Upon the withdrawal of the Soviet Forces, notorious warlords dominated the political climate in Kabul and overthrew Najeeb’s Government. These warlords were party to a brutal and far-reaching civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands.
Subsequent rule by the Taliban brought a new face to this horror. Taliban deprived Afghans of their civil liberties and fundamental human rights. Women, children and ethnic minorities were severely targeted.
Upon fall the of the Taliban, most of the former Mujahidin warlords and re-emerged as key government officials. As a prospect of peace deal between the US and Taliban is gaining momentum, Taliban terrorists also are likely to own a big share of this climate. What we will end up is a government that is run by terrorists and gross violators of human rights who have had major roles in Afghanistan’s worst nightmares and massacres.
Farshad and Fatima H Bakhsh attempt at identifying and introducing Gross Violators of Human Rights and Terrorist Leaders in Afghanistan. It is based on interviews with informants and draws references from other national and international institution reports.
Status: Defense Minister, NUG
Haji Asadullah Khalid at the time of Karzay regime was Governor of his home Ghazni, governor of Kandahar, Minister of Borders, besides being in-charge of the Ministry, he was appointed as special representative of the president to Loi Kandahar provinces( Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul, Rozgan).
In April 2010, CBC News revealed the existence of top-level Canadian government documents reporting the personal involvement of Khalid in serious human rights abuses in his own private dungeon. At 2012 Afghan human rights and Multiple sources report that the private detention centre was located under Khalid’s guest house while governor of Kandahar. Documents says, that Asadullah Khalid had ordered the killing of five United Nations workers by bombing, presumably to protect his narcotics interests.
Draft legislation on torture is finally emerging after years of political and bureaucratic battles, but torture is on the rise. While in a few cases police have been dismissed or relocated following investigations, in places were torture is used systematically, the Afghan government has done nothing to hold the most egregious offenders accountable. Afghanistan’s strongmen, and the forces loyal to them, remain above the law. These include not only Dostum, but also Police Chief Raziq of Kandahar, among others. Human Rights Watch has documented cases of torture by other prominent political figures, including Asadullah Khalid, former head of the National Directorate of Security.
A year later, in September 2012, the National Assembly of Afghanistan approved him as head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), which is the Afghan intelligence service. He sustained injuries in Taliban attack in December 2012. Khalid was appointed Minister of Defense in September 2018.
Abdul Rashid Dostum
Status: 1st Vice President to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
In the 1980s, Dostum was in command of an Uzbek militia that fought with AK-47s on horseback. A former general in the Afghan army, he fought against Mujahidin fighters as well as the Taliban. He has been accused of being responsible for mass killings of the Taliban prisoners.
Dostum: Afghanistan’s Embattled Warlord, written by Brian Glyn Williams in CIA’s Terrorism Monitor Journal contains details of Dostum’s violent engagement up to 2008.
Forces loyal to Dostum have reportedly been accused of war-crimes and killings of civilians. Human Rights Watch, on June 2016, reported that his militiamen had entered villages in Faryab Province and had killed more than 5 civilians and injuring many more.
In most recent of these atrocities, he kidnapped and detained his rival, Ahmad Ischi and reportedly beat him and raped him. Subsequently, he was exiled to Turkey. He returned back to Afghanistan in 2018. He is yet to be tried for these allegations.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “the Butcher”
Status: Candidate, Afghan Presidential Elections
Hekmatyar is designated a terrorist by the United States and leads the Hezb-i-Islami political party. During the war against Soviet Union, Hekmatyar’s mujahideen fighters received funding from the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. But his role during the war came under criticism, as he ordered attacks on rival groups to strengthen his power. After taking refuge in Iran for some time, he was thought to be moving in and out of the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Hekmatyar was a key player in 1990’s civil war and repeatedly shelled Kabul, killing and wounding thousands. He returned to Kabul in 2017 as part of a peace deal signed in 2016, which gave him amnesty against all his previous atrocities. His convoy of supporters entering Kabul were heavily armed. Top commanders related to his insurgency group–2nd largest–were also pardoned. Since then, he has remains an outspoken critic of free media and at times has sparked controversy by criticising his rivals and ethnic minorities.
