25 September 2003, Volume 2, Number 33
AFGHAN AID EN ROUTE TO MOSCOW?By Amin Tarzi
According to news reports this week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin told U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow that his country would assist Afghanistan's reconstruction only when the matter of its debts owed to Russia was settled. Kudrin and Snow met in Dubai during the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The debt, according to Russian sources, equals $9.8 billion, which Moscow is willing to reduce to $2 billion. There is no concrete information on when the money was given to Afghanistan, or exactly how the Russian authorities have calculated the amount of the debt.
While there has been no official public reaction from the Afghan Transitional Administration on this issue, Russian sources claim that Kabul wants the entire debt forgiven. Since Afghanistan has not had any large-scale formal dealing with the Russian Federation since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the debt must originate from the Soviet period.
Russia's request as it stands must be shocking to ordinary Afghans, who remember Russia's contributions to their country from April 1978 -- when the Moscow-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took power -- until 1989, when the decade-long (1979-89) occupation of Afghanistan by the Red Army ended (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 2 January and 1 May 2003).
Twenty-three years after Soviet troops attacked Kabul, they are still claiming victims with the countless land mines scattered throughout that country. The number killed during the decade-long Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is still not tallied, at least not for the Afghans. The number of Soviet dead has been estimated at 15,000, while between 1 million and 1.5 million Afghans perished. One-third of the entire Afghan population, about 6 million people, became refugees. The Afghan state was transformed into a sociopolitical black hole, and internal strife and civil warfare persisted for more than a decade beyond the Soviet withdrawal. If the events leading to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States are viewed historically, their origins are inextricably linked to the events of 27 December 1979, the day the Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul.
Whatever money Moscow may have contributed to Kabul during the PDPA rule cannot be regarded as a debt held by Afghanistan. Moreover, the amount of $9.8 billion, unless the Scud missiles and Mi-24 Hind helicopters used by the Red Army to kill Afghans is counted, seems exceedingly high.
Today, as Afghanistan delicately, albeit with difficulty, moves toward becoming a normal nation-state, Russia's demand that it would only assist Afghanistan after it receives $2 billion is simply absurd.
Afghanistan's destruction and path to becoming a failed, terrorist-invested state is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the Afghans. Neither members of the PDPA nor the Taliban -- or the current warlords -- were foreigners. This stated, outside interference into the affairs of the Afghan state has crippled its development historically and catalyzed its destruction. And if any state bears an enormous responsibility in this regard, it is the former Soviet Union. Russia, as the main successor state of the Soviet Union, despite its own economic hardships, should be the first in line -- before countries such as Japan and Germany -- to help Afghanistan out of its current dilemma. And it is in Moscow's vital interest to see that Afghanistan becomes a stable and functioning state.
To demand that money earmarked by international donors for the reconstruction of Afghanistan be delivered to Moscow is simply pouring salt on the open wounds of the Afghans.
AFGHAN LEADER RESHUFFLES DEFENSE MINISTRY...Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai on 20 September decreed the appointments of 21 people to the Defense Ministry in order to make it possible to implement "administrative reforms in civil and military areas and to carry out the important matter of reconstructing the National Army and the new structural reforms," Afghanistan Television reported. Major changes included the appointment of General Abdul Rahim Wardak, an ethnic Pashtun, to the post of first deputy defense minister and General Besmallah, an ethnic Tajik and a close ally of Defense Minister Marshall Mohammad Qasim Fahim, as army chief of staff. Three other deputies representing the Hazara, Uzbek, and Pashtun ethnicities have also been appointed.
