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The Influence of Prominent Pashtuns in Shaping Perceptions and Misrepresentations in So-Called Afghanistan

The Systematic Erosion of Rights: A Closer Look at the Troubling Realities in So-Called Afghanistan
Kabul Press AI
Saturday 30 September 2023

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The situation in the so-called country Afghanistan is complex, marked by ethnic tensions, gender disparities, and the resurgence of the Taliban. Amidst this turmoil, the Hazara of Hazaristan, along with other non-Pashtun ethnic groups, face a grim reality where their fundamental rights are systematically being eliminated. In this article, we examine how the terrorist group, the Taliban, is contributing to this dire situation and highlight the role of some well-educated Pashtuns including their women in supporting the Taliban, as well as the problematic involvement of organizations like PRIO.

Ethnic Disparities and Erasure in the So-Called Afghanistan

In the so-called Afghanistan, the issue of ethnic disparities and erasure is a deeply entrenched problem that has persisted for decades, and it continues to play a significant role in the country’s complex socio-political landscape.

Diverse Ethnic Landscape: The so-called Afghanistan is home to a diverse array of ethnic groups and national, with Hazaras, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and many others coexisting within its borders. These groups have distinct languages, cultures, and historical backgrounds.

Marginalization of Non-Pashtun Ethnic Groups: Despite this diversity, non-Pashtun ethnic groups, such as the Hazara, have frequently found themselves marginalized and subjected to genocide, forced displacement, and systemic discrimination. The Pashtun-majority governments and power structures have historically favored their own ethnic group, perpetuating a cycle of exclusion.

Disregarding Unique Identities: The erasure of non-Pashtun identities is a prevalent issue in the so-called Afghanistan. The tendency to homogenize the nation under a Pashtun-centric narrative often leads to the neglect and suppression of the unique cultural and linguistic identities of non-Pashtun communities.

Political Representation: Non-Pashtun groups have struggled to secure equitable political representation in the country’s governance. This lack of political inclusivity has contributed to feelings of disenfranchisement and a sense of exclusion from the decision-making processes that affect their lives. That is why many non-Pashtuns are in favor of a federal system or partition to access the right of self-determination.

Ethnic-Based Conflict: The ethnic disparities and erasure have fueled ethnic-based conflicts, exacerbated tensions, and contributed to instability in the region. These conflicts often arise from grievances related to unequal access to resources, opportunities, and political power.

Propaganda and False Information: The dissemination of propaganda and false information further complicates the issue of ethnic disparities. Claims that Pashtuns are the majority in the so-called Afghanistan are often rooted in narratives designed to perpetuate Pashtun dominance.

Countering Ethnic Stereotypes: To address these challenges, it is crucial to challenge ethnic stereotypes and narratives that perpetuate division. Promoting diversity, respecting the rights to self-determination, inter-ethnic dialogue, understanding, and cooperation can be vital steps toward mitigating ethnic tensions.

Acknowledgment of Ethnic Diversity: Acknowledging the rich ethnic diversity within the so-called Afghanistan and recognizing the distinct identities of each group is essential for building a more inclusive and equitable society. This includes preserving and promoting minority languages, cultures, and traditions.

Taliban’s Assault on Fundamental Rights and the Genocide of the Hazara in So-Called Afghanistan

The resurgence of the Taliban in the so-called Afghanistan has brought with it a dark cloud of oppression, particularly for non-Pashtun ethnic groups and nations like the Hazara. This extremist group’s history of human rights violations has escalated to horrifying levels, including the genocide of the Hazara people and the systematic destruction of their historical and cultural identities.

Genocide of the Hazara: The Hazara community, as a stateless nation within the so-called Afghanistan, has been subjected to brutal genocidal campaigns by the Taliban. The atrocities against the Hazara population include mass killings, forced displacement, and the intentional targeting of Hazara civilians, including women and children. These actions constitute clear violations of fundamental human rights and international law.

Destruction of Cultural Heritage: One of the most notorious acts of cultural vandalism committed by the Taliban was the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, colossal statues carved into cliffs in Hazaristan. This UNESCO World Heritage site represented not only the rich cultural history of the Hazara but also the diverse cultural tapestry of the so-called Afghanistan. Its destruction was a tragic loss for humanity.

Suppression of Religious Freedom: The Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islamic law has led to the suppression of religious freedom, particularly for the Hazara population, who predominantly belong to the Shia branch of Islam. Hazara religious practices, shrines, and mosques have been targeted and desecrated, preventing the community from freely practicing their faith.

Displacement and Suffering: The Hazara people have faced forced displacement from their ancestral lands, leading to immense suffering. Many have been forced to flee their homes, living in squalid conditions as internally displaced persons or seeking refuge abroad, all while facing discrimination and persecution.

Systematic Discrimination: The Taliban’s rule has enforced a system of systematic discrimination against non-Pashtun ethnic groups, with Hazaras bearing the brunt of this discrimination. Hazara individuals are often denied access to education, employment, and basic services, further marginalizing them within their own homeland.

