Yunus Qanuni: New Vice President of Afghanistan, Same Old Criminal
by Aaron Peterson
Yunus Qanuni, following an election in Afghanistan that has been marked with numerous incidents and reports of direct election fraud. Such wide spread election fraud that it questions, the very legitimacy and nature of Afghanistan’s political process and the stability of it’s very government. In the aftermath of the election, Yunus Qanuni, was appointed as Vice President of Afghanistan. In the past, Qanuni has remarked: "My candidacy is not to obtain positions, it is to save Afghanistan, to build a government of the future of Afghanistan. So no post and position can stop me from my determination." If Qanuni, were genuine in his statements, Qanuni would account for his part in what can only be described as the ultimate destruction of Afghanistan. Questions of Qanuni’s background and his involvement in Shura-e Nazar much like the newly elected Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah have been raised in the past. One thing is clear on the note of, Qanuni’s vision of saving Afghanistan; in the fact that he is not a new solution or alternative, but comes from the same old warlord clique that Abdullah Abdullah, the current president of Afghanistan descends from.[Picture of Yunus Qanuni]
In 1993, Qanuni was stationed at the ministry of defense compound in Kabul. During his stay in Kabul in 1993, Qanuni served as a spokesman for the militant group 'Shura-e Nazar’ or better known as 'Jamiat-i-Islami.’ During his tenure in Kabul, Qanuni was often involved in the decision making processes of the militant group Jamiat which was engaging in warfare between rivaling mujahideen factions during the on-going Afghan Civil War. A specific operation took place in 1993 involving the faction Qanuni was involved in being a spokesman and decision maker for in Kabul, the so-called Afshar Operation.
[Photograph of Afshar]
The operation was staged by Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani’s, Islamic State of Afghanistan government forces in collusion with Abdul Rasul Sayyaf’s Ittehad-i-Islami forces against Hezb-i-Islami under the command of Hekmatyr. The operation began as the forces engaged in the attack of the Shi’ite Hezb-i-Wahdat headquarters in Kabul. During the 'campaign’ the Islamic State of Afghanistan’s Jamiat-i-Islami, in collusion with Sayyaf’s armed faction had been directly engaged in accordance with Human Rights Watch reports in the operation and it’s aftermath, Wahdat soldiers as well as male Hazara citizens were arrested and executed whilst unarmed. Hazara civilians who were unarmed in particular were being targeted by both factions, with the men in particular being targets of extra-judicial executions. Other Hazara men were abducted and made to dig trenches and bury the dead. The surviving witnesses in the aftermath of the operation, stated they saw bodies with clear marks of torture and mutilation present on them.
[The dead lay on the street of Afshar]
Rapes of Hazara women was widely reported in the Human Rights Watch reporting on the incident. Video footage has been recovered showing civilian victims of the operation, showing slaughtered women in the streets. Along with the corpses of mutilated Hazara women and children. 70-80 were killed directly in the streets in the aftermath of the fighting, while upwards of 750 disappeared.
Qanuni’s role is unclear in the massacres, although what is clear is that he stood by while they were taking place and allowed them to occur. That Qanuni by accessory was partially responsible for the rapes, extra-judicial killings and what can only be noted as massacres against Hazara civilians. To this point, the question must be raised… How can an individual whom has stated his intentions to 'save Afghanistan’ be trusted, when he was involved directly in the past in activities as a warlord and direct human rights violations?
Can the saviors of Afghanistan, truly be the former men of Jamiat-i-Islami, who were involved in activities such as these? Who were involved in extorting the local population and fighting against their very own in the Mujahideen for power? Who have continually benefited from the conflicts in Afghanistan from their very beginnings in 1979? Can they be men who directly involve themselves in this very day, in vote rigging? Or can the only 'saviors’ of Afghanistan be the generation of Afghan men and women who were not involved in the warlordism of the past and present, the human rights violations and vast corruption, but of voices of Afghanistan who echo for justice. Justice neither given by the United States-NATO backed regime or from the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban, but justice by the independent people of Afghanistan to create a state out of the ashes of decades of turbulence and scarring into one that resembles a new beginning.