By Haidar Zawar for Hazara World: 15.04.2021
Zulfiqar Omid is a Hazara political leader who has recently established a Resistance Force in his native Daikundi Province in Hazaristan (the Central Highlands of Afghanistan) to defend the defenseless civilians against Taliban terrorists and other groups’ sever attacks after NATO – US pullout from Afghanistan.
This regiment of Resistance is called Dai-4. The word “Dai” derives from the ancient Hazara regions and tribes names such as DaiKundi, DaiMirdad, DaiZanghi… and the number 4 probably because other regiments of the this resistance force is in the phase of formation, so there may be other regiments such as Dai-5, Dai-6 and so on, in other districts of Hazaristan in the future.
As an active political leader, Mr. Omid has a clear understanding of political changes in his country and a vast connection and relationship with many other politicians in Afghanistan. He is also very knowledgeable about the ongoing geopolitical changes in the region beyond Afghanistan. Zulfiqar Omid is aware of the fragility of the Hazaras who have been easy prey for different terrorist groups such as Taliban, Al-Qaeeda or ISIS who get advantage of the Afghan Government’s power vacuum in Hazara regions and kill as many of these peaceful people as they can.
So far wherever the extremist terror groups have experimented their savagery and bloodshed, Hazaras were the easiest and the most reachable victims to kill because of their peaceful manner and their defenselessness.
All of these terrorist groups have their reasons to kill Hazaras; Taliban kill Hazaras because they oppose the fundamentalist Taliban and their stone-age mentality, Al-Qaeeda and ISIS kill Hazaras, because most of them are of Shiite faith and are considered infidels. Hazaras’ recognizable Asian faces and almond eyes make them spotted easily by terrorists anywhere they go. In such dangerous circumstances for Hazaras, the Afghan Government not only has never helped them, but it also watched their pains and sufferings with eagerness but no interfering.
In addition to the terrorist groups, the Afghan Government itself is another predator of the Hazaras, for its own reasons; Hazaras have their own lifestyle, their own culture, they respect democracy and equal rights for men and women, thus they are too smart to obey a corrupt, fascist and racist tribal government that rewards the Taliban terrorists because of their ethnic ties and ignore the rights of the open minded and progressive ethnic groups. Historically, the Hazara regions have always been governed by their own people as autonomous regions.
On the other hand, the rapid growth of Hazaras and the democratization of their areas, their strive in education is interpreted as a menacing threat to the future of Tribal Pashtun’s sovereignty over Afghanistan. Hazaras’ growth and progress has turned into their “Achilles heel” in Afghanistan, because the tribal leaders of the Pashtun who govern in Afghanistan think that Hazaras’ high HDI brings an imbalance in Afghanistan while millions of Pashtuns still live in primitive ways and are illiterate, thus they fear that the Hazaras would become the flag holder of the country in near future, so they should be stopped at any cost and by any means.
Despite Hazaras’ tremendous contributions to rebuilding of Afghanistan, instead of rewards they’ve always faced with cruelty and discrimination; it is reasonable that someone among them would stand up to save his people at some point. This time perhaps it’s Zulfiqar Omid’s turn to come and help his people.
The leader of Labor and Development Party of Afghanistan, Zulfiqar Omid was born in 1979 in Daikundi Province. His family immigrated to Pakistan as millions of other Afghanistani citizens did during the wars. He studied high school in Pakistan and then University in Kabul until a Master’s Degree.
Omid founded his political party in 2002 and registered it at the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan in 2004.
Since its foundation, Labor and Development Party of Afghanistan has become a ground for the youth of the working class and marginalized people who looked for a stage to make their voices heard and to contribute in rebuilding of an equal and fair society in a war-torn country.
Since 2002, Zulfiqar Omid was involved in creation of civil society movements for years.
In 2015 when Tabassum Movement was formed to seek justice for a barbaric murder of 9 Hazara hostages including a 9 years old child, Zulfiqar Omid was an active member of the that movement.
In 2016 when Jonbish e Roshnai (the Enlightenment Movement), one of Hazaras’ major civil movements in the history of Afghanistan was formed following a discriminatory power plant project called TUTAP, Zulfiqar Omid became one of its crucial figures among the other leaders of the movement. His presence helped grow the movement and reach its voice right into the presidential palace.
On July 23rd 2016, he was heavily wounded in a terrorist attack on the rally of Jonbish e Roshnai the Enlightenment Movement in Dehmazang square of Kabul where around 90 protesters were killed and more than 400 were wounded.
So far no official result of an investigation has been given out neither it’s clear if an investigation is being carried out at all, however a few months after the attack it was rumored that the terrorist attack was organized by NDS the Afghan Intelligence Services to hurt and frighten the Hazara activists and stop them protesting.
In the last months when the Afghan Army attacked the Hazara districts of Behsud by 1200 forces and 150 tanks, Zulfiqar Omid gave an ultimatum to the Afghan Government to stop killing civilians and withdraw its forces from the area, but now it seems that the ultimatum is expired and nothing has changed in Behsud so he put in act his own plan and what he promised to his people; he created the second Resistance Movement in Daikundi.
The message of Omid’s act seems to be quite clear; if you suppress or eliminate one of Hazara Resistance Movements, soon others will grow and flourish.
The Afghan government’s attempt in Behsud was to give a catch to a partisan/resistance movement leader, General Alipour/Alipur who has millions of followers and supporters among the Hazaras. But since Afghan Army’s attack on Behsud, the Afghan government lost its popularity and support among the Hazaras while thousands of people showed solidarity and support to General Alipur and his men. He is considered a Robin Hood for the Hazaras now.
In the last two decades, in spite of being systematically discriminated and marginalized, the Hazaras have always been supportive to the Afghan Government; they legitimized the election quorums by their mass participation, they have supported the Afghan Government by educating men and women, they earned hundreds of International sportive medals for Afghanistan since 2002.
Their artists, writers and filmmakers created great works and they transmitted a good picture of Afghanistan to the world but their services and kindness to their country is always pushed back and they are punished instead of being praised.
Anything positive the Afghan Government can present to the International Community as the achievements of its last twenty years, it’s all thanks to Hazaras’ valuable contribution, otherwise, Afghanistan would still be known only for its Taliban, Opium, Warlords, Nose Cutting and Caging Women.
In the last twenty years, Zulfiqar Omid himself actively tried to practice peaceful protests to make his people’s voices heard but now the time has changed thus he preferred to pick up guns and defend his people from massacres and genocides that could come to them following the pullout of the NATO and the US forces from Afghanistan.
His message however would also be that “the Hazaras are like flowers, they are soft and thorny. it just depends on how you threat them, gently or you get hurt by their thorns.”
The Hazaras have preferred to pick up pens and books in the last two decades, but now if they have to, they can pick up guns as well to establish their rights to life if needed.
Maybe Zulfiqar Omid wants to say to the Taliban or other terrorist groups that the peaceful Hazaras can also be turned into fierce and edgy combatants to defend themselves when it becomes a question of being or not being; they have to survive, so they reserve the legitimate right of self defense.
Pictures of Zulfiqar Omid’s Social and Political Activism in the Last 18 Years in Afghanistan