Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

People-smugglers target Australian Hazaras

January 29, 2011 - 12:34AM


Sophisticated people-smuggling syndicates charging thousands of dollars to ferry asylum seekers from Afghanistan to Australia are preying on Hazara communities in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

The syndicates charge clients $12,000 for the trip and are believed to have generated tens of millions of dollars in the past two years, The Age newspaper reported on Saturday.

A well-placed source in the Afghan community told the newspaper this week:

Advertisement: Story continues below "The syndicates are an open secret within the Hazara community.

"Everybody knows who runs them, who to approach and who makes the money.

"It is astonishing they can operate so openly."

The largest Australian-based smuggling operation is believed to operate out of nondescript shop fronts in Dandenong, in Melbourne's south-east, home to thousands of Afghan refugees, including many of Hazara ethnicity.

The top smugglers have Australian citizenship and travel unimpeded between Australia and Afghanistan, it is claimed.

The smugglers boast they can reunite family and friends with relatives living in Australia within months, if not weeks.

© 2011 AAP


Car bomb injures 10 in SW Pakistan: police

(AFP) – Jan, 29, 2011

QUETTA, Pakistan — Ten people including four policemen were injured Saturday when a car bomb targeting a senior police official exploded in the southwestern city of Quetta, police said.

The bomb, planted in a Suzuki car, exploded as a police vehicle carrying Shaban Ali passed through the heart of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, senior police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP.

"At least 10 people including four policemen and and six passers-by were wounded in the attack targeting Shaban Ali, who remained unhurt." Shakeel said.

He added that nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local security officials, who declined to be identified, also confirmed the incident.

Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has seen an upswing in violence recently, with the province suffering from a separatist insurgency, sectarian violence and Taliban militants.

Hundreds of people have died since rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural oil, gas and mineral resources.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Afghanistan shortlists 15 Indian firms for Hajigak bid

Priyadarshi Siddhanta

Posted: Thu Jan 27 2011, 01:15 hrs
New Delhi:

Enthused by the response of Indian metal and mining giants for developing the Hajigak iron ore mine in Afghanistan, the Hamid Karzai government has shortlisted 15 of them for competitive bidding process for the mine to begin soon.

A total of 22 companies had confirmed their Expression of Interests (EoI) to the Afghan government for exploring the Hajigak mine, located in the Bamiyan province of the country.

High grade iron ore reserves of the mine is estimated to be about 1.8 billion tonnes.

An estimated expenditure of about Rs 10,000 crore is required to develop the mine and its peripheral infrastructure for evacuation of the mineral.

In a letter on January 17, Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani said of the 22 firms shortlisted for the coming bidding process, 15 are Indian companies.

They include big-ticket names like maharatna Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), navratna behemoths NMDC and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam limited, besides private sector giants like Tata, Essar, Jindal Steel and Power, Ispat, Monnet Ispat, JSW, Jindal Saw among others.

Interestingly, Iranian firms like Gol-e-Gohar Iron Ore and Behin Sanate Diba have also tendered their EoI.

In his letter, Shahrani said his ministry was in the process of finalising the bidder’s package for all the phases of the process. “It is anticipated that the bidder’s due diligence period will start around March 1, 2011 and extend at least through August 3, 2011. We appreciate your interest in the Hajigak project and look forward to receiving a competitive bid from you,” the Afghan mines minister said.

Soviet era studies reveal that the said mine was amendable to open pit mining methods. In the EoI floated recently, the Afghanistan government said it would conduct a bidding process for multiple exploration concessions, and the selected bidder would be granted mineral concessions under the Afghan Mineral Law 2010.

The Afghan government is also keen that the Indian companies set up steel and other iron ore processing plants near Hajigak. The country is believed to be sitting on over $2.5 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits. It has huge copper mines in Balkhab and Aynak areas.

Shahrani had met Indian mines ministry officials in November last and expressed his country’s desire to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both the nations to promote mining and end use industries back in Afghanistan.

The ministry of external affairs too has been asking the mines ministry to evaluate the response from the Indian companies.


After standoff, Karzai opens newly assertive Afghan parliament

By Ben Arnoldy | Published Thu, Jan 27 2011 8:20 am

NEW DELHI — President Hamid Karzai inaugurated Afghanistan’s newly elected parliament on Wednesday, a concession by him that adds weight to the increasingly assertive legislative branch.

Mr. Karzai had tried to delay the convening of the new parliament until a special court finished investigating allegations of election fraud. The victorious candidates – as of today, sitting parliamentarians – had argued the court was unconstitutional and that they would convene with or without the president’s blessing. Key international players appeared to back the new parliament, prompting Karzai to complain about “foreign hands” stoking the crisis.

Since Karzai’s fraud-marred reelection, lawmakers have successfully challenged more of his major decisions, holding out the prospect of diverse power centers competing inside the constitutional process, rather than just on the battlefield. Yet the parliament remains weak, and this particular standoff with Karzai may not be over.

“There are so many issues not resolved: What will be the role of the special court, whether [its] decisions will be binding or not, and how to implement the decisions,” says Shahmahmood Miakhel, country director for the United States Institute of Peace in Kabul. “So we can not say this is the end of the story.”

Special deals with the special court?
Statements from Karzai indicate that he thinks a deal was struck with parliamentarians to allow the special court to continue its investigation and to abide by its findings, expected in February. But legislative leaders appear to be saying something different.

“There is no special agreement between MPs and President Karzai on the special court,” says Fawzia Kofi, a reelected MP from Badakhshan. “The agreement was that cases of criminal issues related to elections should be dealt according to the law – the Constitution, and electoral law, and the regular courts – not the special court.”

However, MPs have a certain amount of immunity under the law. Ms. Kofi says the immunity does not extend to “obvious crimes” like murder and bribes, but simply protects free speech. Mr. Miakhel, however, notes that the courts have to seek permission from the leadership of parliament before pursuing criminal cases against MPs.

Kofi says she expects that the new parliament will vote quickly to abolish the special court. The court was appointed by the Supreme Court, a body widely seen as beholden to Karzai. Parliamentarians have also noted that the group tasked under law to address election violations – the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) – has already passed judgment on the 2,648 top priority complaints.

But roughly 200 losing candidates have kept up steady protests of the official election results certified by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and have pinned their hopes on the special court.

Stronger opposition presence in parliament
Research on the winning candidates conducted by the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies found that “as a result of strict control, monitoring, and observation of IEC and ECC, the government was not able to bring many pro-government candidates.” Instead, opposition groups now have a stronger presence in this parliament than in the previous one.

But the center’s director, Waliullah Rahmani, cautions that “it doesn’t mean that we will have a stronger opposition group inside the parliament. [The] study shows that these groups and figures are fragmented.”

The study found that 51 percent of the new parliamentarians are “independent,” a group that Karzai’s government might find easier to sway. The lack of strong political parties has left a high number of independents and little cohesion among lawmakers, rendering the parliament generally weak.

The largest ethnic group, Pashtuns, won 96 out of the 249 seats – a proportion slightly lower than some demographic estimates would predict if voting followed purely ethnic lines. The Hazara minority group punched far above its weight, winning 61 seats.

This was dramatically demonstrated in Ghazni Province, which is split demographically between Pashtuns and minority groups, but which sent all Hazaras and no Pashtuns to parliament this time. The most visible leader of the 200 losing candidates, Daoud Sultanzai, hails from Ghazni.

Parliament’s ethnic proportions have made some Afghans like Karzai nervous about further alienation of Pashtuns, the core group from which the insurgency draws its ranks. But others like Mr. Rahmani point out that those who peacefully participate in the democratic process should reap some benefits.

“This is what we can call a reward for democracy. I believe Pashtuns will understand that when there is high turnout, then they can get the reward, like what the Hazaras did in Afghanistan,” says Rahmani, who is a Hazara and whose brother won a seat in parliament from Ghazni Province.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

15 Indian companies bid for Afghan iron deposits news

20 January 2011

With the negotiations for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) oil pipeline reaching a successful outcome and the security situation within the country taking a turn for the better over the last quarter of 2010, Afghanistan is now moving ahead on a path of national development. On Wednesday it invited 22 companies, including 15 from India, to bid for the development of its giant Hajigak iron ore deposits.

The country's ministry for mines has set 3 August 2011 as the deadline for bids for what it says is the largest un-mined iron deposit in Asia. It said it expected exploration to begin in 2012.

The Hajigak deposit straddles Bamiyan, Parwan and Wardak provinces.

The ministry estimates the worth of its reserves at as much as $350 billion.


Afghanistan invites bids for Hajigak iron deposit

Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:08pm GMT

KABUL Jan 19 (Reuters) - Afghanistan on Wednesday invited 22 companies, including 15 from India, to bid for its giant Hajigak iron ore deposit despite concerns over a worsening insurgency.

The country's Mines Ministry set Aug. 3, 2011 as the deadline for bids for what it says is the largest unmined iron deposit in Asia. It said it expected exploration to begin in 2012, pressing ahead with the project despite security concerns weighing on investors.

The Hajigak deposit straddles Bamiyan, Parwan and Wardak provinces, with only Bamiyan relatively peaceful. The ministry estimates the worth of its reserves at as much as $350 billion.

The United States has trumpeted Afghanistan's rich mineral deposits as the key to future prosperity, but experts say the bounty is years, even decades away and point to massive security and infrastructure challenges for potential investors.

Violence in Afghanistan is at it worst since U.S-backed forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001 with record casualties on all sides and a raging insurgency spreading to once-peaceful areas of the country.

The government has a specially trained force to protect mines and other infrastructure, with many of its members drawn from villages surrounding the asset under guard.

The ministry said the interested companies included India's Jindal Steel and Power Ltd , JSW Steel , Tata Steel , NMDC , Steel Authority of India and Ispat Industries . UK-based Stemcor was also named, as well as Canadian-based Kilo Goldmines Ltd .

"The development of Hajigak will involve major infrastructure improvements and will stimulate the local economy and improve and lives of the citizens of Bamiyan province and beyond," Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani said in a statement.

United Mining and Minerals Co. was the only Chinese company on the list, the ministry said.

China's top integrated copper producer, Jiangxi Copper Co , and Metallurgical Corp of China are developing the vast Aynak copper mine south of Kabul after they were handed the contract in 2007. The $4 billion project is the biggest non-military investment in the country so far.

Metallurgical Corp pulled out of an earlier tender for Hajigak in 2009 following accusations it had won the Aynak contract by giving bribes. The firm denied the charges.

The Mines Ministry cancelled the tender, blaming the cancellation on the global recession and changes in the world market structure for iron. (Reporting by Matt Robinson, additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi, editing by Miral Fahmy)

(If you have a query or comment about this story, send an e-mail to


Asylum seekers end hunger strike

Jan, 20th, 2011

The head of Western Australia's Hazara community, Daniel Rezaie, has confirmed a hunger strike at the Curtin Detention Centre has been called off.

It has been claimed that hundreds of asylum seekers took part in the hunger strike, angry over the time it is taking to process the applications.

Mr Rezaie says the asylum seekers called off the strike because they were promised that a representative from Canberra would be sent to talk to them, and they may have their claims processed faster.

He says several people have been taken to hospital.

"It's a lot of people taken to the hospital, because they are in so bad a condition," he said.

"Today it's more than 70 people taken to the hospital."


Afghan Parliament Opening Delayed


KABUL—Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday delayed the incoming parliament's opening by a month to give a tribunal more time to investigate fraud allegations, as the conflict over controversial legislative elections intensified.

