MAIN DEFENDER: from commandership to improvement. Interview with former commander Hakim Qalandarov

MAIN DEFENDER: from commandership to improvement. Interview with former

commander Hakim Qalandarov

There is one step in the path from love to betrayal, from improvement to destruction, as well as from good to badness. Yesterday Hakim Qalandarov was a commander, and he is engaged in the improvement of the Motherland now. It is difficult to find him in Panj District. He worked hard and was engaged in various works. We found him before the table cloth with ample food in a beautiful building. Turkey-cock, homemade chicken, trout, beef, lamb and rabbit meats were the fruits of his labors and hands. The distance from this dastarkhan with plentiful food and that yesterday's dastarkhan with only a bread is also one step. And this one step divides that river bed of the Panj River, which was plunged into the maelstrom of the war and murders and this stormy shore of the children's smile. Therefore I ask:

- Is this your home?

            He smiles, looks at the people around the dastarkhan and says:

- The whole Tajikistan is my home.

            Our conversation was around the landscaping works of Hakim Qalandarov and yesterday's slide fate of the Tajiks.

- How did it happen to you that you left the weapons of death to the side and put your hand on the improvements? 

- The tradition of patriotism requires it, he says and continues: The consequences of war is peace, if even it lasts for a hundred years. I was an influential commander among the Tajik opposition forces and a close man of Nuri. What, I know, probably is not enough, who knows. If that war continued, there would be no Tajiks or no Tajikistan, we would turn into Iraq and Syria. Ustod Nuri, who always consulted with me and in difficult days I was his support, repeatedly said about it.

- Then you were the witness of the conclusion of peace from the first days?

- Yes. On the day when President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, opposition leader Saidabdullah Nuri and Ahmadshahi Masud held talks in Farkhor of Afghanistan, I was among their guards.

- They say that many commanders were against the peace, were not you among them?

- 1 supported Ustod Nuri's position. He was inclined to peace. But there were those to whom the peace was not in their interests. Of course, this did not happen without interference from foreign countries. But at the Teheran meeting, Nuri put an end to this issue. In those days I had an intention to make a pilgrimage (Hajj). I flew to Iran with an Iranian military aircraft from Kunduz. In the plane were I and the ambassador of Iran. At that time, Iran was the only country that had an official representation in Tahore, Kabul was in the hands of the Taliban. In Tehran, I prepared my documents for the pilgrimage. Before the trip, there were two days, Nuri invited me to his flat.

- You do not go to Hajj, - he said.

- Why? -1 asked.

- They invited me to "showdown", you should be next to me and there are some conversations that you have to disclose. When we go to Tajikistan, then you will go to Hajj. I agreed. Ustod prepared me for the meeting, and told me some secrets and mysteries of the mullahs. But warned that they are diplomats, do not talk rudely. The meeting was held in the evening at the Ustod Turajonzoda's house and was attended by mullahs Himmatzoda, Mahmadrasul, Abdurahim, chairman of "Rastokhez" Tohiri Abdujabbar, chairman of society "Lali Badakhshon", one representative of the Democratic Party, chairman of the migrants of Tajikistan in Russia, journalist Oleg Panfilov, Mullah Amriddin and others. They said that Tajikistan is over, and the opposition forces are successful at the front. They offered to call everyone to jihad and talked about unification. Ustod Nuri said that "we are not unified here, how can we unite in Tajikistan?". I raised my hand several times to speak, but they did not give me the word. I forgot about Ustod Nuri's warning, got up angrily and said that about what jihad are you talking, all Muslims, and everyone is reading namaz, you are pushing us to war, and you are feasting yourself. I appealed to the audience that "what have you done with the $ 4 million received?" "In Pakistan, in circulation", - he said. "What kind of guys?" - I asked again. Everyone was silent. This redoubled my anger. I asked them, the children and relatives of whom of you are at the front? If you want jihad, let's get a grenade and blow yourself up under the tank. Silence reigned. Oleg Panfilov angrily left the meeting. Finally the word came to Ustod Nuri. Fie said that jihad has its place, we will take the people and go to Tajikistan, its enough to kill Tajiks, and we unite Muslims.

- Foreign countries allocated funds for the war, but the confrontation of the Tajiks ended in peace. Did this not have consequences?

-Fiad. Getting a lot of money has an answer too. Once Ustod Nuri secretly told me that Iran had called him to "showdown". I asked the reason, and he said that the reason is the money that were once allocated to us. I said that you gave money to the refugees and to us Mujahideen, the answer to them so. And so the poor man fell ill and I also could not see him and ask what happened with that "showdown".

-You were a mujahed and a commander. Have not you encountered this problem?

