Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Saturday, October 25th, 2014

On the Assassination of Rabbani, High Peace Council Chief

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On the Assassination of Rabbani,  High Peace Council Chief

Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in a suicide attack on late Tuesday, September 20, 2011. This was shocking news for all Afghan people. It is said that Rabbani, the Jamiat-i-Islami leader, was in a meeting with two key Taliban leaders at the time of the attack in his house. It is also reported that one of those meeting him had improvised explosives in his turban. Rabbani was born in 1940 in Badakhshan province of northern Afghanistan.

Professor Rabbani was an ethnic Tajik with a large constituency and support base and a lot of influence among other ethnic communities as well. Professor Rabbani was one of the key and prominent Jihadis and resistance leaders. He was one of the graduates of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

Rabbani was the leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan or Islamic Society of Afghanistan, which is one of the oldest and major political parties operating in the country. Rabbani was the president of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. For the last one year, professor Rabbani was leading High Peace Council to bridge Afghan government and international community on one hand and Taliban and other insurgent groups on the other.

The High Peace Council was established last year in September 2010. 70 people are sitting on this council. The members include mainly Jihadi leaders, government officials and some former members of Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami.

The council was set up based on the proposal of Consultative Peace Jirga, which was held by Afghan government on 2-4 June 2010 with the participation of 1,600 tribal elders to come up with a practical plan for reconciliation with the Taliban. This means that the government as well as Jihadi leaders and Afghan people have been doing their best to bring the Taliban militants and other insurgents to the negotiation table but unfortunately the Taliban have shown no sign of interest in responding to these human efforts peacefully and positively.

In the meanwhile, international community in London and Kabul conferences held on January 28, 2010 and July 20, 2010 respectively put their support and weight behind Afghan-led reconciliation process. The Taliban militants have always said that they would not make peace as long as international forces are in the country while international community have announced and begin to withdraw from Afghanistan and in order to make sure that the country does not collapse after the withdrawal they have responsibly committed themselves to training and strengthening Afghan National Security Forces and preparing them for assuming the responsibility for the country's security.

President Karzai even has been calling the Taliban and other insurgents his "brothers" to try to convince them to relinquish violence and stop exploding themselves and the country together. But unfortunately there has been no mood of making peace among the Taliban militants and leaders. Although the High Peace Council has called the reintegration of some individual insurgents into the government as a significant achievement, it is important to mention that even these individuals have not been reliable and some of them incited violence in Mazar-e-Sharif, which led to killing of many UN staff.

In addition, the main body of Taliban as a terrorist organization has shown no willingness to believe in peace and to accept that they can cease violence by making peace. When Afghan government and High Peace Council began to pursue peace efforts seriously, Taliban in announcement of their spring offensive, called "Badr" offensive explicitly declared the killing of High Peace Council members as their main purposes in this operation.

Since then the militants have killed some high security officials and prominent figures. Some of those who have been killed by the Taliban and other insurgent groups include Gen. Dawood, commander of 303rd Pamir Zone, Mawlawi Shah Jahan, police chief of Takhar, Jawad Zahak, head of Bamyan provincial council, Ahmad Wali Karzai, president Karzai's brother and head of Kandahar provincial council, Maulana Sayed Khili, Kunduz provincial police chief, Jan Mohammad Khan, president Karzai's advisor on tribal affairs and former governor of Urozgan province and Hashim Watanwal, a member of parliament.

In fact, this year the country has been going through tragedies caused by the Taliban militants and other insurgent groups. Rabbani's assassination comes a week after a 20-hour battle near the diplomatic district in Kabul.

Twenty-seven people — 11 civilians, five police officers and 11 insurgents — died in the fierce clash. Last week's fighting begin with rocket attacks on the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office, the US embassy, NATO headquarters and some government compounds. For the last few years Afghan government has been attempting to negotiate and reconcile with Taliban, and bring an end to the erosive war and get rid of the deadly and increasing explosions and suicide attacks.

But Taliban have just become more violent and atrocious. After one year of heading High Peace Council to make peace with Taliban and put an end to the suffering and tragedies of Afghan people, Rabbani recently criticized Taliban for their vicious acts and stubbornness continue violence.

In his latest statement on Tuesday, September 06, 2011, talking to a youth gathering, Mr. Rabbani called Taliban movement disastrous, saying that "the movement by the name of Taliban creates tragedy and disaster, recruit children and claim to be religious students." It means that he was also disappointed and came to this conclusion that the insurgency is intrinsically violent and wicked.

In addition, it should be mentioned that it is more than one and half decades that the Taliban have displayed their violent and disastrous nature. In fact, the phenomenon of Taliban in Afghan politics has been linked with massacres, destruction of cultural heritage and denial of basic human rights for those who could be different from them in terms of thinking and lifestyle.

Taliban have been creating and causing tragedies for Afghan people for the last 17 years and continue to do so. They have no flexibility when it comes to causing pains and sufferings for Afghan people. The videos of their atrocities on internet are abhorrent and repugnant.

They receive orders from outside the country and are driven by destructive ideologies that have no bearing on conspicuous religion of Islam and its pure teachings that are supposed to guide humankind through the whirlpools of life towards ultimate salvation. Establishing links with other global terrorist networks, the Taliban militants now can easily find weapons and appalling tactics to kill, destroy and burn wherever they go and operate.

But it should be mentioned that Rabbani's killing will have a dire impact on reconciliation process because the Taliban will no longer be trusted even if they come to the table talks. Their nature is yet to be changed otherwise they could come to negotiate by tying explosives to their turbans. They use the most cowardly tactics to kill human beings.

Sher Alam Saqib is the permanent writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached through mail@outlookafg-hanistan.com

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