Report implicates Afghan officials in 1990s bloodshed

New post: Stephen Tankel, "Sharing is caring: Containing terrorism in South Asia" (FP). Naming names An as-yet unreleased report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) names more than 500 Afghans as responsible for the mass killings of militants and civilians during Afghanistan’s bloody civil war in the 1990s, many of whom are now ...

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images

New post: Stephen Tankel, "Sharing is caring: Containing terrorism in South Asia" (FP).

New post: Stephen Tankel, "Sharing is caring: Containing terrorism in South Asia" (FP).

Naming names

An as-yet unreleased report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) names more than 500 Afghans as responsible for the mass killings of militants and civilians during Afghanistan’s bloody civil war in the 1990s, many of whom are now powerful government figures or wealthy warlords (NYT). President Hamid Karzai removed the commissioner responsible for the report, Ahmad Nader Nadery, late last year, reportedly at the behest of the first vice president Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, who did not want the group’s research reaching the public.

In the latest "green-on-blue" attacks, a man wearing an Afghan police uniform turned his gun on civilian contractors working with NATO troops in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing three of them (AP, Reuters, Guardian). And on Monday, an Afghan Army soldier opened fire on NATO service members in the northern province of Faryab, injuring two U.S. troops (AFP). According to data collected by the New America Foundation, these attacks bring the total number of "green-on-blue" incidents over the duration of the war to 45, and the total number of NATO service members or contractors killed by Afghan security forces to 93.

Five NATO service members were also killed in roadside bombings across Afghanistan over the weekend, and insurgents kidnapped and killed five Afghans working on a joint-run U.S.-Afghan base in the eastern province of Wardak (AFP). The top NATO commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. John Allen, told the Associated Press on Sunday that half of the 23,000 American troops that are to be pulled out in 2012 have already gone home (AP). Allen also said that there is still work to be done getting Afghan security forces to plan and lead operations.

In an incident certain to increase tension between Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, hundreds of rockets fired from across the border struck villages in northeastern Afghanistan this weekend, killing four civilians (NYT, ET, DT). Afghan officials often insist that such cross-border attacks are carried out by the Pakistan Army, while Pakistan says that American and Afghan forces have failed to clear northeastern Afghanistan of militants, allowing them free reign in the region. On Sunday, Afghan officials summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul to discuss the rocket firing (Dawn).

Local rivalries

Across the border, a suicide car bomber killed at least nine people, including four young children, near the home of a pro-government militia commander living in Pakistan’s northwestern Orakzai Agency on Saturday (NYT, AP). A local official said the attack was part of a violent rivalry between militant groups in the region, which many residents suspect to be the pro-government forces led by Maulvi Nabi and the pro-Taliban forces led by a man called Mullah Toofan. And on Sunday, Pakistani fighter jets bombed four militant hideouts in Orakzai, killing at least 15 (AJE, Reuters, RFE/RL).

An explosion in Karachi outside the Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management — and near the Chinese consulate — killed three people on Monday (Dawn, ET, The News). And militants attacked a check point run by Pakistan’s coast guard in Gwadar, Balochistan on Saturday, killing at least eight of the officers stationed there (Dawn, ET).

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said in an interview with Geo TV broadcast on Monday that Pakistan’s intelligence agency has been negotiating with the militants who kidnapped Shahbaz Taseer, the son of the assassinated politician Salman Taseer (AP). Sanaullah said the militants are demanding a high ransom as well as the release of some of their colleagues from Pakistani prisons in return for Taseer, who was taken last August in Lahore.

Cricket diplomacy

Amidst slowly warming India-Pakistan relations, last week’s announcement by India’s Cricket Board that it was inviting Pakistan’s national team to a series of matches in December was especially welcome (ET). President Asif Ali Zardari even sent a personal letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailing the matches as "a formidable confidence building measure and a way towards encouraging people-to-people contacts."

— Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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