Status: Member, Council for Security and Stability of Afghanistan
Khan rose to power while battling the Soviets in Afghanistan. He fought them for 13 years to retake Herat province and became its governor. When Mohammad Omar attacked and captured Herat in 1995, Khan was thrown into a prison in Kandahar. After he escaped in 1999, he joined forces with Ahmed Shah Massoud in the Northern Alliance. He fought alongside U.S. forces against the Taliban in 2001 and then quickly consolidated his control over Herat, appointing himself as the governor. After Karzai removed him from power in 2005, he took an offer to become the minister of water and energy.
Although Khan has not been accused of severe war crimes–the likes of which Dostum an Hikmatyar have been–forces loyal to him in early 2000’s were accused of atrocities against civilians (particularly Pashtuns) in Herat province. (HRW–2003, and Thomas Johnson–Strategic Insights, Volume III, Issue 7–2004).
In a public speech in late 2018, Ismail Khan had proposed a military-dictatorship as a response to existing instability (Pajhwok, Sep 2018).
status: Deputy CEO of the NUG
Mohaqiq, a Hazara commander, played an active role in fighting against Soviet troops after they invaded in 1979. He was one of the key leaders of the Wahdat Party who was a party to the civil war and accused of atrocities against the civilian (HRW–2005). After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Mohaqiq was appointed vice-president and oversaw the Ministry of Planning, but he was removed from the government over his differences with Karzai. Militiamen and forces loyal to Mohaqiq–among others–were reported to have massively looting, torturing, abusing Pashtun villagers in early 2002 (HRW,2003).
Mohaqiq commands support within the Hazara community and is a deputy to Abdullah Abdullah–Afghan CEO. In most recent controversies, Mohammad praised Iranian recruitment of Afghans to fight armed oppositions and ISIS alongside the Syrian Regime.
Atta Mohammad Noor
Status: Chief Executive of Jamiat-e Islami Party
Atta Mohammad Noor served as the senior commander for the Northern Alliance forces in Mazar-e Sharif before the fall of Taliban in 2001. Three years later, Karzai appointed him as the governor of Balkh province. He ruled the northern region with an iron fist, leading to accusations of widespread looting and mass executions. In the initial years leading to 2003, forces under his command in Mazar-e-Sharif were accused of serious human rights violations, particularly towards the Pashtuns. With his warlord legacy tucked in, he has now transformed himself into an ultra-rich businessman.
In 2015, HRW reported that, “[the entity] has documented Atta’s maintenance of a network of militias under his effective command that has been implicated in serious human rights abuses”. The report indicates number ranging from 452 up to 1500 militiamen and arbakis.
The entity also has evidence that Atta supported a notorious kidnapper named Habib Rahman, prevent his transfer to Kabul for prosecution and then ensuring his comfort in jail.
In its 2017 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, State Department detailed reports of Atta and his sons attacking his rival Asif Mohmand, detaining him and biting off piece of his ear, an assault that killed at least 3 and injured 13 more.
Abdurrab Rasul Sayyaf
Sayyaf, a religious scholar turned mujahideen commander, built a close relationship with Osama bin Laden during their fight against Soviet forces. Sayyaf continued to maintain his training camps, helping recruit jihadists to fight in conflicts as far away as the Philippines, where his name inspired a dangerous separatist group now known as Abu Sayyaf (The Economist, 2014). He also reportedly trained the 9/11 mastermind Sheikh Mohammad.
During 1990’s, Sayyaf’s Ittihad faction was a strong party to the civil war. Human Right’s Watch records that fighting over control of Kabul against the Wahdat forces started as early as 1992 and resulted in high civilian casualties and massive destruction. HRW implicates Sayyaf, centrally, in war crimes–including the massacre in Afshar–as he was commander of the this faction.
After 2001, Sayyaf continued to serve in various capacity with the Afghan government, yet, soldiers and commanders loyal to him continued to rob people, threaten journalists and musicians.
Gul Agha Sherzai
Status: Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs,
A former Mujahideen commander, Sherzai helped topple Mohammed Najibullah’s government. He became the governor of Kandahar twice, and he used his power to strengthen his position and help his tribe. When the Taliban conquered Kandahar after 1994, he left the city and remained hidden until 2001, when he recaptured Kandahar with the help of U.S. forces. During the Karzai administration, he served as governor of Kandahar and then Nangahar province. Until he was removed as Kandahar Governor, he reportedly kept most of the customs revenue, worth $ millions (Politics and Governance in Afghanistan: the Case of Nangarhar Provinc, Ashley Jackson, 2014).
