Karzai Fires Academy of Sciences Chief, Staffers on Offending Hazaras
By Abbas Daiyar | Outlook Afghanistan
KABUL – President Karzai on Tuesday dismissed the Chief of Afghanistan Academy of Sciences and it’s three other staffers.
In the Judicial and Administrative Meeting at the President Palace yesterday, the publication of Ethnography Atlas of Ethnic Groups in Afghanistan that includes outrageous claims about Hazaras were discussed. President Karzai came up with severe criticism of the negligence in the publication and took necessary action.
Recently, the Academy of Sciences has published a book titled “Ethnography Atlas of Non-Pashtun Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan”. It has chapters about different ethnic groups of the country. In section about Hazaras, there are extremely derogatory remarks such as: “The Hazaras are liars, dishonest and unreliable people. Bodies of their women are hairless except on head. The Hazaras are sons of Mong Khan living in the mountains of Afghanistan. These people have nothing except fighting.” The book includes dozens of pages with such derogatory claims about Hazara, even describing them to be Rafizi—lower than infidels.
President Karzai ordered immediate dismissal of Chief of the Academy of Sciences Abdul Bari Rashid, his deputy Syed Muhammad Amin Mujahid, Chief of Social Sciences Department Abdul Hakim Safi, Deputy of Human Studies Department Nasrullah Sobman for offending the Hazaras, under the section 13, article 64 of the Constitution.
The President ordered Attorney General to launch investigation against the authors and researchers of the Ethnography Atlas published by the Academy of Sciences and trial them for insulting the Hazaras.
MP and head of People’s Unity Party of Afghanistan, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, in a press conference on Sunday had strongly condemned the ‘offense to Hazaras’, saying it could spark ethnic clash across the country and damage national unity. He demanded full dismissal of the Academy of Sciences and asked for equal representation of all ethnic groups and experts in the Academy.
At the Palace meeting, President Karzai said the Ethnography Atlas published under the name of research and studies is an offense to all ethnic groups of Afghanistan and the nation. He ordered immediate investigation and trial of those responsible.
The move is aimed to calm down the expected extreme reactions against the ridiculously outrageous and offending “academic claims” of the Academy of Sciences in Ethnography Atlas about Hazaras.
The Academy was under fire recently for another controversial issue when it published Encyclopedia of Afghanistan with census statistics putting Pashtuns at 62%, Tajiks 12 %, Hazara 9% and Uzbek 4%. Political circles and people condemned the claims published by the Academy and demanded the Government to dismiss officials responsible for fueling ethnic clash and polarization in the country.