Ex-jihadis seek representation in cabinet
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people, including former jihadi leaders, on Saturday attended a gathering marking the 33rd anniversary of the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in southeastern Khost province.
Dec 27 is observed in Afghanistan to condemn the 1979 invasion that left more than a million Afghans dead, thousands handicapped and sent millions into exile.
The gathering in Khost was addressed by a number of individuals who had fought the Russian army.
One of the speakers, Daud Khan Shahidzoy, a former jihadi commander, lashed out at the Kabul government for ignoring families of martyrs.
He made a strong appeal to President Ashraf Ghani to give representation to former jihadis in his cabinet.
“If the new government does not give the Mujahideen their share, we will use all means to obtain our rights,” he warned.
Provincial High Peace Council head Hanif Shah Hussaini said mujahideen had rendered countless sacrifices after the Russian invaded Afghanistan and forced them to flee Afghanistan, but the day had been accorded no value.
He called on former jihadis to join hands and shun their past differences for their own rights and resolving the country’s problems.
Civil society activist Dr. Kamal Sadat in his address to the gathering strongly cricitized the former jihadis, saying they destroyed their own country following the 1991 Soviet collapse.
“Where is your jihad? You offered martyrs but left their families without supporters. They are still suffering. If you had not jumped into infighting, you would not have been in this situation.”
Sadat urged the former jihadi leaders to fight against corruption and work for law maintenance and the rights of orphaned children and widowed women.
Other former jihadi leaders also spoke on the occasion and condemned the Russian invasion. They also urged the government to consider rights of the former jihadis.
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