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
Status: Head, Taliban’s Qatar Office
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan in 1994. He went on to become a linchpin of terror after the Taliban were toppled by the US-led invasion in 2001. He was eventually captured in a joint US-Pakistani raid in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi in February 2010. Little was heard of Mullah Baradar’s fate until late in 2012 when his name repeatedly topped the list of Taliban prisoners the Afghans wanted released in order to encourage nascent peace talks. At the time of his arrest he was said to be second-in-command to the Taliban’s spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and one of his most trusted commanders. He was released last year and was appointed on January 2019, as the political head of Taliban’s Qatar Office.
Abdul Salam Rocketi,
Status: Lives in Afghanistan
Haji Mullah Abdul Salam Raketi is the son of late Haji Manzar. He was born in 1958 in Naubahar district of the southern Zabul province. He continued his religious education until 1978 and then migrated to Pakistan. Rakity launched jihad against the regime in southeastern Paktika province in 1979. He continued fighting in Kandahar and Zabul till the fall of the government of Dr. Najeeb in Kabul. He was commander of the 27th brigade in the mujahideen after 1992. He joined the Taliban in 1994 on the request of the Taliban leadership in 1995.
Mulla Abdul Salam Rakity remained imprisoned with the Americans for eight months in 2002. He was elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from southern Zabul province in 2005.
Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil
Status: lives in Kabul
Mutawakil served as the Foreign Affairs Minister in the Taliban government. He was the highest ranking Taliban official to surrender to US forces. He was held by the Americans for 18 months and eventually released in October 2003. The western media has labeled Mutawakil a “moderate Talib”. On May 2, 2005, Mutawakil went on a Pakistan-based pashto TV channel (Khyber TV), and urged the Taliban to reconcile their differences with President Hamid Karzai’s government.
Abdul Hakim Mujahid,
Status: Lives in Kabul
Mujahid served as the Taliban representative and point of contact for the United Nations. He is currently the head of the political wing of a Taliban splinter group called Jamiat-i-Khuddamul Furqan. He is labeled by the western media as a “moderate-Talib”. Mujahid told the Pajhowk Afghan news agency in early May 2005 that they are trying to have their party registered with the Justice Ministry and set up an office in Kabul. Hakim Mujahid was appointed a member of the High Peace Council and was sacked, subsequently, in response to his controversial remarks.
Amir Khan Muttaqi
Status: Alive, whereabouts not obvious
Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi was born in 1968 in Shin Kalai village, Zurmat District, Paktia Province. He is an important Taliban official who held various posts in the past, including minister of Information and Culture. His current whereabout is said to be somewhere in Pakistan. He was the Taliban representative in UN-led talks under the Taliban regime
Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi is a member of Taliban`s Shura Council and Official in Charge of its Media Committee. He was reported wounded in an airstrike on a Taliban gathering in Nawa district of Ghazni province in July 2018. Pajhwok reported that he was a participant in the UAE peace meetings, in late December 2019.
Status: Chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council
Karim Khalili served as Wahdat Party’s Deputy during the Afghan civil war. After Mazari was killed by the Taliban, Khalili became leader of the party. Karim Khalili did have leading role during Mazari’s rule of the party and both had acknowledged to taking civilians as hostages. This was reported by the HRW too, back in 2005. Under their rule, the Wahdat party regularly assaulted public. Khalili served as cabinet member of Hamid Karzai’s government. As of early 2003, UN officials confirmed cases where commanders loyal to Khalili engaged in rapes, kidnappings and forced marriage of girls in districts of Ghazni province. This included commanders like Irfani (Jaghori), Itimadi (Sharistan) and Qasemi (Malistan). (UN via HRW, 2003). Khalili later became vice president to Hamid Karzai for two terms and now heads the Afghan High Peace Council.
Zardad Faryadi (wild dog Zardad)
Status: Head, General Council of Karawane Haq
Zardad Faryadi was a mid-rank commander of the Islamic Party led by Hekmatyar and controlled checkpoints along the route to Jalalabad. This notorious commander was guilty of preying over civilian who would flee the civil war in 1990’s. As noted by Human Rights at the Crossroads, edited by Marck Goodale, Zardadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison by ICC in the United Kingdom, maintaining that “he had shown a (total disregard for humanity)”.
