Loya Jirga under the shadow of guns and threats
As the Loya Jirga (Grand Council) takes in hand its activities the majority of our wounded and bewildered people, who have borne the constant blows of the past ten years, seem to be looking at it with disappointed eyes. Disappointed because the Loya Jirga has been convened under the patronage of guns and threats and the corruption of fundamentalists. And by the number of candidates killed during the election process, which is reported by foreign journalists to be at least 8.
According to what the Commission of the Loya Jirga stated, those who have been involved in war crimes and violations of human rights are not qualified for membership in the Loya Jirga. But the reports disclose that many well-respected candidates who were clean of the shame of affiliation with this or that fundamentalist party were rounded up and pushed aside. Based on foreign report such displays of power are more pronounced in Herat under the domination of Ismail Khan who is competing with Hizb-e Wahdat and Shoura-e- Nizar to win the favor of the Iranian regime.
UN envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi says: "Voting for the Loya Jirga has been plagued by violence and vote-buying... There were attempts at manipulation, violence, unfortunately. Money was used, threats were used."
ABC News, June 12, 2002
The words below on the mockeries and unreliability of the Loya Jirga are not RAWA's, but those of others:
Even a cursory look at the procedural document issued by the "Loya Jirga Commission" showed that the Northern (Uzbak) and Western (Tajik) districts have been allotted a much higher number of delegates.
A copy of the 1979-81 governmental census and a map produced by the UNDP shows only 12 districts for Badakhshan province and two for Punjshir. Now Badakhshan has been given a total of 28 districts and Punjshir 4. The Loya Jirga Commission adopted the 1996 estimated population at the time the Northern Alliance Rabanni-led government held power only in Kabul and certainly was incapable of carrying out any credible survey in the rest of the country they had no authority. The 1996 estimate were heavily Tajik based.
The Nation, May 11, 2002
All of these reports are allowing our people for the first time to become aware of this shameful and traitorous deceit.
Other well-informed journalists for The News (April 1, 2002) name the universities of Khost, Albironi, Parvan, Bamyan, and Abdullah Bin Masood University as each having demanded their own respective representatives on the Loya Jirga.
And it is still unknown where these universities came from except by the force of the Northern Alliance who imposed them on the Loya Jirga Commission in order to instill yet more of their own elements in the Loya Jirga.
The composition of the Loya Jirga commission is itself unfair and questionable. How is it possible that Musa Tawana, a leader of Jemiat-e-Islami with close ties to Rabbani thinks of anything other than infusing more of his band of traitors into the Loya Jirga? He and others like him could have been real members of the Loya Jirga Commission only if they had exposed the whole truth about the crimes and treasons of insane fundamentalist gangs and without any hesitation cut off affiliation with them.
Meanwhile the so-called Chief Justice Mulavi Fazal Hadi Shinwari who runs a madrasa in Dara Adam Khil says about Gulbaddin:
"We were told that this loya jirga would not include all the people who had blood on their hands, but we see these people everywhere. I don't know whether this is a loya jirga or a commanders' council." said Safar Mohammed, drawing applause from fellow delegates.
The Guardian, June 13, 2002
"Engineer Gilbaddin Hekmatyar and his supporters played a great role in Afghanistan Jehad and therefore deserve to be considered in the coming government. Neither Gulbaddin nor any other body committed crimes and hence there is no reason to impose restrictions on them."
Thus from Mr. Chief Justice's (with apologies for dishonoring other chief justices of the world) point of view, the killings of 50,000 people in Kabul alone from 1992-1996 must have been done by the birds in the sky!
In such a circumstance when the Chief Justice of a ruined country so shamelessly ignores the shedding of blood by Gulbaddin and Co.; when the fundamentalist bandits use guns and money in a show of power to ruthlessly, brutally and widely repress the people; when the UN envoy is encircled by vile-minded and biased advisors and there is no effective UN peacekeeping force how can we expect that the Loya Jirga would be comprised of well-respected, democratic, anti-Jehadi and anti-Taliban people?
The scope of the people's disappointment with the Loya Jirga can be better assessed when its results are seen, but one thing is undoubtedly clear: the Loya Jirga has been polluted by the filth of the fundamentalists, hence by no means is it the Loya Jirga that our people were hoping for.
Women's Affairs Minister of interim governmet says: "This is not a democracy, it is a rubber stamp - everything has already been decided by the powerful ones."
BBC, June 12, 2002
As RAWA has reiterated, unless the pathogen of fundamentalism is eliminated from the government and all its departments, no development, no institutions and no decisions will be untainted.
Despite all these bitter facts, some are of the opinion that the participation of democratic and anti-fundamentalist forces is still possible; we hope it would be so. The degree of importance of their presence will be most felt when they strongly expose the real nature of the fundamentalists with whom they sit and who want only to give legal status to their heinous crimes.
The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan will be in agreement with all those members of the Loya Jirga who confirm their loyalty to democracy and the wishes of the people by taking a staunch stand against all the Jehadi and Taliban bandits.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
June 9, 2002