander Massoud. Wecan easily identify resemblance between the above French and CIA’s statistics about the Afghan ethnic and linguistic structure. The reason is that former colonial France and current imperial U.S.A. have a common denominator for the realization of their national interests: the political puppet Ahmad Shah Massoud. He had the courage to auction the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan to colonial and imperial powers (Soviet Union, Russia, France, and U.S.A.) and Persian-speaking Iran without any discrimination.
I assume that after 1992 British and German sources might have followed the CIA’s template for the Afghan socio-linguistic composition.
To refute the cooked up statistics, I need to present the Wak Foundation for Afghanistan’s comprehensive study and data. Until now, this research and survey project has produced the most authoritative and authentic document on the ethnic composition of Afghanistan.
Wak Foundation’s Statistics for Afghan Ethnic and Linguistic Groups
For the record,“The Ethnic Composition of Afghanistan” is a six-year survey and research project ( April 1991- July 1996). It was conducted by the then Peshawar/Pashtunkhwa-based Wak–Foundation for Afghanistan which was published in 1998 (1377 Solar Hijri). This self-funding organization is Research and Implementation Institute for Afghanistan’s Rehabilitation, Development and Drug Control Programmes. Engineer Mohammad Enam Wak is the Founder and President of the Wak Foundation for Afghanistan (I will be using here its short form: Wak Foundation). He is of Tarin-Pashtun heritage born in 1954 in Sorkhrod ofNangarhar province and graduated from the Geology Department at the Kabul University in Afghanistan. Enam Wak is the author of several publications in his mother language Pashto. While working in Iran, his two books were published there in Farsi (Persian). To refute the cooked up statistics, I need to present the Wak Foundation for comprehensive study and data for Afghanistan.
Until now, this research and survey project has produced the most authoritative and authentic document on the ethnic composition of Afghanistan. In 2012 The Aryana Encyclopedia (da aryana daieratul ma’aref) in Kabul printed (p. 455) ethnic statistics that are matching with those published by the Wak Foundation in (1998= 1377 Solar A.H.): Pashtun (62.73%), Tajik(12.38%), Hazaras (9%), Uzbeks (6.10%), Turkmen (2.69%), etc. Mrs. Soraya Popal, who is currently the President of the Academy of Sciences in Kabul, had declared the above statistics in the House of Representative of Afghanistan (wolasi jarga). Below is the Pashto text published in the Aryana Encyclopedia:
«دافغانستان ملی اتنیکی جوړښت چې په دې وروستیو کې څرګند شوی او په لاندې ډول وړاندی کیـږي: پښتانه ۶۲،۷۳، تاجک ۱۲،۳۸، هزاره ۹،۰۰، ازبک ۶،۱۰، ترکمن ۲،۶۹، ایماق ۲،۶۸….»- مخ ۴۵۵، اریانا دایـرة المعارف
Wak Foundation’s Methodology Credibility
The survey of Wak Foundation has credibility for the detailed and meticulous efforts; familiarity with the cultural nuances and socio-ethnic organization of the Afghan society; and the time spent achieving results.
Consultations with Afghan scholars, intellectuals, dignitaries, former civil servants, teachers, and religious and tribal leaders took place. These discussions broadened the survey staff members’ horizon to respect the socio-cultural norms of local communities, as the circumstances may require. Also, they were trained by experts. Besides, preliminary survey was conducted in early 1991 among refugee population residing inIran( Tehran and Mashad), Peshawar, and Quetta. Similar exploratory interviews were run with knowledgeable people in large cities of Afghanistan in early 1991. This survey started with zone and extended down to the village. The actual survey in Afghanistan was mainly conducted on the district (wolaswali) level while in some locations on the village level (May 1991-September1996). During the actual survey, some of its field members went to Russia and Central Asian countries in 1995 . Their mission was to verify with Afghans there the data of the preliminary survey conducted in Afghanistan’s northern provinces. “Some of the interviews” conducted in central Asian countries “obliged” the Wak Foundation to “repeat the survey in some” of the northern provinces of Afghanistan like Baghlan, Samagan and Balkh. “A few districts in these provinces” were reexamined in early 1996. Nancy Hatch Dupree, the wife of the late U.S. distinguished expert on Afghanistan Professor Louis Dupree, wrote in her endorsement of the Wak Foundation project about the Afghan ethnic composition: “ Rarely have Afghans taken an interest in this bewildering subject”. Therefore, she complimented Wak for “ being a pioneer in this essential endeavour” (11 June 1998, University Town, Peshawar). A short version of this 255-page book in Pashto was published in English in July of 1999 in Peshawar, and its final draft was “edited” by Nancy H. Dupree.
