Seeking Justice in Afghanistan
Filed Under: World | Posted: 07/28/2008 at 10:17AM
Comments | Region: Afghanistan
Posted by Joshua Foust to Global Voices Online
Despite its reputation for a very conservative brand of Islam, Afghanistan is deeply torn. Before the recent decades of war, the country was more known for its mystical Sufism that attracted crowds of hippies and tourists than anything else; the Soviet War helped entrench a more fundamentalist brand of Islam that peaked in the Taliban; now, Afghanistan struggles mightily with its past—both recent and distant. Afghan bloggers lately have been focusing on issues of justice, given the trial of a young journalism student, the ethnic fighting in Maydan Wardak province, and even the problems of honor-killing women and suicide bombing.
The most recent news to come from Afghanistan involved the violent incursion of Kuchi nomads into Hazara farming communities in the Behsud district of Wardak province, just west and south of Kabul. Many Hazara were killed in the attack, and several thousand fled as their homes were destroyed. After a hunger strike by a prominent member of Parliament, and a large protest rally in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai ordered the Kuchi to evacuate the district.
The Hazaristan Times covered those protests, and now posts on yet another protest rally in Mazar-i Sharif and Bamiyan:
Thousands of Hazaras came out on roads on Thursday in Mazar city protesting Government’s inaction against Kuchi barbarism in Behsud killing more than 15 vulnerable villagers.
The protectors marching from Shrine towards the office of United Nation’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan chanted slogans and displayed placards demanding of Karzai to resign. They handed over an 8-Points demand resolution to UNAMA official criticizing it for keeping mum on Kuchi invasion of Behsud and Daimirdad Districts.
The Demand Resolution included intervention of United Nation into Behsud Massacare demanding an inquiry into the incident and action against the responsible circles in the Government backing Kuchis with arms for thier devilish political and ethnic aims. The protestors later dispersed peacefully.
It may be mentioned a huge protest rally was organized in Bamiyan on Monday 22nd July in harmony with Kabul protestors against Kuchi invasion in Behsud. Thousands of protestors marched down from Rah-Bar e Shahid Masjid towards UNAMA office. A similar protest rally was organized in Yakawlang.
Of a different topic of justice, The Rumi noted the vicious gang rape of a 13-year old girl by five policeman, and wondered why the government seemed to be doing nothing:
Her relative said she was at six grade of high school and when they claimed to police department, they had received death threat to not report it again. ‘’ If the government dose not take the responsibility, we are going to committee suicide’’ her family told the local media. This is the fourth times that children are abusing in the same city, according to Afghan Paper News Bulletin.
Back in Kabul, The Rumi noted how President Karzai seems to fear political competition, after Abdul Jabar Sabit, the Afghanistan Attorney General, was fired on July 16 after announcing his candidacy for President:
Mr. Sabit a former member of Islamist group of Afghan warlord Gulboddin Hekmatyar, was appointed as Attorney General on May 2006. Sabit who also served as a member of Karzai team now became a full-size rival. He accused Karzai for taking an illegal action firing him and called it a huge conspiracy in a media conference in Kabul.
A few days’ later former lawyers organized a seminar in Kabul Star Hotel to discuses about Sabit’s work history. General Omarkhel, former Chief of Kabul Airport Police, was one of a speaker in the seminar said Sabit himself was shipwrecked in corruption while providing documents as evidence for the audience.
Sabit previously threatened with arrest the Uzbek strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum after Dostum was accused of abducting an official. But he had to back down after he had no support for the arrest.
Meanwhile, Sanjar mediates on why suicide bombings have come to Afghanistan:
There is no solidarity in Afghan society. People have to struggle to live via other means, while it’s Russians, or mujahdeen or Americans or Taliban or someone else trying to control their lives. The norms in society are old and rotten it does not provide a good framework for individual to act. As a result most individuals are corrupt and their moral structure does not lead them. the society has not lost the morality or it has not been loosen. The only answer afghans think will work is to strengthen norms this is supported by the so called leaders because this serves their purposes. Afghanistan has become corrupt and hypocritical. Life for many has become hard especially for women.
There is a conflict in Afghan society, we as Afghans failed to respond constructively and fix this failure that is why first Russians and now the rest of the world came to fix it. not because they care about Afghanistan but because Afghanistan have caused some serious problems to the rest of the world. The demands of the self proclaimed leaders have conflict with each other and as a result they are in constant conflict and because they have no political intelligence the only way they settle conflict is through bloodshed, and that has turned them into criminals.
This makes for a good segue into some first person accounts of suicide bombings. First, Safrang offers an account of a halted attempt:
She took another cab and it was while describing the bizzare episode to the second cabbie that the driver said that she might have just been the passenger of an intihaari or a suicide bomber, and that she should probably report the kamikaze-cabbie to the police. The driver described how vehicle-borne suicide bombers have taken to camouflaging their operations with passengers that would make them seem innocuous and get them through many a police checkpoints because of the presence of a woman passenger.
Dagarwaal’s daughter in law did call the police, and two days later the cab driver was caught with the cab’s trunk containing an IED and a large amount of shrapnels, nails, and explosives. Just goes to show how far these people are willing to go -to the limit of knowingly sacrificing innocent people’s lives (besides that which is normally lost in collateral casualties -which is again heavily skewed in numbers towards civilians.)
And The Rumi has an account of a relative finding out about the suicide attack on the Indian embassy:
Speaking to the BBC in Kabul, Khan Mohammad breaks down as he recalls those bitter moments.
On the morning of Monday 7 July, eight members of his family stood outside the Indian embassy in Kabul when a massive suicide bombing killed five of them, including his daughter, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. They were among more than 50 people killed.
His three other grandchildren escaped with injuries.
Maybe one day, these Afghans will at last find the justice they so desperately need.