Last Speech by Martyr Abdul Ali Mazari, Founder of Justice-seeking Movement in Afghanistan
Translated by: Jawid Akbari
I seek refuge to Allah, from the accursed Satan.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate the Merciful
Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition. [Quran, 13: 11]
In this holy month of Ramadhan, no sooner you were invited to a gathering than you came together in an instant. That is something that gives me hope and assurance that you are sensitive about your fate and you think over it.
Allah, the Exalted says, in the holy verse which I just recited that He does not change the fate and destiny of a nation unless they themselves change it. This is a divine sunnah (law). In fact, elsewhere there are verses as per which there is no alteration, no change, in a divine law, as also evidenced by narrations that interpret those verses. That is why I have consistently said to you that our people are the most perfect manifestation and a true interpretation of this verse. If you just take a cursory look at your history, you will come to know that you have gone through thick and thin. Over the past two years and eight months, you have proved to everyone here (in Kabul) that when you were resolute and determined to defend your prestige, Allah helped you and you could make all the bullying people to sit back on their places. After so many heinous crimes and in the wake of incredibly dangerous battles, they came to apologize for their mistakes.
The Traitors' Blow More Effective than the Battle
I do believe that this issue depends on your decision, resolve, steadfastness and sensitiveness. You have been sensitive towards your destiny. History bears witness to the fact that during the period of Abdur Rahman, our people stood up in the face of the tyrant and oppressive government. They fought for seven years and Abdu Rahman made use of all sorts of conspiracies against our people. He gathered an army from all parts of the country. He sent people from all tribes to fight us. He brought together sixty Sunni scholars and got their fatwa against the Hazaras labeling them as rejectionists and infidels. That did not work. However, they trained traitors amongst us and made them commit treason against our people. This time their plot worked? How? Sixty two percent of our people were eliminated in a country in which Abdur Rahman was considered to be the standard-bearer of Islam, he who converted the Kafiristan into Nuristan. He massacred 62% of our people. Slaves and bondswomen from our people were sold here and there, as far as Indian markets. The taxes from the sale proceedings were deposited with the state treasury. The book "Afghanistan in the Last Five Centuries" has recorded the amount received and deposited with the treasury.
For more than one hundred years ever since 62% of our people were eliminated, we have been denied of our basic rights, we have been humiliated and looked down upon. Being Hazara was considered to be a shame, being Shia was considered to be a shame. A deliberate attempt was made to prevent us from going to school, from engaging in business and trade. We were deprived of whatever was regarded as privilege.
During the era of King Mahmood Khan, it was officially announced to the Ministry of Culture not to admit Hazara and Shia applicants in the University's military department or in any other high-value schools. You experienced this deprivation. You were coolies carrying sacks and you were deemed appropriate for nothing except carrying loads. The nomad Pushtoons used to come to Hazarajat and would leave their tea, cloth and such other items and would say that they would get the money from the same place in the following year. It was something we ourselves saw and felt. However, when the Islamic revolution started, you people who did not have the guts to speak to the Pushtoons as all men went into hiding especially when a soldier arrived in a village and ladies would tell him that there were no men there, you then started the revolution only to change your situation. You freed the entire Hazarajat in three months. So Allah helped you in your struggle.
Some four traitors who had been recruited by the Khalq (People's) and the Parcham (Flag) parties volunteered themselves to go to Hazarajat to disarm people. Hazarajat was the first place they went and brought weapons from, whereas, in fact there were no weapons in Hazarajat. Weapons belonged to Pushtoons and the autonomous frontier regions. The weapons which were permitted among our people were rat-killers, matchlocks and flintlocks whereas in fact when the nomads came over to our people, even their women carried 11-bulleted firearms on their shoulders. No one in the Marxist government was ready to disarm Pushtoons and nomads but our traitors pioneered to disarm Hazarajat. They did it for their own credit, reputation and complaisance. But our people managed to free their regions empty-handedly, with sickles, scissors and shovels. There is no doubt that it was owing to your determination and your resolve. You must bear in mind the extreme deprivation and miseries our people have experienced in history as well as the fact that the chance is given to people only once to shape their destiny. The chance is there for you now to decide. You people used to be humiliated and insulted and (pejorative) stories were made about you. You were so honest and trustworthy that you worked as servants for all government authorities and officials in the company of their wives. They did not have any fear that you would betray them. But you were not honest enough to be employed as clerk in this country; you were not honest for that purpose, you were hated but you were trustworthy enough to work as servants. You have gone through that period.
