Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 15:10:29 -0600
Subject: Tons of money grabbed by Northern Alliance

Tons of money grabbed by Northern Alliance
Karzai government deprived of desperately needed cash

By our correspondent

KABUL: The Russians are believed to have shipped six containers full of
currency to Afghanistan, which never reached Kabul and was grabbed by
Northern Alliance allies.

The NA is apparently busy in fulfilling its own secret agenda, in what
appears to be widening gap between the Karzai Administration and its allies,
diplomatic sources here said.

Reports said General Fahim's brother Yaseen is busy in selling Afghanis
recently delivered to the NA through these Russian containers. Yaseen was
buying up to $600,000 daily through certain moneychangers. Bags full of
Afghanis were also reportedly being sent to the money markets in Peshawar
and Quetta to buy dollars.

Sources say the Punjsheris of the NA also seem to be unwilling to disperse
these freshly printed Afghanis, it is receiving from Germany through Russia.
Recently seven container loads of Afghanis had arrived in Punjsher valley
and all were kept by the NA and not sent to Kabul's Karzai administration,
in spite of the great shortage of funds at Kabul.

Intentionally, or perhaps ignorant of such moves, the interim Karzai
government has asked UN to provide funds to pay government officials in
Kabul. NA leaders and warlords as in the past, are still serving their own
as well as foreign interests. Security situation all around Afghanistan is
extremely poor, night being the worst time. Looting, massacre, car lifting
and war lordism is once again order of the day. Most of the Afghans, have
supported NA, only to bring a change. Almost all Afghans remember the
atrocities of NA in pre-Taliban era and do not trust them. They also feel
that despite presence of coalition troops, the situation will deteriorate
and cannot be controlled.

The recent infighting at Kunduz between General Rasheed Dostum and General
Faheem forces on January 21, 22, 2002 is a point in case. Afghanistan with
its peculiar socio-cultural environments has been known for its successful
tribal system and Jirga rule for centuries. The main tribal/ethnic
composition of Afghan-society has remained approximately 50% Pushtoons, 20%
Tajiks, 11% Hazaras (Shias), 9% Uzbeks and 10% others. Pushtoons being in
majority have always had an edge over others in ruling Afghanistan.

Even before the Soviet invasion in 1979, Afghanistan was ruled by a Pushtoon
leader, King Zahir Shah who headed a set-up of balanced representation by
all factions/ethnic groups. Today, after two decades of war, the Afghan
society totally in shambles, still finds a Pushtoon leader heading the
interim Afghan government.

However, this time, even with a Pushtoon leader on top, the interim Afghan
government seems to be inclined towards Northern Alliance (NA) - a group of
Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara minorities. Such a scenario, seems to be augmenting
the imbalances and dangers of Afghanistan. On the other hand NA, in spite of
occupying/controlling important cities of Afghanistan and holding three most
important ministries of defence, Interior and foreign affairs, due to her
inherent weaknesses is unlikely to deliver any goods to the Afghan people.

Infact, NA is not a well-defined organisation. It was formed in 1996/97 by a
Tajik Commander Abdullah Shah Masood in response to a newly emerged
'Taliban' revolution. Comprising of various small political groups like
Pushtoon Ittehad-e-Islami (Prof Abdul Rasul Sayyaf), Uzbek Jumbesh-e-Milli
(Abdur Rashid Dostum), Jamiat-e-Islami (General Ismail) and Hizb-e-Wahadat
(Karim Khalili), NA took the shape of a politico-military organisation
headed by Professor Rabbani. However, it never carried a good repute. Its
military head, ASM was considered to be a traitor by the Afghans as he
entered into a truce with the Russians during Jihad.

In addition, various leaders of this alliance were self-styled warlords,
playing for their own as well as foreign interests. Most of them gained bad
repute due to the lawlessness, looting and atrocities undertaken by them
during the early 90s. Mutual distrust, factional divide, lust for power and
disunity within NA, were the major reasons for their failure against

Their survival had mainly depended upon foreign support from Russia, India
and Iran. In the post-September 11 scenario, NA had gained much more
importance than before. Having assisted US/coalition forces in the ground
battle against Taliban, they had been obliged and given a lion's share in
the interim Afghan government.

However their overt and covert activities in the past 3 months, in
collaboration with Russia, India and Iran are intensifying, to gain complete
control over Afghanistan/Kabul and serve the vested interests of their own
as well as foreign masters.