Gender-Based Oppression: Women in the so-called Afghanistan, including Hazara women, have suffered immensely under the Taliban’s rule. Strict dress codes, limited mobility, and restrictions on their participation in public life have stripped them of their basic human rights.

Cultural Erasure: Beyond the physical destruction of historical monuments, the Taliban’s rule has also sought to erase Hazara cultural identities by suppressing their language, music, and arts. This cultural erasure contributes to the loss of the Hazara heritage.

International Response: The international community has condemned the Taliban’s actions and called for accountability for their human rights abuses. However, meaningful intervention has been limited, and the Hazara continue to face grave threats to their existence.

The resurgence of the Taliban in the so-called Afghanistan has brought about a horrifying assault on fundamental rights, particularly for the Hazara people. The genocide of the Hazara, the destruction of their historical and cultural identities, and the suppression of their religious freedom and basic rights are grave injustices that demand international attention and intervention. Addressing these atrocities and providing protection and support for the Hazara and other marginalized communities in the so-called Afghanistan is essential to achieving lasting peace and justice in the region.

The Role of Pashtun Women in Lobbying for the Taliban and Their Enjoyment of Ethnic Privilege

The complex dynamics in the so-called Afghanistan involve not only the actions of male Taliban members but also the involvement of Pashtun women who actively lobby for the group. Their advocacy for the Taliban, rooted in their shared ethnic background, raises questions about the role of these women and the ethnic privilege they may enjoy.

Shared Ethnic Identity: Pashtun women who support the Taliban often emphasize their shared Pashtun ethnicity as a basis for their advocacy. They argue that the group represents the Pashtun community’s interests and seek to legitimize their actions by framing them as ethno-nationalist struggles.

Perceived Ethnic Privilege: Some Pashtun women who lobby for the Taliban may enjoy certain forms of ethnic privilege within the Pashtun-majority areas where the group holds influence. This privilege can manifest in better access to movement, dress codes, employment, and social services compared to non-Pashtun communities.

Influence within the international community: Pashtun women who align themselves with the Taliban may hold influence within their own communities, including advocating for the group’s policies and ideology. Their involvement can contribute to the perpetuation of the Taliban’s agenda within Pashtun-majority areas. Since they have enjoy ethnic privilege and have access to financial and non-financial resources, they advocate the Pashtun nationalism under the name of ethnic majority, peace and even human rights.

Empowerment or Coercion: It is essential to consider whether Pashtun women’s support for the Taliban is a result of personal empowerment and choice or if they are coerced into advocating for the group due to societal and familial pressures. In some cases, women may genuinely believe in the Taliban’s cause, while in others, they may have limited agency in their decision-making.

Gender Dynamics within the Taliban: While some Pashtun women may lobby for the Taliban, it is crucial to recognize that the group’s policies and actions have historically been repressive towards women. The Taliban’s strict interpretation of Sharia law often curtails women’s rights, limiting their access to education, employment, and public life.
Nuanced Perspective: It is important to avoid oversimplifying the role of Pashtun women who support the Taliban. Their motivations, experiences, and perspectives can vary widely, and not all Pashtun women align themselves with the group.

Balancing Ethnic Identity and Human Rights: The support of Pashtun women for the Taliban raises a challenging ethical question. While individuals have the right to express their ethnic and cultural identities, it becomes problematic when this support contributes to human rights abuses, violence, and the marginalization of non-Pashtun communities.

The Need for Dialogue: Promoting open and inclusive dialogue within Pashtun communities and across ethnic lines is essential to address the complexities of ethnic identity and privilege. Such dialogue can help bridge divides and promote understanding among different ethnic groups and nations in the so-called Afghanistan.

Pashtun women’s role in lobbying for the Taliban, often rooted in their shared ethnic identity, is a complex issue that requires careful consideration. While they may enjoy certain ethnic privileges in Pashtun-majority areas, it is crucial to acknowledge the diverse motivations and experiences of these women. Balancing the expression of ethnic identity with the protection of human rights is a challenge that the so-called Afghanistan and the international community must address as they seek to build a more inclusive and equitable society.

Questionable Recognition: PRIO and the Nobel Peace Prize’s Contribution to Injustice and Human Rights Abuses

The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is an institution known for its involvement in the field of conflict resolution and peace studies. However, its actions regarding the so-called Afghanistan, particularly in relation to nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, have faced criticism due to concerns that they may indirectly contribute to injustice and human rights abuses.

Lack of In-Depth Understanding: PRIO’s involvement in nominating individuals from so-called Afghanistan for the Nobel Peace Prize has raised concerns about the institute’s understanding of the complex dynamics in the region. The nomination of Mahbooba Seraj without a comprehensive understanding of her affiliations and potential roles in supporting the Taliban can inadvertently contribute to the promotion of groups associated with human rights abuses.