The full list of the new appointees is as follows: 1. General Abdul Rahim Wardak, first deputy defense minister; 2. General Besmallah, army chief of staff; 3. General Moheballah, deputy of strategy and policy of the National Defense Ministry (NDM); 4. General Baz Mohammad Jowhari, deputy of finance and technical affairs of the NDM; 5. General Mohammad Homayun Fawzi, deputy of personnel and training of the NDM; 6. General Gol Zarak, deputy of the reservists of the NDM; 7. General Mohammad Eshaq Nuri, deputy chief of armed forces; 8. General Murad Ali, head of personnel of the chief of staff; 9. General Abdul Khaleq, deputy of reconnaissance and intelligence of Chief of Staff Office (CSO); 10. General Shayr Mohammad Karimi, head of operations of the CSO; 11. General Azizuddin, head of logistics and technical affairs of the CSO; 12. Colonel Mehrab Ali, head of communications of the CSO; 13. General Mohammad Zaher Azimi, head of parliamentary and social relations of the NDM; 14. General Sardar Mohammad Abu'l-Fazl, head of investigations of the NDM; 15. General Abdul Samad Kholmi, head of emergency situations of the NDM; 16. General Mohammad Amin Nurestani, head of legal affairs of the NDM; 17. General Abdullah, head of investigations of the CSO; 18. Khoshhal Pashtun, head of finance and budget of the CSO; 19. General Shayr Mohammad, head of legal affairs of the CSO; 20. General Ahmad Zai Yaftali, head of health affairs of the CSO; 21. Colonel Mohammad Amin, head of cultural and doctrinal affairs of the CSO. (Amin Tarzi)
...BUT FAILS TO SATISFY EXPECTATIONS.The changes in the Defense Ministry are widely believed to be designed to curtail the power of Defense Minister Fahim and his Tajik-based Shura-ye Nizar faction within the United Front (Northern Alliance). However, Vikram Parekh of the International Crisis Group said on 21 September that these changes are "not going to be seen as ground-breaking.... Fahim kept his position practically undamaged," AP reported. Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, the head of an influential Pashtun tribal group and brother of Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, said that "we are not happy with these reforms." The changes, he said, are of a "symbolic nature and they are not effective." An unnamed Western diplomat in Kabul agreed, saying the reshuffle "is not good enough, although it is a move in right direction." Fahim is arguably the most powerful person in Afghanistan and controls his own private army, which is not necessarily loyal to Karzai's government. (Amin Tarzi)
KARZAI REDUCES THE POWER OF HIS DEPUTIES...In the wake of the scandal that erupted after homes were demolished in Kabul's Shayr Pur District to pave the way for new homes for government officials (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 18 September 2003 and below), Chairman Karzai has ordered that his deputies not issue land permits and that all land-distribution issues be handled only by deputy Abdul Karim Khalili, the Jalalabad-based newspaper "Nan" reported on 20 September. In addition, Karzai has clarified that none of his deputies have the power to appoint or dismiss officials in his absence. Khalili was appointed by Karzai to head a commission tasked with investigating the Shayr Pur land-appropriation case. (Amin Tarzi)
...LEADING TO DEFENSE MINISTER REPORTEDLY RESCINDING PAST DECREES.Marshall Fahim, who is also first deputy to Chairman Karzai, has abolished all of his past decrees, Hindukosh news agency reported on 22 September. According to a source close to Fahim, the decrees concern land distribution and other related issues. The report, if confirmed, could be linked to the recent land-appropriation scandal in Kabul's Shayr Pur District, in which houses were demolished to build luxury compounds for government officials, including Fahim. (Amin Tarzi)
KABUL POLICE CHIEF SACKED...Kabul Police commander General Abdul Basir Salangi has been removed from his position and replaced by General Baba Jan, Afghanistan Television reported on 17 September. Karzai ordered Salangi's removal on Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali's recommendation after the police chief ordered the destruction of more than 30 homes in Kabul's Shayr Pur District to make room for luxury homes intended for use by government officials, Radio Free Afghanistan reported on 18 September.
Salangi is an ally of Defense Minister Fahim, but his removal is not expected to affect Fahim's "substantial power base, which is the first thing anyone looks for whenever there is talk of shake-up in security or cabinet structures," the BBC commented on 17 September.
