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The Hazara Kuchi Conflict

Every spring season, the Hazara homeland - historically known as the Hazarajat - in Afghanistan comes under attack by the Pushtun nomads commonly known as the Kuchis. The Kuchis contend that they have historical documents by the Afghan Government giving their livestock graving rights which also includes lands in the Hazara homeland. Resistance by the local Hazaras to stop the Kuchi's on the land they consider home has met with violence by these heavily armed Kuchis who have killed hundreds of Hazaras as a result, burnt down entire villages and looted the Hazara homes as an "annual killing ritual." In recent years, there has been ample proof of heavy involvement by the Taliban in the guise of the Kuchis seen with their signature white flag on Four by Four Pickup trucks, and heavy weaponry (negating the idea that they are simply nomads).

The roots of the conflict also lies in genocide of the Hazaras during 1890's by the Afghan Pushtun Ruler, Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, in which an estimated 60% of Hazara population was exterminated, tens of thousands of Hazaras were sold as slaves, and their lands distributed to the Pushtuns as a reward for taking part in the genocide. Over the past 100 years, the Pushtun dominated governments have continued their persecution and discrimination of Hazaras. On the other hand, they have given full advantage as well as "legal" rights to their ethnic kin in taking control of more and more Hazara land through these discriminatory policies. The Kuchis enjoy unlimited power and unfettered access to the Pushtun elites in the Afghan Government. In a country which has never had any census and cannot even count its non-moving populating, the Afghan Government has surprisingly come with numbers for the always-moving nomadic population, giving them reserved seats in the parliament and one "Kuchi Affairs Minister."

Following are some of the main causes of the yearly attacks on the Hazara homelands:

  • Huge compensation to the Kuchis for loss of "their" graving lands
  • Armed banditry under the protection of the Afghan Government into the looting of Hazara villages
  • Infiltration of the Taliban in the guise of Kuchis giving them cover for infiltrating deep inside the Hazara territories

Past Attacks:

Note: Kuchi attack is an annual ritual. Currently, we only have very limited documentation for the following years...



Background Information on kuchi Conflict:

  • Reality of Afghan Kuchis
    For over two centuries, the Pushtun rulers of Afghanistan played the Kochee (Pushtun Nomads) card in inflating their population to gain political benefits in Afghanistan



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