Rabbani, Sayyaf elected to Loya Jirga council

The Frontier Post, June 1, 2002
Syed Anwer

PESHAWAR: Two of Afghanistan’s most powerful Jihadi leaders Burhanuddin Rabbani and Abdur Rab Rasool Sayyaf have been elected to the Loya Jirga council that will start from June 10, to pick the devastated country’s next government, reports reaching here from across the border said on Friday.

According to reports, former Afghan president and Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan leader Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was picked by community representatives in northern Badakhshan province to take part in next month’s Loya Jirga, which will set the course for Afghanistan.

It is, of course, richly ironic that the first achievement of the war on terrorism has been to install in Kabul the Northern Alliance, for whom terrorism has been the entire line of business and way of life for more than 20 years.

Re-enthroning Northern Alliance President Rabbani - who has been fighting against any form of secular modernisation of his country, however moderate, since the early 1970s - was on no one's list of aims on September 12.

Andrew Murray,
The Guardian, Nov.16, 2001

Meanwhile, Abdur Rasol Sayyaf, Itehad-e-Islami Afghanistan leader and one time close aide of Northern Alliance Commander Ahmad Shah Masood, has also been picked by local representatives in Paghman district of Kabul province.

Afghan sources revealed that former Afghan president Rabbani’s supporters were deeply involved in the campaign to collect voters for him in Badakhshan province.

About ten delegations of Rabbani supporters are on a special mission in all districts of Badakhshan province to convince people to cast their votes in favour of Rabbani, the sources added.

The Afghan people residing in Afghanistan and around the world believe that both the leaders Rabbani and Sayyaf, who played a vital role in the destruction of Kabul during the civil war between 1992-95.

“But the Loya Jirga commission does not judge the right and the wrong person.

Thirteen_year_old Nahida Hassan became a symbol for Afghan women and girls who were raped during the two decades of war. When a commander and twenty of his troops broke into her Kabul apartment, killing her 12_year_old brother and gunning down her other male relatives, Nahida understood she was the target. To avoid being sexually savaged, she leapt from the sixth_floor window to her death. Today, there is a shrine on the spot where she fell. "Everyone knew who the commander was. But no one dared touch him," said the girl's 64_year_old grandfather, Mohammed Hassan. The commander enjoyed the protection of his party, whose fundamentalist cleric leader, Burhanuddin Rabbani, headed the government at the time and, more recently, the Northern Alliance, which holds key positions in the new interim administration.

Jan Goodwin,
THE NATION, April 29, 2002

It’s up to the people of Afghanistan to elect and send their delegates,” Hamed Rahmani, an Afghan observer told The Frontier Post, while commenting on nomination of the two Jihadi leaders to Loya Jirga.

It may be mentioned here that the assembly beginning on June 10, will gather 1,501 Afghans from around the country to choose a government for the next two years, when free elections will be held in the country.

Besides the threat of disruption, there are allegations that warlords and po werbrokers were trying to control the composition of the Loya Jirga for their own goals.

Abdul Hafiz, a former lecturer at the Afghan University in Peshawar, said, he believed deals were being struck between various factions and threats and bribery were common.

The Loya Jirga, which will meet on Afghan carpets in a massive tent once used in the Munich beer festival, is widely expected to reappoint interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai.

In addition, many other Jihadi commanders within the country were trying to get a chance as elected representatives of their provinces and districts.

In this connection, they are distributing money among their voters, the sources added.

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