An Afghan’s Path From Ally of U.S. to Drug Suspect
Declan Walsh in Islamabad
Friday February 2, 2007
The vote drew sharp criticism from human rights groups, the United Nations and some parliamentarians who insist that the perpetrators of rape, murder and other atrocities must be brought to justice. "This is not a law, this is about more power for the mujahideen. Millions of Afghans will be unhappy," said Shukria Barakzai, a parliamentarian who stormed out of the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house, in protest.
The resolution called for national reconciliation and criticised human rights reports that "name and shame" alleged war criminals. But analysts said it does not have the force of law, which would require the consent of the upper house and President Hamid Karzai.
Syed Mustafa Kazmi, who voted in favour, said the vote would foster unity. But the UN said: "No one has the right to forgive those responsible for human rights violations, other than the victims."
"Afghans will see this as a sign that their parliament is more concerned with protecting its own members than the people," said Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch.
Many of those facing serious accusations are influential members of parliament or the government. Faced with a Taliban insurgency in the south, President Karzai has appeared shy of taking them on.