Afghan Govt moves to ‘silence’ its leading Hazara critic

Kabul – April 12, 2017: Afghanistan’s Lower House of parliament –Wolesi Jirga– suspended four lawmakers on charges of ‘prolonged absence’ from parliament. The MPs include, Ahmad Behzad, Parvin Durani, Fareshta Anwari, and Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj. The Government charged that the suspended MPs have failed to attend the parliament session for the past 20 days.

Hazara MP Ahmad Behzad is the leader of the most popular civil movement known as Junbish-e Roshnai or Enlightening Movement. The movement have become a leading critic of the government in the issue of TUTAP – the power transmission line from neighboring Turkmenistan – after a Pashtun-dominated government decided to bypass the original Bamiyan-Kabul route. On July 23, 2016, ISIS targeted the Enlightening Movement’s TUTAP protest in what Washington Post called the ‘single most deadliest attack in the history of Kabul.’ The double-suicide attack in Dehmazang Kabul — #DehmazangMassacre— killed at least 80 and wounded at least 250.

The Afghan Government’s move –to ‘silence’ its leading critic –comes after 1000s of Enlightening Movement supporters in Australia and on social media –known as #CanberraRally— protested President Ashraf Ghani’s arrival in Australian capital Canberra.

The Afghan Senate on April 9 called the Enlightening Movement’s protest ‘against the national interest of Afghanistan’ and [Hazara] protesters same as ISIS and Taliban terrorists.’

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