Zardad was deported to Kabul in 2016 and intended to run for Parliamentary Elections in 2018. Nonetheless, he was banned from running for the elections for his criminal records. He teamed up with President Ashraf in the 2019 presidential elections.
Din Muhammad Jabar Khel
Status: Deputy, Afghanistan High Peace Council.
Din Muhammad Jabar Khel served as minister of security and education during Mujahidin’s short-lived rule. He was also deputy Chairman of Islami Party led by Molawi Khalis. The party was a key faction during the Soviet Union intervention of Afghanistan and later on during the civil war. Jabarkhil was a key ally to the Hamid Karzai government. He was born in Jalalabad and served as governor of Nangarhar and then Kabul. Musa Khan Jalalzai in his book “Whose Army? Afghanistan’s Future and Blueprint for Civil War” termed him as a profoundly corrupt and illiterate warlord. He is a deputy to the Afghanistan High Peace Council, right now.
Jumma Khan Hamdard
Status: Senior Member, Islamic Party
Jumma Khan Hamdard is an ethnic Pashtun from the North who had a key role in the civil war and human rights abuse as Commander of the Junbesh Party’s 8th Corps. See, “THE ETHNICISATION OF AN AFGHAN FACTION: JUNBESH-I-MILLI FROM ITS ORIGINS TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS”, Antonio Giustozzi and “Warlords, Strongman Governors, and the State in Afghanistan.
By Dipali Mukhopadhyay”. He later joined the Karzai government from Islamic party side, and served as governor to Paktia province.
One of the US embassy cables published by Wikileaks relates to Juma Khan Hamdard. It contains detailed allegations that the governor is not only illegally amassing a personal fortune from US government-funded contracts, but is also fuelling money to active members of his tanzim, Hezb-e Islami terrorists , who are currently fighting the government in Balkh province.
Status: Former member of Parliament,
Zahir Qadir is son of Haji Qadir–ex vice president to Hamid Karzai who was killed in 2002. Zahir Qadir and his family are accused to run a complex network and a private militia of hundreds strong in Nangarhar. His men are accused to have committed gross violations of human rights in the forms of kidnapping, extortions (HRW 2004, see Politics and Governance in Afghanistan: the case of Nangarhar written by Ashley Jackson). They are also accused of drug trafficking and land grabs.
Status: Deputy of the Afghan Taliban
Sirajudin Haqqani took operational control of the the Haqqani Network in 2001. He is now deputy to the Afghan Taliban Leader. Under his command, the Haqqani Network has launched their most deadly attacks against the government and civilian targets, killing and injuring thousands. They have undertaken mass beheadings, assassinations and torturing of the civilian and government forces(http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/363). Serajudin Haqqani has also been included in the designated terrorists list of the UN Security Council, in 2007.
Status: Negotiating Member, Taliban’s Qatar Office
Annas Haqqani is the younger brother of Taliban’s deputy commander—Haqqani—and younger son of Haqqani Network’s founder. Annas was arrested on 14th October 2014 by Afghanistan’s Intelligence Agency and was held near Bagram air base. Annas Haqqani was sentenced to death, in August 2016, by primary and appeal courts of Bagram district for charges of financing terrorism.
Haqqani Network is accused of committing murder, intentionally targeting civilians and humanitarian personnel, conscripting children and treacherously killing or wounding combatant adversaries. The network is also behind kidnapping Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman, and their infant children both born in captivity, in 2012. Members of this Canadian-American family were severely tortured, and were subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment by the kidnappers. They were rescued on October 12th 2017 by Pakistani troops.
Annas Haqqani was freed on November 19th 2019 in exchange for Kevin King and Timothy Weeks—both professors of American University of Afghanistan. These professors were kidnapped in 2016. While this swap is praised by officials, others criticizes it in that the move may further embolden the terrorist group towards additional kidnappings of the civilian.
