Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen for VT
Afghan writer and political Analyst based in Kabul
Some issues were discussed on the first day 23rd Jan 2016 of the recent PUGWASH Meeting that the Afghan people must learn about them. All of them were so important but among them, there are three points that I want them to be shared with you.
It was for the first time that Omar Daoudzai, who was head of the former President Karzai’s Office, Afghan ambassador in Pakistan and then the Interior Minister, had a face to face meeting with the Taliban in Doha.
Need to be mentioned, Omar Daoudzai had a visit to the U.S. in December 2015, and he had meetings with the US Secretary of State and important members of some secret bodies there.
Mr. Daoudzai intends to be a key candidate in the upcoming Presidential Elections, and so he has started his campaign from now on. Besides discussing other issues with several American officials, he had told them that he has close ties with the Taliban and that the Taliban would not have any problem with his candidacy in the upcoming Presidential Elections. Meanwhile, he had assured Americans that he is contact with some Taliban.
Mr. Daoudzai had told some young Afghan politicians that he would inaugurate an office in Kabul after his arrival from the United States and he would start his political struggle independently. However, when he arrived, he was looked disappointed, for that the Americans have not promised him at the level he expected; Mr. Daoudzai intended to extend his activities to other provinces beside Kabul, also.
Therefore, he, then, remained with the new formation of Protection and Stability and, along with them, struggles to gain power. In this new formation, Prof. Sayyaf and Mr. Qanooni also hope to be the frontrunner in the next Afghan leadership.
The reason that Americans presented conditions in their promises to Omar Daoudzai is that they had conducted researches and had asked Afghans living in the U.S. about his relations with the Taliban; however, the result was that the former Interior Minister has not got ties with the Taliban; therefore, the Americans had hesitations. Now, Daoudzai would do what is in his power to show Americans that he has relations with the Taliban.
There are also some reports that Mr. Daoudzai’s name was not included in the initial list of the PUGWASH Conference, and that his name was added later.
Apologizing from the Taliban
Accepting mistakes and admitting on them and apologizing are being done by strong people, and so standing on position is the work of powerful and independent politicians.
Omar Daoudzai, on the first day of the second PUGWASH Conference convened in Doha said that the Taliban were being done cruelty on, they were being faced several problems and being taken out of their houses in past 14 years, I, as the former head of ex-President Karzai’s Presidential Office, ambassador in Pakistan and the Interior Minister, apologize the Taliban for the incorrect policies of the government.
It would be better if he apologized when he was at power, if he did not apologize, he should, at least, talk about the incorrect policies of the government some times; hence the authority and power mattered at that time, so the Taliban were being considered as terrorists and they were subject to be eliminated.
When Mr. Davoudzai was ambassador in Pakistan, he was meeting Mr. Waheed Muzhda every time after his arrival to Kabul and they were sharing their thoughts on various related issues, but after he became the Interior Minister, he did not meet Waheed Muzhda, despite Muzhda’s repeated attempts and the problem he was in to, even once; the reason was that Muzhda had relations with the Taliban; trusting in politicians is rawness. He did not meet Muzhda while he was performing his duty as the minister.
Despite that, we consider the remarks of Daoudzai in the PUGWASH Conference as “positive”, for he admitted on his past mistakes, and criticized the arrival of America in Afghanistan that is here to kill the innocent Afghans.
I wish he would stand on his words. Eight days later, he wrote an article and, in it, he said that he was not apologized the Taliban.
Dr. Faiz Mohammad Zaland, who was present in the hall, at that moment said that I wish Mr. Daoudzai could made these remarks when he was performing his governmental duty, and I wish Mr. Daoudzai would prevent former President Karzai from opposing the inauguration of the Taliban Office in Qatar; if Karzai did not make opposition at that time, we would have more improvement in the peace process, or Mr. Daoudzai, remonstrant, provided his resignation to the President and criticized the incorrect policies of the government.
Now, as we go back to Kabul, I hope Daoudzai would stand on his words and did not avoid them; the other present and former officials of the government should be also encouraged to criticize the incorrect policies of the government, he further added. Mr. Zaland was right in concerning the issue. It is now that Mr. Daoudzai deny apologizing from the Taliban in front of more than 40 participants of the meeting; some participants of the meeting told me that he mayhem his personality with such denials, we are witness that Daoudzai, in clear words, apologized the Taliban.
Taliban have to murder Prof. Sayyaf
President Ghani’s uncle, Qayyoum Kochi, after praising his nephew and criticizing the Taliban harshly, made an interesting remark, pointing the Taliban he said, you are cruel, your fight is meaningless, you cannot bring the government under your control, so let join the government, I am proud of my nephew that he established a government with Dr. Abdullah with prowess.
It is not acceptable for us that the Taliban kill innocent Afghans in Kabul and other areas but do not kill big criminals; if the Taliban want to kill the key killers of Afghans and real criminals, they should, first of all, kill Prof. Sayyaf and those like him, Mr. Kochi said. Some participants said that he mentioned Ustad Muhaqqeq also, but the other participants did not certify it and they just confirmed the Kochi’s request for murdering Prof. Sayyaf.