Former Afghan lawmakers listen to Sediqullah Haqiq, head of a tribunal investigating alleged fraud during last year's election, in Kabul Wednesday.
Mr. Karzai has repeatedly criticized the new parliament, which was scheduled to convene for the first time Sunday, as unrepresentative because it doesn't allocate enough seats to the country's biggest ethnic group, the Pashtuns. Mr. Karzai, a Pashtun who created the special court last month to review fraud claims by losing candidates, agreed to that court's request for the delay just hours after it was made.

The president's move puts him at odds with the United Nations and the U.S.-led coalition, which have accepted as final the election's results, as certified by Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission in December.

The IEC and the U.N.-backed watchdog, the Electoral Complaints Commission, are refusing to cooperate with the special court, saying the judges have no legal authority to interfere with election results under the Afghan constitution. Mr. Karzai on Wednesday ordered all Afghan government bodies to collaborate with the inquiry.

Over the past year, the Afghan parliament has emerged as a check on Mr. Karzai's powers, vetoing his ministerial candidates and opposing several of his policies. The new parliament's composition is seen as even more hostile to Mr. Karzai. Some Western diplomats say the Afghan president's true goal is to weaken the new legislature—and to keep it from convening for as long as possible.

Delaying the inauguration "is something that will hurt the legitimacy and the credibility of the new parliament," said Haroun Mir, the director of the Afghanistan Center for Research and Policy Studies, who unsuccessfully ran for parliament himself.

Western diplomats said representatives of the international community will gather Thursday to discuss how to react to Mr. Karzai's move. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said its views on the election are reflected by last month's U.N. Security Council statement, which welcomed the election commission's certification of the results and urged "all Afghan institutions act within their clearly defined areas of competence, in accordance with the relevant laws and the Afghan Constitution."

The Sept. 18 parliamentary election had the lowest turnout of any Afghan election since the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001. While international observers agree there was widespread fraud, they say the electoral commission behaved far more professionally last year than in the 2009 presidential election.

Afghanistan's attorney general, a close ally of Mr. Karzai, is seeking criminal charges against top IEC and ECC officials for their alleged involvement in fraud during the parliamentary vote.

U.S. Slows Afghan Security-Force Expansion Gains by Taliban Open Door to Opium Revival The special court's request to delay the parliament's opening was made on the last day of orientation for incoming Afghan lawmakers, a session held in Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel. Winning candidates shunned the remaining seminars to gather in the hallways, talking in hushed and angry tones about how to mobilize their protesters.

"Democracy isn't a toy to be played with—people risked their lives to vote," said winning incumbent Shinkai Karokhail, elected from Kabul.

Incoming lawmakers said they are worried that the political crisis will spill onto the streets of Afghanistan's major cities, pitting Pashtuns against the country's minorities, such as the Hazaras, who are well-represented in the new legislature. In the Pashtun-majority Ghazni province, for example, all 11 elected lawmakers are Hazaras, largely because the Taliban have succeeded in derailing the vote in most Pashtun villages.

It isn't clear how the special court will carry out its investigations, as both the IEC and the ECC said they won't share any information with the judges, referring them instead to the election commissions' websites.

The special court's chairman, Sediqullah Haqiq, raised the possibility that the entire election may be thrown out. "We have received complaints from all the provinces, and in each province people complained about fraud," he said Wednesday, speaking in a courtroom packed with losing parliamentary candidates.

In the eastern Paktika province, meanwhile, a roadside bomb Wednesday killed 13 Afghan civilians, including women and children, officials said. Paktika is one of the provinces most heavily affected by the Taliban, who routinely plant roadside explosive devices as they target coalition and Afghan forces.

—Arif Afzalzada and Habib Khan Totakhil contributed to this article.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ANALYSIS: Civil war and the partition of Afghanistan —Musa Khan Jalalzai

Western analysts believe that since Afghanistan has not been stable after nine years of NATO presence, therefore, what is needed is the partitioning of Afghanistan. However, Robert Blackwill proposes the implementation of an old solution, the creation of a new state, Pashtunistan

The debate about the dismemberment or de facto partition of Afghanistan has intensified in intellectual and media forums in both Asia and Europe. During the past two decades, ethnic cleansing and sectarian terrorism has prepared the ground for a future civil war in the country. Ethnic clashes between Kochis and Hazaras, among Uzbeks, Pashtuns and Tajiks still continued while sexual harassment, abduction, land-grabbing and mental torture of Pashtuns is on the rise in the northern provinces of Afghanistan. National unity and national integration has become an old story. Based on these facts, Afghanistan is a failed state, a state without political control and economic progress.

The present state structure that cannot protect the weak and vulnerable citizens in Afghanistan needs to be either reorganised or entirely changed to create ethnic, political and religious concordance. All ethnic minorities have complaints against the present structure of the state, which cannot meet their needs and cannot protect them from violence. As there is no legitimate functioning state in the country, non-state actors have become a dominant power that run illegal trade in all provinces. The last two decades of civil war entirely destroyed Afghanistan as a functioning state. In the 1980s, mujahideen groups destroyed infrastructure. In the 1990s, the Taliban made their way to power and destroyed all institutions. Now warlords in northern Afghanistan are deeply involved in ethnic cleansing.

The power of the warlords, their private military networks and their private security firms present the biggest challenge to the country’s rehabilitation as a functioning state. War criminals are trying to maintain their criminal militias and keep the state weak. They and their western partners have bypassed the Afghan state. Brutalities against Pashtuns in the north and the targeting of Hazaras in the south are a greater challenge for both the Afghan government and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Over the last 10 years, the Hazarajat region saw a series of reprisal killings. In 1997 alone, the Taliban killed over 6,000 Hazara Muslims in retaliation for the execution of thousands of Taliban prisoners in northern Afghanistan.

However, warlords belonging to the Hazara and Uzbek communities attack the houses of Pashtuns at night, and humiliate their women and elders. These war criminals looted, raped and killed over 60,000 innocent men and women in Kabul in the 1990s. With the coming of ISAF led by the US, warlords got the license of more killings across the country. Kochis kill Hazaras in the south, Hazara and Uzbek are killing Pashtuns in the north, and Taliban have been killing all ethnic groups across Afghanistan for the last 10 years.

Consequently, thousands of Hazaras from the Hazarajat region and thousands of Pashtuns from Balkh, Faryab and Kunduz provinces fled their villages. Armed political groups in the north are subjecting Pashtuns to murder, rape, beating, abduction and extortion. The state is not able to rehabilitate the internally displaced refugees returned from Pakistan and Iran. If we go into the last five decades’ internal displacement history of the country, we will find more stories about different displacements having occurred at different times. At present, more than 500,000 Afghans are internally displaced and one million are still living in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran. They lost their houses and there is no housing industry in the country to help re-house the returnees. From 2005-2010, thousands of refugees returned from Pakistan, but war, torture, severity of drought and harassment forced them to go back. As they are illiterate and unskilled, they can make no contribution to Pakistan’s institutions.

At present, there is no national concord, no critical infrastructure — water, health, education, employment, security, food, housing, etc. They see no change in their life after the Soviet withdrawal and US invasion. The Afghan nation is scattered into pieces. The Hazaras of Bamyan, Wardak and Daykundi are different from the Pashtuns of the south in culture, language and religious orientation. They can be compared to the Kurds in Iraq. The same can be seen in the Tajiks of Badakhshan and the Pashtuns of Kandahar. The Tajiks are spread from the border of Tajikistan to Kabul and from Badakhshan to Herat. They believe that all their problems are due to the Pashtun misgovernance and their past 350-year brutal rule. Nationalistic notions are stronger among the Tajiks today. As we have experienced in the case of the education ministry in 2007, Persian-speaking communities are more attached to Iran and Tajikistan culturally and linguistically. Their political and sectarian affiliations to these states caused more problems in the country.

The last two decades of civil war have accumulated all the elements of ethnicity and religious extremism. This war encompasses two rival groups and their struggles: one is the Taliban and their resolve for dominance; and the other is the Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks who seek identity and equal representation. They say they are not Afghan, but Tajik, Uzbek and Turkmen. The word Afghan, they say, means Pashtun. Moreover, major ethnic groups in Afghanistan are competing for power. As there is no national concord in the country, in the words of former US Deputy National Security Advisor Robert Blackwill, Afghanistan should be allowed to partition along ethnic lines.

Western analysts believe that since Afghanistan has not been stable after nine years of NATO presence, therefore, what is needed is the partitioning of Afghanistan. However, Robert Blackwill proposes the implementation of an old solution, the creation of a new state, Pashtunistan. “This solution would prevent civil war in Pakistan and solidify the government’s authority and in Afghanistan the loss of the eastern part of the nation would allow for real reconstruction to begin,” he said. Political analysts believe that, being already divided on linguistic lines, Afghanistan appears to be moving towards a permanent dismemberment.

They believe that the process of partition began before the arrival of Taliban on the political scene. Afghan ethnic minorities apparently have no fear of their fellow Tajiks and Uzbeks living across the border. Minorities who dominate the northern provinces opened routes towards Central Asia, imported electricity and gas and created political links with the states of Central Asia and Iran. But they will not be allowed to settle there. Over 90 percent of young people in northern Afghanistan are illiterate, suffering from HIV/AIDS or drug addiction. The Taliban infiltration into Central Asia and their operations in Chechnya and Ingushetia can divert the attention of Russia towards a new buffer state that will divide Afghanistan on ethnic lines.

The writer, author of Britain’s National Security Challenges, is based in London and can be reached at


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life is getting better for oppressed Afghans

Steven Glass, a lawyer for Hazara asylum seekers (”One man’s struggle to find a safe place to live”, December 29), writes that many Afghans consider the Hazara ”foreigners” and ”infidels”. That may be so, but the statement belies the considerable improvement in the condition of the Hazara minority in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

For the first time in Afghanistan’s history, the 2004 constitution gives the courts the right to apply Shia jurisprudence in family matters involving Shia Muslims. As the largest group of Shia in Afghanistan, the Hazara consider this a major victory.

A Shia personal status law was adopted in 2009. Although some regarded it as an excessive codification of family matters, all Shia MPs supported it as a recognition of minority rights.

An area populated by Hazara was declared a new province in 2004 (Daikundi in the central region, adjacent to Bamiyan, the other main Hazara province).

During the last elections the Hazara won 59 of 249 seats in the lower house. This is quite an achievement for a minority estimated to constitute 10 per cent of the population.

Individual Hazara have held, or are holding, high political office. One of the country’s two vice-presidents is a Hazara, and so was the minister for justice from 2004 until last June. The head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission since it was established in 2002 is also a Hazara.

Legal and institutional recognition does not always translate into practice. Like all Afghans, the Hazara live in a country racked by violence, uncertainty and corruption. However, the Hazara have become politically more assertive, are moving into higher education in what appears to be unprecedented numbers, and, in Kabul, many have entered the new middle class that has

developed around the international presence.

Astri Suhrke Associate, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, ANU, Canberra


Thousands of Afghan asylum seekers face deportation

18 Jan, 2011 03:00 AM

AUSTRALIA has the green light to deport thousands of Afghan asylum seekers after reaching a historic agreement with the Afghan government.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan Refugee Minister, Jamaher Anwary, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Sydney yesterday.

It enables the forced return of Afghans whose bids for asylum fail. The move is alarming security experts and refugee advocates.

Mr Bowen said it would deter Afghans considering travelling to Australia. ''Never, all through the Howard years, never before today, has there been an involuntary return from Australia to Afghanistan,'' he said.

''To dissuade people from risking their lives by joining people-smuggling ventures, it is important that Afghans found not to be owed protection by Australia are returned to Afghanistan."

About 2600 Afghans are in Australia's detention centres. Of those, 49 must win court appeals to avoid imminent deportation.