Attempt to Kill Mohammad Enam Wak, June 1, 2000
The effectiveness of the Wak Foundation became a threat to the conspirators of both the Massoud-Rabani regime in Kabul and the Punjabi-run government of Pakistan. To destroy this important institution at its core, they might have hand in the attempt to assassinate the founder and president of the Wak Foundation.
Following the Pashto version of The Ethnic Composition of Afghanistan (1998), its compact English version was published in July of 1999. A third book published by Wak was Federalism in Afghanistan (2000), in which he discussed the unification of Pashtuns on both sides of the illegal, invalid and immoral Durand Line of 1893. Peshawar-based Afghan sources believed that these three book had unsettled the Pakistani intelligence and Massoud. The leader of the Northern Alliance Massoud could not tolerate (a) the Pashtun identity of Afghanistan, (b) the Pashtun ethnic statistics in Afghanistan (62.73%) and (c) the need for Pashtun unification. The Pakistani intelligence service was agitated by the argument of Pashtun unification. In light of such positions, one can argue that the decision to assassinate Enam Wak was triggered by the above three books. Leaving his home for work, Eanm Wak was repeatedly shot in the front of the exit door of his residence in Peshawar by unidentified gunmen on June 1, 2000: twice in the left arm and once in the abdomen (Waksaw two men at the two front corners of his residence). After
being released from the hospital, he took refuge in Norway.
The probability of Massoud involvement in the attempted assassination of Wak is more likely than the Pakistani Intelligence service since Massoud had to gain a lot more from his death than the Pakistani Intelligence. Moreover, Pakistani Intelligence has professional assassins and they make sure the targeted person does not survive. The fact that Wak survived points to the culprits wanting to dissipate expeditiously in order to avoid capture by local police. Had it been the Pakistani Intelligence, they would have made sure to finish him before departing the scene of the crime since they had no reason to worry about capture.
Wak Foundation Criticizing Previous Population Statistics
Due to the fact that the Afghan society is heterogeneous, Wak Foundation has
criticized the collection of previous population statistics for these reasons:
First, the previous population statistics did not distinguish between ethnic and language groups in Afghanistan: For example, Persian (Farsi, Dari)-speaking ethnic Pashtuns in Herat were counted as Tajiks. Farsi-speaking Hazaras are ethnically Hazaras, not Tajiks. Although members of the Afghan royal family were using the Afghan version of Persian (Dari), they were not called Tajiks, but Mohammadzai Pashtuns. The Pashtun society is predominantly tribal, in which the identity is secured mainly by ethnicity (qaum). If we compare the Afghan society to an orange, then language is the skin of the orange, not the independent parts (tribes) within its skin.
Determining the ethnic percentage in Afghanistan by mixing language identity with ethnic identity caused problems for determining ethnic identity. This means that Tajik is not an ethnic identity, but a default linguistic identity. Consequently, Pashtuns, who could or did not speak Pashto, were counted as Tajiks. Farsi/Dari speaking Pashtuns lost their cultural/language identity by 7.73% to Tajiks: Pashtuns are ethnically 62.73% of the total Afghan population. However, linguistically/culturally they are 55%. Nevertheless, Pashtuns made up ethnically as well as culturally the majority of the total Afghan population (17,918,454) in 1996, the year of the completion of the Wak Foundation’s survey.
Second, smaller ethno-religious minorities like Ismailite Tajiks and Shiite Qizelbash are counted with Hazaras. This, in turn, increased the number of Hazara group. U.S. anthropologist and expert on Afghanistan Louis Durpree (1929-1989) deemed Taimanis as part of Aimaqs; however, they are originally Pashtuns, not Aimaqs. Most of the Farsibans (Farsi-speaking people) in Herat are Pashtuns while some of them are Aimaqs.
Third, mixing language with ethnicity is not appropriate for counting the population of Afghanistan. Precisely, Afghan Persian (Dari) is the mother tongue of Tajiks; however, it does not mean that all Persian-speaking Afghans are of Tajik heritage. The question in this state of affairs is this: Why non-Tajik Afghans prefer to speak Persian (Dari)? The main reason for this situation is that Dari/Farsi was the language of the court, bureaucracy, business, the press, as well as mostly the language of education.