Other terrorist Haqqani members who have been listed as sanctioned by the UN Security Council are:
Mohammad Ibrahim Omari (TAi.042), listed on 23 February 2001,
Ahmad Taha Khalid Abdul Qadir (TAi.105), listed on 23 February 2001,
Nasiruddin Haqqani (TAi.146), listed on 20 July 2010,
Khalil Ahmed Haqqani (TAi.150), listed on 9 February 2011,
Sangeen Zadran Sher Mohammad (TAi.152), listed on 16 August 2011,
Abdul Aziz Abbasin (TAi.155), listed on 4 October 2011,
Fazl Rabi (TAi.157), listed on 6 January 2012,
Ahmed Jan Wazir (TAi.159), listed on 6 January 2012,
Abdul Rauf Zakir (TAi.164), listed on 5 November 2012
Others associated to the Haqqani Network:
Ibrahim Haqqani, whose whereabouts is unknown.
Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai
Status: Chief Negotiator of the Taliban
Born in 1965 and a graduate of the Kabul Military Academy (nunn.asia, 2018), Abbas Stanikzai was a commander with Sayyaf’s Ittihad Islami and at times as head of the Harakat-e-Inqilab Islami’s military committee led by Nabi Mohammadi in 1990. He served as deputy minister at Ministry Public Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the Taliban rule (https://goo.gl/B9RuPy and Pajhwok, 2019). He was sanctioned, along with 152 other individuals of the Taliban government, in 1999 by the UN (www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2001/afg169rev1.html ). He was appointed as head of the Qatar Office in 2015 (BBC, 2015), and currently is a lead negotiator in peace talks with the US government.
Mullavi Shahabudin Delawar:
Status: Negotiating Member, Taliban’s Qatar Office
Born in 1950’s, Delawar is one of the 152 Taliban officials sanctioned by the UN, UK, EU, Australia and France (www.unis.unvienna.org, https://www.counterextremism.com/extremists/shahabuddin-delawar, https://www.uaf.gob.ni/images/Pdf/Listas_ONU-2018/Lista_1988-_10.04.18.pdf). He studied religious studies in Logar Province and during the Soviet invasion with the Darul Oloom-e-Haqqania in Khatak, Pakistan (nunn.asia, 2018). He served in various capacities with the Taliban government in the 1990’s. He has been a Taliban negotiator since 2012. He reportedly had attended recent talks in Qatar with the US Special Representative.
Qari Din Mohammad Hanif
Status: Member, High Peace Council of the Taliban
Qari Din Mohammad Hanif is an ethnic Tajik (bbc, 2013). He was an active Jihadi during the Soviet Invasion (nunn.asia, 2018) and was Minister of Planning and Higher Education during the Taliban era (Pajhwok, 2019). Din Mohammad Hanif was sanctioned by the UN, in 2001, alongside other Taliban government officials, pursuant to “list pursuant to paragraph 4 (b) of resolution 1267 (1999), pages 1-5” (unis.unvienna, 2001). He was appointed as the Taliban’s military commander for Badakhshan province, subsequent to 2001 and was later appointed as member of the political commission (nunn.asia,2018). Reported to be slightly reasonable than others (AAN, 2013), he is currently a member of High Peace Council of the Taliban in Qatar.
Haji Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai
Status: Member, High Peace Council of the Taliban
Zahid comes from Logar, studied religious studies in Peshawar’s Darul Nejat and was part of Harakat-e-Nejat Islami led by Maulavi Mohammad Nabi (nunn.asia, 2018). He served as Taliban’s third secretary in the Taliban Embassy in Islamabad (AAN, 2013 and Pajhowk, 2019, UN Resolution 1988). He too was listed in the sanctions list by the UN, in 2001 for arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze (unis.unvienna, and Interpol). Upon fall of the Taliban regime, he reportedly chaired Taliban’s Leadership Council and Political Office. He is a member of the HPC of the Taliban, currently.
Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi
Status: Member HPC, Taliban
He is an Uzbek and graduate of Dar ul Ulom Karachi, Pakistan (Pajhwok, 2013, nunn.asia, 2018). He was Deputy Minister of Education during the Taliban and was listed in the sanctions list by the UN, in 2001 for arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze (unis.unvienna, and Interpol). After fall of the Taliban, he was appointed as military commander of the Taliban for Jauzjan province. He currently is a member of the HPC for the Taliban.