The opposition was sceptical about the agreement, saying it was only as good as the government's will to enforce it. ''The minister is unable to say when anyone is going to be returned,'' said its immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison. ''It's not clear to me the government has the resolve to implement this.''

In three years, only three asylum seekers have been returned to Afghanistan - all last year after volunteering to go. In 2008 and 2009, 126 people were returned to their countries of origin.

The director of the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, William Maley, warned that ethnic Hazaras, in particular, should not be deported without extreme caution. ''The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unsettling,'' he said.

He cast doubt on the security expertise of Australian officials making refugee assessments.

The decapitation of 11 Hazaras in Oruzgan province in June contradicted a cable from the Kabul embassy proclaiming a ''golden age'' for Hazaras, he said.

The Refugee Council of Australia was concerned by the lack of safeguards the memorandum provided for returned asylum seekers. ''In Afghanistan, people are not so much under threat from actions by government but the actions of people who the government cannot, or chooses not to, control,'' said the chief executive, Paul Power.

The Australian government has promised money to help Afghanistan improve its passport system and accommodation for returned asylum seekers. The UN has agreed to ad hoc monitoring.


Deeper Into Fathomless Afghanistan

January 18, 2011, 5:00 am


Afghanistan still feels utterly new and fantastically complex. The dynamics, geography and people are completely different from Iraq, different really than anywhere I’ve ever been. As I spend more time here, I feel the war becoming more intricate, more complicated. Some of what is attributed to the Taliban is simply Afghan culture. Much of the war in Afghanistan is a war with the Pashtun tribes on both sides of the Af-Pak border. Yet there are other non-Pashtun groups fighting us all over the country — groups that are lumped together as Taliban when, in fact, they have nothing in common save for an antipathy towards coalition forces.

In early December, Alissa J. Rubin, The Times’s bureau chief in Kabul, takes me along on a visit to meet with the public affairs team at the International Security Assistance Force. I’m skeptical at first, but they turn out to be a smart, slightly ironic bunch who are tremendously helpful in getting us to where we want to go and furnishing us with updates. There is little of the mutual distrust I felt between the press and the military in Iraq. Weeks later, though, a high-ranking officer will call to complain about my written coverage: a quote from a Taliban spokesman has particularly incensed him.

Michael Kamber
Photographers at War

Interviews with:

Teru Kuwayama
Joao Silva
Stanley Greene
Tim Hetherington
Patrick Baz
Alissa and I take a day trip up to the Panjshir Valley, home of the legendary Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Afghan commander who fought the Russians to a standstill for a decade, then later led the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The Panjshir is extraordinarily beautiful: clear mountain streams and green rolling valleys. You can still see Russian markings on the destroyed armored personnel carriers that litter the roadside.

Massoud read Mao and Che Guevara, and was once offered a scholarship to study in France. I expect to find the Panjshiri women “liberated.” (I had an argument with a close relative in New York before I left. “We’re liberating the women from the Taliban,” she had said.) In the Panjshir, a bastion of anti-Taliban sentiment, it quickly becomes clear that the Taliban are not the only impediment to women’s liberation.

The Panjshiris will not let me enter the village where I want to work; there are women in the village and I cannot lay eyes on them. I set my camera to auto and give it to our female translator. I go with the driver to the local kebab house. There are probably 100 men inside in the sweet smoky room, not a woman in sight. Outside, the women navigate the road in burkas down to their ankles.

A Panjshiri man tells me: “The Russians were terrible. They came into my house with guns in the middle of the night, in front of my wife!” I think back to the night raids in Logar that I photographed in 2009, the women and children led out into the pasture as the men were handcuffed and led away.

A friend in Ivory Coast e-mails me: the ultranationalist government, refusing to relinquish power after losing the election, is once again blaming the foreign press for its troubles. They have put photos of the journalists on state-run TV, a potential death sentence in this climate. The Ivorians have killed at least two foreign journalists in recent years. Many of the journalists have gone into hiding. Long distance, we worry for one another’s safety.

In Ghazni Province in mid-December, the Third Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne is in a daily fight with the Taliban. The soldiers have suffered 25 percent casualties since September. In the Hazara part of their district, there has never been a single attack upon them. In the Pashtun half, they are attacked as often as several times a day. Out of 100,000 Pashtun residents, exactly three voted in September’s parliamentary election. The Hazaras voted, and now control all the parliamentary seats for the province.

I pull on my flak jacket. The steel and ceramic cocoon offers an odd reassurance. We climb into massive, heavily armored vehicles. That which keeps us safe also separates us from the population.

Beside me, an Afghan, clearly an interpreter, introduces himself in accented English as Bob.

“What’s your real name?” I ask him.

“My name’s Omid. But on the first day at this job, the sergeant asked me my ‘terp’ name. I told him: ‘I don’t have a terp name. My name is Omid.’

” ‘Omid is too complicated for us to remember,’ he told me. ‘From now on, your name is Bob.’ ”

Michael Kamber for The New York Times

Dec. 16: Members of Bravo Company on a humanitarian assistance patrol in Ghazni Province distributed crank-powered radios, books, candy and drinks.

For most of the day, I watch and photograph as the Americans crawl in armored vehicles through fields in search of insurgents zipping about on motorcycles; as impoverished villagers step from their adobe homes to gape at the millions of dollars in American hardware bogged in their narrow mud lanes; as 19-year-old soldiers — abroad for the first time in their lives — swarm ancient compounds, finding bomb-making materials in haystacks and interrogating white-bearded Afghan elders.

It is an astonishing spectacle, bordering on the surreal at times. It is the very front line of the war in Afghanistan. A man in a turban drives by on a motorbike; his wife or daughter, draped in a baby-blue burka, sitting sidesaddle on the back.

“It’s like we are on the moon,” a soldier says. “Is there any place in the world more completely opposite to where we come from?”

That night, a sergeant is telling a story about talking to local villagers.

“I told the guy: ‘You think this is nice? This ain’t nothing! Where I live, I drive my car up to my house, press a magic button and a door opens up in the side of my house. I drive my car inside. Where I live, even my car has its own room! If you would just stop shooting at us, you could have that, too.’ ”

A few days later, at an Afghan government press conference, officials take the opportunity to press repeatedly for more economic aid and development from the West. An Afghan journalist turns to me with a laugh. “The U.S. is a big milky cow. We just milk it and milk it and milk it.”

In the middle of a January night, I’m standing in a wooden shack on an air base in Helmand, trying to get on a flight to remote Sangin District, where the fighting is heavy. The door opens and a face peers around the corner at me. It is Teru Kuwayama, another photojournalist. The last time I saw him, we were drinking beer on a warm Brooklyn night and arguing about the role of the media.

We embrace and talk for an hour or so in the darkness. Then I board a plane and fly off into the night. Teru will take a flight the next morning in another direction.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Australia signs asylum seeker agreement with Afghanistan

Elizabeth Byrne, Canberra

Last Updated: 21 hours 49 minutes ago

Concerns have been raised that a new agreement between Australia and Afghanistan to return failed asylum seekers could expose some individuals to danger.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the agreement will mean failed asylum seekers can be returned involuntarily.

"People who are not genuine refugees will be returned to Afghanistan with dignity and humanity, but they will be returned," he said.

But Professor William Maley from the ANU says Afghanistan is still not a safe place particularly for Hazaras, with several recent beheadings.

He says a safe return depends on a robust assessment process.

"If those processes are feeble, if those processes are defective in any way, the danger is that those people will be exposed to this kind of risk," he said.

The government says there are about 50 failed Afghan asylum seekers in detention.

But a recent High Court ruling has given them access to court appeals.


Australia, Afghan refugee forced return deal

Updated January 17, 2011 21:47:27

A new agreement between Australia and Afghanistan paves the way for the first forced return of Afghans who are deemed not to be refugees. And if that happens, they are likely to be from the persecuted Hazara minority because they form the majority of Afghan arrivals in Australia. Australia claims Afghanistan is now safer for Hazara people. But analysts say Australia's refugee determination process is based on poor information and that is dramatically underplaying the dangers and potentially exposing forced returnees to unacceptable risks.

Presenter: Linda Mottram, Canberra correspondent
Speakers: Jamaher Amwary, Afghan refugee and repatriation minister; Chris Bowen, Australian immigration minister; Professor William Maley, director, Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University; Younus Noori, Hazara refugee and social worker, Australia

MOTTRAM: Jamaher Amwary is Afghanistan's minister for Refugees and Repatriation. A big job, since his country has more refugees than any other.

AMWARY: (speaking in Pashto)

MOTTRAM: But at the signing in Sydney on Monday of the new memorandum of understanding between his country and Australia, Dr Amwary pledged that with Australia's help, Afghanistan would work to stop the people smuggler traffic and boats destined for Australia that have so agitated Australia's political debate.

For Australia, the immigration minister, Chris Bowen, signed the memorandum and stressed that Afghanistan's agreement to accept forced returns would send a message to the people smugglers.

BOWEN: No longer will people smugglers be able to tell people that even if they are not regarded as a genuine refugee, there is no mechanism for the Australian government to return them to Afghanistan. That is no longer the case. This is a sustainable and robust approach, which treats people with dignity but makes it clear that the end result of not being regarded as a refugee [...] is return to Afghanistan.

MOTTRAM: Australia for its part will provide limited reintegration assistance to returnees and also help improve Afghan government services like the country's corrupted passport system.

Lending its weight to the deal, the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, also signed on.

Expert on refugees and on Afghanistan, Professor William Maley of the Australian National University, says the memorandum does have some important provisions.

MALEY: One is that it requires that cases be assessed not simply in terms of refugee convention obligation of protection but also against instruments such as the convention against torture as well as against compelling humanitarian need.

MOTTRAM: That means better prospects to have cases approved, especially for about 200 unaccompanied Afghan children who are currently in Australian detention. In addition, a recent court victory in Australia has required that all asylum seekers get access to judicial review.

But it's less the new memorandum and more the Australian government's processes for assessing refugee claims in the first place that concerns Professor Maley.

MALEY: That's partly because the government has had to pull in all sorts of people with relatively minimum training in recent times to undertake assessments and one wonders whether the people who are doing these kinds of assessments really have a good smell and feel of what the situation on the ground in Afghanistan is like.

MOTTRAM: Not only are those officers ill equipped for their task - as rejection rates for Afghans grow - they are, Professor Maley says, labouring under a questionable Australian claim that security has improved in Afghanistan, especially for the persecuted minority Hazaras, who make up most of the Afghan refugee claimants in Australia.

And just last year Professor Maley says there was particularly gruesome evidence of that.

MALEY: Eleven Hazaras in June 2010 were decapitated in the province of Oruzgan, where Australian troops are deployed, and their bodies were left by the roadside and those who are making decisions in cases of this sort need to think very carefully about whether they would even possibly be exposing somebody to the risk of that kind of treatment.

MOTTRAM: Ethnic Hazara, Younus Noori, made the dangerous boat journey to Australia from Indonesia in 2000, fleeing the Taliban's threats. Eventually granted asylum in Australia, he now works, studies and raises his family in Adelaide. He can barely describe how dangerous his journey was, but during a visit to Canberra said the dangers still facing Hazaras were so much greater that nothing would stop them taking the trip.

NOORI: This is the most difficult and the most horrible journey that you can ever feel coming to Australia by boat. But the problem is that when the people are inside like a kind of a burning house, whenever they see a hole, they hope that they can go through and get out of that and they will try to use that.

MOTTRAM: Australia claims no one will be returned to face persecution. And with 49 of the 2600 Afghans currently in Australian detention having had their cases rejected at two reviews, Chris Bowen, the minister, says forced returns could come within the year. But with the international community advocating a deal with the Taliban as part of a political settlement in Afghanistan, Hazaras fear they are facing the prospect of much more - not less - persecution.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bamiyan City in Afghanistan

If you’re into picturesque views and history, then you’ll certainly love Bamiyan Afghanistan. This picturesque locale is considered 1 with the places that tourists should never miss seeing or visiting when within the country because it is the site of several ruined Buddha statues that had been destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. These statues have been close to for centuries and stood the test of time but had been not able to withstand the ravages of war between religions within the country.

To obtain to Bamiyan, you are able to go by road from Kabul. Whenever you venture into this region, attempt to blend in by with the assist of a scarf covering your head, your mouth and your nose. Aside from keeping your self inconspicuous, this also helps keep the dust out of your nose and mouth because these routes are frequently rough and extremely dusty. You will be able to get to Bamiyan via a shared 4WD minivan that can seat around five to ten people. The drive to Bamiyan generally takes close to 9 hours.

Whenever you get to Bamiyan town, aside from the well-known ruined Buddhas, you will probably be in a position to see just how badly war has torn some of the city apart. You can see many weapons that were left behind, jeeps that have been destroyed and buildings and houses which are now part of the ruins around these destroyed Buddhas. You can also visit the Shahr-e Gholghola, which is a fort that may give you majestic views of the valley below because it’s discovered high above the town.

To experience the cuisine that the locals enjoy, you might want to attempt what is known as pulao and naan. You can purchase these rice, vegetable and mutton stews and nearby flat breads from what are known as chaikhanas and you are able to wash down these delicious nearby fare with lots of green tea that’s also being sold by these extremely same vendors.


Friday, January 14, 2011

The boy who plays on Buddhas of Bamiyan

By Phil Grabsky

Background Information

9 hours drive from Kabul, at the heart of the Hindu Kush, lies the valley of
Bamiyan. It is surely one of the most beautiful of all Afghanistan. Moreover, its
position and fertility led to the establishment of a trading post on the Silk Road
almost 2000 years ago. It subsequently grew to become an important
Buddhist centre with many monasteries and hundreds of monks. Around the
1st Century AD, a Central Asian nomadic tribe, the Kushans, established
themselves in Afghanistan. Around the end of the 1st century AD their king
was a man called Kanishka who adopted Mahayana Buddhism – which
revered the Buddha as a man as much as a God. Previously Buddha had only
been represented symbolically but under Kanishka the first images of Buddha
the man appeared. The fusing of an Indian artistic style with that of the
Greek-Bactrians led to the so-called ‘Graeco-Buddhic’ art – and the two great
Buddhas of Bamiyan were examples of this.
On completion, the two tallest were 55metres (9m taller than the Statue of
Liberty) and 38m high – an accomplishment that may have taken two hundred
years to achieve. By the time of their first record in 400 AD by a Chinese
Buddhist pilgrim they were covered in a mud and straw mixture to model the
face, hands and robes. The large Buddha was painted red, the smaller blue.
Both had hands and a face of gold. Alongside the Buddhas were excavated
dozens of caves, in which lived monks and other devotees.
Islam had arrived in Bamiyan by the 10th Century but the Buddhas remained
relatively unscathed, even after Genghis Khan in 1222 stormed the valley and,
in response to the killing of his grandson, killed every living thing in the valley.
This destruction marked the end of Bamiyan as a key trade point for centuries
but when the area slowly repopulated it did so with an increasing mix of
Mongol blood – and simultaneously added Shia Islam to the region’s religions.
The people of the area became known as Hazara – and the area (known as
Hazarajat) remained independent of the Afghan state until 1893. It revolted
against the Afghan communist government in 1978 but then came under
Soviet control until struggling free in 1981. The area was stricken with internal
division until the 1990 creation of the Hizb-e Wadhat party initially led by
Abdul Ali Mazari and then, after his mysterious death at the hands of the
Taliban, by Karim Khalili.
During the Taliban period, Bamiyan changed hands several times resulting in
great destruction and civilian casualties. Worse, the Taliban blockaded the
Shia Hazaras adding to the woes of the terrible drought. International attention
turned back to Bamiyan and the Hazara when, in March 2001, Mullah Omah
declared the Buddhas idolatrous and ordered them destroyed once and for all.
Only rubble remains.

link to source:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get your hands on Pataka's latest publication Bamiyan - the Heart of Afghanistan

Only available at Pataka's shop $25.00

All good things are worth waiting for! Pataka Museum has just taken delivery of the Bamiyan exhibition book from the printers in China.
This full colour, 204 page book with its beautiful page layouts of virtually all the images from the recent Bamiyan exhibition is an absolute stunner!
Relive the experience, savour the images of the people of Bamiyan. Recall the history of the region, review the scenic sights and historic sites. Drool over Chris Weisserborn's remarkable panoramic images, revisit the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, enjoy the children's artwork, savour again the photographs of Pedram Pirnia and ponder the words and thoughts of the local interviewees.
Every aspect of the stimulating exhibition that was visited by over 60,000 people is encompassed in the book. Buy your copy now and celebrate the memory of the exhibition and Porirua's Friendly City relationship with Bamiyan.

Link to source:

Monday, January 10, 2011

وزیر فرهنگ افغانستان: در تلاش چاپ آثار کاتب هستیم

ایوب آروین

بی بی سی

رهین: کاتب تاریخ نگار و مردی مبارز سیاسی و اجتماعی بود.
سید مخدوم رهین وزیر اطلاعات و فرهنگ افغانستان گفته است که هرچند هزینه کافی در اختیار ندارد، ولی برای چاپ آثار فیض محمد کاتب تلاش می کند.

آقای رهین گفت امکان این هم وجود دارد که امتیاز چاپ این آثار را به مراکز فرهنگی و علمی غیردولتی واگذار کند، اما او تاکید کرد که در هر حال آثار کاتب باید با رویکردی کاملا عالمانه و حرفه ای چاپ و منتشر شوند.

وزیر اطلاعات و فرهنگ نگرانی ها از این که هنوز هم برخی مقامهای دولتی به دلیل مخالفت با انتشار اطلاعات مندرج در آثار کاتب، مانع چاپ این آثار می شوند را بی مورد دانست.

در آغاز گفتگویی از او پرسیدم: از نظر دولت افغانستان، که شما وزیر اطلاعات و فرهنگ آن هستید، فیض محمد کاتب چه کسی است؟

مرحوم کاتب از نظر همه ما و شخصیت چندبعدی است که نه تنها تاریخ نگار بزرگی است، بلکه مردی مبارز سیاسی و اجتماعی هم هست.

زندگانی کاتب در عهد سراج الملت و الدین، امیر حبیب الله خان شهید و همچنان در زمان شاه امان الله با اعتماد و محبت خاص دربار همراه بود. مخصوصا در زمان شاه امان الله، که پادشاه نه تنها مرحوم کاتب را به عنوان یک مورخ احترام می کرد، بلکه به عنوان مرد فاضلی که در مبارزات سیاسی و اجتماعی کاملا همنوا و پیرو شاه امان الله بود، مورد شفقت خاصش بود.

نقش کاتب در تحولات اجتماعی آن زمان مانند سایر مشروطه خواهان و روشنفکران، روشن است و کاتب با قلم توانای خود آثار گرانبهایی آفریده است.

وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ به مناسبت هشتادمین سال وفات این شخصیت بزرگ وطن در نظر دارد که سیمینار خاصی در اوائل بهار (۱۳۹۰ خورشیدی) برگزار کند. می خواستیم این کار در این زمستان صورت بگیرد، اما احساس کردیم که ممکن است بسیاری از علاقمندان و کاتب شناسان نتوانند در این فصل به این سیمینار بیایند. به همین سبب آن را گذاشتیم به اوائل بهار و بعد از نوروز. به زودی تشکیل کمیسیون برگزاری محفل یادبود، کاتب اعلام می شود.

شما از محبت امیر حبیب الله خان و امان الله خان نسبت به کاتب یاد کردید، حبیب الله خان دستور مصادره و از بین بردن جلد سوم سراج التواریخ را صادر کرد و امان الله خان هم اجازه چاپ آثار کاتب را نداد.

رهین: کسی که در زمینه زندگی، آثار و افکار کاتب کار کند، به عنوان کاتب شناس شناخته می شود.
موضوع اجازه ندادن به چاپ کتابهای کاتب، مقداری مغشوش است، ولی من از آن فرمان شاه امان الله که به کاتب اجازه داده که از تمام آثار کتابخانه سلطنتی هر وقتی که خواست استفاده کند و حتی وظیفه داده به کاتب که بنویسد و از این آثار کتابخانه استفاده کند. حتی در سندی که من دیده ام نوشته که حتی مصارف چای روزانه کاتب را که روزی دو روپیه آن زمان باشد، شخص پادشاه به قلم خود تعیین کرده است. این نشانه ای از نزدیکی و صمیمیت است.

شما از اصطلاح کاتب شناسی استفاده کردید، تا چه حدی فکر می کنید که کاتب شناسی در افغانستان جا افتاده است؟

کاتب شناسی تعبیر بجایی است، برای این که زندگانی کاتب و پایان غم انگیز عمرش و همچنین آثار گرانبهایش و آن خط شیوایش، همه این ها در ابعاد مختلف خود قابل مطالعه و پژوهش هستند. بنابر آن، کسی که در زمینه زندگانی، آثار و افکار کاتب کار کرده باشد و یا کار کند، طبعا به عنوان کاتب شناس شناخته می شود.

از کاتب هزاران صفحه آثار خطی، غیر از آثار چاپ شده اش بجا مانده، در هشتاد سال گذشته این آثار مجال چاپ نیافتند، فکر می کنید، دلیل اصلی اش چه بوده است؟

خب اصولا ما در گذشته کتاب کم چاپ کرده ایم. امکانات هم زیاد نبوده است. شما اگر اولین وزیر اطلاعات و فرهنگ مملکت، که به نام رئیس مستقل مطبوعات یاد می شد- مرحوم صلاح الدین سلجوقی- کتابی را که به نام "افکار شاعر" نوشته و در کابل چاپ شده را ببینید، متوجه می شوید که تا چه حدی امکانات نشر و پخش ما ضعیف بوده است در آن زمان. بنا بر آن، مقدار زیادی از توجه نکردن به چاپ این آثار و کتب ناشی از مشکلات در امر طباعت و امثالش بوده است.

در هر حال، در این کار (چاپ آثار کاتب) غفلت صورت گرفته، ولی این غفلت بیشتر ناشی از فقدان وسائل و عوامل دیگر بوده و نه احساس بدبینی نسبت به مرحوم کاتب. شخصیت های والای دیگری هم هستند که توجهی به ایشان نشده.

تا جایی که اطلاع داریم، حدود پنج هزار صفحه از آثار خطی کاتب در آرشیو ملی موجود است و اخیرا خانواده کاتب در اروپا به بی بی سی اطلاع داد که سه هزار و پانصد صفحه از آثار کاتب نزد ایشان است و گفتند که دغدغه آنها نگهداری درست این آثار و چاپ آنها است، گفتنی شما در این مورد چیست؟

مهمترین آثار کاتب به دستور و تحت نظر مستقیم حبیب الله خان نوشته شده است.
ما هم نگهداری می کنیم، مثلی که الحمدالله آثار بسیار نفیسی را در آرشیو ملی نگهداری کرده ایم و هم چاپ می کنیم. من امیدوارم خانواده مرحوم کاتب با وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ تماس بگیرند و مطمئن باشند که نسل نو اگر مثل آنها فرزندان صوری کاتب نیستند، فرزندان معنوی کاتب هستند، مخصوصا قشر پیشتاز و روشنفکر.