While the first name of Baba Jan has not been reported, there were two men by the same last name who held positions during the communist rule in Afghanistan (1978-92). Abdul Wahid Baba Jan was an alternate member of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and held high-level positions during the era of communist rule, but after the demise of the communists in 1992 he joined the Jamiat-e Islami party, of which Fahim is also a member. The new chief of police in Kabul was also allegedly a member of the PDPA and involved in military affairs with the Soviet-installed regime in Afghanistan (Amin Tarzi)
...WHO SAYS HE WAS UNAWARE OF HIS REMOVAL, WHICH MAY BE TIED TO MORE THAN THE LAND-GRAB SCANDAL...Salangi told Radio Free Afghanistan on 18 September that "I was not aware of the issue [of my removal] until I was officially informed just one hour before [yesterday's] news broadcast on Afghan state television." He added, "This is my regret -- that they didn't consult me in advance about this decision." However, Salangi said that some respects, he feels relieved about being removed from the post of the Kabul police chief. "This was a big responsibility on my shoulders -- to take care of the security of the people of Kabul forever. But now this burden has been lifted," he said.
While the timing of Salangi's removal suggested it is linked to the Shayr Pur land-grab scandal, some Afghan officials say privately it is part of a wider effort by Karzai to push through reforms in the security sector. There recently has been a significant rise of crime in the Afghan capital -- including theft, kidnappings, and killings -- despite the presence of about 5,000 foreign troops who form the NATO-led and UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force.
But aides to Karzai also say the Afghan leader was infuriated last week when he learned that many of the ministers in his cabinet, as well as hundreds of other lower-ranking officials, received valuable plots of land in Shayr Pur for a nominal fee.
A commission appointed by Karzai this week to investigate the scandal reportedly is now investigating allegations that some of the officials who received land valued between $70,000 and $170,000 earned a large and speedy profit by immediately reselling the property.
Miloon Kothari, the UN's special rapporteur on housing rights, accused Salangi of being a "human rights violator" last week and urged Karzai to dismiss him. Kothari also accused Salangi's political allies -- including Defense Minister Fahim, Education Minister Yunus Qanuni, and top military commanders -- of forcing impoverished Afghan families off the land in order to confiscate the property for their own personal use. "Fahim...is directly involved in this kind of occupation and dispossession. And ministers that are directly involved have to be removed," he told RFE/RL.
Fahim has not commented publicly on the accusations or calls for his removal. But Qanuni and others who have been implicated have said that they obtained the property legally.
Observers in Kabul say there is no immediate sign the scandal would lead to resignations or dismissals of senior officials from Fahim and Qanuni's faction within the Afghan Transitional Administration.
Like Fahim, Qanuni and many of others named in the case, Salangi is a member of Shura-ye Nezar -- a political faction of a mostly ethnic Tajik faction of the former United Front (Northern Alliance) that seized de facto control of Kabul after the Taliban regime fled the city at the end of 2001. (Ron Synovitz)
...AS HE REJECTS ALLEGATIONS.Ousted police chief Salangi said his recent dismissal was organized three months ago and had nothing to do with the so-called Shayr Pur incident, the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported on 18 September. "The issue of demolishing the houses is different" and unrelated to his dismissal, Salangi said. "Everything regarding the housing scandals is untrue." Salangi said the houses in Shayr Pur were illegally constructed and their owners were to move to the 12th District of Kabul, where land had been provided for them. In response to a question regarding the communist past of his replacement, General Abdul Wahid Baba Jan, Salangi said, "I do not know about that, but he is a good and active military officer." (Amin Tarzi)
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP URGES U.S. TO STOP SUPPORT FOR AFGHAN WARLORDS, EXPAND ISAF...Human Rights Watch (HRW) in an open letter dated 23 September (http://hrw.org/press/2003/09/afghanistan091903-ltr.htm) urged U.S. President George W. Bush to end support for warlords and work to expand the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) mandate, which currently limits the force's operations to greater Kabul. HRW Asia Division Executive Director Brad Adams said, "it is crucial that the United States immediately end its unsuccessful policy of supporting the national government and regional warlords at the same time, as this policy has been both destabilizing and contributed to human rights abuses." Adams added that only with an "expanded ISAF" can security be improved in Afghanistan. Such security, he said, is a "necessary [condition] for a credible constitution-drafting process and national elections scheduled for next year." (Amin Tarzi)
