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Hazarajat or country of tears. (5)

04/06/2011 18:39 (comments: 0)

A short story

Band-e Amir lakes in Bamyan.(Afghanistan)

The body of my mother rested barely in Hazârajat that my superiors sent me to a mission of espionage in Yakaolang.
They wanted to take advantage of my Hazâra physical appareance to gather information on the intentions of Khalili and his troops. The rumor grew on that he would fell upon the country in the coming days.
I went to the village of Sar-e-Asyab where I had some relatives, though decided not to fight against Khalili and its Hazâras.

They were ours but they were just as foreign as the Taliban because they were in the pay of Iran. Their abuses within the local population for the happiness which they were supposed to fight were told me at a cousin of my mother.
When Khalili and his men fell on the region it was like a rain of hungry locusts on a green and juicy field.
They sold their lice to travelers at high price in order to finance itself. Anyone who rebelled against this practice was subjected to a special treatment known as the  » dance of death.  »
A punishment able to terrorize the bravest who bought willingly horrendous lice.
They beheaded the victim and they poured boiling oil on the wound to stop the bleeding and they enjoyed on his movements and twitches until his body stayed motionless.

I fell from the top of my ivory tower of religious literate and felt a great love for my people and a fierce hatred for « foreigners ».
The same evening, we learned that Khalili began his winter offensive and a battle was engaging at Aab Gum.
We prayed that the fighting and the brutes who are fighting stayed far from our country, but the next morning we learned that the battle was taking place now in Hazâra land.
I went to get my arming back that I had hidden before entering the village and advised my cousin to go to the mountains with his family.

On 2 January, Khalili’s troops were in the village and gathered the terrorized population for a speech.
Khuda Dad Urfani which said that he was the Minister of Welfare of the Rabbani Government stated that:
 » This time we won’t do the same as in the past. We won’t sell our lice and we don’t show the dance of death. We won’t sell opium.  »
He continued his speech on behalf of Allah seeking public support for ongoing operations…
The people were reassured but they had nothing to give.
On 7, the Taliban began an counter-offensiveand two days later Khalili’s men had disappeared as if they had never been there…
All those who were unable to flee to the mountains with their families saw sadly the Taliban triumphant and vengeful take position in the country.
I presented me to the leaders, giving them all the necessary information to undertake the pursuit and let the people in peace.
This is where I learned about the decree of Mullah Omar:

 » Behead all men over 12 years old, that this will be a lesson for the survivors.  »

This cursed sentence resounded in my head and made me realize that the massacres at Mazar-i-Sharif in which I participated with such enthusiasm wasn’t a revenge but involved a plan to destroy the Hazâras and their differences.
Je quittais le poste de commandement pour foncer chez les miens. I left the command post to run to my people. Everywhere in the village, groups of Taliban entered the houses and I heard screams and gunshots.
I met two Taliban who stopped a passerby.
 » Are you Tajik or Hazâra?  »
I could not heard the response of the man, but his terrifying scream when they gouged out his eyes…

The tears flooded my face but I ran to reach the house of my relatives. When I arrive there, I saw two men break down the door and I heard the screams of women. The madness reigned over the village, we heard screams and gunshots everywhere.
I cut down one of the men with a well adjusted burst.
The other turned round in the door frame, a huge surprise displayed on his face. The face of Abdel, a man whom I valued and I knew from my first visit to Pakistan. We had studied together and talked about our education for hours. He had fought the Russians and the warlords. He was like a brother.
His first surprise passed, he took his weapon and I striked his head with the butt of mine. He collapsed and I continued to strike. My big cousin grasped me and whispered me:  » Taqadus, he died ! Its finish ! Do not become a beast !  »
I helped my relatives to collect what they need in the mountains without a word, my heart bleeds at the thought of Abdel.

Was my destiny to kill my own people or those I loved?

I cursed myself and cursed Mullah Omar and his people who had made me what I had become…
Before leaving, the cousin of my mother asked me to visit his uncle in a few streets further.
I agreed and went there like a machine. The women told me that the men were taken by the Taliban.
I went toward the command post to learn that the chosen execution place was behind the building of Oxfam, a hospital near Shor Aab.
I joined a group of executioners who went there with a truck.
I clutched my weapon with all my strength and my hands hurt me. My teeth were so tight that I felt small pieces of enamel burst under the pressure.
The others were happy and laughed.
I wanted to see them all dead…
I noticed that one of the men who stayed silent like me, looked at me with attention and I acknowledge Adul, a Tajik from my friends. In his eyes, I saw as an excuse and this request for forgiveness went through my heart and my hatred vanished into the air.
I was tired of killing…
I wanted to save the uncle and his sons, but I was tired of killing.
It was the moment when was born my desire to die.
To die to get peace and forgiveness…

This work is protected © 2008 Thierry Benquey - All rights reserved

Image - Band-e Amir lakes in Bamyan.(Afghanistan) - Hadi1121 - 12/05/2007 - Licence :

Public domain

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