Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Afghans in Italy; Stop genocide in Afghanistan!

To support the protest committee against the genocide in Afghanistan

The current situation of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country that was drown in different social and political crisis for years and now after seven years of practical presence of the international community in this country, the structure of this country is still very fragile and damageable so anytime any disastrous thing could happen to destroy it.

Although most of the problems that are not solved yet are born from the social, political and economic crisis of the past such as poverty, illiteracy and instability which are directly or indirectly resulted form the performances of the discriminating and unjust regimes of the governments but currently the deliberately and inadvertent mistakes of the current government also increase the problems.

Ethnic discrimination, admin corruption in the current administration of Afghanistan, leading of the governmental plans by a specific team of Mr. president and lack of accountability and responsibility of the governmental officials to solve these problems create obstacle and challenges for the sufficient performance of the International community and reduced the results of sufficiency of international efforts to the minimum level in the reconstruction of this country.

The east and south of the country is becoming the main lands for opium day after day but because some very important and senior governmental officials including the governors of the provinces that are appointed by the president and president’s family member are all the main dealers and controllers of drug products in the country, not many serious and useful efforts are made by the government to eradicate the opium cultivation in the country because the government does not cut its own hands.

On the other hand the Taliban insurgents fort themselves logistically using the income of the drug that they deal with the government and then fight against the people of Afghanistan and the international community in this country and this cumbersome war as continues, it tenses the situation and strengthens the needs for a long term presence of the foreign troops in this country.

Among all regions, the central highland of the country the Hazarajaat has been all the time peaceful and people who are mostly farmers and livestock keepers in these provinces have all the time been cooperative with the government in the democratization process of the country.

These people instead of cultivating opium to support the terror and war have been planting grains like wheat and vegetables like potatoes to promote the useful products in the country and help the pure economy of the country.

Hazarajaat without war, opium and violence with an open and democratic atmosphere, has been one of the main potential areas for reconstruction and implementation of development plans but unfortunately the government of Karzai has discriminated with Hazarajaat in this regard. The reconstruction of Kabul-Bamyan- Herat highway which could improve the tourism in Afghanistan on the other hand could shorten the distances between western provinces, central highlands and Kabul and ease the import and export of the agricultural products of central highland and western province is one of the promises of Karzai’s government that is not implemented yet after almost four years.
The other place in Hazarajaat that needed reconstruction is the ancient historical Buddha’s statues of Bamyan that was blown up by the Taliban in 2001, but is not reconstructed yet, which could also help the tourism in the country.

Imposing war against the Hazaras; crisis brought to Hazarajaat
Based on the ethnic tribal structure of Afghanistan, it is helpful to have supports on ethnic basis to get the absolute power in the country, although it would cause the damage of other ethnics or cause ethnic clashes in the country. Or even no matter if it destroys or eliminates the others or cause genocide or an obligatory displacement but important is how to get this ethnic support to have the power in hand.

It has been long after its election, that the Karzai administration, in order to remain on power has adopted the policy of impunity for the Taliban as an ethnic support of the Pashtoons although the Taliban have done many crimes against humanity during their five years of sovereignty and also after then.
The Taliban as the extremist forces who are practically killing the civilians should have been prosecuted and trialed in war crime courts, while today they are under mercy of the current Afghan government and Karzai administration team based on ethnic relations plays a double role policy with the international community regarding their position with the Taliban.

The current Afghan government urges the military presence of the international community in Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban insurgents while on the other hand at the same time, this government allocates a big sum of money for the “forgiveness commission” that releases the Taliban from the prisons and pay them big amounts of money as compensation and then the released Taliban misuse this advantages and go back to join the front of battles against the government, civilian Afghans and international community soldiers.

It is not yet all, the government also supports the Taliban with the opium cultivation so they empower and rehabilitate their forces again against the defenseless people, the government and the foreign troops by the income getting from opium business dealing with the senior governmental officials including the family members of the president in Kandahar.

The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections of next year forces the Karzai administration to have Taliban with it at the same time involve the other ethnic electoral rival groups in their regional problems, so that they would not be able to prepare themselves for the elections to win.