...AS NATO LOOKING TO EXPAND ISAF BEYOND KABUL.NATO asked its military experts on 18 September to begin a feasibility study on extending the ISAF beyond the Afghan capital Kabul, RFE/RL reported. The military planners are set to report back on 26 September with an assessment of the security risks in Afghanistan and options and requirements for expanding the mission. The United Nations and Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Karzai have called for the ISAF to be expanded to help restore stability to Afghanistan's provinces. The United States and Germany last week called on NATO to examine the possibility of boosting the UN-mandated force. NATO took over leadership of the 5,500-strong international force in August (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 20 December 2002 and 14 August 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
NEW ZEALAND TAKES COMMAND OF PROVINCIAL RECONSTRUCTION TEAM.Approximately 100 military personnel from New Zealand on 23 September assumed responsibility for the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in central Afghanistan's Bamiyan Province, Radio Free Afghanistan reported. The PRT had been operated by the United States, which will continue to head PRTs in the cities of Gardayz (Paktiya Province) and Konduz (Konduz Province) for the time being. The United Kingdom operates a PRT in Mazar-e Sharif, Balkh Province. A statement from coalition headquarters at Bagram Air Base said the force is considering the establishment of five additional PRTs by the end of 2003, Reuters reported on 23 September. "Our countries may be distant, but in an increasingly interdependent world, the challenges of Afghanistan are also New Zealand's challenges," New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said in a statement that was read during the handover ceremonies. (Amin Tarzi)
13 KILLED IN FIGHTING IN KAPISA PROVINCE.More than four days of armed clashes in the Kohbandha District of Kapisa Province have resulted in the deaths of 13 people and the wounding of 15 others, Radio Free Afghanistan reported on 18 September. According to one eyewitness, the continuing fighting is between the forces of rival local commanders Asadullah and Gul Nasir. A representative from Kapisa said locals have urged the government to intervene. General Abdul Aziz Safi, the security commander of Kapisa, confirmed the number of causalities and said the fighting is due to "personal animosity between two commanders." Safi claimed that a cease-fire is in effect. There are reportedly about 6,000 armed men in the Kohbandha area, which is about 100 kilometers north of Kabul. (Amin Tarzi)
UP TO 10 CIVILIANS REPORTEDLY KILLED BY U.S. FORCES...At least 10 people were reportedly killed on the night of 19 September in the village of Naw Bahar, Zabul Province, when U.S. aircraft bombed the area, Xinhua news agency reported on 20 September, citing an eyewitness. According to the report, the incident occurred when U.S. forces detected two neo-Taliban fighters on a motorcycle near Naw Bahar. (Amin Tarzi)
...WHICH THE U.S. DENIES.U.S. military officials in Afghanistan said in a 21 September statement that they are "highly confident only combatant anticoalition persons were killed or wounded" during the operations in Zabul Province, the BBC reported. (Amin Tarzi)
BLAST IN LAGHMAN PROVINCE LEAVES MORE THAN 10 FAMILY MEMBERS DEAD.An explosion on 19 September in a home in the village of Golkari, Laghman Province, resulted in the death of 11 members of one family, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported on 20 September. The blast was reportedly caused by explosive material kept in the house for excavations, Radio Afghanistan reported on 20 September. (Amin Tarzi)
DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF IN KANDAHAR PROVINCE KILLED.Sardar Mohammad, the police chief of Kandahar Province's Zari District, was killed on the night of 19 September, AIP reported on 20 September. The identity of the assailants, who were seen fleeing the crime scene in an automobile, has not been established. However, Kandahar provincial authorities blamed the neo-Taliban for the crime, saying that Sardar Mohammad had no enemies in the area. Thus, the killing must have been politically motivated, AIP added. (Amin Tarzi)