The Peshawar Conference
The revolution achieved victory unlike what all the Afghan tribes and the foreign-based Jihadi factions expected. Since we were doomed and deprived inside and outside of the country, and we stood nowhere (as Hazaras), during the 14 years of Jihad in which seventy billion dollars were given in aid to Afghanistan, they did not give us a single dollar under this and that pretext. All the western institutions that were operating in Afghanistan held a conference in Peshawar with all the organizations and experts in attendance. The aim was to discuss how to improve the situation in Afghanistan. There and then one of the foreigners took the podium and said that in the early days of the revolution, the Shiite people and Hazaras had liberated their lands earlier and I do not see anyone from them in this gathering. They are not in the list of aid recipients? Where are they? (You know that in those days, the West was so much afraid of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republic that whoever raised his hand to fight Russians, they would give him a Kalashnikov without having to verify whose hand it was. It was not for the sake of Afghanistan but because of fear from Russians.) There and then, one of the Jihad commanders walked to the podium and said in a flagrant way that "I'm going to reply to that question". He said, "I agree with the fact that these people need to receive medicine and some foodstuffs on and off, they fought and freed their regions but Iran gave them some weapons and now they are engaged in internecine conflicts. They do not have the capacity to be helped in terms of weapons. He cautioned to the foreigner that the Hazaras were affiliated to Iran and that precaution had to be exercised. That was the main point.
They did not help us
Perhaps many of our people may think that their leaders and those in charge of receiving help for them did not want the world's donations to flow into Hazarajat; they rejected the help. No, that was not the case. They did not help us because we were condemned and it was a historical condemnation that we were suffering from.
Well, during the fourteen years of Jihad, seventy billion dollars in aid were spent, most of them in Pakistan. They used these people's blood money to make mansions and bungalows there. We did not receive a single dollar. Speaking from a natural perspective, the lands which were valuable and good for cultivation belonged to us but those lands were confiscated during the period of Abdur Rahman. The nomadic Pushtoons were commanded to go to Hazarajat and occupy your lands but they did not accept to go because Hazarajat was cold. If anything was left, it was because of the same reason. Then there were some grasses which they gave to the nomads; the Hazarajat livestock did not have the right to graze them, those of other peoples were supposed to graze on the pastures.
Wars for destroying identity
That was why we were deprived inside the country and abroad. The cold lands were for us. During the fourteen years of Jihad, the only positive development was that the nomads were no longer coming to Hazarajat; the people's crops, clover and alfalfa were not grazed by the nomads' herds. They used these for their own cows and livestock. As for our people in Kabul, given the fact that they had suffered oppression and deprivation, they armed themselves when the Marxist government collapsed. They took control of vast swathes [of the country] which was contrary to what most people expected. They didn't think that the situation would turn out in the way it did. That was why they decided to do away with them, disarm them and rip them of their identity. They fought you for two years and eight months. Here, I assure you that if you are resolute and decide to determine your own fate, and that you are not negligent of Allah, and you remember Him, none would be able to decide about your fate, to deprive you of your right or take your weapons (people chanting Allahu akbar). That is because we experienced it during the first, second, third and fourth wars in which every party took part in the fight against you. It was at a time when we were entrenched in the houses in the West of Kabul. But when you made up your mind, Allah helped you and you managed to cleanse all the regions. They came from Kandahar, Herat, Takhar, Badakhshan and Helmand to take dead bodies. That was experienced.
History may repeat itself
Here I assure you that no one can do anything against you per force unless there is a traitor. If someone from amongst our own people commits treason and becomes a traitor, history may possibly repeat itself. That goes without saying. You know that in the event of Afshar, they betrayed us and we suffered as a consequence of that. You know that a conspiracy was launched against us on 23rd Sonbulah (14 September) and a heavy loss was inflicted upon us. Had it not been due to the conspiracy, no one would be able to take, by force, a span of your trench and that of our people. As a matter of fact, we do not favor war. We did not favor it in the beginning also. When they first established a government in Peshawar, they said 'we will talk about Shiites and Hazaras later'. Back then we were positioned on this side of Pul-e Charkhi at Directorate 7. If we wanted to fight, we could have prevented Sebghatullah Mujaddadi from entering Kabul. Not only did we not do so, but we also welcomed him and his government which had denied us a share in the power and promised to talk about it later. Since we did not want a war, we entered into a negotiation and ultimately reached an agreement with Sebghatullah Mujaddadi. The agreement had not been announced yet when Ittihad forces (under Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf) waged a war against us. We do not want a war with any factions but we do want the rights of our people. It is our inalienable right to be involved in decision-making for the country and to have 1/4th (of the power). We are not interested in anyone's face. We are working with them to solve any issues (people chanting Allahu akbar). That is why we have sent a delegation to Taliban to talk with them. Mr. Rabbani has sent me his representative with a message that Taliban is threatening everyone. He is offering to put aside our differences and defend together. We told them that we were ready.
Stressing over two issues
I am telling you that you should take two things into consideration. One, you should remember God and place your trust in Him because He is the Omnipotent and no one can challenge Him. That is one thing you should keep in mind.
