Mujahideen Khan is an ethnic Tajik. His title denotes that he was one of the warriors who over the course of the past three decades of war in Afghanistan successfully fought against the soviets, the Taliban and fellow Afghans seeking to conquer his territories. But looking into the future makes him anxious, as a group of Estonian journalists found out in August 2007, when they met him at his home in the Panjshir Valley, a picturesque gorge 150 kilometers north of Kabul in the Hindu Kush Mountains. How do locals regard the international reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan?
Mujahedeen Khan on:
... the soviets’ nine-year invasion from 1978 - 1989
Afghanistan was calm then. Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was such a strong, brave man. He never believed that Russia could take over the whole of Afghanistan. When they did attack us with gas in 1978, there was nobody left in Panjshir. People fled their houses and escaped to the mountains. About 90% of the population ended up with weapons that we took from the soviets. The locals retaliated for our independence after three days, with only about 36 people in the Mujahedeen in the beginning of the resistance. I was busy in jihad for fourteen years, I didn’t work, so my older brother helped to feed my family and my parents.
... the Taliban who ruled from 1996 - 2001
It is impossible that anyone from the Panjshir or Nangarhar province in the east could support the Taliban; never. I fought with Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Dadullah and other famous people from the Taliban face to face, and I resisted. The Taliban got Kabul because commander Massoud did not want more people to be killed, and had moved the Mujahideen back to Panjshir valley.
The Taliban are not human - they kill themselves with bombs!
The Taliban are not human - they kill themselves with bombs! Meanwhile, US forces were bombing our provinces, killing our people whilst thinking they were killing the Taliban, thus paving the ground for the latter. We do not know who the Taliban is right now - maybe we will face them again.
...foreign aid and Afghanistan
When Hamid Karzai became president in 2001, we thought Afghanistan would become a great, reconstructed country. I think that the UN didn’t need to come and help. They should have set up a good interim government in Afghanistan led by Afghans, not foreigners. There are more bad things in Afghanistan than there used to be. If foreign countries help Afghanistan, everyone wants a piece – it’s a bad habit of the Afghan people to take advantage. Every country, and especially the UN, have helped Afghanistan, but unfortunately we cannot see it. What is more, our people do not care about our country and its future. People are more interested in having a car; everyone just thinks about themselves.