Book on Hazaras called a plot to create ethnic divide
KABUL (PAN): A book recently published by the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan about the Hazara community is a conspiracy to induce an ethnic divide in the country, a senior prosecutor said on Wednesday. But the academy rejected the allegation as groundless.
A collection of research papers, Dairatul Maarif is a plain insult to the minority group, Hezbi Wahdat party head Mohammad Mohaqqiq says. He claimed the book described Hazara members as descendants of Genghis Khan and Mughuls.
Additionally, he charged, the Hazaras had been accused of refusing to recognise the three caliphs of Islam other than Hazrat Ali (RA). According to him, the book says Hazara women have hair only on their heads, with all other parts of their body hairless. “I fail to understand how they have concluded this…where they have examined this.”
He denounced the flawed portrayal of the Hazaras as the handiwork of biased individuals. “I don’t know why (President) Karzai has allowed these people to run the academy and what he wants to achieve…?”
On Tuesday, Karzai sacked Academy Director Abdul Bari Rashed and three researchers Syed Mohammad Amin Mujahid, Abdul Hakim Sapi and Nasrullah Sobman and referred them to the Attorney General Office.
Addressing a news conference in Kabul, Deputy Attorney General Inayatullah Kamal acknowledged that parts of the book were derogatory to the Hazara community. The parts might have been written intentionally or mistakenly, he said.
It was a plot to divide Afghanistan’s tribes, Kamal alleged, saying: “The enemies of the country’s unity, who are outside Afghanistan, are involved in the conspiracy.”
However, Rashed denied any plot or foreign influence, urging the AGO to comment on the basis of credible documents. “We won’t let one institution insult another. Mistakes in the book, if any, can be corrected.”
He did admit that the collection contained some errors that could be rectified without the involvement of other departments. When the issue was shared with him, Rashid appointed a 13-member team to probe the objectionable parts.
The findings show the book contained the personal opinion of at least one author, according to the director, who said the delegation had suggested the writer be fired and the copies sold collected and re-edited.
While respecting President Karzai’s decision, he said such cases be investigated by academic institutions because courts and prosecution offices were incapable of probing them.
But the academy’s secretary, Amin Mujahid, defended his work. “Whatever I have written is based on sources and references. I call this a service to the people,” he said. ''If my information sources are inaccurate, why the book was allowed to be printed?” he asked.
"Of the 1,000 copies published by the Shoaib Printing Press, three have been missing,'' Kamal said, adding that 629 copies were distributed to scholars and writers. The academy has promised collecting and submitting the books to AGO.
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