Afghan Biographies

Kamdesh District Nuristan Province

Name Kamdesh District Nuristan Province
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade District Cief Local Warlord
History and Biodata

District Chief:
Maulvi Abdul Rahman (20130720)

Local Warlord:
Mullah Sadiq
is the effective ruler of Kamdesh district in eastern Nuristan province. Sadiq is a former commander of the militant Hizb-e-Islami group, responsible for years of attacks on coalition and Afghan troops, as well as civilians. He is now being backed by the Americans. The United States is helping an Afghan warlord and former enemy to take control of a district bordering Pakistan. Sadiq, heads the Kamdesh 'shura' (council). US support for Sadiq -- who has said he wants to ally with President Hamid Karzai's government against the Taliban -- is causing friction between US foreign policy staff in Afghanistan and the military. Senior officers said Sadiq could swing Nuristani people behind Karzai and provide a prototype breakthrough in the battle against the Taliban insurgency. But US state department officials and independent experts fear Sadiq wants a temporary alliance with US troops to defeat local Taliban factions before taking over the mountainous border province as a personal fiefdom. "The military is very excited about Sadiq, and wants to get him and his supporters into the government camp," a state department official who specialises in eastern Afghanistan said on condition of anonymity. "But is it a breakthrough? Or simply a clever guy using whatever alliance he can to prevail over his enemy -- the local Taliban -- and who will then do anything he pleases?" In return for co-operation, Sadiq has demanded the right to nominate police chiefs and local administrators, the official said.

More Background:
The insurgents tried to establish a firmer control over their main border-crossing route into Nuristan through the Gawardesh valley (administratively split between Kamdesh and Kunar’s Nari district). The valley is accessible from the Pakistani side through a choice of comparatively easy mountain passes (some under 2700 meters), which moreover lie close to the major highway connecting Chitral with the rest of the country (to the top of the main pass is a nice twelve kilometres trek from National Highway 45). The use of the passes by insurgents has been reported for years, and consequently Gawardesh has been dotted by Afghan Border Police (ANBP) checkpoints. It is these checkpoints that were massively attacked and in some cases overran between 5 and 7 July by a mixed group of Afghan and Pakistani Taleban, before the border police supported by the Afghan army (ANA) managed to repel the attackers.(20111011)

Last Modified 2014-01-23
Established 2010-03-07