Abdul Ghani Baradar
Status: Leader of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar
Abdul Ghani Baradar is 45 years old and one of the four co-founders of the Taliban group in 1994 (BBC). He is known as the brain of the group by the Taliban (BBC). He studied Sharia/Islamic studies in Pakistan’s Madrasas and had fought for several years on the battle field for Taliban’s victory. After collapse of the Taliban, the Queeta Shura which was the main Taliban structure was led by him. He was the deputy minister of defense during the Taliban and after the Taliban withdrawal, he became Mullah Omar’s deputy.
He has been on the side of peace for over a decade. After he was arrested in Pakistan, he was released and later named the leader of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar amid talks with the US to begin the peace negotiations.
Status: Spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha
Sohail Shaheen is a Totakhel Pashtun from Paktia. He got his education in the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan. He is known as a fluent English speaker and prolific writer and former journalist during Mujahedin.
Before the Taliban, Shaheen was a journalist covering the mujahedin uprising against the Soviets, and the days afterwards when he was editor of the Kabul Times. Later, he was appointed as the Taliban’s representative to the UN in New York and also as deputy ambassador to the Afghan embassy in Pakistan. After 2001, he lived in Hezb-e- Islami controlled area in Peshawar in a refugee camp while writing for a Hezbi newspaper and later worked for the UN in Pakistan.
He accompanied Taliban envoy to meet representatives of the UN in Qatar in Dec 2011 over opening an office for the Emirates of Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar.
Western media highlighted that the age of warlords in Afghanistan may finally be ending. But, it has not happen yet. The beginning of the end started before Afghanistan attracted the world’s attention on September 11, 2001. From that time up to now, Afghanistan has been witnessing many dead, killed and assassinated warlords. Yet, the country’s remaining warlords still have their grip on power. Due to factionalism, inability of the government and international community, they still pose huge threats to thousands of lives.
Mullah Dadullah lost a leg when he fought with the mujahideen against the Soviet forces in the 1980s. He was said to be close to Taliban leader Mohammad Omar and served as the minister of construction in the Taliban government. Dadullah was killed by U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan in 2007.
Mohammed Qasim Fahim
A capable commander, Fahim worked closely as a deputy for Ahmed Shah Massoud. After Massoud was assassinated in 2001, Fahim led the Northern Alliance forces and fought against the Taliban, recapturing Kabul. In Blood Stained Hands, HRW documents that Fahim held at least one of the military posts on the Television Mountain and was key to Afshar campaign. Up to 1000 civilians were killed in this campaign (the Guardian).
He later became the defense minister of Afghanistan and served as vice president under Hamid Karzai. Throughout his tenure, police forces under his command were accused of torturing civilians, according to HRW (2003).
Ahmed Shah Massoud
Massoud was a charismatic military leader who led the resistance against Soviet occupation and was known as the “Lion of the Panjshir”. Massoud’s Jamiat Party was an integral side of catastrophic civil war of the 1990s. He and many of his commanders have been accused of war crimes. HRW, among others, had interviewed witnesses of Jamiat’s artillery attack of west Kabul in 1992, that resulted in numerous deaths (Blood Stained Hands, HRW, 2005).
“On February 11 1993, Massoud and Sayyaf’s forces entered the Hazara suburb of Afshar, killing – by local accounts – “up to 1,000 civilians”, beheading old men, women, children and even their dogs, stuffing their bodies down the wells” (A Gruesome Record, The Guardian, 2001).
Massoud formed the United Front, also known as the Northern Alliance, to counter the advance of the Taliban. He became defense minister in 1992. He was assassinated two days before the Sept. 11 attack.
Omar, often referred to as Mullah Omar, is the spiritual leader of the Taliban and ruled Afghanistan as its de facto head of state from 1996 to 2001. He came to power only a few years after he gathered a group of his old mujahideen fighters and formed the Taliban, which under his leadership defeated some of the most powerful warlords in Afghanistan. When U.S. forces entered Kabul in 2001, Omar disappeared, and died in 2013. He was wanted by the United States for his role in sheltering Osama bin Laden and continuing to operate an insurgency in Afghanistan. Taliban, headed by Mohammad Omar notoriously engaged in massacres. In a report in 2001, HRW documented two massacres that continued for days and resulted in killing of hundreds of civilians (in January 2001 and May 2001) of the Hazara People in Yakaolang. They committed gross atrocities against other ethnicities in other cities and were gruesome abusers of women.