One of the most democrat ethnics in Afghanistan is the Hazaras and they are all the time supporting democracy, freedom of speech, equality and social justice in Afghanistan because through each of these arenas they can eliminate the discrimination that they were suffering from for years; among the Hazaras the literacy and freedom for women, involvement of the women in social and political issues, general literacy of the whole people are in development nowadays more that other ethnics in the country.

At the same time, the Hazaras are the historical victims of Afghanistan who have been under pressures such as; discrimination, oppression, tortures, obligatory displacements and genocide at least for one and half century and transiting from such periods into normal and relaxing life were possible for them with the help and interference of the international community so that the ethnic - tribal pressures of the ruling ethnic would decrease from the deprived ethnics including the Hazaras, so this relatively reduction of pressures on the Hazaras could cause the fall of the pillars the ethnic based ruling governments in long term.

The Taliban always considered the Hazaras as one of their main enemies and during their ruling time, the Hazaras face with genocide for the second time in the history and this genocide was the continuity of the same genocide they have faced with in 1880s and 90s by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan the Pashtoon tyrant king who killed 62 % of the Hazara population and forced many to escape to the other neighboring countries.

The Hazaras have always opposed the coming back of the Taliban in the political arena of the country, and since the current policy of the Karzai administration needs to have the Taliban as an ethnic support, the return of the Taliban are many times suggested by the government.

For the government, it is difficult to have at the same time, the Taliban as their ethnic support with itself and the Hazaras as one of the power balancing ethnic groups who never want the new presence of the Taliban in the political arena of the country in any condition and have always entitled them the war criminals for which they have been facing the discrimination adapted the pro-Taliban government of Karzai and have paid big prices for their opposing role.

The Karzai administrations under the specific team, who need the Taliban as ethnic support, assume the Hazaras as their man barrier against an ethnic based government so they have to weaken the Hazaras even if possible by killing them.

In the first step the government should destroy the security of the Hazaras so these people not only would not have time and chance for reconstruction, rehabilitation and getting education, but also they would not be able to oppose with the Taliban, so the war should be opposed on the Hazaras and Hazarajaat should burn in fire.

So the Taliban received the direct and indirect support of the government to weaken the Hazaras in political, social and economical arenas and the Hazaras would not be able to stand and oppose the government and the Taliban.

Taliban’s attacks on Hazaras by the name of the Kochies (nomads)
Within last two to three years, using the name of The Kochies (Nomads) the Taliban have begin their attacks on Hazarajaat by the support of specific senior governmental officials within the Karzai administration team as a result they have killed tens of people and livestock, burnt many houses, schools, and forced thousands of people including the women, the elderly and children to obligatory displacement in Behsood district Maidan Wardak province.

Who are the Kochies (nomads)?

The Kochies or the nomads are the poor and misfortunate people who are kept illiterate and vagabond for years and years by the Pashtoon politicians and are often being misused for political purposes by them, and no matter even if these purposes would harm the identity and the position of the Kochies in the society.
About more than a century back during 1880s and 90s when the Hazaras faced with genocide and obligatory displacement by Abdul Rahman khan the tyrant king of the time, he used the Kochies as a pressure force against the Hazaras and issuing a decree permitted the Kochies holding guns and pistols at anytime anywhere in the country as well as he let them use the agricultural lands of the Hazaras in the summer season as their graze.
Thereafter the Kochies became an armed group and from then until the collapse of the Taliban they have been using the agricultural lands of the Hazaras on annual basis in the summer season bringing their livestock for grazing that caused the Hazaras a lot of agricultural and economic loss every year. During the Taliban, these nomads using the power and influences of the Taliban received taxes from Hazarajaat.

The Hazaras who had their pieces of agricultural land as the only livelihood tool, how could bear the tyranny of the vagabond nomads who destroyed their everything based on a discriminating decree that is in contrast with any kind of contemporary human rights conventions and laws ?!

