Hazrat Ali (Afghan politician)
|Home town||Kashmond, Alingar district, Laghman Province.|
Ali was born in 1964 in Kabul to an ethnic Pashai family. He rose to prominence during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. As a commander for Hezb-e Islami Khalis he quickly became an important leader for the Pashai community. Hazrat Ali has also been described as an Afghan Army commander under the Soviet puppet regime. He fled Afghanistan to live in Mashad, Iran, where he is believed to have married an Iranian women.
During the war against the Taliban, Ali is said to have been aligned with Ahmad Shah Massoud. Following the fall of the Taliban Ali joined with two other leaders in the Jalalabad-Tora Bora region, Abdul Qadir and Mohammed Zaman to set up the Eastern Shura, a local provisional government. They were early backers of the first post-Taliban President Hamid Karzai.
During late 2001 and early 2002 it was US policy to employ very few US ground troops, and to rely on air power and local allies, like Hazrat Ali to defeat al Qaeda. The Asia Times reports that Ali was one of the warlords who allowed Bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora.
- "By the time the merciless American B-52 bombing raids were about to begin, bin Laden had already left Tora Bora - as a number of Afghan mujahideen confirmed to Asia Times Online at the time. They said they had seen him on the other side of the frontline in late November. Hazrat Ali, the warlord and then so-called minister of "law and order" in the Eastern Shura (traditional decision-making council) in Afghanistan, was outsourced by the Pentagon to go after bin Laden and al-Qaeda in Tora Bora. He bagged a handful of suitcases full of cash. He put on a show for the cameras. And significantly, he was barely in touch with the few Special Forces on the ground."
Hamid Karzai appointed Hazrat Ali as the Jalalabad police chief 2003 and was sacked on 2004 due to connection with Taliban and some other militant groups. He got a seat in the Wolesi Jirga of the National Assembly of Afghanistan in the 2005 Afghan parliamentary election, representing Nangarhar Province. In May 2012, it was reported that Iran was providing millions of dollars to Ali for the purpose of blocking the National Assembly's approval of the Afghan-US strategic cooperation agreement. However, the next day the agreement was approved by the majority and the following day Ali denied the allegations.
Guantanamo detainees who served under Hazrat Ali
Guantanamo detainee Anwar Khan told his Administrative Review Board that he had fought against the Taliban, under the over-all command of Hazrat Ali. He claimed he had been arrested, and sent to Guantanamo when he was stopped at an American checkpoint and the soldiers were confused as to why he was carrying multiple ID cards.
Guantanamo detainee Awal Gul had worked, reluctantly, for the Taliban, in administrative positions. He told his Tribunal of making multiple attempts to resign from the positions the Taliban had appointed him to. When the Taliban started to fall he took his chance and enlisted in Hazrat Ali's forces. However, a few months later, Ali forced him to surrender himself to American forces.
- "Iran sets aside $25m to derail Afghan-US deal". Pajhwok Afghan News. May 24, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Taking a spin in Tora Bora, Asia Times, December 7, 2001
- Games in Afghan poppy land, Ariana, September 6, 2005
- Painda Hikmat, ed. (May 26, 2012). "Ali denies receiving money to derail Afghan-US pact". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
- THE ROVING EYE: Power, counter-power, Part 2: The fractal war, Asia Times, February 7, 2002
- "Anti-Taliban Forces hunt for bin Laden in Eastern Afghanistan". The Mount Airy News. 2001-12-05. Retrieved 2011-12-01. "Hundreds of fighters piled into trucks and headed to the White Mountains south of Jalalabad for the battle. Provincial security chief Hazrat Ali said he was assembling a force of about 3,000 more men to join the hunt for bin Laden."
- Jack Kelley (2001-12-05). "Troops mass to hunt bin Laden ; Other al-Qaeda leaders reportedly killed in raids". USA Today. p. A.01. Retrieved 2011-12-01. "U.S. air power is taking a toll. Ali said an intermediary reported that Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's top lieutenant and the brains behind al-Qaeda, had been injured Monday during U.S. bombardment of Tora Bora about 35 miles southwest of Jalalabad. Unconfirmed reports had 10 or more al-Qaeda leaders killed in the bombardment."
- Sam Kiley (2001-12-06). "SAS in battle at Tora Bora". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 2011-12-01. "This morning Hazrat Ali's men appeared determined to make good on their commander's boast to clear al Qaeda out and capture Bin Laden, within two weeks. His elite bodyguards, distinguished by having full uniforms and each draped in enough fire power for a platoon, lead SAS soldiers into the hills in a small convoy laden with tank shells and other ammunition."
- Letta Tayler (2001-12-08). "Little movement seen in hunt for bin laden". Wilmington Morning News. p. A7. Retrieved 2011-12-01. "Was Mr bin Leden's command center really inside Tora Bora, and if so, was it really taken? Absolutely, according to Hazrat Ali, chief of security for the Eastern Shura."
- How Bush blew it in Tora Bora, Asia Times October 27, 2004
- Afghanistan's presidential election: a mockery of democracy, Pak Tribune, October 4, 2004
- Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Anwar Khan's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 311 (Removed, archived here)
- Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Awal Gul'sCombatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 13-28