NEO-TALIBAN CLAIM TO CONTROL DISTRICT IN PAKTIKA PROVINCE...According to unconfirmed reports, neo-Taliban forces have taken control of Paktika Province's Jani Khayl District, Hindukosh news agency reported on 17 September. An unidentified neo-Taliban commander told the news agency that his forces captured the district after a brief clash with pro-government forces. An unidentified security official from Paktika Province confirmed that the neo-Taliban attacked and set fire to the Jani Khayl District headquarters. However, the official said the district is still controlled by provincial forces. The official added that six neo-Taliban were killed in the clash. (Amin Tarzi)
...WHILE THREE NEO-TALIBAN KILLED, TWO COMMANDERS CAPTURED IN KANDAHAR PROVINCE...Khaled Pashtun, who heads Kandahar Province's foreign-relations department, said three neo-Taliban members were killed and two of their commanders were captured in fighting that took place in Kandahar Province's Shah Wali Kot District on 17 September, Reuters reported the next day. Pashtun named the two captured commanders as Mullah Abdullah and Mullah Baz Mohammad, but did not provide any further details about them. (Amin Tarzi)
...AND AFGHAN LEADER VOICES CONCERN OVER NEO-TALIBAN IN PAKISTAN...Hamid Karzai told U.S. President Bush on 23 September during their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York that neo-Taliban forces are receiving encouragement in Pakistan, Reuters reported. According to an unidentified senior U.S. official who discussed the meeting between the two leaders, Karzai said, "there are still people preaching a kind of 'Talibanism'" when they come to Afghanistan from Pakistan. Bush promised Karzai that he will discuss the issue with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Karzai has recently said that while the Pakistani government is on friendly terms with Afghanistan, there are elements within Pakistan -- especially in religious schools near the Afghan border -- that support the neo-Taliban movement in Afghanistan (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 18 September 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
...AS FORMER TALIBAN LEADER REPORTEDLY HOLDS MEETING WITH TOP COMMANDERS.Mullah Mohammad Omar has recently chaired a meeting of the leadership council of the former Taliban regime, Hindukosh reported on 23 September. According to the news agency, Hamed Agha was appointed during the meeting to serve as spokesman of the neo-Taliban -- the new face of the former regime that opposes the Afghan Transitional Administration and its supporters. Hamed Agha told Hindukosh that claims of defeats suffered by neo-Taliban forces in Kandahar and Zabul provinces are false, adding that his forces are continuing their militant activities in Zabul Province's Daichopan District and Kandahar Province's Maiwand and Maruf districts. Mohammad Omar established the 10-member leadership council in June to coordinate activities against the Afghan administration and coalition troops (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 26 June 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
OFFICE OF AFGHAN WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION ATTACKED.Four armed civilians attacked the Kabul office of the All-Afghan Women's Association (AAWA) on 16 September, demanding lists of the organization's members, RFE/RL reported on 17 September, quoting officials from AAWA. When AAWA officials refused to hand over the lists, the unidentified attackers searched the office and "turned it upside down." AAWA described the incident as a "political theft," because the attackers did not take any valuables, although they succeeded in removing the lists and videotapes. AAWA was founded in the early 1990s and continued working under the Taliban regime when it organized illegal home schools and literacy and handicraft courses for women. Due to this work, AAWA head Suraya Parlika -- sister of Abdul Wakil, foreign minister in communist Afghanistan -- gained prominence abroad, but remains a controversial figure in Afghanistan because she served as the head of the Red Crescent Society under the communist regime. Parlika was also involved in the recent establishment of the National United Party, which was subsequently banned for espousing communist ideals (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 26 August 2003). (John Heller)
COUNCIL OF ULAMA TO 'FIGHT ENEMY PROPAGANDA' IN AFGHANISTAN.Afghan Chief Justice Mawlawi Fazl Hadi Shinwari said Karzai has approved the establishment of a 2,600-member Council of Ulama of Afghanistan (CUA) to contest enemy propaganda and preach Islam, the Jalalabad-based newspaper "Nan" reported on 17 September. According to Shinwari, the CUA will soon begin its work in all Afghan provinces to counter enemy propaganda labeling the current Afghan government as infidels. He said each province will have 80 ulama (religious scholars) in the CUA. Shinwari said the Karzai administration is "an Islamic and legal state" and war against it "is not jihad but insurgency and immorality." The chief justice said the CUA will be "perfectly independent and permanent." (Amin Tarzi)
