Afghan Biographies

Jihadi Council of Takhar Province

Name Jihadi Council of Takhar Province
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Members and Background
History and Biodata

Jihadi Council of Takhar:
Its aims are to achieve a fairer share of influence in the political landscape of Takhar for the mujahedin. As most of the Council’s members are Uzbek, this actually looks like an Uzbek mujahedin lobbying group or possibly even more accurately an Uzbek Jamiat lobbying group. Appearances might indicate that the Council has been taking a reasonable and democratic approach to getting more influence in politics in the province – running a pressure group to voice concerns – until you take a closer look at the people involved.

The Council, established during the Taleban time as an association of mujahedin leaders then fighting the Taleban, consists mostly of Uzbek commanders, many of whom have controversial records. Piram Qul Ziayi, a former MP affiliated with the Jamiat party, chairs the council. He has been the strongest commander in Takhar since Mutaleb Beg, another Uzbek former commander and MP, was assassinated in 2011. Piram Qul has been accused of establishing illegal militias and of committing war crimes. Another leading member of the Council, Qazi Kabir Marzban, also an MP, is the unofficial ruler of two districts of Takhar – Yangi Qala and Khwaja Bahauddin – that are considered the main hubs for the drug trade towards Tajikistan. In 2010, his nephew was accused of raping a local woman and escaping justice through the protection of his family. Mamur Hassan Takhari (speaker of the Jihadi Council, Mamur Hassan Takhari) a former district governor who is affiliated with Hezb-e Islami, was the commander of a legal kind of militia unit during the 2009 presidential election but was suspected of using his men to stuff ballots. Now, he is a member of the High Peace Council. Other influential members include Haji Jamshid, a Jamiati who also sits on the Provincial Council, Haji Subhan Qul, Piram Qul’s war-time deputy, a Jamiati, former mayor of Taloqan and Qomandan (commander) Pir Mohammad, another Jamiati.

The rise of the Taleban in the north is a major factor in stirring up the insurgency was found to be the depredations of local commanders:

Since the fall of the Taleban regime, Takhar has remained under the often brutal control of former mujahedin commanders who rule their areas of influence like feudal lords. One example of their de facto position above the law is Qazi Kabir who rather drastically prevented the attempt of Pashtun refugees to return from Pakistan to their land in Khwaja Bahauddin district in northern Takhar in 2006 by imprisoning more than 80 families in an old castle. For years, all attempts by the police and the Kabul government were simply ignored to the benefit of local Uzbek and Tajik commanders who were occupying their land. Other cases of arbitrary behaviour include murder, rape, the theft of land, kidnapping, forced marriages which led to numerous demonstrations against those commanders between 2005 and 2008 – but not to the removal of any of those commanders.

Interestingly, ex-police commander Khair Mohammad Timor, whose dismissal prompted the protests, is also a member of the Jihadi Council. In 2012, a police court sentenced him to ten years in prison for murdering a resident of the province twelve years earlier. He was kept on as police commander until early June when the Interior Ministry finally discharged him because of the verdict. It is not clear why Timor was allowed to return to Takhar instead of starting his jail sentence.

With two weeks of protests, the Jihadi Council has scored a significant victory, managing to topple an inconvenient governor in favour of one much more to its liking, Haji Abdul Latif Ibrahimi. He was appointed on 15 July, is also an Uzbek and one of the most prominent mujahedin commanders in neighbouring Kunduz province. Despite being Hizb-e Islami, he is seen as a brother-in-arms. He is also brother to the speaker of the lower house of the parliament, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi. However, in his new position and with his experience as governor in two other provinces (after Faryab, he was sent to his home province of Kunduz), he will be a valuable political asset for the Uzbek commanders and their followers.

Last Modified 2013-07-22
Established 2013-07-22