از آثار مرحوم کاتب، بخش در باره مطالعه قبائل پشتون و قبائل هزاره را من هم دارم که ضمن کتاب امان التواریخ (عکس نسخه خطی اش که در کتابخانه نیویورک است) نزد من هست. من به دلیل کثرت مشاغل متاسفانه نتوانسته ام که آن را آماده چاپ بسازم، ولی امیدوارم که تا اوائل بهار من هم در این زمینه کار کرده باشم.

آثاری که قبلا به آرشیو ملی داده شده، بیش از بیست سال است که در آن جا نگهداری می شود، اما کاری برای چاپ آنها انجام نشده، اگر همه آثار کاتب هم جمع شود و کاری برای چاپ آنها نشود و در اختیار عموم قرار نگیرد، فایده آن چیست؟

اولا آثار آرشیو ملی در دسترس پژوهشگران و محققان هست و از دسترس اهل علم بدور نیست. ثانیا مهم این است که این آثار محفوظ باشد. فرصت برای این که پژوهشگران بروند، در مورد آنها کار کنند هست و همیشه هست. ولی مبادا این آثار از بین بروند، مبادا این آثار بر اثر حوادث نابود شوند.

اوائل سال جاری خورشیدی معاون دوم رئیس جمهوری و بعضی از همکاران شما در وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ از چاپ آثار کاتب سخن گفتند و در گفتگو با رسانه ها، از جمله بی بی سی وعده دادند که آثار کاتب چاپ می شوند، ولی در عمل به نظر می رسد که کاری در این زمینه انجام نشده است.

هر چند امان الله خان در موارد بسیاری از کاتب حمایت کرد، اما به آثار عمده او اجازه چاپ نداد.
چاپ آثار کاتب به صورتی نیست که کتاب را از آرشیو ملی بگیرید، ببرید به مطبعه و چاپ کنید. هر کدام از این آثار باید مورد مطالعه دقیق قرار بگیرند و با دیگر آثار کاتب مقایسه شوند، با دیگر نسخ مقایسه شوند و کار علمی و بعد از آن آماده چاپ شوند. چنین کاری به این سادگی نیست. اولا این کار را هر کسی نمی تواند، ثانیا کسی که این کار می تواند باید وقت کافی داشته باشد. معمولا این نوع کارها، زمان طولانی را در بر می گیرد.

خب تا حالا چه کاری در این زمینه انجام شده؟ شما تا حال افرادی را سراغ ندارید که این شرایط را داشته باشند؟

افرادی هستند، از جمله آقای (حبیب الله) رفیع که روی یکی از آثار کاتب کار می کند. کسانی دیگر هم به همین ترتیب به صورت پراکنده کار می کنند. ولی وقتی که ما این سیمینار را برگزار کردیم، دقیقا تعیین می کنیم که چه کسی به چه کاری دست بزند و من شخصا می خواهم هیات علمی را تعیین کنم که با دید کاملا علمی و انتقادی (آثار کاتب را) ببینند تا بعدا این آثار چاپ شوند.

این کارهای تجاری است که کتاب چاپ می کنند و تلاش می کنند که زود بفروشند. این کار علمی نیست. نوشته های مرحوم کاتب مخصوصا بخاطری که تاریخ است و اصولا تاریخ نویسی معاصر حرفه حساسی است در سراسر جهان. به دلیل این که بسیاری از مطالبی که ذکر می شود، به خوب و بد اشخاص بر می گردد، مخصوصا نسلی که از نسل حاضر زیاد دور نیست.

به همین سبب در صحت و سقم مسائل، در این که مطلب به وسیله مرحوم کاتب نوشته شده یا نه و امثال کارهایی که در تصحیح متن ایجاب می کند- که خودش فن مخصوص است- کارهایی باید صورت بگیرد.

در هر حال، من به این که آثار مرحوم کاتب زود چاپ شوند، علاقه ندارم، برای این که کاری که زود شود، صحیح نمی باشد. ولی عمیقا علاقه دارم که این کار صورت بگیرد و با دقت، تانی و مخصوصا متعاقب سیمینار یادبود مرحوم کاتب.

بخش عمده ای از آثار کاتب تحولات دوره امیر عبدالرحمان خان و چند امیر پس از او را با جزئیات کم نظیری در بر دارد.
ذکر همین خوب بدی که فرمودید در آثار کاتب وجود دارد و بعضی این نگرانی را مطرح کرده اند که آثار کاتب به دلیل رویکرد افشاگرانه اش، مخالفانی در داخل دولت کنونی افغانستان دارد و این افراد مانع چاپ آثار کاتب می شوند، پاسخ شما به این نگرانی ها چیست؟

این نگرانی ها بیهوده است. من فکر نمی کنم که هیچ کسی از مقامات دولت حتی در این مورد فکر هم کرده باشد. برعلاوه، این کار (چاپ آثار کاتب) به وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ مربوط است و وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ در هیچ حال تابع چنین سلیقه ها نیست.

شما عملا برای چاپ آثار کاتب برنامه ریزی کرده اید، بودجه ای اختصاص داده اید؟

بودجه اختصاص دادن کاری ندارد. ما وزارتخانه ای بسیار فقیر هستیم. با همین چیزی که داریم می خواهیم چاپش کنیم. در هر حال برای چاپ آثار مرحوم کاتب راهی پیدا می کنیم و پولی پیدا می کنیم. شما می بینید بخاطری که بودجه ما بسیار کم است، من گاه دست به دامن تاجر ملی می زنم و گاه دست به دامن سفارتخانه های خارجی و گاه موسسات غیردولتی خارجی تا برای خدمت به فرهنگ این کشور کاری شود.

اگر شما نتوانید بودجه ای برای این کار پیدا کنید، امکان این وجود دارد که امتیاز چاپ آثار کاتب را به بخش خصوصی و مراکز فرهنگی غیردولتی واگذار کنید؟

خب، آثار مرحوم کاتب را کوشش می کنیم خود ما چاپ کنیم و هم (اجازه می دهیم به) یک مرجع سالم. مرجع سالم که می گویم منظورم این است که دیدگاه علمی داشته باشد و کارش صرفا تجاری نباشد، در آن صورت فرق نمی کند که چنین مرجعی هم آثار کاتب را چاپ کند.

Link to source:

NATO: 3 Afghan police officers killed in (Daikundi Province) mistaken-identity strike

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 10, 2011 4:28 a.m. EST

(CNN) -- NATO officials said Monday they have sent a team to investigate an incident in central Afghanistan where troops thought they were battling militants, but instead may have exchanged gunfire with Afghan police.

The operation, which took place Sunday in Daikundi province, led to the death of three Afghan police officers and wounded three others, the International Security Assistance Force said.

NATO troops were conducting a patrol in a village when they came across nine armed people who were setting up what "appeared to be an ambush position," the force said in a statement.

The service members called in aerial support.

Later, troops determined the air strike may have been carried out against an Afghan police team, the force said.

"While we take extraordinary precaution while conducting operations to avoid friendly casualties, it appears innocent people may have been mistakenly targeted," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, the director of the force's Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.

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60% state institutions in Daikundi operate in rental buildings

NEILI (NNI): About 60 percent of state institutions are operating in central Daikundi province without having buildings of their own, costing much to the country's budget, the governor said. "Officials of these departments operate from rented places, the rent of which range from 15,000 to 25, 000 afghanis per month," Qurban Ali Uruzgani said. "Twenty-two out of 37 state bodies have no buildings of their own," he said, adding the government had to pay a lot of money in rent for these buildings. Hajj and Islamic Affairs department is one of many operating in rental buildings. "The current building for which we pay 15,000 afghanis a month is not big enough to house all the staff," head of the department, Shiekh Mohammad Essa Taqadussi said. He said he had raised the problem with the ministry concerned who came up with the promise to construct a building for his department next year. Residents complain that provincial departments changed buildings with time to time, creating problems for them. "Almost every year, provincial departments change locations and you have to wander for days to find their new locations," said Mohammad Ali, a resident of Shahristan district.

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Afghan Culture Museum

Blog: John Thackara

A lifetime ago, during a six month journey in Afghanistan, I passed the spectacular site of Bamiyan, shown in this photograph, on my way into the Hindu Kush. This was long before the three enormous statues of Buddha, carved into the sides of cliffs, were destroyed by the Taliban on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam.

A two-day visit did not make this hippy-tourist an expert — but the impact of that site has lived with me ever since. The statues could only have been created by one of humanity's most ancient civilizations — and yet that cultural and social legacy is hardly ever mentioned in contemporary media coverage of the country.

It is welcome news, therefore, that a project to create a virtual museum of Afghan culture has been launched in Paris by an independent producer, Pascale Bastide. The celebrated and visionary architect Yona Friedman has agreed to to design and "build" a virtual structure that will enable access to Afghan collections which are now physically scattered in many museums and private collections around the world. Every art object will have its own geographic, ethnological and historic information; a panoramic table will situate these objects in the larger context of European, Mideastern and Asian civilizations. There will be also a special pavilion offered to Afghan people to deposit their own archives.

"My fundamental idea about architecture is that we are overbuilding" comments Friedman; "earth is over occupied. A museum, from this point of view, doesn't need to have a building." Rather than attempt to fill the cavity left after the demolition of the giant statues with a new buillding, his idea is to use that space as a kind of grid, or promenade, to present the online exhibits.

Another collaborator in the project, Michael Barry, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, states that "several moments of mankind's fate and creativity were sealed on what is today Afghan soil — and the world needs to see that".

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Save us, plead Afghan blood-feud lovers

Jeremy Kelly | Sunday Herald Sun | January 09, 2011

A YOUNG Afghan couple want asylum in Australia after their marriage sparked a bloody tribal war, tit-for-tat kidnappings and intervention by US Special Forces and President Hamid Karzai.

A bloody tribal war has erupted over the marriage of a young Afghan couple. Picture: AP Source: HWT Image Library

They now fear her family is trying to hunt them down to kill them to preserve her family’s so-called honour.

Their problems started 10 months ago in Oruzgan province, where most Australian troops are based, when 20-year-old Massoma ran off with her lover, a member of the Hazara tribe, which has been persecuted by her tribe, the Pashtuns, for centuries.

“If my family finds me, they will cut me into pieces because I married a Hazara boy without their permission,” Massoma said.

She said they lived from day to day, sleeping no more than one night in any house, in fear they would be found and then slain.

“We were not expecting any of this. It was never on our mind. This man took my heart. He had a kind face, good colour and beautiful skin. That’s why I ran away with him,” Massoma said.

It was four months after fleeing her family in a village in Khas Oruzgan district that her family found out where she was.

Her husband, Younus, 22, went to her family to try to broker a peace deal, asking whether they wanted money – an offer he said they refused.

“They said, ‘We want the girl, you and your family’. They wanted us all, just for killing.”

By then, news of the marriage was causing ripples through the district. Fighting between Pashtuns and Hazaras flared with, by most accounts, at least two people killed and 300 families forced to flee their houses to escape the violence.

The Pashtuns kidnapped a teenage Hazara girl, Mahgul, and rushed her to Kandahar province. The Hazaras retaliated, taking seven Pashtun men hostage.

Perhaps realising the issue could escalate into a potential tribal war, US Special Forces, which are the only foreign military in the area, intervened.

Locals said the US military rescued Mahgul from Kandahar and brought both girls back to their base in Khas Oruzgan.

Word spread around the community that the Americans had two local women on the base, fertile propaganda for the Taliban.

“I knew (then) that I had to get them off my base as fast as possible,” said the Special Forces captain, who, under US military policy, cannot be named.

He arranged a shura, or gathering, to bring the warring sides together. That led to another shura, where agreements were forged for the violence to cease, the hostages to be released and delegations from each tribe to be sent to Kabul to ensure the peace was lasting.