CABLE TV BANNED IN NANGARHAR PROVINCE.Cable-television broadcasts have been banned in Nangarhar Province at the order of the province's judicial department, Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported on 23 September. Anyone who fails to abide by the ban will be prosecuted, according to the report. The Afghan Supreme Court banned cable television nationwide early this year (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 23 January 2003). However, only a few provinces obeyed the law, which was eventually dropped. (Amin Tarzi)
STAFF IN IRAN OF AFGHAN CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION SWEPT ASIDE.Afghanistan's Constitutional Commission has replaced the entire staff of its satellite office in Mashhad in neighboring Iran, Radio Free Afghanistan reported on 19 September. Employees were not available for comment, but sources familiar with the work of the office claimed the office proved unable to collect the views of more than 1 million Afghan refugees in Iran regarding a future Afghan constitution. The sources added that the staff in Iran was not representative of all Afghan ethnic groups. In order to collect the views of the public on the new Afghan constitution, the commission established eight regional offices inside Afghanistan and offices in neighboring Iran and Pakistan, where many Afghan refugees live (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 10 April 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
GOETHE INSTITUTE TO REOPEN IN KABUL.Germany will reopen its Goethe Institute cultural center in Kabul on 22 September, some 12 years after its closure, dpa reported on 18 September. The Goethe Institute will be the only foreign institution promoting cultural activities in Kabul, dpa reported. (Amin Tarzi)
U.S. PRESIDENT TO NOMINATE NEW AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN.President Bush will nominate Zalmay Khalilzad as the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, the White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov) announced on 22 September. Khalilzad is currently serving as special presidential envoy to Afghanistan, a role that he will retain after he is confirmed as ambassador to Kabul. Khalilzad, who was born in Afghanistan, has served as special assistant to the U.S. president and senior director of the U.S. National Security Council's Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia initiatives. Prior to that, he was special assistant to the U.S. president and senior director of Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African affairs. He also has been a special presidential envoy to Afghanistan and the Free Iraqis. Rumors of Khalilzad's appointment as ambassador to Afghanistan have been circulating for some time (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 21 August 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
IMF SAYS AFGHANISTAN COULD BECOME A 'NARCO-STATE.'The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its country report on Afghanistan released on 21 September that "a dangerous potential exists for Afghanistan to progressively slide into a 'narco-state' where all legitimate institutions become penetrated by the power and wealth of [drug] traffickers" (see http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=16881.0). While the IMF praised Afghanistan's reconstruction efforts and the introduction of a new currency, the organization's head of mission in Afghanistan, Adam Bennet, said opium production is a "dark cloud" over the progress made, the BBC reported on 23 September. Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai agreed with the IMF's assessment of Afghanistan's situation, in which it said the production of opium will dominate the country's economy. Without an "infusion of urgency" in donor countries' commitments to help Afghanistan, Ahmadzai said, it could become a "narco-mafia state" (see "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report," 20 February, 29 May, and 5 June 2003). (Amin Tarzi)
THIS WEEK IN AFGHANISTAN'S HISTORY20 September 1966 -- Abdul Rahman Pazhwak, Afghanistan's representative to the United Nations, elected president of the UN General Assembly.
11 September 1995 -- President Burhanuddin Rabbani expresses sorrow about assault on Pakistani Embassy that occurred on 5 September 1995.
27 September 1996 -- Taliban forces capture Kabul and Bagram Air Base without encountering resistance from Mas'ud/Rabbani forces.
Sources: "Historical Dictionary of Afghan Afghanistan" by Ludwig W. Adamec, (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1997); AP.