Disadvantages of nomadic life style in current situation of Afghanistan

We live in twenty first century, in 2008 when the world is moving a head towards its highest advancements and nomadic life style and distancing from the modern civic cultures is a social deficiency and is socially and economically harmful for the rest of civic citizens.
In the current situation of Afghanistan, when there is lack of identified border lines with the eastern neighboring country Pakistan, at the same time empowerment of the religious extremists in that country has changed the nomadic life style as a serious challenge for Afghanistan. When the borders are not controlled, the Kochies are armed and the religious extremists enter Afghan in huge numbers from Pakistan, the nomads are being misused very easily and become a real threat for the national security of the country.
On the hand, from the environmental aspect, the uncontrollable ramping of the nomads in the grass lands and green areas damage the greenery and the safety of the environment in different areas.

What the Afghans in Italy want in this regard

In the current situation of Afghanistan, nomadic life style is nothing except threats for the civic life of the other citizens, a reason for security instability, destruction of environment and the cause of illegal entrance of extremist forces from Pakistan.

So the Afghans in Italy want the disarmament of the Kochies as the other ethnics of the country according to the article no 22 of the Afghan constitution that denies any kind of discrimination and distinction among the Afghan citizens, and says that all citizens have the same rights and responsibilities according to law, so based on this article the Kochies should not be distinct to hold weapons with themselves freely to threaten the social security in the country.

The other demand of the Afghan protestors in Italy is the permanent solution of the nomads’ issue by placing them in appropriate locations provided by the government based on the article no 14 of the Afghan Constitution that obliges the government to assist the Kochies for the permanent locating but there should not be any other plot behind it, so the government should locate them based on their needs that is the greenery and grass in this case the evergreen land of Mashriqi the eastern provinces and the tropical southern provinces which have a lot of forests and greenery would be the most suitable places for the permanent locating of the Kochies. But if the government would again, try to locate the Kochies in the areas of the country to displace the other ethnics; it is again discrimination, distinction and violation of social justice in the country and violation of the Afghan constitution.

And also the demonstrators demand the absolute annulment of all discriminating decrees and documents that were issued more than a century ago for the purpose of genocide and obligatory displacement of the Hazaras in Afghanistan and are still in force.

For this purpose the Afghans in Italy forming a committee “the committee to protest genocide and obligatory displacement in Afghanistan”, condemn the discriminating attitude of president of Afghanistan with this issue which was rooted from wrong counseling of his surrounding team.

This committee emphasizes to demand the government of Afghanistan, the UNAMA office in Afghanistan and the other delegation offices of international community member states in Afghanistan not to ignore this genocide and make efforts for a fundamental solution for this issue with clearance, transparency and justice.

This committee especially asks the government of Italy as a country that is involved in the reform and reconstruction of the judicial system of Afghanistan, to interfere in this issue with a deep insight to the depth of the issue and help the Afghan government resolve this issue considering the laws, human rights conventions and contemporary legal and judicial standards.

We ask the government of Italy to ask the Afghan governments for the absolute annulment of the discriminating decrees from more than a century back that causes violence and extend the continuity of ethnic enmity, bloodshed, genocide and obligatory displacement of people in certain parts of Afghanistan.

Conducting a peaceful demonstration in Rome- Italy by presence of hundreds of Afghans in Italy this committee contributed its share to the reality of social justice process in Afghanistan so that Afghanistan would become a common house for all its citizens with equal rights and responsibilities in its real meanings.

We hope this committee would continue its continuous struggles and efforts for the realization of social justice in Afghanistan.
Amin Wahidi

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A day and half in Rome

Where is justice?!
A few days ago, I heard that the Afghans in Italy will be getting together to protest against the Taliban genocides under the name of Kochi’s (nomads) in Behsood district of Maidan province.

When I was thinking, how I would help them, I received a call from an Afghan in Rome who invited me and provided the two sides train tickets but I insisted to stay there only for a short time, because I had other things to do in Milan.

The train tickets were for night and I had to time to think and imagine what I could do for them.

The night passed and I was on and off sleeping and the train arrived in Rome at seven in the morning. Oh what an accident, I met Basir Ahang in the station, he was also invited there.