President Karzai met the delegation, which included tribal leaders, MPs and the president’s chief tribal adviser.

The matter was close to their hearts, given Massoma was a member of their Pashtun sub-tribe, the Popalzai.

After 41 days of talks, the two sides recently returned to Oruzgan unable to reach agreement. The sticking point: Massoma refused to attend.

“We don’t trust them. I swear on the Holy Qur’an they will kill us both,” she said.

Oruzgan’s police chief Juma Gul agreed that Massoma was “in danger because her brother and father are taking this issue very seriously”.

He confirmed that violence because of the marriage had led to two deaths, the displacement of 300 people and 11 hostages being taken, all of whom he said were now released.

Adding to the intrigue is a claim by the Pashtuns that Massoma was married before meeting Younus and that she needs to divorce him.

“That’s a complete lie,” Massoma said.

The US Special Forces captain said that in his discussions with Massoma’s mother, she didn’t mentioned her daughter was already married, adding that the supposed first husband never appeared.

The Pashtun delegation’s leader and Karzai’s tribal adviser, Jan Mohammed Khan, said that until the couple came to Kabul the matter would remain simmering in the province and any move to give asylum to the couple would merely inflame the issue, leading to further conflict.

“If they come to Kabul and if they are happy, we will say go. Go and be happy together,” he said, adding it was vital that she appear to get divorced from her alleged first husband.

Massoma said she doubted the pledge.

“We just want to find a peaceful place, a quiet place where no one can say anything to us,” she said.

“We want nothing else, just peace.”

Younus said only a new life in another country would ensure their safety.

“We want to be taken out of Afghanistan.” he said.

“Australia, America, wherever, we just want to leave Afghanistan.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Younus said the couple had good relations with Australian soldiers in Oruzgan province.

That, he said, had motivated their interest in Australia being their first choice for a new home.

“It is a peaceful country, I think, where they don’t kill people because they married someone,” he said.

“Their soldiers are helping us in Oruzgan, but they know of our situation and they know we will die here because of our marriage.

“If we have children, we don’t want them to live like us.

“During the night in one place, during the day in another place, all the time.”

The couple requested their surname not to be used and their picture to not appear on the internet because they wanted as few people as possible in Afghanistan to know their identity.

“We are on guard the whole time,” Younus said.

“This is not a proper life.

“We request from the Australian people, or whoever, to please us.”

The US commander of Australian forces in Oruzgan, Col. Jim Creighton, has taken an interest in the couple’s case.

Late last year he told the Sunday Herald Sun he had serious fears for Massoma’s future and he supported any move to get the couple out of the country.

To apply for asylum in Australia, the couple would face a precarious journey through Pashtun-dominated areas of Oruzgan, Kandahar and Ghazni before making their way to Kabul.

They would then have to travel east through the Khyber Pass to the Pakistani capital Islamabad because the Australian Embassy in Kabul offers no consular assistance to Afghans.

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آثار کاتب درمعرض خطر نابودی

ایوب آروین

بی بی سی

واحد فیضی نوه کاتب می‌گوید، نگهداری و چاپ آثار کاتب از مهمترین دغدغه های خانواده کاتب است
خانواده فیض محمد کاتب، مورخ مشهور افغانستان می گویند ۳۵۰۰ صفحه از آثار خطی چاپ نشده این نویسنده در نزد آنها موجود است.

پیش از این اطلاع چندانی در باره این بخش از آثار کاتب وجود نداشت و گمان اغلب بر این بود که آثار کاتب در سالهای اغتشاش پس از سقوط سلطنت امان‌الله خان از بین رفته است.

نخستین بار در سال ۱۳۶۵ خورشیدی خانواده کاتب اطلاع دادند که هزاران صفحه از آثار کاتب به خط خود او در نزد آنها وجود دارد و آنها این آثار را در اختیار دولت وقت افغانستان قرار دادند.

دولت در آن زمان این آثار را که مجموع آن به حدود پنج هزار صفحه می‌رسید، در آرشیو ملی افغانستان بایگانی کرد و این نخستین اقدام برای کشف و حفظ آثار کاتب بود.

همچنین سال گذشته خورشیدی دولت افغانستان نسخه خطی جلد چهارم سراج‌التواریخ، مهمترین اثر کاتب را از فردی که نام او هنوز اعلام نشده است، خرید و در آرشیو ملی بایگانی کرد.

آثار کاتب در بایگانی ملی

کاتب را از لحاظ دقت و زیرکی در تاریخ‌نویسی رسمی، با بیهقی، تاریخ‌نویس دوره غزنویان مقایسه کرده اند.
به این ترتیب، آن گونه که مقامهای دولت افغانستان گفته اند، در حال حاضر بیش از پنج هزار صفحه از آثار خطی فیض محمد کاتب، که بخش اعظم آنها در باره تاریخ معاصر افغانستان است، در بایگانی ملی افغانستان نگهداری می‌شود.

در گذشته گمان بر این بود که کتاب سراج‌التواریخ تنها سه جلد دارد که تاریخ افغانستان را از ۱۳۶۰ قمری تا پایان پادشاهی امیر عبدالرحمان خان در سال ۱۳۱۵ قمری را در بر دارد.

اما اکنون خانواده کاتب به بی‌بی‌سی گفته‌اند که صدها صفحه از جلد چهارم و حتی جلد پنجم سراج‌التواریخ هم در نزد آنها موجود است.

واحد فیضی، یکی از نوه‌های کاتب گفت: "۳۵۰۰ صفحه‌ای که در نزد ما است، بیشتر مربوط به وقایع امیر حبیب‌الله خان و امیر امان‌الله خان است. بخش‌هایی از این نوشته‌ها مربوط به جلد چهارم و پنجم سراج‌التواریخ می‌شود."

به گفته او، این بخش از جلد چهارم و پنجم سراج‌التواریخ، توضیحات بیشتری در ارتباط با تحولات این دوره ارائه می‌کند که در دیگر آثار کاتب با این تفصیل بیان نشده است.

تفاوت نسخه‌های خطی و چاپی سراج التواریخ

امیر حبیب الله خان سراج‌التواریخ را شخصا سانسور کرده است.
در سال گذشته هم بخشی از جلد سوم سراج‌التواریخ همراه با نسخه خطی جلد چهارم این کتاب در اختیار بایگانی ملی افغانستان قرار گرفته بود. این بخش از جلد سوم سراج التواریخ به دلائلی که هنوز مشخص نشده، در نسخه چاپ شده آن نیامده است.

نسخه چاپ شده جلد سوم سراج التواریخ که تحولات دوره پادشاهی امیر عبدالرحمان خان را در بر دارد، در سال ۱۳۳۳ هجری قمری تحت نظر مستقیم امیر حبیب الله خان و پس از سانسور شخص او و دو تن از منشیان او چاپ شده بود، ولی این نسخه به دستور حبیب الله خان پیش از انتشار در چاپخانه سلطنتی کابل از بین برده شد.

آن گونه که امیر حبیب‌الله خان خود در مقدمه جلد اول سراج التواریخ نوشته، او شخصا به فیض محمد کاتب دستور داده بوده که "سرگذشت پادشاهان افغان" را بنویسد، اما پس از آن که مشاوران امیر، او را متوجه زیانهای شرح قتل عامها و استبداد این پادشاهان می‌کنند، او دستور از بین بردن سراج‌التواریخ را صادر می‌کند.

از جلد سوم چاپ شده سراج‌التواریخ تنها چند نسخه از چاپخانه بیرون شده بود که در حال حاضر هم وجود دارد و نسخه خطی آن نشان می‌دهد که میان این دو نسخه تفاوت‌های زیادی وجود دارد. به نظر می‌رسد که نویسنده نخواسته یا نتوانسته که پادشاه را قانع به چاپ نسخه کامل آن کند.

به این ترتیب به نظر می‌رسد که حالا دوره کامل پنج جلدی سراج‌التواریخ به گونه دستنویس و به خط خود کاتب در دسترس است.

آثار کاتب در اروپا

اعضای خانواده کاتب نگران نگهداری و چاپ آثار او هستند.
آن گونه که آقای فیضی نوه کاتب می گوید، علاوه بر بخش‌هایی از سراج‌التواریخ، آثار دیگری هم از کاتب بجا مانده که در هشتاد سال گذشته به وسیله خانواده کاتب نگهداری می‌شده و خانواده کاتب این آثار را به همراه خود به اروپا برده است.

بر اساس فهرستی که آقای فیضی در اختیار بی‌بی‌سی قرار داده، به طور کلی ۲۸ جزوه بزرگ و کوچک از آثار خطی کاتب در نزد خانواده او نگهداری می‌شود که تقریبا نیمی از آنها مربوط به سراج‌التواریخ است و بقیه آنها شامل آثار دیگر کاتب و همچنین اسناد مهم دولتی آن دوره می‌شود.

در میان این آثار جلد سوم کتاب تحفه‌الحبیب، یکی دیگر از کتابهای مشهور کاتب، هم دیده می شود. کاتب پیش از سراج التواریخ این کتاب را نوشته بود، اما امیر حبیب الله و منشیان او این کتاب را آنقدر سانسور کردند، که کاتب از چاپ آن منصرف شد و به تالیف سراج التواریخ پرداخت.

تحفه‌الحبیب هم به دستور حبیب‌الله خان و به نام او نوشته شده است. این کتاب شرح تحولات افغانستان در زمان پادشاهان پیش از پادشاهی امیر حبیب‌الله خان را در بر دارد.

آقای فیضی گفت که در میان نسخه های خطی که در نزد خانواده کاتب نگهداری می شود، کتابی است با عنوان "تاریخ عام و قدیم افغانستان"، کتاب دیگری با نام "اصول دین" و جزوه‌ای هم با عنوان "ذکر تحدید(مرز) افغانستان و وجه تسمیه آن" وجود دارد.

رونوشت نامه‌هایی از امیر عبدالرحمان خان و محمد نادر شاه هم در میان جزوه های به جا مانده از کاتب دیده می‌شوند که به نظر می رسد اهمیت تاریخی داشته باشند.

دغدغه نگهداری

همه آثار چاپ نشده کاتب به خط خود او است.
فیض محمد کاتب این آثار را در سالهای ۱۳۳۱ تا سالهای منتهی به پایان زندگی‌اش در ۱۳۴۹ هجری قمری (۱۳۰۹ خورشیدی) نوشته است، اما از آن زمان تا حال تحولات مختلف سیاسی و نظامی در افغانستان فرصت چاپ این آثار را نداده است.

حالا آنگونه که واحد فیضی نوه کاتب می‌گوید، نگهداری و چاپ آثار کاتب از مهمترین دغدغه های خانواده کاتب است. آقای فیضی گفت که هنوز هم با وجود بهبود شرایط در کشور، زمینه چاپ این آثار و نگهداری نسخه های خطی آنها در محلی مطمئن وجود ندارد.

به گفته او، هرچند برخی کارشناسان کتابداری به خانواده کاتب در باره شیوه و شرایط نگهداری نسخه های موجود آثار خطی کاتب مشورت داده اند، اما آقای فیضی گفت که خانواده کاتب به این نظر است که آثار کاتب به عنوان مراث فرهنگی و ملی کشور باید در محلی مطمئن و به گونه حرفه ای نگهداری شوند. نگهداری غیر حرفه ای آثار چاپ نشده کاتب، خطر از بین رفتن این آثار را هر روز بیشتر می کند و بیم آن وجود دارد که بخشی از وقایع تاریخی، نامه ها و مکاتبات رسمی و اسناد دولتی که در هیچ جای دیگری نیست، از بین بروند.

