I spent the night outside the Donner Pass town of Truckee. After 12 days on the California coast, it was surprising to see there was still plenty of snow in late June. I took the sharp right north on I-80 into Nevada—past Reno, Fernley, and landed in God-forsaken Winnemucca, where I stayed in one of the hemisphere’s ugliest RV parks. After dinner at possibly the greasiest Mexican restaurant ever, I walked through downtown, which had the saddest little strip of casinos in the (...)
Government actions showing favoritism
Re-kindling of ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan
Commentary by Amin Wahidi
Saturday 8 March 2008, by
No more violence!
No more killings!
No more bloodshed!
No more unforgivable crimes!
No more suicide attacks!
We want security!
We want peace!
We want justice!
We want bread!
We want the government to protect us!
These are the cries that come from the many children, men and women, old and young, who have lost a father, a brother, a mother, a sister, son or daughter in the recent suicide blasts in Kandahar, but where are the ears to hear them?
We are sorry to hear this heart breaking news, and send condolences to the families of murdered innocents in these cruel suicide attacks. We condemn these cruel and bloodstained attacks. But even more, we regret that government officials do nothing for security. And then we feel regret for the Pashtoon leaders and politicians who have been continually supporting the Taliban, and now are being burned by their pact with devil.
The second big attack that took the lives of dozens of people in Kandahar on Sunday, February 17 happened during a dog fight that is a tribal pastime, especially among the Pashtoons of the south. In addition to the dead, news footage showed destroyed police vehicles. Why were police at a dog fight? It was revealed by a journalist in NOMA Website (Civil Movement of Afghanistan)that the fight was actually conducted by the of Kandahar police, and the dogs belonged to them.
Surely the attackers knew that the dog fight was conduced by the police and there would be many police officers in the area. Therefore they planned it precisely for that day, and killed many police officers. This was not reported by the spokesperson of The Ministry of Interior in his interview with the media, because the police and the ministry’s reputation and professionalism would be questioned.
This attack once again points out the real need and necessity for strength in Afghanistan’s security sectors, including the Ministry of Defense, Interior and the National Directorate of Security (national intelligence agency). This is not the first time such of lack of professionalism has been evident. Kabul’s five-star Serena Hotel, which hosts many foreign diplomats and VIPs was also attacked in mid-January and resulted in many casualties. This attack was also skillfully planned and executed, and shows continuing empowerment of the Taliban and their terrorist adherents.
While this was an alarm for Afghan security officials, it must have also alerted NATO and coalition forces to the need for real change in their training and support of Afghan security forces. While security is the major issue in Afghanistan, Afghan leaders and politicians ignore this fact. Instead they argue with each other about other internal issues.
The efforts of Pashtoon leaders to empower the Taliban raises the question: Why are they trying to take Afghanistan towards ethnic cleansing, or the re-Pashtoonization of Afghanistan? Isn’t this the root of Afghanistan’s quarrels and backwardness for centuries?
Clearly knowing that the terrorism doesn’t have borders, or true religious basis, or logic; that it doesn’t care about ethnicity or nation, still the government’s Pashtoon leaders plan their domination of the nation’s non-Pashtoons.
These efforts are seen through:
• the escape or release of Taliban commanders from prisons
• the appointment of a Taliban leader as a district administrator in Helmand
• ignoring or even cooperating with Taliban-fostered poppy cultivation
Afghanistan officially moving towards re-Pashtoonization process?
The issue of Parwiz Kambakhsh has not been resolved, but we are witnessing another violation of freedom of speech in Afghanistan right now. This is the punishment of a journalist for using nonPashto words in his Dari report.
Some people believe that ethnic discrimination will appear again soon. The latest series of ethnic brawls began with an episode of ethnic and language discrimination against a Dari speaking radio television reporter in Balkh province, who had used a non-Pashto word in his Dari reportage.
This angered the Minister of Information and Culture who fined and fired the reporter and two other personnel of Balkh provincial radio-television. Instead of promoting anti-culture and anti-freedom of speech actions, shouldn’t the government be concentrating on bigger issues like the failure of security , government inefficiency and corruption, financial disinvestment, and re-empowerment of the Taliban?
This latest punishment of the TV journalist by the minister is just one of many other counter-productive acts in recent months. They include putting more pressure on private televisions, not supporting the free-speech activists, supporting Shoray-e Ulama, and changing Dari names of public places Pashto. His latest action, in accord with Ministry of Communication is the filtering of Dari blogs in Afghanistan by Afghan Telecom Company internet service provider. This action supports the assertion that a fundamentalist Pashtoonization has increasing governmental support.
by Amin Wahidi
edited by Robert Maier
Part 1 of a 3 part series... to be continued soon.
Hazara filmmaker and blogger in exile (Milan – Italy)