Abdul Ali Mazari

Abdul Ali Mazari

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Abdul Ali Mazari was a political leader of the Hezbe Wahdat
Hezbe Wahdat
Hizb-e Wahdat-e Islami Afghanistan has been an important political and military player in Afghanistan since its founding in 1989. Like most contemporary major political parties in Afghanistan, Hizb-e Wahdat is rooted in the turbulent period of the anti-Soviet resistance movements in Afghanistan in...

 during and following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Mazari was an ethnic Hazara, and believed the solution to the divisiveness in Afghanistan was in federalism, where every ethnic group would have specific constitutional rights.

Early life

An ethnic Hazara, Abdul Ali Mazari was born in the village of Charkent, south of the northern city of Mazari Sharif. Hence, his surname is "Mazari". He began his primary schooling in theology at the local school in his village, then went to Mazari Sharif, then Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

 in Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and then to Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

 in Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....


Political life

In Iran, Mazari was imprisoned and tortured after being accused of conspiracy against the Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

 in assistance with Iranian Shi'a clerics.

Simultaneously with the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, Abdul Ali Mazari returned to his birthplace and gained a prominent place in the anti-Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 resistance movement. During the first years of the resistance, he lost his young brother, Mohammed Sultan, during a battle against the Soviet-backed forces. He soon lost his sister and other members of his family in the resistance. His uncle, Mohammad Ja'afar, and his son, Mohammad Afzal, were imprisoned and killed by the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

. He also lost his father, Haji Khudadad, and his brother, Haji Mohammad Nabi, in the rebellion and resistance movement.

Hezbe Wahdat

Abdul Ali Mazari was one of the founding members and the first leader of the Hezbe Wahdat ("Unity Party"). In the first Congress of the party, he was elected leader of the Central Committee and in the second Congress, he was elected Secretary General. Mazari's initiative led to the creation of the Jonbesh-e Shamal ("Northern Movement"), in which the country's most significant military forces joined ranks with the rebels, leading to a coup d'état and the eventual downfall of the Communist regime in Kabul.

Civil War

The fall of Kabul to the Mujahideen marked the start of the Afghan Civil War between various factions, parties and ethnic groups. During this period, Mazari led the forces of Hezbe Wahdat who were based in West Kabul. More than twenty-six fierce battles were fought against Hezbe Wahdat by the forces of Shora-e-Nezar, Abdur Rasool Sayyaf and Taliban. Sometimes the relationship between Mazari and Uzbek general Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum is a former pro-Soviet fighter during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and is considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community and the party Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan...

 was quite neutral, sometimes he was an ally, depending on the situation. The result of the fighting was great destruction in Kabul and the death of more than 50,000 civilians. More than 300 civilians were massacred in the Hazara-dominated district of Afshar
Afshar is a district of Kabul, Afghanistan. Most of its population are of the Shia-Hazara ethnic group....

 in Kabul and many more about 3000 in around Kabul especially in Karte Seh
Karte Seh
Kārte Seh is a neighbourhood in western Kabul, Afghanistan, primed to become Kabul's governmental hub. The district is currently home to several ministries, such as the Russian and Polish embassies, TV stations and the American University of Afghanistan...

 by the invading forces of Ahmad Sha Masoud, and then by Dostom and Mazari's warlords.

Taliban era and death

In March 1995, the Taliban invited him for political dialogue but then arrested him along with his five companions in Chaharasyab, near Kabul. The next day he was thrown out from a helicopter stripped naked while in flight near Ghazni
For the Province of Ghazni see Ghazni ProvinceGhazni is a city in central-east Afghanistan with a population of about 141,000 people...

 which killed him. The Taliban issued a statement that Mazari attacked the guards when he was being flown to Qandahar. Later his body and those of his companions were handed over to Hezbe Wahdat, all mutilated and showed signs of brutality. Mazari's body was carried on foot from Ghazni in the west to Mazar-e-Sharif in the north of Afghanistan by his followers over a period of forty days. He is regarded a national hero by the Hazara community.'

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