وعده‌هایی که عملی نشد

در هشتاد سال گذشته فرصت چاپ آثار کاتب به دست نیامده است.
در دو سال گذشته مقامهای دولت افغانستان بارها از چاپ آثار کاتب سخن گفته اند و شماری از آنها گفته اند که چاپ آثار کاتب در صدر فهرست اولویت های دولت در زمینه فرهنگی قرار دارد، ولی در عمل هیچ کاری برای انتشار این آثار انجام نشده است.

سال گذشته مقامهای وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ پس از به دست آوردن و بایگانی کردن جلد چهارم سراج التواریخ گفتند که تلاش می کنند که این کتاب و دیگر آثار کاتب را چاپ کنند و در آخرین مورد دین محمد مبارز راشدی، معاون این وزارت گفت "وعده" می دهد که امتیاز چاپ این آثار را به بخش خصوصی واگذار خواهد کرد.

حتی محمد کریم خلیلی، معاون رئیس جمهوری هم در مراسمی که در ماه سنبله/شهریور گذشته برای بزرگداشت از کاتب در کابل برگزار شده بود، بر چاپ و انتشار آثار کاتب تاکید کرد، ولی به نظر می رسد که این سخن ها تنها برای اقناع علاقمندان تاریخ کشور و آثار کاتب اظهار می شود و برنامه عملی در این زمینه هنوز وجود ندارد.

واحد فیضی در بخشی از سخنان خود گفت که هنوز دولت افغانستان در ارتباط به آثار کاتب تماسی نگرفته و خانواده او هم نمی داند که دولت افغانستان در ارتباط با آن بخش از آثار کاتب که در بایگانی ملی نگهداری می شود، چه کاری انجام خواهند داد.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rival Indian firms join hands to bid for Bamiyan iron ore

Posted: Fri Jan 07 2011, 04:10 hrs
New Delhi:

For the first time rivals in the domestic market, steel giants Sail, Tata, Essar, RINL and the Jindal Group, are coming together to jointly bid for iron ore assets and to explore building a steel plant in war-torn Afghanistan.

At a meeting today, the Mines Ministry promised the steel producers “all possible assistance” to facilitate their entry into the “difficult” country.

The Ministry of External Affairs is closely coordinating with the Mines Ministry on the modalities of bidding for mining rights in the Hajigak mines in the Bamiyan province, 130 km west of Kabul.

Afghanistan is estimated to be sitting on iron reserves of 1.8 billion tonnes in Hajigak alone, and is issuing an open tender for multiple exploration concessions. The selected bidder will be granted mineral concessions under the Afghan Mineral Law, 2010.

There are potential coking coal reserves near the Hajigak mines, which the Hamid Karzai government hopes will enthuse companies to set up integrated plants.

Link to source:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

هشتادمین سالگرد درگذشت کاتب؛ بیهقی روزگار

بصیر احمد حسین‌زاده

نویسنده و پژوهشگر

کاتب از پرکارترین و دقیق النظرترین تاریخ نویسان معاصر است

شانزدهم جدی/ دی امسال برابر است با هشتادمین سالروز درگذشت فیض محمد کاتب هزاره، مورخ مشهور افغانستان و مولف کتاب "سراج التواریخ"، که در سال ۱۳۰۹ خورشیدی در کابل چشم از جهان فروبست.

فیض محمد فرزند محمد وکیل از طایفه محمد خواجه هزاره بود و در روستای زرد سنگ از توابع غزنی در ۱۶ رمضان ۱۲۷۹ قمری به دنیا آمد.

به دنبال جنگ سخت قومی و فرقه ای که در آن محل روی داد و به ویرانی سکونتگاه های هزاره ها منجر شد، بازماندگان طایفه محمد خواجه و دیگر اقوام هزاره به "ناهور" غزنی کوچیدند. پدر کاتب در ناهور وکالت و ریاست طایفه محمد خواجه را بر عهده داشت.

ملا فیض محمد تحصیلات مقدماتی را در زادگاهش و در مکتب‌خانه‌های سنتی به انجام رساند و سپس برای ادامه تحصیل به قندهار، لاهور، کابل و نجف رفت و دانش‌های متداول روزگار، مانند حکمت، لغت، نجوم، حساب و جبر را آموخت و زبانهای پشتو، عربی، اردو و انگلیسی را هم به اندازه نیاز فراگرفت.

از استادان او در کابل ملا محمد سرور اسحاق‌زی بود که کاتب "تحریر اقلیدس" و "خلاصه الحساب" و "شرح چغمنی" را نزد وی فرا گرفت.

کاتب خوشنویس
ملا فیض محمد کاتب نویسنده و ادیب روشنفکر و از جمله مشروطه خواهان اول بود که حقیقتا نویسنده پرکار و مورخ عالمی بود
عبدالحی حبیبی
میرزا فیض محمد کاتب از همان دوران کودکی خط خوشی داشت و آنگونه که در دانشنامه ادب فارسی و برخی دیگر از منابع آمده است، استادی اش در خوشنویسی و نویسندگی و پیشنهاد ملا محمد سرور اسحاق‌زی موجب شد تا در دوره امیر عبدالرحمان خان و دوره پسرش امیر حبیب الله خان به سمت "منشی دربار" گماشته شود و کار نوشتن نامه ها و فرمان های دولتی را به او بسپارند و از همین رو بود که به نام "کاتب" آوازه یافت.

در دانشنامه تاکید شده است که کاتب در خوشنویسی "بسیار استاد" بوده است، ولی "حسین نایل" بر این باور است که: "کاتب خط نستعلیق را خوب می نوشت و می توان صفت خوشنویس را بر او اطلاق کرد، اما نمی توان او را در هنر خوشنویسی استاد نامید".

منشی دربار
طبق گفته حسین نایل، بعد از این تاریخ، کاتب پیوسته با حبیب الله خان در تماس بوده و به هدایت او کار می کرد و از هیمن جهت به کاتب شهرت پیدا کرد که در نتیجه تخلص او شد. خود کاتب در سراج التواریخ در این مورد نوشته است: "...جناب نواب شهزاده سپهر و ساده پیشم خواند و نیکم بنواخت و مامور نقل کتب و کتابتم فرمود..."

با توجه به شناختی که امیر حبیب‌الله خان از علم و دانش کاتب به ویژه در زمینه تاریخ‌نگاری پیدا کرده بود، به او اجازه داد که کتابی در تاریخ افغانستان از روزگار به قدرت رسیدن احمد شاه درانی تا زمان خود امیر حبیب الله بنگارد و برای این کار همه بایگانی های دولتی، اسناد و مدارک دست اول، نامه ها و فرمان ها گزارشهای روزانه و سایر نوشته های موجود را در اختیار کاتب گذاشت.

کاتب در زندان
بیشتر صاحب نظران بر این باورند که کاتب علیرغم پیوندش با دربار شاهی، اندیشه های آزادی خواهانه ای داشت و از جنبش های پیشرو افغانستان، مانند جنبش مشروطیت پشتیبانی می کرد و آنگونه که "عبدالحی حبیبی" در کتاب "جنبش مشروطیت در افغانستان" روایت کرده است، "ملا فیض محمد کاتب نویسنده و ادیب روشنفکر و از جمله مشروطه خواهان اول بود که حقیقتا نویسنده پرکار و مورخ عالمی بود" و به همین سبب در زمان سرکوب جنبش مشروطیت اول او نیز همراه با دیگر سران جنبش به دست امیر حبیب الله به زندان افتاد.

با توجه به شناخت امیر حبیب الله از کاتب که از زمان شاهزادگی او را می شناخت، بعد از مدت کوتاهی کاتب از زندان رها شد.

کاتب در کتاب 'کرسی نشینان کابل'
پس از بازگشت کاتب از هزاره جات، جاسوسان حکومت کاتب را متهم کردند که مردم را به پایداری و عدم سازش بر انگیخته است و حبیب الله کلکانی بعد از دریافت این اخبار کاتب را دستگیر و مورد ضرب و شتم فروان قرار داد که برخی بر این باورند که کاتب بر اثر همین ضرب و شتم از دنیا رفتبعد از مرگ امیر حبیب الله پسرش امان الله خان به قدرت رسید و آنگونه که "مهدی فرخ"، سفیر وقت دولت پهلوی ایران در افغانستان در کتاب "کرسی نشینان کابل" نوشته است، "مقامات حکومتی تلاش داشتند تا از نفوذ کاتب در دستگاه حکومتی به خاطر شیعه و هزاره بودن جلوگیری نمایند."

"در (زمان) سلطنت امان الله خان و وزارت محمد نادر خان، (کاتب) به مدعی العمومی تعیین گردید و به واسطه مخالفت وزرا که (کاتب) قزلباش (یعنی شیعه) است، مانع از تصدی مشارالیه شدند و کاتب بعد از (این) به وکالت هزاره ها منتخب گردید. عبدالعزیز خان وزیر داخله و جمعی دیگر به شاه مراجعه کردند که اگر این شخص به شورا برود، کسی حاضر نمی شود".

در ادامه کتاب "کرسی نشینان کابل" از روابط کاتب با سفارت ایران سخن رفته است: "(کاتب) از بدو تأسیس سفارت ایران با نهایت صمیمیت و جدیت خدمات قابل توجه به سفارت کرده است. از خیالات و نیات محرمانۀ متصدیان فعلی افغانستان هر قدر که مطلع شود - سفارت را مطلع می‌نماید. برای مهاجرت به ایران و جلب بربری های افغانستان به ایران و جلوگیری از نیات سوء مأمورین افغانستان در خراسان – حاضر و از روی عقیدۀ مذهبی برای هر فداکاری و زحمتی حاضر است."

در مورد راست و دروغ بودن محتوای این کتاب که برای اولین بار در سال ۱۳۷۰ خورشیدی در تهران منتشر شد، علی‌رغم تلاش نگارنده به نتیجه مشخصی نرسید و فقط در برخی از نوشته ها در موافقت و مخالفت با محتوای کتاب آن‌هم فقط در مورد فیض کاتب بعضی ها از روی احساسات که بیشتر توجه به مسایل قومی و مذهبی داشت بحث هایی را مطرح کرده بودند که فاقد وجاهت علمی بود.

ولی حتی اگر محتوای کتاب صحت هم داشته باشد، باید توجه داشت که آن چه که از شرح حال سایر دولتمردان افغانستان در کتاب کرسی نشینان کابل بر می آید این است که ستایش ها و نکوهش ها بر اساس دیپلماسی و منافع سیاسی دولت پهلوی در آن روزگار بوده و برای پی بردن به این موضوع باید شرح حال تمام دولتمردان افغانستان را که در این کتاب آمده است، مطالعه کرد.

طبق روایت فرخ، بسیاری از رجال دولتی و سرداران محمدزایی در آن دوران با سفارت ایران رابطه داشته اند و حتی برخی از شاهزادگان و وزرای دولت امان الله خان، آنگونه که در کتاب روایت شده است، با سفارت ایران رابطه خصوصی داشته اند.

در شرح حال شاهزاده محمد کبیر برادر امان الله خان، شاهزاده امین الله پسر امیر عبدالرحمان خان، محمد یعقوب خان وزیر دربار امان الله خان، محمود خان پسر خاله و از اعضای دفتر امان الله خان و بسیاری دیگر از درباریان آمده است که همگی با سفارت ایران روابط خصوصی داشته اند.

تالیف و تدریس
کاتب در زمان امان الله خان علاوه بر تدریس در مکتب حبیبیه به تالیف کتب درسی هم اشتغال داشت و در این دوره گویا عضو هیاتی علمی، با عضویت کسانی مانند عبدالواسع قندهاری و بدری بیگ بوده است.

