Afghan Biographies

Andarabi, Muhammad Khalil Maj Gen


Name Andarabi, Muhammad Khalil Maj Gen
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth
Function/Grade Ex Police Commander
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions of Maj Gen Mohammed Khalil Andarab Khalilullah Andarabii:
Provincial Police Commander Faryab (20071105-2010)
Provincial Police Commander Samangan  (2011)
Provincial Police Commander Kunduz (2012-20131023 dismissed)
Provincial Police Commander Maidan Wardak (20150209, 20160705 suspended)
3. Biodata:
Andarabi was dismissed as Provincial Police Commander Kunduz in October 2013 not only because of “the purge operation in Dasht-e Archi”, but also because of similarly ruthless raids conducted roughly around the same time in Imam Sahib district, where ALP and ‘freelance’ militias from Khanabad district were involved in looting houses and abusing civilians. Some in Kunduz firmly believe Andarabi was discharged because of the pressure from the media and some MPs from Kunduz, especially Eng. Kamal from Kunduz province, who had outragedly protested about his conduct.

Yet, there is another interpretation of his dismissal, namely that he was pushed out for political reasons by the two most powerful figures in the region: Mir Alam, one of the most influential powerbrokers in the Kunduz and Baghlan area, and First Vice President Marshal Qasim Fahim, Mir Alam’s political patron in Kabul. Mir Alam controls several militias in Kunduz district itself as well as ALP and non-formal militia commanders in the Pashtun-majority districts of Chahrdara, Khanabad, Aliabad and Dasht-e Archi, who are bound to him through their affiliation with Jamiat-e Islami. He thus runs a de facto power structure parallel to the government in Kunduz. These networks also allow Vice President Fahim to maintain his local power base in the key province of Kunduz, a critical factor in the upcoming elections in spite of the fact that he is no longer standing as a candidate.

Mir Alam is known to be a long time opponent of Andarabi. Although he does not hold any official position within the province’s security apparatus, he was clearly sidelined by the self-confident manner in which Andarabi ran the province’s security affairs. Local informants say that it is likely that Mir Alam joined hands with Fahim to oust Andarabi. They assert that, in the light of the upcoming elections, both Mir Alam and Fahim would undoubtedly prefer a provincial chief of police who is more responsive to their own interests in the province.

Factional rivalries are playing strongly into the ‘politics of appointments’, not only in this region. It makes sense, therefore, to examine former police chief Andarabi’s affiliations. A Tajik from the Andarab area of neighbouring Baghlan province, he served from 2003 as the commander of the highway police brigade for the northern and north-eastern regions and later, as provincial chief of police in Faryab and Samangan. From there, he was transferred to the same post in Kunduz in December 2012. Andarabi replaced Samiullah Qatra, a man well regarded by the local German PRT and a Jamiat supporter who had been pushed out by Vice President Fahim; Qatra was sacked for having attempted to arrest two of Mir Alam’s militia commanders responsible for killing 12 civilians in September 2012.

Andarabi became Mir Alam’s fierce enemy at the time of the jihad when, as the son of the famous Hezb-e Islami commander Juma Khan, Andarabi was fighting in the Hezb ranks. They also clashed over the control of drug traffic routes when Andarabi was commander of the highway police; both are said to have been heavily involved in this ‘business’.

Even so, the conflict between these two men needs to be seen in an even wider context. Andarabi’s home region in Baghlan province is home to many prominent jihadi commanders. Tajiks from Andarab have been dominating the structures of power in Baghlan since 2011 in addition to exerting considerable influence in neighboring Kunduz province. After his appointment as provincial chief of police (President Karzai has supported Pashtun Hezb-e Islami figures and groups in Kunduz and Baghlan in an attempt to neutralize the influence of the Tajiks in the two provinces), Andarabi is said to have assigned his followers numerous positions within the local administration and police apparatus. Some of these men were also affiliated with Hezb-e Islami. These appointments were much to the annoyance of Jamiati Mir Alam who had been the main figure allocating positions of power before Andarabi’s appearance on the scene. At the same time, Mir Alam’s myriad commanders and militia groups (particularly in the districts of Kunduz city and Khanabad) constituted a resolute challenge to Andarabi’s authority as chief of the security forces in the province.

The looting during the operation in September 2013 cast a negative light on Andarabi, thereby granting his rivals the opportunity to push for his dismissal. It seems as if Fahim waited until President Karzai made a short visit to Tajikistan in October 2013 when, in his capacity as acting head of state (which includes the authority to make appointments), he terminated Andarabi’s appointment as provincial chief of police.

On 24 October 2013, General Ghulam Mustafa Mohseni was officially inaugurated as the new security chief of Kunduz province. Originating also from Andarab, he is the brother of the late Rasul Khan, chairman of the Provincial Council for two consecutive mandates until he was killed in a suicide attack in May 2013. Although both hail from the same Andarab district of Baghlan, Andarabi and Mohseni are known rivals, as reflective of the factional fragmentation in the area.

The sacking of Andarabi may well combine elements of all of the above-mentioned factors – pre-election positioning, civilian protests, political meddling from Kabul as well as personal and factional rivalries. It also occurred in the context of a broader reshuffle of high officials in Kunduz and Baghlan with factional implications. In November 2013, Ghulam Sakhi Baghlani, another Hezb-e Islami follower from Baghlan, replaced Jamiat-affiliated provincial governor Jegdalek in Kunduz, while Aminullah Amarkhel (also from Baghlan, but not affiliated with any faction) replaced Assadullah Sherzad as provincial chief of police of Baghlan. Baghlan’s political instability cannot be better illustrated than by the successive appointment and dismissal of its provincial governors, government and security officials. Since the collapse of the Taleban regime in 2001, no less then 10 different provincial governors have served in Baghlan.

The revolving door is likely to continue turning in the northeast, before and after the elections. If the two current foremost powerbrokers in Kunduz manage to maintain control over polling stations in the province, a post-2014 scenario would not exclude Mir Alam – a man deemed responsible for much of the instability in Kunduz – from moving into the position of new provincial police chief.

Khalil Andarabi, the Wardak Police chief, is being officially investigated over the transfer of the Taliban's designated spy chief in Baghlan Qari Zahir in a police vehicle earlier this week.(20160622) A number of MPs criticized government for not assessing the cases of former Wardak Police Chief Khalilullah Andarabi and former Helmand Police Chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang. Andarabi is accused of cooperating with Taliban, while Sarjang is accused of corruption and presence of 'ghost soldiers' in Helmand province. The two police chiefs were introduced to the court July 2016 but the Attorney General's Office has not sent their cases to the court so far.(20160807)
 

rabi, former Wardak Police chief, has been arrested on charges of collaborating with the Taliban while on his way to Turkey from Mazar-i-Sharif airport, local officials said Saturday Oct 30, 2016.

 

Last Modified 2016-11-20
Established 2013-01-29