Nothing like spreading democracy...
An Afghan warlord who’s accused of gross human rights violations and was once close to Osama bin Laden has received the backing of President Hamid Karzai for the important post of speaker of the new parliament, which was inaugurated Wednesday.
To the dismay of diplomats and many lawmakers, especially women and those from Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazara community, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, who’s been accused of a string of atrocities during Afghanistan’s civil war of the 1990s, is Karzai’s early candidate for the speaker slot, members of parliament said.
The man who organized the first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993, Ramzi Yousef, reportedly trained at a camp run by Sayyaf. According to the 9/11 Commission report, Sayyaf also trained and mentored the alleged mastermind of the 2001 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
For Afghans, Sayyaf is linked to some of the most horrific episodes of the country’s civil war, in particular the 1993 killing of hundreds of ethnic Hazara civilians in the Afshar district of Kabul, a massacre that human rights groups accuse Sayyaf of ordering. Hazara are from the minority Shiite sect of Islam, which is anathema to Wahhabis.