Fourth, Pashto language was suffering from social prestige because the ethnically Pashtun royal and ruling family did not try to learn, read speak and write in Pashto. Hence, Pashto became a neglected, second class national language. If the King and his family members do not communicate in Pashto, why should the prime minister, ministers of departments, university professors, parliamentarians, generals, diplomats, governors, media, business… and the general public use Pashto as the medium of communication. Practically, Pashto speakers could not aspire to position of power in Afghanistan without learning, writing and speaking Dari/Farsi (Persian). In fact, Pashto was precluded from social prestige and blocked from the sphere of political economy. Pashto urgently needed and needs a top-down solution to achieve social prestige. This will enable Pashto to become a productive partner in the framework of political economy. Pashtun poet-philosopher Gul-Pacha Ulfat (1909-1977) had expressed his thought in a couplet on the diminishing social status of Pashto:
People communicate in the language used in the government
When will Pashto become the language of the government
سر او کار د خلکو دی د ژبې د سر کار سره کله به غـریــبه پـښتو ژبه د سـرکارشــي
Fifth, Dari was the main language of education and press. Most schools and all institutions of higher education were taught in Dari. Also, Dari was part of the religious curriculum in mosques and madrasas: The 13th century Persian writer and poet Saadi Shirazi’s two books (Bostan=the Orchard, and Golistan= the Rose) were organized about his Sufi, social and moral thoughts, and for this reason they have been taught in mosques. Today’s Iran (since 1935), former “Persia” and its language “Farsi” (Persian) have always been internationally known as “Persian”, not Irani. As a powerful neighbor, Iran has had a deep cultural influence in Afghanistan. To adjust them to the Iranian cultural ideals, the western cultural exports were “mostly filtered, refined and conditioned.” Practically, Dari was compulsory for all government employees in Afghanistan. Pashtuns and other non-Tajik ethnic groups that were going to Kabul to study and/or to do business had no other choice but to speak Farsi-Dari. The prominent newspaper “Anis” was published in Dari. There was no girl school for Pashto-speaking population in Kabul. There were only two high schools in Kabul where the teaching language was Pashto: Khoshal Baba Lycee and Rahman Baba Lycee. “Royal court without Pashto means the death of Pashtuns” (be Pashto arg da Pashtano marg dai, Zirakyar). For an analysis of the importance of language, see Zirakyar (December 2010).
Languages not only serve as the means of communication, but also they are the medium of influence, power and identity-especially in a politically organized community (nation state). As long as there are nation states, there will be national interests and national languages. Languages are fundamental to cultural and national identity. The future of humanity depends on both the cultural identity and the cultural diversity. SeeZirakyar (Language from Adam to Present, December 2010= Linda 1389 Solar A.H.).
Percentage of Afghan Ethnic Groups Based on Ethnicity and Language
From WAK Foundation Research and Survey (1991-1996)
په افغانستان کې د خـټـې او ژبې په بنسټ د بـیلابـیلو قومونو ســلـنـې، واک فـوڼـډ یشـن:
|Number||Major Ethnic Groups||Based on Ethnicity||Based on Language|
|For collecting demographic data in Afghanistan, seven regions were determined by the|
Wak Foundation as follows: 1. Northern Region: Samangan, Balkh, Jozjan and Fariab province.
2. North-Eastern Region: Badakhshan, Takhar, Konduz and Baghlan Province.
3. North-Western Region: Ghor, Badghis, Herat and Farag Provice.
4. Eastern Region: Paktia, Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman Province.
5. East-Central Region: Ghazni, Logar, Wardag, Kabul, Kapisa, Parwan and Bayan.
6. Southern Region: Nimroz, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabal, Paktika, and Orzgan.
Ethnicity-Based Percentage of Major Ethnic Groups in Seven Afghan Regions
Now, I shall shed some light on the characteristics of the leaders of the Northern Alliance:
Who Are the Major Players in the Northern Alliance?
It is important to also point out and establish the credibility of the leaders of the Northern Alliance as their malicious exercise in indecency in regards to Pashtuns’ demographic manipulation is indicative of their character. The following write-up and quotes are of the U.S. officials assessing the main figures of the Northern Alliance.
