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President Karzai

President Karzai

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Published by h86

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: h86 on Jul 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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President Karzai’s Political Mnvr and Mujaddedi’s Resignation
1. On __ Apr 12, Prof Sebghatullah Mujaddedi resigned from all his govt posns, inclmembership in the HPC and his seat in the Meshrano Jirga (Senate). Ostensibly, heresigned due to the failure of the President ‘to consider the sincere views and demandsof renowned jihadi ldrs and pub figs on issues of national importance’
; however, our sources cfm that he resented not being made the chairman of HPC after Rabbani’sassassination. While it is not clear whether this drama will end as Mujaddedi’s earlier resignations
or cont, the trend of old friends leaving Karzai has a consistent pattern toit. Media has termed Mujaddedi to be the “most faithful face” to say goodbye to Karzai.
 2. When the HPC was established in 2010, Hazrat Saheb was one of the twoleading contenders for its chair. But finally, Karzai opted for Rabbani, not least becausethis gave him the chance to coopt the senior figure of the political opposition. Mujaddedihad previously headed the less than successful HPC predecessor programme,Program-e Tahkim-e Solh (PTS), intended for the reintegration of insurgent fighters, butalmost all of the reintegrated were either not fighters at all or low-level, and much of theprogramme money was syphoned off. PTS was all but officially closed down a fewyears ago on the insistence of donor governments for being ‘morally and financiallybankrupt’, as an internal document said.On this point, the pro-human rights Kabul dailyHasht-e-Sobh a few days ago listedthenames of those Karzai allies it said had turned into opponents: Muhammad Mohaqqeq(a Hazara leader), Abdulrashid Dostum (an Uzbek one), former interior minister Hanif  Atmar (a Pashtun), the former head of the Afghan intelligence Amrullah Saleh, andKarzai’s former Vice President and brother of legendary Ahmad Shah Massud, ZiaMassud (both Tajiks). Mohaqqeq, Dostum and, to an extent, Massud delivered ‘ethnic’votes for Karzai in the presidential campaigns of 2004 and in 2009. Atmar was a loyalpro-Karzai campaigner during the elections, as well as during the 2002 ConstitutionalLoya Jirga when a hard-fought decision had to be taken between a presidential system(Karzai’s option) and a more parliamentary one (the Northerners’ preference). Onecould even add one of Karzai’s current Vice Presidents to the list, Mr Khalili, who retains
Official statement rel to media by Mujaddedi’s office.
In 2005, when not elected in the 1
rd as the Senate’s chairman, he stormed out of the hall decrying a ‘lack of respect’. He was persuaded to return, his rival wdr his candidacy and he was proclaimed chairman without even aformal vote. In 2007, he threatened resignation to secure rel of Herat's mayor - a member of his clan – arrested oncorruption charges. In 2009, he threatened to resign yet again, criticising the govt’s sp for corrupt officials.
In 80s and 90s, Karzai belonged to Mujaddedi’s tanzim and served as his Dy FM when Mujaddedi became 1
 Interim President (Apr-Aug 92). Moreover, Mujaddedi being head of the Afg Naqshbandi order, Karzai shows greatreligious deference to him although it is not clear whether Karzai belongs to this order or not. Mujaddedi was alsoknown to, at times, ref to the President as ‘his asst’ while the latter was in the highest office already.
his position but watches Karzai’s ‘reconciliation’ policy vis-à-vis the Taleban with morethan concern. Even some of the President’s brothers rarely spare a chance to speakbadly about him (sometimes even in public(3)), making his power-base extremelyunreliable.This forces the President to look for alternative allies. In some cases, he has workedwith representatives of non-Pashtun groups who were either opposed to or haddistanced themselves from their ‘traditional’ leaders. This included, for example, former interior minister Zarar Moqbel (a Tajik), General Abdul Malek (an Uzbek) and Nur Muhammad Qarqin (a Turkmen). But those politicians were either unable or unwilling tobuild their own powerbases, not least because they did not want to burn bridges withtheir old allies.Some observers see the recent reshuffle of four provincial governors (in Farah, Logar,Sarepul and Uruzgan)(4) as an attempt by Karzai to reward politicians who havesupported him during his 2010 campaign – and who have been ‘disappointed’ that noreward has been forthcoming so far. (But this is only one factor in the reshuffle.Lacking a strong powerbase of his own, Karzai increasingly is playing the ethnic card(as his former and now estranged allies also do, including with their push for 'decentralisation'of the country. And he is floating more and more into the orbit of Hezb-e Islami, or, to be more precise,of Hezb’s inland wing that has registered as a political party and claims to have severedlinks with its original leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who leads another Hezb wing whichis the second largest insurgent group.