طبق برخی از نوشته ها، از جمله دانشنامه ادب فارسی، کاتب در لوی جرگه پغمان حضور داشت و خواستار به رسمیت شناختن مذهب تشیع در کنار مذهب تسنن شد که با مخالفت برخی از روحانیان متعصب سنی روبرو شد و این امر به ضرب و شتم او انجامید.

سفر به هزاره جات
بعد از فرار امان الله خان، حبیب الله کلکانی معروف به "بچه سقا" به قدرت رسید که در حکومت چند ماهه خود با مقاومت مردم هزاره، که طرفدار امان الله خان بودند، روبرو گردید.

در سال ۱۳۰۸ خورشیدی، حبیب الله کلکانی هیاتی از رجال هزاره به سرپرستی فیض محمد کاتب به هزاره جات فرستاد تا مردم هزاره را برای صلح با حکومت ترغیب کند. کاتب اگر چه در ظاهر از حکومت طرفداری می کرد، ولی در مجالس خصوصی هزاره ها، آنها را به مقاومت ترغیب می نمود.

پس از بازگشت کاتب از هزاره جات، جاسوسان حکومت کاتب را متهم کردند که مردم را به پایداری و عدم سازش بر انگیخته است و حبیب الله کلکانی بعد از دریافت این اخبار کاتب را دستگیر و مورد ضرب و شتم فروان قرار داد که برخی بر این باورند که کاتب بر اثر همین ضرب و شتم از دنیا رفت.

ضرب و شتم و درگذشت کاتب
طبق نوشته غلام محمد غبار در کتاب افغانستان در مسیر تاریخ: "مردم دعوت هیئت را رد و خودشان را زنده از راه وردک به کابل رجعت دادند. در نتیجه همین رفت و آمد هیات بود که بچه سقا بر میرزا فیض محمد خان نویسنده سراج التواریخ مشتبه گردید و او را چوب بسیار زد، میرزا مریض شد و بعدها به ایران رفت و بعد از معالجه بر گشت و بمرد."

اما آنگونه که علی رضوی غزنوی در شماره ۱۲ "سراج" خاطرات برخی از یاران و نزدیکان کاتب را نقل کرده، این احتمال هم وجود دارد که کاتب بر اثر ضرب و شتم حکومت وفات نکرده باشد.

در نوشته آقای رضوی آمده: "...فردا که آقای طاهری باز وارخطا (سراسیمه) رفته تا خدای نکرده ملا را چیزی نشده باشد، دیده که وی در خانه خود در گذر (کوچه) شاسمندهای چنداول در نزدیک کلکین (پنجره) نشسته است و به لهجه همیشگی غزنیچی خاص خود به او گفته است: "گفتم که اگه امشو نمردم دیگه نمومرم".

در ادامه همین نوشته، رضوی غزنوی نقل می کند که: "ملا پس از واقعه لت و کوب(ضرب و شتم)، بسیار ناتوان و یک مشت استخوان شده بود. روز ها در دکان (مغازه) میر اکبر آقا می نشست و در کمال احترام انگشت نما بود. ملا در سال اول پادشاهی نادر شاه نیت زیارت امام هشتم را کرد و از راه کویته بلوچستان عازم ایران شد... از سفر زیارت ملا و برگشتنش از مشهد معلوم می شود که وفات او هم از اثر مضروب شدن نبوده و خدا دانا تر است."

کاتب در ۱۶ جدی سال ۱۳۰۹ خورشیدی در "بالا جوی" منطقه چنداول کابل به خاک سپرده شد. او سه بار ازدواج کرد. همسر اول او از قره باغ بود که از او صاحب پسری به نام عبدالصمد و یک دختر گردید، همسر دوم او دختر میرزا خان بابا از کابل بود.

دقیق نویس

ملا فیض محمد کاتب آثار پر شماری نوشته است که برخی منتشر و برخی تا کنون توفیق چاپ نیافته است.

کاتب را می توان یکی از پرکارترین و دقیق‌ترین تاریخ‌نویسان افغانستان دانست که تا کنون نیز کسی به پای او نرسیده است و حجم تالیفات کاتب به بیش از شش هزار صفحه و آثار کتابت شده او به بیش از ده هزار صفحه بالغ می گردد.

سراج التواریخ

سراج التواریخ را امیر حبیب الله خان شخصا سانسور کرده است.
سراج التواریخ مهم‌ترین اثر تالیفی فیض محمد کاتب می باشد که طبق نوشته اکثر صاحب‌نظران مستندترین کتاب تاریخی افغانستان است که تا کنون منتشر شده است.

عبدالحی حبیبی مورخ مشهور افغانستان در کتاب جنبش مشروطیت بر این نظر است که "سراج التواریخ که از کارهای ایام پختگی و تجربه های زندگانی او است، نخستین کتاب ضبط وقایع دولتی افغانستان شمرده می شود و برای مورخان دیگری که آثار خود را مطابق به موازین جدید تاریخ نویسی می نوسند، بهترین منبع معلومات به شمار می آید."

سراج التواریخ در چهار جلد نوشته شده است و در جلد اول وقایع سالهای حاکمیت خاندان محمدزایی و جلد دوم تاریخ حاکمیت دوست محمد خان تا سقوط محمد یعقوب خان را در بر دارد که در زمان حاکمیت امیر حبیب الله در کابل به چاپ رسیده است.

جلد سوم سراج التواریخ مربوط به وقایع زمان تسلط امیر عبداالرحمن خان است که مهمترین و بزرگترین بخش این کتاب است که در ۸۶۲ صفحه به قطع بزرگ و حروف ریز نوشته شده و در سال ۱۳۳۳ قمری به چاپ رسید، ولی امیر حبیب الله خان حکم به توقیف آن داد و فقط چند نسخه از آن در اختیار عموم قرار گرفت.

جلد چهارم سراج التواریخ که مربوط به وقایع حکمروایی امیر حبیب الله خان می شود هرگز توفیق چاپ پیدا نکرد و سال گذشته دولت افغانستان یک نسخه از این کتاب را به قیمت ۲۵ هزار دالر از یک کتابخانه خصوصی خریداری نمود و در آرشیو ملی بایگانی کرد.

طبق اسناد و شواهد موجود، جلد چهارم سراج التواریخ نیز همزمان با جلد سوم آن نوشته شده است و شرح بسیاری از رویداد های مندرج در جلد سوم به جلد چهارم ارجاع داده شده است.

از آگهی فروش سراج التواریخ هم که در شماره ۲۱ سال پنجم نشریه سراج الاخبار در ۱۱ سرطان ۱۲۹۵ به چاپ رسیده به خوبی مشخص است که حتی جلد چهارم این کتاب هم در همان زمان امیر حبیب الله به زیر چاپ رفته است.

در آگهی آمده است: "چون کتاب مستطاب سراج التواریخ چهار جلد می باشد که اگر در یک وقایه شیرازه می شد حجم کتاب موجود کلان می شد. لهذا اعلیحضرت همایونی والا امر نمودند که جلد اول و دوم در یک شیرازه و جلد سوم و چهارم آن که هنوز در زیر طبع می باشد پس از آنکه از طبع بر آمد مقوا کرده شده و انشاالله اعلان فروش آن نشر کرده خواهد شد."

تحفة الحبیب

"تحفه الحیب" نام یکی دیگر از آثار کاتب است که در سه جلد نوشته شده و به حوادث تاریخی مربوط به پاشاهان قبل از حبیب الله خان پرداخته که تا کنون چاپ نشده است.

حکمای متقدمین

"تاریخ حکمای متقدمین" این کتاب را کاتب هنگامی نوشته است که از امر تاریخ نگاری به صورت رسمی فراغت داشته و چنانکه از نام کتاب پیدا است به حیات حکمای قدیم می پردازد. این اثر در سال ۱۳۰۲ شمسی از روی خط مولف در مطبعه معارف در ۱۸۹ صفحه به چاپ رسید.

کاتب علاوه بر آثاره متعددی که نوشته در بررسی و تصحیح و تالیف کتاب های درسی هم نقش داشته است و مقالات زیادی از او در نشریه "سراج الخبار"، "آینه عرفان" و "حی علی الفلاح" به چاپ رسیده است.

دیگر آثار تالیفی:
فیضی از فیوضات، چاپ نشده
تذکره الانقلاب، چاپ نشده
سراج التواریخ- بخش دوم از جلد سوم، چاپ نشده
امان الانشا، چاپ نشده
امان التواریخ، چاپ نشده
تاریخ عصر امانی، در دسترس نیست
فقرات شرعیه، در دسترس نیست
وقایع دارالسلطنه، هزاره جات و ترکستان
زمامداری و سیاست کشورداری (در مجله حبل الله چاپ شده است)

آثار تحریر شده به خط میرزا فیض محمد کاتب
دیوان شهاب ترشیزی
در بیان شهاب فیوزهای ضربدار
تحفه الحبیب (در ۳ جلد)
سراج التواریخ (در ۳ جلد)
سراج التواریخ به خط عادی مولف
امان التواریخ، جلد ۱،۳،۴،۷
تاریخ حکمای متقدم (از روی خط مولف چاپ شده)
تذکرة الانقلاب
فیضی از فیوضات
یاداشتهای وقایع مختلف افغانستان
زمامداری و سیاست کشورداری (در مجله حبل الله چاپ شده است)


۱- سراج التواریخ، فیض محمد کاتب، کابل ۱۳۳۳ قمری

۲- سراج الاخبار، سال پنجم، شماره ۲۱ یازدهم، سرطان ۱۲۹۵ خورشیدی، کابل

۳- آینه عرفان، (نشریه وزارت معارف افغانستان در دوران امان الله خان)؛ ۱۳۰۳ خورشیدی، کابل.

۴- افغانستان در مسیر تاریخ، غلام محمد غبار، جلد اول.

۵- دانشنامه ادب فارسی در افغانستان، حسن انوشه، ۱۳۸۷ خورشیدی، تهران.

۶- پژوهشی در سراج التواریخ و ملا فیض محمد کاتب، حسین نایل، سراج، سال ششم شماره ۱۶ و ۱۷، مرکز فرهنگی نویسندگان افغانستان، قم، ایران.

۷- به یاد فیض محمد کاتب پیش آهنگ تاریخ نویسی در افغانستان معاصر، دکتر سید علی رضوی غزنوی، سراج؛ شماره ۱۲، سال سوم، ۱۳۷۶ خورشیدی، قم، ایران.

۸- شیوه تاریخ نگاری و تاریخ سازی در افغانستان و جهان، بصیر احمد دولت آبادی، سراج، سال ششم، شماره ۱۸، سال ۱۳۷۸ خورشیدی

۹- چند سخن پیرامون سراج التواریخ و امان التواریخ، سید قاسم رشتیا، سراج، شماره ۱۲، سال ۱۳۷۶.

۱۰- یادی از محقق شهیر کشور فیض محمد کاتب هزاره، سر محقق عبدالصابر جنبش، خط سوم، شماره ۸ و ۹، سال ۱۳۸۵ خورشیدی، مشهد.

۱۱- فیض محمد کاتب و روش تاریخ نویسی، میر حسین شاه، تعاون، شماره چهار، سال هشتم، ۱۳۷۹ خورشیدی، پاکستان.

۱۲- کرسی نشینان کابل (احوال دولتمردان افغانستان در روزگار امیر امان الله خان)، سید مهدی فرخ، به کوشش محمد آصف فکرت، سال ۱۳۷۰، موسسه پژوهش و مطالعات فرهنگی، تهران.

۱۳- جنبش مشروطیت در افغانستان، عبدالحی حبیبی، ۱۳۶۳ خورشیدی، کابل.

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