Legitimizing Controversial Figures: Nominating individuals with ties to Pashtun ethno-nationalism or groups that have been implicated in human rights abuses, even unintentionally, can be seen as providing legitimacy to these actors. Such recognition can be perceived as an endorsement of their actions and may further complicate efforts to address injustices in the so-called Afghanistan.

Stimulating Ethnic Divisions: PRIO’s nominations, if perceived as biased or favoring one ethnic group over others, can exacerbate ethnic divisions in so-called Afghanistan. This can hinder peacebuilding efforts and contribute to an environment of mistrust and animosity among different ethnic communities and nations.

The Role of Independent Research: Organizations like PRIO play a crucial role in shaping public perception and international discourse. When their nominations are perceived as biased or lacking rigorous research and analysis, it can undermine the credibility of independent research and perpetuate misconceptions about the situation in the so-called Afghanistan.

Taliban Supporter Seraj

Ethical Responsibility: Organizations involved in peace and conflict research, such as PRIO, have an ethical responsibility to ensure that their actions do not inadvertently support or legitimize actors involved in human rights abuses. Nominations for prestigious awards like the Nobel Peace Prize should be based on thorough and impartial assessments.

Impact on Peace Efforts: The unintended consequences of PRIO’s actions, such as potentially emboldening groups linked to the Taliban, can undermine peace efforts in the so-called Afghanistan. Achieving lasting peace requires a nuanced understanding of the situation, and the recognition of individuals or groups without such understanding can hinder progress.

Balancing Recognition and Accountability: PRIO, like other organizations, faces the challenge of balancing the recognition of individuals or groups working toward peace with accountability for human rights abuses. It is essential for organizations to be vigilant and exercise due diligence when making nominations or endorsing individuals for prestigious awards.

The Role of Influential Pashtuns and the Circulation of False Information about So-Called Afghanistan

In the complex and often turbulent landscape of the so-called Afghanistan, influential Pashtuns have played significant roles in shaping international perceptions, policies, and narratives. However, some of these influential figures have been accused of misrepresenting facts and circulating false information, particularly concerning other ethnic groups like the Hazara.

Historical Influence: Pashtuns have historically held positions of power and influence in the so-called Afghanistan, contributing to the shaping of the nation’s political and social dynamics. This historical dominance has allowed some influential Pashtuns to exert considerable influence over the country’s narrative.

Circulation of False Information: Some influential Pashtuns have been criticized for perpetuating false information or narratives that favor their own ethnic group while undermining or misrepresenting the experiences and histories of other communities, such as the Hazara.

Ethnic Propaganda: In the context of the so-called Afghanistan, where ethnic tensions have often played a role in the conflict, the circulation of ethnic propaganda by influential Pashtuns can exacerbate divisions and contribute to misunderstandings among different communities.

International Policy Impact: Influential Pashtuns who have close ties to international actors can influence the formulation of foreign policies and narratives about the so-called Afghanistan. This can have significant consequences, as policies and perceptions based on false information may lead to unintended outcomes.

Misleading Narratives: Some influential Pashtuns have framed issues in a way that portrays their own ethnic group as victims and other ethnic groups as aggressors or troublemakers. This distortion of facts can hinder efforts to address the root causes of conflict and human rights abuses.

Ethnic Hegemony: The actions of influential Pashtuns may be seen as attempts to maintain or reinforce ethnic hegemony within the so-called Afghanistan. This can create a hostile environment for non-Pashtun communities, such as the Hazara, and perpetuate inequalities.

Undermining Peace and Reconciliation: False information and misleading narratives can hinder peace and reconciliation efforts in the so-called Afghanistan. By misrepresenting the experiences of different ethnic groups, influential Pashtuns may inadvertently undermine the trust-building necessary for lasting peace.

Ethical Responsibility: Influential Pashtuns, like all leaders and figures of authority, have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the information they share is accurate, fair, and impartial. Misrepresenting facts can lead to unnecessary conflict and suffering.

The resurgence of the Taliban and the maintenance of Pashtun ethnic hegemony in the so-called Afghanistan are not isolated incidents. Well-educated and influential Pashtuns, such as Zalmay Khalilzad, have played significant roles in shaping the country’s political landscape. Their intentional involvement has contributed to the challenges faced by non-Pashtun communities.


The situation in the so-called country Afghanistan is fraught with complexities related to ethnic tensions, gender disparities, and the resurgence of the Taliban. To address these issues effectively, it is essential to acknowledge the systematic erosion of fundamental rights faced by non-Pashtun communities, particularly the Hazara. It is equally crucial to consider the role of Pashtun women who lobby for the Taliban and the implications of organizations like PRIO in the region. Only through a nuanced understanding of these dynamics can we hope to foster peace, justice, and equitable rights for all in the so-called Afghanistan.

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So-Called Afghanistan Comprises Diverse Stateless Nations, Including the Hazara, Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen, Pashtun/Afghan, and Nuristani With No Majority or National Identity.

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