(5) Many key politicians in Karzai’s close circle of advisers either belong to this party or did belong to Hezb when it was still united as apolitical-military body, during the anti-Soviet struggle, or to other political groups withPashtun ethnocentric leanings.This brings us back to Mujaddedi and his special personal relationship with Karzai. (7)Mujaddedi (born in 1925) comes from an extremely influential religious family, theHazrats of Shor Bazaar in Kabul (therefore the ‘Hazrat Saheb’), that stood in the focusof most of Afghanistan’s domestic conflicts over the past hundred years. With their spiritual centre at Dar-ul-Madares, one of the most important Afghan madrassas,located just outside Ghazni city, the Mujaddedis belonged to the major backers (some Afghan sources say with British money) of the finally successful uprisings againstreformer-king Amanullah in the early 20th century. Al-Azhar-educated SebghatullahMujaddedi participated in the 1960s demonstrations organised by the clergy againstwhat they saw as the growing influence of the Soviets(8), and was imprisoned from1959 to 1964 for participation in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate visiting SovietPresident Khrushtchov, and later, under President Daud, against the participation of leftists in his government. Threatened by new arrest, he went into exile, running thecentral mosque in Copenhagen (Denmark). His treatment in jail did not make him afriend of Zaher Shah.(9)
 After the PDPA coup d’etat in 1978, and the subsequent murder of almost one hundredfamily members by the new regime (including the head of the family, MuhammadIbrahim Mujaddedi, titled Zia ul-Mashayekh),Mujaddedi returned to the region and created his own mujahedin tanzim. After theSoviet invasion over Christmas 1979, his group became one of the so-called Peshawar Seven(10), the Sunni mujahedin tanzim (organisations) based in and supported byPakistan, with Western and Arab backing, although usually considered the smallestone. After the Soviets had withdrawn in 1989, the Najibullah regime collapsed in 1992, acoalition of former pro-regime and mujahedin commanders took over Kabul, and themujahedin leaders based in Pakistan returned, establishing an (almost) all-partygovernment led by Mujaddedi. (The Shia tanzims of the former Tehran Eight(11), mostof which had united into Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami by then, did not receive any cabinetseat.) Under Mujaddedi’s successor Rabbani, factional war broke out again. Finally,with the Taleban at the gates of Kabul, the eight big tanzims reunited, but toolate.Mujaddedi ended up in exile, again, as most of the other leaders.Under the Karzai government, Mujaddedi became the chairman of the first Senate(2005-10). He did not stand for the same position again in 2010, remaining an ‘ordinary’senator, apparently hoping for the HPC chair. This is much more a potentially lucrativethen powerful position, given the lack of clout the council has among the target group of the Taleban.But Mujaddedi is too egocentric to be able to reinvigorate the HPC as a team if he hadbeen chosen to lead it then or now. And his repeated, sharp public criticism of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the ISI, for interfering in and destabelising Afghanistan (he is the only Jihadi leader who does this) significantly reduces hischances as the HPC will need to engage the influential neighbour.. After Pir Gailani, another former mujahedin leader, declared that he is not in the race for the HPC top job, only Hazrat Saheb and Rabbani’s son Salahuddin remain realcontenders. Karzai now has the choice between offending one more powerful or onerather marginal ally: while the Rabbanis with their considerable support in commander networks in the North and even among some Pashtun tribes in Kandahar (Arghandab)and Uruzgan are a considerable factor, Mujaddedi’s party is more or less a one-manshow, with not much political influence or military clout. At the same time, the President might use Hazrat Saheb’s resignation as a tool topressure Salahuddin Rabbani, who is less acceptable for the elders and ulema in theHPC because of his young age, also to abstain and accept another position. And givethe chair to a third contender, Sayyaf, instead.Given this context, Karzai might suffer more loss of face than practical political support if his former mentor Hazrat Saheb’s resignation turns out to be permanent. Instead, hewill be able to please more powerful allies.

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