|History and Biodata
Kohband District Kapisa Province:
The rural Kohband District used to be a Section of Kohistan District in the past until it became a District. Koh Band District is located 15 kilometers to the northeast of the Province capital Mahmoud Raqi Mahmood Raqi. The district has immense historical importance with most of its area is covered by mountains. In Kohband district the security situation is deteriorating because of tensions between militias run by rival commanders of the former mujahedin factions Hezb-e Islami and Jamiat-e Islami. In one of the major valleys of Kohband, Durnama, only five kilometers south of the district centre Bolah Ghain, commanders affiliated with Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan (HIG, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar) and Jamiat continuously fight each other, posing a major challenge for the provincial security department. Their competition has a long history in Kapisa. During the Soviet invasion, most parts of Kapisa province were under HIG control.
After the collapse of the communist regime in 1992 and the establishment of the Islamic Government of Afghanistan led by Jamiati leader Burhanuddin Rabbani, a new chapter of enmity and hatred began among local jihadi commanders, affecting the province badly. Kapisa was split between commanders allied with HIG, mainly supported by the Pashtuns in the province’s south (where the Taleban also find more supporters today), and commanders affiliated with Jamiat-e Islami, mainly in the Tajik north of the province. In ethnically homogenous areas too, divisions emerged along the fault lines of personal or village rivalries. These feuds, endowed with a political and ideological significance, would continue for decades to come.The split also applied to Durnama, where, according to Malik Khalil, the head of a local Pashai council, within the past 18 months alone around 25 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a feud between two rival commanders.
Durnama valley consists of 70 villages, mostly inhabited by Pashai people. The two main rivals here are a former commander of HIG, Gol Nazim, and a former Jamiat commander, Zabet Wakil. Both have recruited hundreds of armed men and are aiming at expanding their territories and eliminating their rival. The enmity between them was renewed in April 2013, when an unknown man opened fire on Gol Nazim; as a result, a sub-commander allied with him was killed, and both Gol Nazim and his bodyguard were injured. Gol Nazim suspected Zabet Wakil of having ordered the attack and set out to take revenge. In the end, the clash involved the whole valley.
Their lasting feud has disrupted people’s lives across the district up until today. Farkhunda Rahmani, the head of the local NGO Women for Supporting Democracy, said that parents do not allow their daughters to go to school anymore, fearing they might get caught in firefights on the way, and that schools also often stay shut altogether. The Afghan National Police are not able to stop the fighting, let alone arrest the fighters or the two commanders themselves. District police chief Hamidullah complained that strongmen connected to the rival commanders prevented any arrests and admitted that handling the situation in Durnama was “beyond the ability of the police.” (20150406)
The Pashai are an ethnic group mostly settled in the mountainous areas of eastern Afghanistan, such as Kapisa, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan. According to the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development’s Provincial Profile, Kapisa has 30 per cent Dari speakers, 27 per cent Pashto, 17 per cent Pashai and Kuchi or nomads whose number varies according to the season.