by Ms. Khoda Bakhsh
In the twilight that passes for reality in Afghanistan, the story of Hakim Shujoyi does not add up neatly – but there’s enough in its different parts to suggest that a monster is stalking the eastern flank of Oruzgan province.
Personal detail is opaque, but not the contradictions from which Shujai draws inordinate power in Khas Oruzgan, a wild and mountainous swath of the province in which the Kabul government is yet to assert its authority beyond the confines of the Khas Oruzgan bazaar.
“He’s a cruel killer as people speaks about, but he has big support behind him,” As a minority Hazara, Shujai ordinarily might be expected to step gingerly around the majority Pashtuns, but a reputation as a fearless “Taliban hunter” has earned enough US military protection for him to cast himself as a new warlord – even as the Americans were backing him into the leadership of a new grassroots community protection service, the Afghan Local Police or ALP.
Shielding him from official pursuit and prosecution are fellow Hazaras who hold senior positions in the Karzai government – in particular vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili and now the time has changed with his inordinate power.
“He takes revenge on village farmers and the like. Elders and other prominent people are safe from him, so it’s the lowly and the innocent who he makes pay the price,” says a local observer, as he explains that Shujoyi’s collective punishment of villages for the real or imagined wrongdoings of individuals perpetuate cyclical violence.
Retaliatory attacks by Pashtuns include a massacre in which 11 Hazaras were beheaded, all by the hand of the brother of a man who died in an assault on his village by Shujai ‘s men. The Pashtun man who did the mass beheadings used a knife which, several sources say, he had recovered from a gaping wound in his brother’s throat after the initial Shujai’s attack.
A former chief of police in Oruzgan, Juma Gul Heimat, explains that he arrested Shujai on the orders of President Hamid Karzai. “We flew by US aircraft to pick him up and the Americans held him for about a week as we started an investigation, but then he disappeared from custody,” Juma Gul says.
“His people do a lot of bad things – they rape and loot in the name of the Hazara. Hundreds of people die in disputes between the Hazara and the Pashtuns. But the problem is, thousands would be dying if the American Special forces were not there.”
Even prominent Hazara figures are wary of Shujai . Recently we got case that Shujai has been treated sister of an Afghan journalist and human rights activist for force marriage, we can’t write name of the victim who been treated and his brother’s name particularly one who is a known journalist and media activist.
Such cases are happening every single day in Afghanistan, with in Hazara community and other parts of the country such north and west Afghanistan.
As we had discussion with Afghan Journalist about her sister case, Shujai is still a warlord with much power to use for his empire but let’s not count on week government who create space for such inhuman warlords to use it’s own play.
Perception becomes reality in a region in which tit-for-tat hostage-taking is common enough between Pashtuns and Hazaras, distrustful of each other after decades of reciprocal abuse. Repeated US denials of support or protection for Shujai count for little because of what the people claim to see and hear.
Recently, a 40-man delegation went to Kabul to complain, delivering photographic evidence of what purportedly were the breast wounds suffered by several women.
Afghanistan is suffering from rampant violence, as a result of sectarian and ethnic strife, which is gradually increasing as the time line of NATO forces withdrawal is ending. This would rapidly exacerbate, if no international peacekeeping force stays in the conflict ridden areas, and will hamper all the gains achieved up till now.
The withdrawal of international forces from conflict-ridden areas is subject to the availability of efficient replacement for the administration of security matters. Unfortunately, the Afghanistan army is not capable enough to protect Afghanistan at this stage. The rising defections trend in Afghanistan army speaks for itself. These soldiers eventually regroup with Taliban, and attack on foreign forces.
The reasons for increasing defections are due to professional incompetence of Afghanistan National Army, corruption within army ranks, inferior quality of arms and ammunitions et cetera. There are chances that ANA future operations will completely halt, due to absence of operational support from foreign forces.
Afghan Journalist and human rights activist who lives now in Sweden, he has allot to tell about such cases and according to the ethnic information he is also from Hazara community and from the same district of Ghazni province that Shujai has made his own empire.
He is welling to share story of her sister but he is much worry about his mother who she is still around.
At the end, the women rights issue will rekindle once again. Women in Afghanistan have suffered tremendously since the last three decades. Since the invasion of Afghanistan, these incidents have diminished due to law and order apparatus, but still there emerge cases of domestic abuse, force marriages and burning alive like a mob of male attackers viciously attacked 27-year-old Farkhunda. They beat her, set her body ablaze, and tossed her into the shallow waters of Kabul river on March 19,
A former woman law maker Ms Atmar was divorced by her husband and shunned by family, after she helped pass the landmark legislation for the protection of women. Mr. Atmar is now Afghan National Security Adviser for Ashraf Ghani’s government.