Abdul Ali Mazari
Abdul Ali Mazari led Wahdat Party from 1992 until his death in 1995 and was a principle convict of the war crimes during the Afghan civil wars. Under his leadership, the party led the civil war in west Kabul and reportedly keeping civilian prisoners and shelling the city (HRW report). As mentioned in the Alliance Formation in Civil Wars by Fotini Christia, Wahdat Party was an important side and it’s members are also the victims of the Afshar massacre that resulted in thousands of civilians being killed, injured or imprisoned.
Commander Matiullah Khan
Commander Matiullah Khan was Oruzgan province’s Police Commander and a close ally to Hamid Karzai. A report by the Human Rights Watch reported him as implicated for human rights violations. Shifting power structures have led to the appointment of individuals implicated in serious human rights abuses, including Matiullah Khan as Uruzgan police chief and Abdur Rezaq Razziq as Kandahar police chief.
Matiullah Khan was also a NATO Contractor escorting Nato cargo trucks from Kandahar to Urozgan. He was killed in 2015 in Kabul by the Taliban.
Ghulam Sakhi Wasiq
Lieutenant General Ghulam Sakhi Wasiq was a local commander in associated to Nehzate Islami Party during the civil war. He and forces under his command are accused of extensive Human Rights violations that include rape, murder and extortions. He died last year.
Rabbani led Jamiat-e Islami-yi Afghanistan during the civil wars and served as a president for a short tenure. Under his presidency, and throughout the infamous civil war, rabbani and his commander Ahmad Shah Massoud committed extensive and gross war crimes (“Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Truth versus Justice
edited by Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Javier Mariezcurrena”, and “People on War, Country report Afghanistan, Report by Greenberg Research, Inc.
1999). As documented by the HRW reports in 2005, reported by independent investigative journalists, they detained civilians and tortured them for ransom. His government also initiated the Afshar battle against Wahdat Islami Party led by Mazari in 1993. The battle resulted in killing and disappearance of hundreds of civilians, widespread rape, mutilation, looting and forced labor. Reports indicate that over 5000 houses were looted in the campaign. Rabbani was killed in a suicide attack.
Jalaludin Haqqani is founder and spiritual leader of the Haqqani Network. He led the group until late 2001. His network of 4000 strong (web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants) have been in battle with the Afghan government and have carried deadly attacks against with high civilian casualties. He and the Haqqani Network have been convicted of serious human rights violations that include kidnapping, suicidal attacks on civilian targets, killing of humanitarian aid workers and kidnapping. (see, Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War By Edward Girardet). He was included in UN Security Council’s sanctioned individuals and entities. Haqqani was reported dead on September 2018.
Sayed Hussain Anwari
Sayed Hussain Anwari was a military commander of Harakat-e Islami-yi Afghanistan and was a faction involved during the civilian war in 1990s. He was mainly supported by Iran and has been accused of war crimes and human rights violations. He is reported to have been involved in the Afshar attack in 1993 in Kabul that led to killing of hundreds of civilians and widespread abuses (Blood-Stained Hands, Past Atrocities in Kabul and Afghanistan’s Legacy of Impunity, HRW). After 2001, he served the Afghan government at various capacities, including as minister, yet, men associated with him were accused of harassment. He served as senior military advisor to President Ghani and died in 2016.
The provincial chief of police in Kandahar, Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq, has been directly implicated in ordering extrajudicial executions. And when the former head of the National Directorate of Security Asadullah Khalid sought medical care in the United States, he received a personal visit from President Barack Obama, sending a powerful message of US support for a notorious human rights violator.
Human Rights Watch urged the Afghan government to investigate all allegations of abuse by Afghan security forces, and remove from office and appropriately prosecute officials and commanders implicated in serious abuses.
“The acting commander of border police in Kandahar, Abdul Razzaq Achakzai [Raziq], has acknowledged killing the victims, but has claimed (claims now proved false) that the killings took place during an ambush he conducted against Taliban infiltrators,” a report by the office of the EU envoy to Afghanistan said then.
Since he took control of the province’s police in 2011, the United Nations has documented “systematic” use of torture in Kandahar’s police and intelligence units, and the Human Rights Watch report lists multiple cases of men detained by Kandahar police, whose mutilated corpses were found discarded days later. Raziq has repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Raziq was assassinated on October 2018 in an insider attack in Kandahar.
Supported links & sources:
This is an active and changing report.