Two days after the 9/11 tragedy (during the National Security Council meeting on September 13, 2001), President George W. Bush wanted to know from the CIA leadership about the individual Northern Alliance leaders? Cofer Black (Director of Counterterrorism Center at CIA) said: “One key [Northern] Alliance general, Abdurrashid Dostum, had been on everyone’s payroll-Russia, Iran and Pakistan.” (Quoted in Bob Woodward, 2002, p. 53). Woodward knew from DIA’s “ highly classified memo”, which “in large part blamed General Fahim, essentially calling him a wimp who would talk and talk, then not show up for battle.” (Ibid. 268). CIA’s Director Tenet said at the National Security Council’s above meeting that “with the CIA teams and tons of money, the [Northern] Alliance could be brought together into a cohesive fighting force.” (Ibid., p. 51).
According to Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command Lt. General Michael DeLong, Northern Alliance’s major commanders (Dostam, Khalili, Faheem, and Ismael Khan) were “fighting and killingwithout remorse” and this “was a way of life for them”. General DeLong adds that “each having personally killed to fifty men”, and after the 911 catastrophe they would be “theoretically” the generals fighting in Afghanistan for the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command General Tommy Franks. (DeLong with Noah Lukeman 2004, pp. 24-47). Also, General Tommy Franks was aware of the fact that “northern factions fighting against majority Pashtuns” would create another civil war in Afghanistan. (Franks quoted in Berntsen,2005, pp 289-92). Berntsen, who was CIA’s field commander in Afghanistan, informs us about hisexperience with the Northern Alliance as follows: “ I know from my experience that Persians and their Afghan cousins are all carpet salesman at heart.” By implication, Berntsen believed that the commanders of Northern Alliance would sell Afghanistan like a carpet. On October 30, 2001, Commander-in Chief of the U.S. Central Command General Tommy Franks arrived in Tashkent, where Fahim and his treasury minister Aref were waiting for him. Shortly before the meeting, Tommy Franks said to the CIA agent Berntsen: “Time to discuss the price of rugs” with the two Northern Alliance leaders. When Fahim wanted more money, Franks call this try “Bullshit”! (General Tommy Franks (2004, pp 309-311). All the facts, ideas and assumptions presented here shall lead to the following conclusion.
For all their geopolitical games, colonialism and imperialism have been relying on minorities. The Northern Alliance in Afghanistan under the leadership of “Great” Ahmad Shah Massoud is an example par excellence. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had said that “In politics, nothing ever happens by accident. If happened, you can bet it was planned that way.” (Quoted in Moore and Slater, 2003, p. 323). Roosevelt came from an aristocratic and political family, was Harvard law student, corporate lawyer, State Senator, Assistant Secretary of Navy, Governor of New York, and he was the only U.S. President to be elected four times (1932-45). In addition, he led his country through difficult times: the Great Depression and the World War II (1941-1945).
Roosevelt killed two birds with one stone: His war was good for defeating both the depression and Hitler. Based on President Roosevelt’s extensive political experience, I cannot but to agree with his aforementioned statement. His wisdom, judgment and political maturity, as expressed in his statement, are reinforcing my thesis: Since 1992 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has deliberately lowered the socio-linguistic statistics of the resistant majority Pashtuns while it has inflated the ethnic and linguistic population size of the Afghan minorities mostly subservient to the U.S. government’s imperial needs. The anti-Pashtun Northern Alliance under the leadership of Massoud had played the same role for the realization of the Soviet/Russian interests in Afghanistan. Practically, he was the fifth column of foreign powers to undermine the Afghan nation’s solidarity.
CIA’s estimates for ethnic and linguistic statistics in Afghanistan are not without serious consequences for majority Pashtuns, whose demographics had been reduced since July of 1992, the year in which the pro-Tajik Massoud-Rabani team grabbed power in Kabul with the help of Communist generals belonging to the very pro-Soviet Babrak Karmal’s faction. The CIA’s estimates for Afghan demographics will be used to determine quotas for a new privileged but client elite in Afghanistan. For example, a non-Pashtun Afghan-American familiar with the campus of the Stanford University in California informed me in mid-2012 that among the students from Afghanistan there was an “irrelevant minority” (ta’dad-e nachiz) of Pashtun heritage.
However, even if the current regime in Kabul issues electronic Identity Cards, the probability of corruption and fraud could be very high as the current regime is effectively controlled by the lieutenants of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud (see below attachment). The electronic cards need to be prepared and administered when foreign forces and the Northern Alliance do not control the current regime in Kabul. Then, the problem of socio-linguistic statistics can be resolved through electronic identity cards. However, the current colonial, mercenary and multi-dimensional corrupt regime is unable to issue electronic national identity cards. A legitimate, honorable and trustworthy national government will have the capacity to issue such cards. These cards shall include: (1) both parts of identity: ethnicity and language; (2) they shall be finger printed; and (3) the biographical data on the card shall be machine/computer readable; For illustration purposes, I suggest the following design:
Name: Zalanda Samsor
Ethnicity: Pashtun,Hazara, etc
Language: Pashto, Turkmani, Uzbaki, etc.
