Recently, images of a Hazara Shiite Taliban have surfaced on the social media as a Taliban-appointed district governor in Sar-e-Pul province, identified by the Taliban as the first Hazara Shiite Taliban member in the group.
But, the truths are; first, the Taliban is a highly extremist ideological group, and the majority of the supporters are from Sunni Muslim Pashtun ethnicity. Two, both ethnically and religiously, the difference between Hazara Shiites and Pashtun Sunnis is as different as chalk and cheese!
So, it was based on this ideological difference that the killing of Shiites by the Taliban was considered permissible. Since 1998, under the Taliban’s regime, the massacre of Shiite Hazaras was an ordinary action which continues till now. The massacre of common Hazara travelers in recent years across Afghanistan is a clear example of the Pashtun Taliban’s hostility against Hazara people from an ideological point of view!
In 1998, Nekpai Valley (located in Doshi district of Baghlan province – north of Afghanistan) inhabited by Hazara-Ismaili minorities came under the Taliban rule. This group forcibly recruited fighters from this ethnic-religious minority against Northern Alliance. Each family had to give a man as a soldier to the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban. Meanwhile, occasionally, the Taliban killed people in the villages and even massacred many of its influential elders in Robatak, an area amid Baghlan and Samangan provinces in the north of the country.
Those conscripts and those who had been recruited forcibly for such a period of service were sent to the front lines of the war against the Northern Alliance, many of whom were killed along the way.
To appease the Taliban, some shown themselves as pro- fighters to the Taliban in order to protect their families and their villages from the harm of the Taliban terrorist group.
During the civil war among the Mojahedin groups, some Hazara Shiites joined the Islamic Party due to contextual realities, which was for the interests of their areas’ safety.
Meanwhile, Hezb-e-Islami is also based on Sunni Muslim Pashtun ethnicity, which is not much different from the Taliban. Whenever the Shiite Hazara became Taliban, it has been based on the necessity of the time and compulsion, not on ideological interest!
Well, the war in Afghanistan is undoubtedly a proxy war between regional and supra-regional powers. So, if the Islamic Republic of Iran has used its religious influence on the Shiites of Afghanistan to protect their interests in the region, this could also be possible based on many reasons! For instance, as Hazara youths were sent and used as firewoods to strengthen the foundations of Iran interests in the strongholds of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad’s opposition forces in Iraq and Syria using their religious motives for its own benefits! With such an approach, it has merged with Taliban groups to further strengthen Iran’s interests in Afghanistan!
In any case, the Hazara have not and will not join the Taliban in any way based on ideological interest and motive. For whatever reason, the Hazara youths have been misused as a consumer tool in different dimensions (Iran used them for its own interests and in cases, time requirements pushed them to join such inharmonic extremist groups).