Kuchi invasion story is off-the-screen now and the political arena here in Kabul is echoed with the story of Dr. Latif Pedram, Chief of the Congara-e-Milli (National Congress) party. The issue was publicized when an audio recording was first aired on Shamshad TV, known for its apparent affinity toward the Pashtun demographic. The Channel’s criticism of Dr. Pedram, for disrespecting Amanullah Khan raised concerns. This started hot editorial crossfires among the press and in the Parliament and Cabinet. Even parliament echoed with ethnic conflicts when ethnic blocks were identified supporting and criticizing Dr. Latif Pedram. Parliamentarians abused each other during the discussions.
The audio clip, allegedly a recording of Pedram’s comments, was played again and again on channels, particularly Shamshad TV causing to deepen and fuel ethnic conflicts. Following these supporters of Afghan Mellat Party, known for being a pro-Pashtun party, protested in Kabul on July 26, demanding Dr. Pedram’s execution on the grounds of “disrespecting” a former “national hero”. They also demanded a ban on his party.
The protesters later marched in Jalalabad and Herat, and warned that Pashtun youths will take action if the Government failed to do so. Later the supporters of Afghan Mellat drove a campaign in Paktia arranging $200,000 as bounty for the head of Dr. Latif Pedram. Following this, the government banned the Congara-e-Milli and ordered “Comments about former kings, President and Jihadi leaders are not allowed.” It failed to do anything about the threatening move by the supporters of Afghan Mellat party in placing the bounty on Pedram’s head.
Dr. Pedram is now under de facto house arrest beside Abdul Rashid Dostum. If it was not so, people fear Pedram would have been beheaded by now. In an interview with Khorasan Tv Dr. Pedram had said “Amanullah Khan distributed the lands of Northern and Central Afghanistan (Hazaristan) to his Pashtun ethnics mass displacing the other ethnics of Tajik and Hazaras”.
Congara-e-Milli has strongly rebuffed the abusive language against Amanullah Khan and Pashtuns in the alleged audio clip saying the sound recording is a dubbing-game and their opponents (Afghan Mellat) has created it artificially to remove Dr. Pedram from their way. Some newspaper reports suggest the entire story is backed and master-minded by Karzai administration just to avoid Dr. Pedram contesting the upcoming elections. Some circles believe that nationalist Pashtun masterminds fear Dr. Pedram is a danger for their ethnic’s hundred years continued oppression of other ethnics in Afghanistan. People also blame Karzai administration is nowadays peaking ethnocentrism as proved through his policies appeared within last couple of months. Karzai did not take any notice of the Behsud Massacre of armed-Kuchis’ invasion. Members of civil society blame Karzai has filled the Cabinet with the members of a particular ethnic, Pashtun. Finance Minister, Anwarul Haq Ahady is a basic member and leader of Afghan Mellat Party. A former employee of Finance Ministry told Hazaristan Times “He (Ahady) has kicked all the non-Pashtuns out of the Finance Ministry changing it to a sub-office of Afghan Mellat”. Before coming on Finance Ministry portfolio Ahady was the President of The Bank of Afghanistan (State Bank). Some circles also notices that Ahady, during his Bank portfolio ordered the currency printing in Pashtu. They reason to check currency note of any value, that is all in Pashtu while Dari is also a national language of the country. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai–a Kuchi leader ( Kuchis dominate Afghan Mellat Party) and the present Chancellor of Kabul University–has been criticized. The critics say the University is being influenced by ethnocentrism. Hazaras cry they have nil representation in judiciary. On the other hand Tajiks also blame Karzai for tribalism saying that he (Karzai) took all the major ministries of Defense, Interior, Finance and Parliamentary Affairs from Tajiks filling those with his fellow Pushtoon ethnics.
Coming back to Pedram, on Thursday July 30 thousands of protesters demonstrated on roads in Baghlan in favor of Dr. Latif Pedram. They were condemning the death Fetwas of Pedram by Paktia Pushtoons arranging bounty of $US 200,000 on his head. Dr. Latif Pedram is a Tajik liberal-minded political figure, a poet, a writer and Chief of Congara-e-Milli striving for Federal System in Afghanistan–the only way out of ethnic conflicts. He has received many international awards.
Hazaristan Times believes Western powers and foundation layers of Afghanistan should concentrate upon the ethnic face of Afghanistan. They should pay attention to this side. We also believe in freedom of expression morally and politically supporting Dr. Latif Pedram for his outlook. It is an anti-democratic behavior to ban any political party or leader for just criticizing any former ruler. All should have the basic human right to express themselves. We also strongly condemn the fascist behavior by some elements fueling ethnic conflicts placing bounty for the head of Dr. Latif Pedram. Karzai Regime has to be highly criticized for putting Dr. Pedram under house arrest and banning his party. All the patriot people of Afghanistan are urged to support freedom of expression and stand against ethnic conflicts and fascism. All the responsible abovementioned elements should be sued in case anything happens to Dr. Pedram.
Hazaristan Times is of the view that Federal system of Government is the only permanent and long-effective resolution to the decades ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan.
Why does Western media keep-mum on the real ethnic face of Afghanistan?
Some questions arise in every mind in Afghanistan that why the Western media does not give coverage to the ethnic conflicts and Karzai’s ethnocentrism. Is it because they only concern the deaths of foreign troops and Taliban?
Comments by Dr. Latif Pedram over Kuchi barbarism in Behsud killing dozens of innocent villagers.
Another thoughtful article by Dr. Pedram about Federal system and the name of Afghanistan