Posted by: Christian | September 17, 2007

Joy, Peace and Happiness in Northern Afghanistan

September 18, 2007.

It’s a good thing that all the conflict in southern Afghanistan is balanced by the idyllic harmony in northern Afghanistan. For an example of how nice northern Afghanistan is, let’s look at Takhar Province , which borders Tajikistan.

Pic by Tearfund: Taloqan is the capital of Takhar.

Taloqan Takhar

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting just published an article on the “peace” in a recent article subtitled “For residents of the northern province of Takhar, there are worse things than the Taliban.” Apparently, the things that are worse than the Taliban are their local armed commanders and their elected representative. Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi reports:

Habib Rassoul, a resident of Takhar, cannot talk about his wife without tears of grief and rage. For the past three months, he has had no word of her.

Commander Piram Qul kidnapped my wife while I was away in Kabul helping my sick brother,” he said. “I have no idea what has happened to her. I went to every office, complained to every official, but no one will help me. They are all afraid of Piram Qul.”

According to Habib, the kidnapping was intended to punish him for attending a demonstration in April against the dominance of local militia commanders in the province.

“The government is lying when it says it’s in control of the country,” he said bitterly. “There is no government here, just local commanders who control our destinies. NATO and ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] are busy in the south, and they have left us in the clutches of local commanders who are more dangerous than the Taleban.”

“I have been threatened with death six times by these local commanders,” said Habib. “You can go to every office, from the lowliest civil servant right up to the governor, but they cannot act against the commanders because they are scared of them. We don’t know where to turn.”

Not satisfied to victimize women only, the local commander has turned to little boys:

One man, 31 years old, held pictures of his two sons, aged eight and six. He wept as he told his story.

“Commander Piram Qul took my two sons from my home last year. He killed them, put their bodies in a sack and dumped them in the river,” he said , tears pouring down his cheeks. He claimed that the murders were retribution for his own continuing protests against local warlords.

“Piram Qul told me when he took my sons, ‘This is your punishment for your propaganda against the commanders,” he said. “I went everywhere. I wanted justice. I wanted to avenge the murder. But everyone told me just to forget it. No one listened to me.”

Piram Qul, a member of parliament and “former” commander of Rabbani and Ahmed Shah Massoud’s Jamiat-i Islami, replied to the charges:

“That is a complete lie,” he told IWPR. “These accusations are false. The people who are accusing me are either Taleban or have connections to the Taleban. They are just trying to cause a rift between the central government and the former commanders. They are trying to provoke the mujaheddin to act against the government, and to weaken the regime.”

That’s right, Piram Qul is a brave Mujahid fighting against the Taliban and their local sympathizers, who, inexplicably, are ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks. Here’s a picture from RAWA of one of the ethnic Uzbek Taliban supporters who was dumped in a river:

Afghan boy

According to RAWA, after a large group of locals demonstrated, some arrests were made. But the suspects were quickly released after they sat around and had tea with their law enforcement and judicial homeboys. According to IWPR, no one in the local government seems interested in helping victims pursue charges against the local commanders:

Daulat Bibi, 40, told IWPR that she was raped by 13 men working for a local commander.

“I was hospitalised for one and a half months,” she said. “I went to the district governor’s office, but no one listened to me. Those who raped me walk free, and the government did not even bother to arrest them. I went everywhere, but people told me, ‘There is no law that can do anything against these commanders. Just forget it.’”

According to Mohammad Zafari of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, victims have no good options:

“Five months ago, the son of one of the minor commanders raped a 10-year-old boy in Bangee district,” he said. “The child was injured, with a perforated bowel. But when the child’s father tried to sue the commander, he had no success. The commander used his money and influence, and the whole matter was decided in his favour.”

There were hundreds of such cases, he added, concluding, “It is a disaster here.”

Apparently Mohammad Zafari is a Taliban sympathizer too. Can’t he see that all these brave Mujahideen commanders are preserving peace in northern Afghanistan by fighting the hordes of Taliban sympathizers?

I remember a story about some low-rent village mullah who supposedly started his rise to power by killing a local commander who was fond of raping the locals. He started some sort of group. What was it called? Oh yeah, I remember. It was called the “Taliban.”


  1. […] by the Northern Alliance — is peaceful, settled, and developing. To see this in more detail, Afghanistanica takes us to Taloqan, the capital of Takhar Province, which borders Tajikistan: The Institute for […]

  2. […] Alliance” [not a very helpful category these days] have done stuff like this before. I covered this ongoing phenomenon 2 years ago, and highlighted the story of a former Jamiat commander who punished a local for his public […]


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