Another issue is that everyone, young and old, man and woman, should make sure that there is no traitor amongst you. If there is a traitor propagating amongst you, creating fear and anxiety to your disadvantage, he must be arrested and brought to justice. If you don't take notice of these two issues, history may repeat itself once again. And if you miss this chance again, it will take you another century to get back to this position. You must be mindful of this issue. And it is for the same reason that we have set up complete defense lines. We transferred one thousand or more of Junbish forces to this side of the city last night. That is because Hekmatyar informed us that he was going to withdraw his forces. We are going to see what others will be doing. They have been watching us and now we are going to watch them. We will see how far they can defend themselves. So we immediately brought Junbish forces and positioned them here. We have set up a defense line from Guzargah to Zalmai Hotel. Also, we have set up a defense line on this side of the city from the Qazi Fort up until Mount Qurigh.
We do not need weapons when our rights are respected
Don't worry at all. Rest assured that if they are going to talk with us and agree to give us our people's rights, we will not engage in a fight (with them), and as long as our people's rights are secured in this country and we have a role to play in shaping our destiny, we will not need weapons. But if someone comes forth to deny us our rights and our fate remains unknown, then this weapon is something with which we are going to defend our honor and dignity; no one is going to lay it down and surrender it to anyone (people chanting Allahu akbar). We have met with the Supervising Council (Shurai Nazzār) and they are also in touch with us about a ceasefire. They have been expressing their willingness several times. That is because they themselves have had skirmishes with the Taliban at Chahar Asyab with both sides suffering casualties. The Taliban are demanding that the territories evacuated by Hizb Islami should be returned to them and only then they would sit in a talk with the government but these people (Rabbani and Masud) have refrained from meeting their demands. As of now, they have sent delegations twice but to no avail. That is why they are in contact with us. Apparently, they are telling they are not going to fight you but you should be vigilant because you know they have conspired a lot. They have hatched conspiracies many times. That is why I am telling you to be watchful.
I have wished for my blood to be shed by your side
As for why I came here to talk to you today knowing well that you are all observing fast, a rumor has been spreading around that Hekmatyar's forces have withdrawn and they are propagating here and there in the market through their mercenaries that I too have fled the city and am no longer amongst you. That was worrying to you and I came here to talk to you and tell you not to be worried. I am telling you right here that I have no interest at heart other than your interests. If I were to think of my own personal interests, I would not have stayed by you during the past two years and eight months (people chanting Allahu akbar). And I assure you that assistance and aid come solely from Allah. Putting my hope in you and in divine blessing, I have never asked Allah to go anywhere without you and leave you alone on the battlefield to save myself. Never did I wish that to happen (people chanting Allahu akbar). I have always wished for my blood to be shed here by your side and for myself to be killed in your midst (people chanting Allahu akbar). Away from you, my life has no value.
Those who are propagating on the other side of the city (Taimani), thinking they have escaped, those who (naively) said "thanks to this government for giving us protection, otherwise where would we go?" (audience laughing), they care only about themselves. You should rest assured that we are here, standing by you and I have prayed to Allah to help me take your rights from all. That day when I have taken your rights I shall pray to Allah to grant me success, success in attaining martyrdom among you (people chanting Allahu akbar). However, we are in the month or Ramadhan, it is late now. Forgive me for having bothered you and given you trouble. And this is the month of God, the month of mercy. It is a month in which God has invited all His servants to a banquet. It is a month in which the prayers are granted and fulfilled. I appeal you to gather in the mosques at night, observe vigilance, and pray to Allah to help you so that miseries of the past do not repeat themselves.
Helping the warfront
For this reason, as you used to support the trenches, helped the soldiers and attended to their needs, now too I am appealing you to protect the fortifications, help the boys, as far as you can, help and encourage them. If there are any traitors coming here and propagating something, you should immediately report to Hizb Wahdat's security committee, and arrest him so that history does not repeat itself. We are doing all we can for your convenience, your security and your right (people chanting Allahu akbar), through negotiation or mutual understanding. We have taken action inside and outside of the country, and we will do whatever we can to defend you.
Wassalamu 'alaykum warahmatullah wa barakātuh.
Jawid Akbari is an Afghan graduate student of Islamic philosophy at Al-Mustafa International University. The motivation behind translating this speech was to make the text available for English readers, the young Hazara generation living overseas and those interested in knowing about the history of the Hazaras and sufferings they have endured over the past many decades and centuries. It is expected that those who are capable of translating from the Persian into English will follow suit by rendering more of Shahid Mazari's speeches into English or any other international languages. It is the least we can do for our own history and community as well as for the message of justice to be furthered.
For any helpful suggestions and comments please do not hesitate to contact the translator at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org