Mother Language: Pashto, Degani, etc.
Father: Sambal Redai
Born: 1352(1973) in Asmar, Kunar
AFG stands for Afghan; 8 is the number assigned to Kunar province, KR stands for
Kunar province; 9 is the number assigned to the neighboring province Nangarhar; RE stands for Region East; PN stands for Pashtun; and ZSF stands for Zalanda Samsor, Female.
Attachment under Scrutiny
Below see “tazkera” (Identity Card) for Afghans presented by the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the puppet regime in Kabul. The heading of the ID card is printed in
Dari only although article 16 of the colonial constitution of the Kabul regime mentions Pashto first and Dari second as the formal languages of the state. Other information on the ID card is printed first in Dari followed by Pashto translation. I discovered four errors in the Pashto text:
معلومات چه د کورنیو چارو[ د] وزارت په معلوماتی مرکز …. د ولسوالی [ ولسوالۍ ] کوډ…. د زیژیـډلو[زیـږیـدنې/ زیـږیـدلو] کال
These defects exemplify not only negligence but also the intention to damage the social and political prestige of Pashto language, which has the home-grown energy for the national identity of Afghanistan. Also, the word “wagarri” hardly represent the meaning of “atba’ ” (citizens). The word “Wagarri” means people (wolas, khalk).
تبعه( وګړی)، اتباع=وګړي (ولس،خلک). د «هیوادوال» ټکی پوخ سیاسي مفهوم لري، یانې په خپل هیواد کې د برخې، مسولیت او پریکړې خاوند.ځما وړاندیز دادی چې تذکرې ته دې «هـویتـپاڼه» وویل شي او تبعه/اتباعو/وګړو ته دې هیواد وال/هیوادوالان وویل شي. ګوندې په دې اکله پښتو ټولنه خپله چار پوهنه وکارولی شي.
I do not like the word “taba’” (singular for citizen) and “atba’ ” (plural for citizens).The word taba’ implies passivity, dependency and submission; however, the words “hewadwal” (citizen)and its plural (“hewadwalan”) imply political participation, responsibility and the ownership of the country, not of a city, district, or province.
Afghan, Samsor, The Second Saqawi [anarchy, chaos]. (First ed. 1998, 2nd ed. 2001), in Pashto. Second edition includes 414 pages.
سمسور افغان، دویمه سقاوي. لومړئ چاپ ۱۳۷۷ لمریز(۱۹۹۸)، دوهم چاپ ۱۳۷۹ لمریز(۲۰۰۱). خپرندوی: د افغانستان د کلتوري ودې ټولنه، جرمني. دوهم چاپ په ۴۱۴ مخونو کې.
Afghan, Sayed Jamaluddin (1837-1897), in his book “Tatmatul Bayan Fi Tarikhul Afghan”, referenced in: Sediqullah Reshtin, New Reseach (Peshawar/Pashtunkhwa, 1979, p. 98), quoted in Wak (1998)/see below.
صدیق الله رښتین، نوې څیـړنې(پیښور، پښتونخوا، ۱۹۷۹، مخ ۹۸ )/ د افغانستان قــومي جوړښت د افغانستان لپاره د واک فونډیشن شپـږ کلنه(۱۹۹۶-۱۹۹۱) سروې او څیـړنه. لمریز ۱۳۷۷= ۱۱مخ، ۱۹۹۸
Area Handbook for Afghanistan (Washington, DC, 4th edition, 1973).
Aryana Encyclopedia (da aryana daieratul ma’aref, Kabul 2012):
«دافغانستان ملی اتنیکی جوړښت چې په دې وروستیو کې څرګند شوی او په لاندې ډول وړاندی کیـږي: پښتانه ۶۲،۷۳، تاجک ۱۲،۳۸، هزاره ۹،۰۰، ازبک ۶،۱۰، ترکمن ۲،۶۹، ایماق ۲،۶۸….»- مخ ۴۵۵، اریانا دایـرة المعارف
Arnold, Anthony, (Afghanistan’s Two Party Communism: Parcham and Khalq. Stanford University, California, 1983.