Rome is really wonderful, the city of the Roman Empires, the reminders of ancient glory, the grower of Artists, the host for Vatican state attract hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world annually, and if someone wants to see the real history before his eyes, he should once go to Rome.

Actually it was my forth time going to Rome for different purposes. The first time, when I went to Rome a few months ago, I saw a little part of the CINACITTA (The Italian Hollywood), the second time I was invited by the Afghan Cultural and Social Association in Italy for the Afghan New Year Celebration in March, the third time I was there for the hearing commission on my status a few weeks ago and this was my forth time being invited by the Afghans in Rome.

The people, who have things to say but need a tone to say with, and I and Basir Ahang could be a tongue for them.
Now we were two and we let the Afghans know that were already in Rome and some people came to pick us up.
They were good, friendly and sympathetic people. They explained us the situation in Behsood as some people had already lost their family members in these attacks and some others were worried about their family members and relatives in Behsood.

I and Basir Ahang already knew about the situation, but still did not know why UNAMA, the Human Rights Organizations and the world media are all quiet about the genocide and obligatory displacements of the Hazaras in Behsood.
Whether it would be social or a political activity, but we felt responsibility to reach the voices of these people to the others when we are committed to fight against fundamentalism, extremism, and Talibanism in our country and our only weapons in this fight are our pens and now is the time to reveal these genocides and organized crimes against humanity.

On Thursday August 07 2008 they will have a peaceful demonstration in Rome to condemn the genocide of Behsood people by the Taliban under the name of the Kochies, like hundreds of thousands of people did in Kabul, Mazar and Bamyan.

Through this peaceful demonstration they will also say; “Wake Up Karzai! You are elected to bring peace and justice not genocide and obligatory displacement.”

And what we two can do is to reflect their voices to the world we communicate with through internet.

I came back to Milan leaving Afghan friends behind in Rome.

I hope they will have their demonstration and let the Italian people, the Italian authority and the world know about this genocide and crimes against humanity that is going on in Afghanistan under the name of democracy and elected government.

I will post about this demonstration in detail the soon I have their photos and reports.

Note: I do not have the every day internet connection until August 18th, so when I find internet somewhere I have to post at once as many things as comes in my mind to write.

“Sto cercando lavoro’ I say these days.

A very personal story
Since I am notified recently that I am allowed to work to live independently, I repeat the same sentence with my broken Italian when I enter the job agencies in the city;
“ Buon giorno, singora/ signore, mi chiamo Amin e sto cercando lavoro, volevo chiederela se c’e un lavoro qui?”

Seeing my Italian the first question they ask is where I am from.
Usually I surprise them when I say “ sono Afghano” and then I see more curiosity in their interaction.
Perhaps they wonder what kind of Afghan I am without beards and a turban as they have known my people only with these specifications, or they would be more careful so I wouldn’t be dangerous person or so.

Some say okay and ask me if I have a curriculum vitae and I respond yes.
They have a look at my CV and surprisingly look at me and then nod their head;
“Mmmm, vediamo cosa possiamo fare, ci sentiamo fra pochi giorni”.
Although I know, some of the job agencies do not offer jobs for foreingers which is called “Stranieri” here but most of them ask to return in September when one month of summer holidays will be finished and I say; “ Va bene, ci sentiamo dopo, grazie arreviderci.”

And these days when I receive calls from unknown numbers first I assume it must be from one of the job agencies; therefore I answer with “Pronto?” instead of “Hello?” that I used before to show them that I speak Italian. Ha ha ha ha ha

These days some naughty or better to say funny friends, tease me, when calling from unknown numbers, they pretend to play the role of a job agency staff and ask me to come to work tomorrow, but soon I understand their voices and their accents then burst laughing on each other.

Because nowadays I have to practice my Italian more and more and I write you the last sentence in Italian which may be wrong;

"quando avrò qualcosa nuova, metterò qui per I lettori di questo blog, ci sentiamo dopo, ma sperò che sara una buona novita subito!"
I wish you forgive me if there are mistakes in my Italian.