Afghan Biographies

Nur-ul Haq

Name Nur-ul Haq
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth
Function/Grade Commander Afghan Local Police, Shahabuddin, Baghlan
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
Commander of the Afghan Local Police (ALP, A.L.P.) in Shahabuddin (20101200)

3. Biodata:
Nur-ul Haq is the son of the locally well-known and late Arbab Sardar of the Omarkhel tribe. He has a younger brother Faz-ul Haq and a cousin Abdur Rahman. Faz-ul Haq and Rahman (who Human Rights Watch, in a report, is accused of raping a 13-year-old boy), visiting A.L.P. checkpoints and accompanying foot patrols. Nur ul-Haq’s home is in Sharli village at the edge of a river.
Nur ul-Haq is now (20110304) the commander of three ALP posts, one located in Omarkhel, another on the Ajmil bridge and the third in Oryakhel village. His men are accomodated in three barracks (in Shahabuddin, Kandahari Village and Haji Nadir’s crossroad). Local people believe Nur ul-Haq now ‘advises’ Special Forces and several alleged that he has used SF operations to attack his rivals.

Nur-ul Haq and his local police had been felling people’s trees and selling them as timber. A former principal of a local school said that he and his eight brothers were forced to leave their village after they reported to the government that the local police had seized their family’s land. Nur-ul Haq threatened them to come with tanks and take all out of their home and kill them if they continued to complain about him. Elders estimated that more than 100 families had fled Shahabuddin because of the local police. As long as the foreign troops are here, he is king. The minute they go, he should leave the country, locals say. Haq’s unit is one of 51 local police forces that have been established across rural Afghanistan over 2010 employing more than 8,000 villagers.

Haq said that after several attacks on his home, he requested assistance from the governor and provincial chief of police, who bluntly told him they couldn’t help him.  Rather than capitulate to the Taliban, Haq joined the Hezb-i-Islami insurgent movement led by the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. He decided to take up arms against the provincial government in Pul-i-Khumri because they were not providing him with protection against the Taliban.

Haq and his fellow Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (H.I.G.) insurgents fought a series of turf battles with the Taliban until, eventually, the government offered them protection in exchange for disarmament. He agreed, but after six months in a safe house in Pul-i-Khumri, he said, “he decided we needed to have our weapons back and return to our villages.”

When Haq returned to Shahabuddin, the fighting resumed, culminating last fall in a Taliban siege of the compounds he and his outmatched men were occupying. Haq said he was able to get to the Pul-i-Khumri government and ask for help. The chief of police kept making excuses. Consequently, he went to the Americans. About a month earlier, a small U.S. Special Forces team arrived in Shahabuddin, and when Haq appealed to them, right away they decided to help him. The ensuing battle lasted four days, ending when the Americans called for heavy air support. Seven of Haq’s men were killed, and with the endorsement and facilitation of the Special Forces, those who survived became Shahabuddin’s local police. No major confrontation with the Taliban has happened since.

Today, about 80 percent of Baghlan’s national police hail from Andarab District, an entirely Tajik district that is staunchly anti-Pashtun. To help offset the imbalance, the A.L.P. in Baghlan has been made almost exclusively Pashtun. While this solution may solve one problem, it has also created another. Factionalism in the north goes beyond ethnicity, and within the Pashtun community itself various distinct tribes harbor feuds that match in animosity those with the Tajiks; additionally, within each tribe, conflicts among families can date back generations. Every one of the numerous allegations of A.L.P. misconduct in Baghlan Province  comes from a Pashtun victim. Most have also come from Shahabuddin.

Last Modified 2013-09-15
Established 2012-05-31