Berntsen, Gary, Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaida, 2005).
CIA World Fact Book (1981-2012 = 1360-1391 Solar Hijri).
DeLong, Michael with Noah Lukeman, Inside the CentCom: The Unvanished Truth about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 20004).
Derbyshire, J.D. and Jan Derbyshire (Political Systems of the World. First published in 1989 by W & R Chambers. Second edition-revised and expanded-published in the United Kingdom 1996 by Helicon Publishing Ltd. First published in the USA in 1996 by St. Martin’s Press in New York.
Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. III (South Asia/Paul Hockings volume editor. Boston Massachusetts: G.H. Hall & Co/Macmillan Inc, 1992).
Franks, Tommy, American Soldier. (New York, NY: 2004).
Encylopedia de L’Agora (2013); Le petit Larousse (2011); Larousse Encyclopedique (2007); Atlas Economique Mondial (2000).
www.hewad.com has published the late Afghan Academician Abdul Shakur Rashad’s tabulation as a reaction to the false demographics published in the CIA Word Fact Book in July 1992.
Huntington, Samuel , “The Clash of Civilizations?” (Foreign Affairs, summer 1993-expanded to a book in 1996).
Jervis, Robert, “Intelligence and Foreign Policy,” International Security( winter 1986-1987).
Lewis, Bernard, “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (Atlantic Magazine, 1990).
Magnus, Ralph H. and Eden Naby, Afghanistan: Mullah, Marx and Mujahid. Boulder Colorado: Westview Press/Perseus Books, 1998.
Margolis, Eric, American Raj: Liberation or Domination? Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World (Key Porter Books, 2008).
Moore, James and Wayne Slater, Bush’s Brain. (John Wiley and Sons, 2003).
Nyrop, Richard F. and Donald M. Seekins (Afghanistan: A Country Study. 2001. Electronic Version (2012).
Reshtin, Sediqullah (see above: Afghani, Sayed Jamaluddin ).
Richardson, Bruce G., who traveled to Afghanistan in 1986, 1987, 1990,1991and 1997, has many Afghanistan-related publications, such as these important to my research paper: Afghanistan: A Search for Truth (New York: Free Forum, 2009); Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror (Bend, OR: Maverick, 1996); From Archives: In Quest for a ‘Greater Tajikistan’ (May 31, 2011); Ethno-centric Russian and U.S. Strategies in Afghanistan; Redrawing Map, Altering the Ethnographic Character of Afghanistan (2012); “A Noteworthy Narrative, Dispelling Partisan and Politically Expedient Mythology” (April 14, 2013); Discriminatory Ethno-Centric Russian and U.S. Strategies Imperil Afghanistan (April 25, 2013).
Sarif, Gul Janan , Das Afghanische Schulwesen (Ph.D. thesis), Von Goethe University, Farnkfurt am Main, Germany, 1972.
Schurmann, H.F., The Moghl of Afghanistan,1962.
Stanizai, Zaman,“From Identity Crisis to Identity in Crisis in Afghanistan”. Electronic version: December 16, 2009 http://www.stanizai.org/ [November 15, 2012].
Wak, Mohammad Enam, The Ethnic Composition of Afghanistan: A Six-year Survey and Research project: 1991- July 1996.Peshawar, Pashtunkhwa (Sapi’s Center for Pashto Research and Development), 1998= 1377 A.H. (In Pashto). Its compact English version was published in Peshawar, Pashtunkhwa (Khatiz Organization for Rehabilitation, July 1999).
Wilber, D.N., Afghanistan: Its people, its society, its culture, 1962.
Woodward, Bob, Bush at War, Simon and Schuster, 2002.
Zakaria, Fareed, the host of “Global Public Square” program at CNN (April 11, 2010) was discussing with Peter Galbraith (former U.N. Representative to Afghanistan).
Zirakyar, Rahmat “Pashtun-Bashing in Kite Runner: A Psychological Operation?” , December 9, 2009. Electronic Version.
Zirakyar, Rahmat Language from Adam to Present, in Pashto (December 2010 = Linda 1389 Solar A.H.). Electronic version, published by www.nahimi.dk/pashto/
زیرکیار، رحمت ربی، ژبه له بابا ادمه تر دې دمه ( لینده ۱۳۸۹ لمریز= دسمبر ۲۰۱۰). الکترانیک چاپ: www.nahimi.dk/pashto/