On the diplomatic front, in spite of catching three most important
ministries, NA has been struggling for more representation in the interim
government. In the same race, Dr Abdul Rehman, an ex staunch supporter of
Masood had managed a seat in the cabinet from the Rome group.

It had sparked reservations that the move was a ploy to get greater number
of seats for Panjsheris/Shoora-e-Nazar in the interim government. On the
other hand, Younis Qanuni and Dr Abdullah have nominated practically all ex
supporters of the late Dr. Najibullah, in the Afghan Foreign Office. All
Directors, Assistant Directors, Raees of Foreign Office etc. are now from
the ex communist regime.

Militarily, NA has remained intensely engaged in receiving arms, military
supplies and even manpower from its foreign friends. Their covert moves are
indicative of their intentions to consolidate hold over important
cities/towns of Afghanistan. Recently, in the last week of November, Russia
despatched 12 IL 76 aircrafts to Bagram, carrying two groups of Russian
specialists, including 200 uniformed officials and 12 intelligence
officials. Similarly, on 15 and 17 December 2001, Russia provided a heavy
consignment of arms/ammunition and military equipment to commander Daud at

In addition, Russians are pressurising Hamid Karzai's interim government
through General Faheem, to make all kind of military hardware deals with
Russia. The Indians also seem to be extensively busy in increasing their
military influence in Kabul by offering military assistance and imparting
military training to NA troops. Their intelligence operators have been
working in Kabul vigorously to organise the transportation of 136 Pakistani
prisoners to India and gather documentary proofs against Pakistan.

Indians are also engaged in long term planning and providing assistance in
various other fields like restructuring of military/police Academy,
education, health etc. Iran being the third foreign hand playing in
Afghanistan, is also sending hefty consignments of arms, ammunitions and
ration to NA. 

On December 23, Ismail Khan of Herat provided 11 trucks load of small arms
and RPG ammunition to Dostum, out of the assistance received by him from
Iran. The assistance is going on to this extent that, Brigadier Jafri and
Brigadier Baghbani of IRGC Sistan/Balochistan have themselves remained
involved in organising army units and security infrastructure in the
neighbouring provinces of Farah and Nimroz. They had also taken along IRGC
personnel/heavy consignment of weapons.

Organised looting by General Faheem's men of government stores is a sure
sign that NA has some other interior motives and covert plans. In another
covert move, on December 10, General Faheem presided over a meeting of
leading NA commanders/leaders in which it was decided to deploy Shia troops
in the areas of Paktia and Paktika so that the existing differences in the
ranks of Pushtoon's be further exploited. As a sequel to its policies/plans,
during the second week of January 2002, when Kabul was demilitarised and
taken over by UN peacekeeping forces, NA only removed 5,000 of its 13,000
troops from Kabul. The rest are still stationed here.

NA ministers are also showing too much warmth towards India. In spite of
various friendly statements and overtures by Mr Karzai, Mr. Younis Qanuni
and Dr. Abdullah have shown no reluctance in hurling threatening statements
to Pakistan from New Delhi. In another, internal/secret anti-Pakistan move,
it has been learnt that both Qanuni and Abdullah along with few other
ministers have planned to malign Pakistan at all international forums. They
have planned to blame Islamabad for interference in the internal affairs of
Afghanistan, by propagating that JUI (F), JUI (S) and Jaish-e-Muhammad sent
80,000 fighters to Afghanistan. They are likely to ask for detailing a
commission at International forum to investigate the issue.

Prior to fall of Kabul most Afghans saw the Taliban and their policies as an
extension of Pakistan policies and hence hated Pakistan. However with
Pakistan's changed stance and support to the coalition, this impression has
dissipated. Though illiterate, the Afghans being politically savvy,
understand their foe and friends, well. That is why bulk of the Afghans in
their hearts, hate the Russians and the Iranians more than they hate

The silent majority of Pakistan-based Afghans who have educated their
children, worked and survived in Pakistan, have now surely and steadily
found a pro-Pakistan voice in Afghan politics. No amount of
Russian/Indian/Iranian money will change their opinion. People see Pakistan
as a country that genuinely looked after Afghan interests.

With the worsening situation of security and return of war lordism, many
Afghans are repenting the fall of 'Taliban government'. The unfolding of
events is thus clearly indicative that NA is heading towards another
dreadful end. 

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