Tags: War on Terrorism | afghanistan | taliban | senator | defects

Former Afghan Senator Defects to Taliban

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 05:29 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

A former Afghan senator and district governor has defected to the Taliban in the northern province of Sar-e-Pol, possibly the highest-ranking Afghan civilian official yet to have joined the jihadist group, the BBC reported Thursday.
Qazi Abdul Hai, who served as a senator from 2004 through 2008 and later became a district governor in Sar-e-Pol, is believed to have defected to the Taliban along with two of his bodyguards earlier this week.
Hai also appears in a video posted on the Taliban website in which he describes himself as a former mujahideen fighter and says that in his four years as a senator in Kabul he saw what he describes as "the corrupt face of the government."
"I saw that a lot of cruelty and corruption carried out by the government people towards the Afghan population. Our villages were bombarded and our houses were searched by the invaders," he says on the video.
Afghan government officials have played down the significance of Hai’s decision to switch sides.
"His defection does not have any impact on his people in the district, because he was not a very influential person," Abdul Ghafore Dastyaar, deputy governor of Sar-e-Pol, told the BBC's Jafar Haand in Kabul. He claimed Hai had left Afghanistan and is currently in Pakistan.
Abdul Khabir, a former Afghan member of parliament from Sar-e Pol who knows Hai well, said the former senator had links with the Taliban from the time they were in power (1996 through 2001).
He added that Hai had influence in some 20 to 30 villages in the district.
With elections scheduled next year, the Taliban might want to use Hai to disrupt the process “in the local areas where he has loyal followers," Khabir said.
Last year there were a number of well-publicized defections to the Taliban among Afghan police, with a commander and 13 junior officers joining militants in western Farah province in late July.

Eleven U.S.-trained policemen defected a few weeks later in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, taking with them 11 AK-47 rifles and two heavy machine guns, McClatchy News reported.

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

China Says 'Harmful Info' Must be Managed After VPNs Blocked

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:28 AM

A Chinese official says that harmful information must be managed following reports that China is blocking VPN services . . .

US: Final Contours of Pacific Trade Pact Coming into Focus

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:27 AM

The final form of an ambitious Pacific trade pact is coming into focus, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on . . .

Singapore Ups the Ante in Cyber Security Fight

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:01 AM

Singapore is gearing up for a crackdown on cyber crime with the launch of a central agency and the appointment of a mini . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved