Allah Gul Mujahid: I have worked more than 20 generals
The 45-year-old MP, who hired a tutor to help him fill the gaps in his reading and writing skills, was born in the Khwaja Chasht village of the Deh Sabz district of Kabul.
He says he has spent most of his life fighting against the Soviet Union and serving people.
“I did not complete my education, but I worked more than 20 generals,” Mujahid, wearing white traditional clothes, told Pajhwok Afghan News. During an interview in the Wolesi Jirga building, he took numerous phone calls and received visitors, introducing them to the journalist.
He says his hired tutor spends 40 minutes with him in the evenings. “Some papers in the Parliament are distributed among the MPs in printed form; others are handwritten,” he says. He says he sometimes has difficulty reading the handwriting.
Mujahid, son of Sher Gul, was born in 1966 and got basic Islamic education in the mosque at the age of five. In 1973 he was admitted to Khwaja Chasht boy’s school but quit in 1983 to join the mujahideen and fight against the Soviet Union.
Mujahid soon got a promotion. After the death of his bother, commander Hazar Gul, he was appointed a district commander of Hizb-e-Islami, led by Gulbaddin Hekmatyar.
“When I was commander during the years of jihad, my leadership was better than that of a hundred commanders and generals,” he says now.
He says as an example that he could fight off ambushes and make rival fighters flee even when he was outgunned and outnumbered.
“I was not so interested in running in the election, but the local shura and the mujahideen from the Deh Sabz encouraged me to run,” he said.
Mujahed says he spent 900,000 afghanis on campaign posters and another 500,000 afghanis on phone cards for his campaign staff and other expenses during the campaign. He added that the people from Deh Sabz and Sarobi districts also had donated more than 450 livestock for his campaign.
“My aim has never been to have a comfortable life, either during the jihad or in my current position,” he said.
“I am a member of the Saba [Parliamentary] bloc, because all of them are mujahideen, but I am not in favor of any party but people,” he said of his political views. The Saba group is led by Almas Zahid and was established during the current term of the Wolesi Jirga. It has 38 members.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mujahid returned to his father’s occupation, which he called “business,” and started an ordinary life. In the interim government he worked as head of a district council in the Deh Sabz district.
He is now a rich man. By his account, he has three different sources of income besides his Wolesi Jirga salary, including the import of goods from China, five brick-producing kilns and a fuel station. He declined to say how much money he makes.
He is happy to have made the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca six times.
When asked to list his achievements as an MP, Mujahid said he had helped get 57 prisoners released from government jails. “The people passed years in jails, but were freed with my assistance before completing their prison terms. Many of those released inmates were political prisoners,” he said without supplying any names.
But some people from the district said that the MPs take commission money for getting prisoners released.
Mujahid added that he has been helping resolve different kinds of disputes in Kabul and some other provinces in the past few years.
For example, he said his mediation had helped resolve a dispute over a murder case 20 days ago in the Sarobi district of Kabul. Tribal elders decided that the killer’s family should pay 1.4 million afghanis and a sheep to the victim’s family. After the decision, the murderer was released from jail after two years, he said.
A similar case in the Bakhtyaran village of his district was resolved much the same way three months ago. The family of the killer paid 1.6 million afghanis and a sheep to the victims’ brothers, Mujahid said. But people from the area said that Mujahid made the decision in favor of his friends.
He counted among his achievements helping the Kabul municipality connect Ahmad Shah Maina road with Pul-i-Charkh road. “This was one of my promises that I kept,” he said.
He also launched reconstruction work on two religious school buildings in his district. He himself funds one of the projects, while the other will be paid for by the Ministry of Education. He said he would launch reconstruction work on three more schools soon.
People from the district confirmed he has been reconstructing a madrassa, but said that Mujahid has exaggerated his reconstruction activities in the district and he has not played as big a role as he says.
“Some people come to me asking for job opportunities and welfare projects and I try as hard as I can to solve their problems,” Mujahid said. He added that he has also resolved cases of land disputes, forced marriages, elopement, and murder.
Asked to explain rumors that he had played a part in seizing land, he said, “God gave me a lot of land, so I don’t need to grab any land.” He dismissed the rumors as “the propaganda of people who themselves are involved in grabbing lands and the people who are against the people of the district.”
“Our history has shown that if we don’t rebuild our country by ourselves, others can’t rebuild it,” Mujahid said, asked about the security transition from foreign troops to Afghan forces. “The international community should equip Afghan security personnel by the end of the transition process, otherwise fighting will start among the parties in the country,” he added.
He asked anti-government groups to stop fighting and killing. “Afghan Taliban and Afghan security personnel who are killed in the war are our brothers, so the militants should join their brothers and the government to bring peace and stability,” Mujahid said.
Every day after he returns home from Parliament, he meets with supporters. “Not all of my guests are from Kabul; they also come from other provinces,” he said.
The MP owns an office and a guesthouse on 1.5 acres of land near Pul-i-Charkh bazaar in eastern Kabul.
His guesthouse has two 15-metre long rooms. One has couches inside and is suited to modern tastes, while the second room is furnished more traditionally, with only mattresses. He uses the second room to host people from the villages.
People visit him at the guest house, where he stays every Thursday and Friday. He says his daily expenses for operating the house and guest house are about 100,000 afghanis per day. Up to 70 kilograms of rice are cooked there daily.
He receives 100,000 afghanis monthly salary from the Wolesi Jirga, which he said is not enough even for his fuel consumption, so he finances his other expenses through his businesses, Mujahid explained.
The MP, who is married and has five sons and two daughters, said that his three brothers have their own businesses and live in the same building as he does. Along with the two widows and the children of his two other brothers, who were killed in the war against the Soviet Union, he lives with 45 family members in total.
Mujahid spends 20 minutes every day in jogging inside his house. On Fridays he likes to ride his horse to his orchard in his district, he said. There he keeps a small zoo including deer, ducks, horses, goats and cattle.
He has visited China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Germany on private trips.
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