20 May 2013
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A document revealed by Wikileaks from US embassy in Kabul says over 1/2 of Taliban are Pashtun Kuchis. In two separate meetings on August 4 and August 9, 2009 Director General (DG) of the Independent Directorate of Kuchis (IDK) Abdul Wahab Sulemankheil said US embassy that over 1/2 of Taliban are Kuchis, who had been easily persuaded to side with the Taliban out of ignorance. For example, in his home province of Paktika, the majority of Taliban commanders are Kuchis. (Comment: The Other Government Agency office estimates Kuchis comprise only a single-digit percentage of the Taliban.
Pashtun Kuchis have been involved in genocide of the Hazara people in the past decades. Just in recent years during Hamid Karzai’s regime, they killed 63 Hazara and forced over 4500 of their families to flee from Behsood and Daimirdad districts of Maidan province.
A documentary made by Hazara director Ali Mohammadi, seen by Kabul Press shows a hitherto previously unseen dimension to the spectre of Pashtun Kuchis crimes against Hazaras in Behsood and Daimirdad district of Maidan province in Afghanistan in 2007. In this 48 minute documentary, Hazara captives are shown to be stoned by Pashtun Kuchis who then rode horses on the victims’ bodies and finally incinerated by petrol.
US embassy document reveald by Wikileaks
Classified By: Political Counselor Ann E. Pforzheimer for reasons 1.4(b ) and (d) 1. (C) Summary: According to Director General (DG) of the Independent Directorate of Kuchis (IDK) Abdul Wahab Sulemankheil, no female Kuchis and only 20-25% of eligible Kuchi male voters will vote in the August 20 presidential election. The DG attributes the expected low Kuchi voter turnout to their dissatisfaction over the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,s (GIRoA) lack of regard for Kuchi interests and concerns. The DG expects Kuchi voters will cast their ballots for President Karzai. End Summary. Kuchi Dissatisfaction May Lead to Low Voter Turnout --------------------------------------------- ------ 2. (C) In two separate meetings on August 4 and August 9, IDK DG Abdul Wahab Suleimankheil told us that no female Kuchis and only 20-25% of eligible Kuchi male voters would participate in the upcoming presidential election. He predicted that those Kuchis who went to the polls would follow their tribal elders, instructions and vote for Karzai. He blamed the expected low turnout on dissatisfaction among the Kuchis over a perceived lack of regard by the GIRoA for Kuchi issues and concerns — in particular, educational opportunities, healthcare, potable water, and their desire to participate in government. (Note: per ref tel, the IDK earlier this year undermined a potential local deal in Wardak by Governor Fedai to address these issues at the local level. Power struggles within the directorate over who speaks for Kuchis have occasionally blocked useful progress.) 3. (C) Citing a 1973 census (the last taken), in which the Kuchis comprised 16% of the Afghan population, the DG explained that at the time, Kuchis had 20 representatives in the Parliament, but that number has since fallen to 10 representatives in the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People or lower house), and three representatives in the Meshrano Jirga (upper house). Their under-representation in the lower house has prompted many Kuchis to break with GIRoA, and some to take up arms against it. (Note: According to the Afghan constitution, representation must be proportionate to the population of each ethnic population, i.e. if a particular ethnic group represents X% of the population, they should have X% of the 250 Wolesi Jirga seats. Applying this formula, Kuchis should have 40 representatives in the Wolesi Jirga, but have only ten. End Note) 4. (C) The Kuchis, explained the DG, are mostly illiterate and still live according to their traditions. He said that because of these traditions, in Paktia, Paktika, and Khost provinces, no Kuchi or Pashtun women were permitted to register to vote in either 2004 or 2009. He claimed the GIRoA,s assertion that women had registered in these areas was false, and that Kuchi and Pashtun women would not be permitted to vote on August 20. (Note: The DG,s assertion that women have not registered to vote in these areas is contradicted by reporting from PRT Jalalabad, which reported that mobile registration teams had been very successful in their door-to-door registration campaign with both male and female voters. However, whether the female voters can get out of their homes to vote is another matter. End Note). The DG cited three major blocks to voter (especially women) turnout: 1) Kuchi tribal culture, which prevents women