Ethnic leaders against Karzai

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on renewed cooperation of former Northern Alliance leaders.  Here are some excerpts. 


…KABUL—A group of former warlords who helped the U.S. topple the Taliban regime in 2001 have launched a political alliance against Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s rule, in a re-emergence of old civil-war divisions as the country looks ahead to the departure of U.S. forces.

The leaders, each representing a minority ethnic group, say they are concerned that Mr. Karzai will seek to claim more power following President Barack Obama’s announcement last week of plans to begin withdrawing U.S. troops.

The announcement of the renewed alliance last week followed a decision by a special court backed by Mr. Karzai that disqualified a quarter of all parliamentarians elected in September polls. The decision weakened the contingent of lawmakers that is trying to turn the legislature into a check on Mr. Karzai’s authority.

Mr. Karzai had argued that the election wasn’t representative of the public’s wishes because it diluted the power of the Pashtuns, the country’s largest ethnic group—to which Mr. Karzai and the Taliban belong.


The new opposition group is led by former key figures in the Northern Alliance, which banded together mostly Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara militias to fight the Taliban regime during civil war in the 1990s.

Along with Mr. Mohaqiq, the group is led by Gen. Rashid Dostum of the Uzbek community and Ahmad Zia Massoud, a prominent Tajik whose brother, Ahmad Shah Massoud, led the Tajiks against the Taliban before his assassination by al Qaeda two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


Among the opposition’s objectives is to put enough pressure on Mr. Karzai to reverse the decision to disqualify lawmakers from parliament; ensure the Taliban don’t gain power through peace talks; and to field their own candidate for the next presidential election, in 2014—the year that foreign forces plan to hand over full authority to Afghanistan…


So would this be a good thing for the country? Could it be worse than a Karzai government full of corruption and Pashtun loyalties which fall pretty closely along Taliban loyalties? Is it strange these leaders of the Taliban routing aren’t more prominent in the current government? Did we sell out to the wrong people? Just wondering.


dostumGen. Abdul Rashid Dostum The leader of the main party of Uzbek Afghans, Gen. Dostum has been a military leader and influential player in Afghanistan for decades. He served as deputy defense minister after the fall of the Taliban regime, supported Mr. Karzai’s re-election in 2009, and was appointed by the Afghan president as chief of staff to the commander in chief for the Afghan National Army.

haji mHaji Mohammad Mohaqiq Mr. Mohaqiq is the founder of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, the main party of the Hazara minority. Hazaras practice Shi’ite Islam, a branch considered heretical by the country’s hard-line Sunni Muslims. After the Taliban regime’s fall in 2001, Mr. Mohaqiq was appointed as a vice president and minister of planning in President Karzai’s interim government.

AhmadZiaMassoud_000Ahmad Zia Massoud Mr. Massoud is a senior leader of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, the main grouping of the country’s Tajik population. Mr. Massoud’s brother, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was the commander of the Northern Alliance, which fiercely resisted Taliban rule, until his assassination in 2001, days before the Sept. 11 attacks. Mr. Massoud served as vice president during President Karzai’s first term.

Pashtun-Ethnic-Map3taliban in astan

2009 Q2 IED attacks.IED Q2 2009

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