|History and Biodata
Haji Ghulam Mohammed Hotak was born 1961 in the district of Jalrez in Maidan Wardak Province. He is a former Taliban commander, who reconciled with the Afghan government and then went a step further by taking up arms against his old colleagues. Having fought in the jihad against Soviet occupation, he joined the Taliban when they emerged as the most powerful force in the chaos of the mujaheddin’s post-communist landscape. Hotak continued to serve the movement during its period in government as a commander of 100 to 150 fighters.
Then, in the aftermath of the 2001 invasion, he claims to have been on the side of neither the Taliban nor Afghanistan’s new president, Hamid Karzai. Eventually in 2004, the US forces arrested him and he was jailed for more than two years in the notorious Bagram detention centre, north of Kabul, before being released. In 2009 plans for an Afghan Public Protection Force were put into effect and he emerged as its potential leader. Hotak says that there are huge flaws in the scheme, however. These include the lack of a formal military-style ranking system among his 1,200 men, which creates indiscipline. The US$186 (Dh683) they earn a month is also far too little when they have to pay for their own food, he said. In fact, Mr Hotak said, funding was so low that he has had to buy basic supplies for the force, including petrol, heaters and blankets, himself.
Haji Musa Khan Hotak, the brother of Haji Mohammed Musa Hotak, a Wolesi Jirga member for Maidan Wardak, holds out no hope for either approach. Indeed, whichever way he looks he sees only a continuation of the fighting. He wants foreign troops to leave Afghanistan immediately, but no longer has much sympathy for the Taliban.