Head of the Taliban delegation and the Qatar Office, Mr. Abbas Stanekzai, in response to Mr. Kochi’s request for murdering Prof. Sayyaf, said that they respect those leaders and followers that had fought against the former USSR and had vanished Communism from the surface of the earth. We would kill those who were serving Soviets during their rush on Afghanistan and were fighting for them, and now are serving for Americans and fighting the Afghan nation for the interests of America. We would also struggle against the Seculars arrived from West and struggle for Secularism in Afghanistan.
Mr. Kochi! we know the West want to enlarge dispute between us and the Mujahedeen and they want the leaders of Mujahedeen to become killed by us; we would never be hunted by this trap of the West, he added.
Requiem for Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid
When the Parwan-resident, Deputy Minister in the Karzai Administration and an important member of the North Alliance, Dr. Husamuddin Hamrah heard the above mentioned remarks of the head of the Taliban delegation, and the respect of him to the Afghan Mujahedeen and his love to them, he became surprised and, he to his friend sitting on his side, said that what a man! Brave Taliban!
He, to his other friend sitting on his other side said that have you heard the harsh response of him to Kochi and how he praised Mujahedeen.
Dr. Husamuddin opened his mike, and it was his turn also, but before he starts his speech, he requested that a brother should recite some verses of Quran in order to send a prayer to the soul of Mullah Mohammad Omar and make a requiem for him benefiting the opportunity.
Those who were important members of the government during the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid and were banned requiem for him in Kabul and other cities, were here in the hall and no one opposed this request of Dr. Hamrah; the verses of Holy Quran became recited and the participants said: “May Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid forgiven by Allah and may he enter Paradise”.
Need to mention that the head of PUGWASH, Mr. Paulo was so surprised about the request for requiem, and he said, we must make a general prayer.
After the prayer and requiem, Dr. Husamuddin Hamrah made clear remarks regarding the peace.
Dr. Husamuddin Hamrah was warned by Mr. Kochi at the end of this day’s conference, for he made a mistake and requested the requiem for Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid.
Freedom of Speech
We can consider the PUGWASH Meeting in Qatar as a good improvement. The members of several involved sides had participated in the conference and they were, openly, sharing their thoughts, demands and concerns with each other, of which we can mention Malalai Shinwari’s remarks that most of the participants were dissatisfied with them.
Once, I (the writer) attended Eidgah (the special place reserved for Eid Prayers) in order to pray the prayer of Eid Ul Adha in our district, the agenda of my speech was to talk about Education and to encourage the people to send their children to school; however, the District Governor asked me talk a little bit about the formation of the former governmental systems; in the first part of my speech, I talked about the importance of education, but the second part that I still regret and was the prescription of the District Governor, even impacted the costliness of my speech.
Malalai Shinwari, before attending the PUGWASH Conference was invited by the authoritative advisor to President Ghani, Dr. Akram Khpalwak; he had talked to her about the conference and had told her about his prescriptions. Shinwari said that the Taliban were making women to milk cow in Chadri (veil worn by women to converted their bodies) which was an accusation, and she made similar vilifications and said that if she is no a mother and is not yet to marry but she has affection of a mother, you do not kill sons, you were not giving the women the right to receive education in order to protect your Iman (Faith in Islam).You had sacrificed the women by keeping at home in order for you to be protected from sins. The interesting thing she said was that if some TV channels broadcast incorrect (in your opinion) programs, so do not watch them. It means that it is not your job to prevent the people from being encouraged to become vice and go toward prostitution.
In response to her claims, the Taliban said that women have right to receive education, attend university and obtain Master and Ph.D. in a secure place where men and women are not associated, and they can perform duty in accordance to the values of Islam and the Afghan Culture.
I believe that Malalai Shinwari would be or will become regretful of her “prescription-related” remarks as well as I am of my remarks in accordance to the prescriptions of the District Governor. However, she is also a wakeful woman; she did not listen to Mr. Muzammil’s remarks and she left the hall while Haji Farid was speaking.
Continuation of the Meetings
PUGWASH and every international meeting provide us the chance to present our demands, concerns, comments and complaints to each other directly. Years before, it was not thought that the former Interior Minister, Daoudzai, the former Finance Minister, Shahrani and the former Business Minister, Ahadi, and the Afghan women grew in the west (who were not able to speak Pashto or Dari but they were talking in English), civil society activists and people with different thoughts could have chance to meet the Taliban face to face and present their criticisms, directly and vitriolically, to the leader of the Taliban.
This is the result of such international conferences that the Taliban, in compare to previous conferences, were able to present their remarks clearly and discuss about the different aspects of the peace-related issues in 13 pages, and, very patiently, answered the questions, concerns and complaints of the participants.
If these meetings continued, I believe that an inter-Afghan understanding with a complete trust would start one day and we would be so close to peace, then.