Urozgan, Afghanistan. More than a week of fighting between Taliban and Hazara villagers and its loyal fighters has heightened fears of a dangerous new phase of sectarian violence in Afghanistan.
In the violence where the Afghan government itself has its influences to the sectarian war and ethnic cleansing, to get its political agenda with Taliban territories.
The clashes in the central province of Uruzgan, which have killed over 50 civilians and soldiers, and have highlighted concerns that Hazaras, minority targeted by Islamic State attacks over recent years, may take up arms in frustration at a lack of action by the government.
While the Taliban, made up mainly of ethnic Pashtun Sunni Muslims, has not explicitly targeted Hazaras in the past, officials fear the violence could escalate into an ethnic battle.
The fighting is very intense and is now becoming an issue of ethnic violence between Hazara and Pashtun, according to ethnic activists, the government has its own arrangement between them even there are risks of a massacre.
Recently, Ashraf Ghani add his comment that there is a war between the villagers, it seems not terrorism agenda behind, but the Taliban has claimed as its own war and has clear message to kill one of the loyal Hazaza commanders Hakim Shujae.
According to the Routers, “Sectarian violence had until recent years been relatively uncommon in Afghanistan but suicide bombings at Hazara mosques and cultural centers by Islamic State as well as attacks on Hazaras traveling on provincial highways have fueled growing anger. Many Hazaras blame Sunni Pashtuns for the sectarian attacks since king Abdurahman.
This is not a holy war, rather than this an ethnic cleansing war against the Hazara minorities, says human rights activist Basir Ahang.
Activists on Twitter highlighted the sectarian war between the Taliban and Hazaras. Meanwhile, Afghan and Western security officials, fearing the kind of sectarian violence that has devastated Iraq, have been deeply concerned that Hazaras could be again the main victims of ethnic cleansing by Sunni terror organizations.
The recent violence started when Taliban fighters attacked a remote cluster of Hazara villages in Uruzgan province after they refused to pay tax to the insurgents, provincial officials said.
According to the Reuters, the Hazara commander, Abdul Hakim Shujaee, a former leader in the U.S.-funded Afghan Local Police, has been accused of serious human rights abuses and faces an arrest order from the central government, which has struggled to impose its authority on remote parts of the country.
Uruzgan, squeezed between the Taliban heartlands of Kandahar and Helmand and the Hazara-dominated province of Daikondi, is home to both Pashtuns and Hazara families and the two groups have long had an uneasy co-existence.
The Hazaras have always been treated as slaves throughout the centuries of brutality in Afghanistan. The 18th-century massacre of Hazara by Abdul Rehman marked the worst mass-displacement, migration, and massacre of Hazaras. About 62% of Hazaras were forced out of their lands in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces under the brutal rule of Abdul Rehman. Taliban reminded Hazaras of the Abdul Rehman era a decade ago, when thousands were cold-bloodedly massacred in Bamyan, Mazar-i-Sharif and other provinces.
The international troops led by the US has increased the dangers of Hazaras in Uruzgan with their temporary military operations against insurgents and compromises most of the times.
The case echoes a standoff last month in central Ghor province involving a prominent Hazara commander called Alipur, known as “Commander Sword”, seen by supporters as a kind of Robin Hood figure but denounced by the government as a bandit.
With the tempo of the Afghan conflict steadily increasing, it was a bad few days for the Hazrars minority beyond the Afghan government war against terrorism. The fighting has demonstrated that the insurgents have a capacity for carrying out ambitious operations on multiple fronts, while the government has struggled to respond some single fronts in Ghazni, not the Uruzgan war which can be a planted theory in the benefits of Pashtons beside the Taliban.