from leaving their homes, making it difficult to vote; 2) poor security, which will keep people home; and 3) dissatisfaction with the GIRoA, efforts by Ashraf Ghani, Karzai and others (Abdullah Abdullah has not reached out to the Kuchis) to court the Kuchi vote. Kuchi Dissatisfaction Fuels the Insurgency ------------------------------------------ 5. (C) The DG noted the Kuchis have always played an important role in Afghan society, both in living the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the ancient Afghans, and in their involvement in the wars and revolutions that have torn Afghanistan apart. The Kuchis continue to play such a role now. Opponents of the various Afghan governments have historically manipulated and played on Kuchi dissatisfaction to incite revolution and fuel opposition to foreign involvement in Afghanistan. The DG said the Taliban have gained Kuchi support by manipulating Kuchi dissatisfaction with the government. The DG estimated that over 1/2 of Taliban are Kuchis, who had been easily persuaded to side with the Taliban out of ignorance. For example, in his home province of Paktika, the majority of Taliban commanders are Kuchis. (Comment: The Other Government Agency office estimates Kuchis comprise only a single-digit percentage of the Taliban. The DG may be inflating the participation of KABUL 00002382 002 OF 002 the Kuchis in the Taliban movement to ensure Kuchi interests are considered in any peace-promotion efforts. End Comment). IDK-Karzai Relations -------------------- 6. (C) The DG explained that in response to Kuchi dissatisfaction, Karzai had created the IDK two years ago. The IDK is composed of six departments (Education, Health, Water, Provincial Liaison, Administrative Affairs, and Documentation), with offices in all 34 provinces. It has worked to improve the lives of Kuchis, but is under-resourced, he said. Despite this fact, the IDK had been instrumental in averting the violence that plagued the Kuchis’ annual migration to summer pasture lands last year. The IDK, acting as go-between for Karzai and Kuchi elders, had arranged meetings and relayed Karzai’s requests for Kuchis not to migrate to Bamyan and the rest of "Hazarajat" (the Hazara homeland) this year. The DG said that in exchange for their promise not to migrate to Hazarajat, Karzai had provided the Kuchis with a modest amount of money to offset expenses. By courting the Kuchis, Karzai had maintained peace. Kuchis and Reconciliation ------------------------- 7. (C) The DG argued that only by working with, and empowering, the tribes and tribal councils could the GIRoA and the IC hope to bring peace to Afghanistan. He asserted that given the Kuchi,s important role in Afghanistan — in particular, their representation in Taliban forces — peace was "in the hands" of the Kuchis and other tribes. He warned that if the GIRoA and the IC do not work with the tribes, the advent of more soldiers and money will make no difference. The DG added that many Kuchis feel that, despite GIRoA statements to the contrary, no steps had been taken to reconcile the insurgents. He also claimed that many reconciliation proposals had been sent to U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad and GIRoA in 2004 by the Kuchis, but that no action had been taken on the proposals. The DG opined that additional support and resources must be allocated to achieve reconciliation. Tribal counsels also need additional resources to enable them to convince Kuchi Taliban to return to their tribes. Local leaders should be engaged in each province as the best to deal with local Taliban. Citing the success of Kuchi tribal forces against the Taliban in Pakistan,s Swat Valley, the DG suggested that tribal security forces (arbaki and leshkar) should be empowered to defend local communities and reconcilees against the Taliban in Afghanistan. 8. (C) Comment: Many of the DG,s issues have been raised in past meetings. However, if Kuchi dissatisfaction leads to such a potentially low turnout, it could signal future problems. If only 20-25% of the Kuchis vote, with a corresponding diminution of their political power, dissatisfaction could continue to grow in that volatile community, possibly fomenting even more unrest. As a traditional tribal community, the Kuchis have long relied on support and payments from the GIRoA to support their people. The Kuchis from the border areas were historically paid to protect the borders from incursions, and were used by Afghan kings to alter the demographics of minority-held areas to prevent uprisings. Although we do not concur with the DG,s assertion that over half of the Taliban are of Kuchi origin, Kuchis are indeed active in the Taliban and lead some local units. End Comment. EIKENBERRY