-We did not deal directly with money. Our leaders received dollars in bags openly and secretly and then partially gave to us. If there were questions, they answered. But we made peace, it was a great achievement. Once Kabiri came to me, and brought 3 thousand dollars. I said that I do not need your dirty money. I work and earn money with my own labor. But, you did not think about those who died for you. Their wives became widows and children - orphans, you could give them S 50 and $ 100 for living. To whom of them do I give your money? You bring money now, and I do not need your money. Go, I am not with you and do not want to be with you. Fie told up and down. I said that there is no up and down. Do you want to be united? First, let’s eliminate all the injustices and inequality, and then we will see. If you say lets fight tomorrow, for what we will fight? Do you say jihad? For what jihad? All is quiet, the mosques are well-organized, there are 5 Friday mosques in Panj, and each village has its own mosque. In the end I got up and left. I said that our guys are here in Russia. Those, who listen to me, I will not allow to join you. Because of your injustice everyone has become homeless. I personally do not support Kabiri and I will not take his words. The Panj District guys were the most influential commanders and fought more than everyone else. When he became a leader, I saw some of his injustices and separated from him.

-What kind of injustice are you talking about?

-Is it fair to forget the wives and children of the Mujahideen who fell in the worm, were wounded, believing their words? There was a time when they needed a piece of bread, but the leaders of the IRPT (Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan) only thought about themselves. May Allah bless His Excellency, for that he cares for orphans, needy, homeless. He gave the land to the people so that they could work on it, they could find a piece of bread. Good wishes of orphans and street children bring him good luck. Kabiri and his accompanying delegates are engaged in very different matters. If Kabiri was a visionary, intelligent, enlightened, their party would not disintegrate. He could not keep within the state system. He began to wander, and he turned others into vagabonds. All this is a consequence of his misguided actions.

- Do you think that he and members of his party are alone, do not have support, and there is no one to intercede for them.

- No, who else?

- For example, you?

- Allah punished them. They will not become anyone later; any one will not support them. If Isupported them, they would never have hoped for KhojaHalim, but would invite me, particularly in battle, I was a military commander. In the fighting, Hoji Halim and Kabir ineither took part. I do not want to be with them, I do not want blood on our land.

- According to media the IRPT was supported by Iran.

- May be. However, IRPT support is not in the interests of Iran. This war is a confessional war, between Iran and the Arabs nations. In difficult times, when the matterstouches the Arab and Persianchoices for whom to be, even if the Arab is a follower of Shiism, it will never take the side of the Persian. During the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, the Shiite Arabs supported Saddam Hussein. A well-to-do Arab of that time was asked why you support the unfaithful Saddam and not the Shiite Iranians; you know what he said in response? He said that: "Saddam, he is an Arab, and the Shiite is that Iranian." In a word, I, as an Arab, will support the Arab. Look, a nation is placed above faith. We share the common language and culture with the people of Iran. I'm not a diplomat. I am a commander and I am witnessing all these troubles that have fallen to the lot of the Tajik people and I do not want them to repeat themselves. The reliance on mazhab in Tajikistan can have unpredictable consequences. The people who are the followers of Sunnah and Jamaat will never take it. The Iranian leadership, probably, does not know the truth either. Perhaps there are forces that, by virtue of their interests and not disclosing their unreasonable calculations, present incorrect information to their leadership.

- If so, then Iran can refuse to support the IRPT?

- Of course, he can. If he wants to have good relations with Tajikistan, if we wish to have reliable support in this region, he will do so. For this, he must refuse, that is, he should not bet on religion or confession, but turn his face to language and culture; the fact of common language and culture should come to the fore. The people of Tajikistan respect Iran as a bearer of the same language, that is, Farsi-Tajik. However, with respect to the religion they adhere to, they are not respected. Iran has no other choice. I went through the school of Ahmadshah Masud and am well aware of the state of affairs in this country. If in the relations with Afghanistan Iran had chosen language and culture as its priority direction, the situation of the Tajiks in this state would not have come to this, it would be quite different. No Arab will support Iran at a difficult time. Where the place of an Islamic party, as in Afghanistan, there can appear dozens of the same Islamic parties and these parties, with the support of other non-Islamic states, will begin to destroy each other. This struggle is a struggle for the split and destruction of Muslims. One Islamic party is harassed for another, they sow discord, and Muslims kill Muslims. Iran is a strong state and must realize that no one respects their mazhab in Tajikistan. The only reliable means in the relations between them is language and culture.

- So why you do not say it to Iranian friends?

- Tell one case. Once moment's ustodNuri said that Iran would provide interest-free debts, and I told him if he could tell them to lend me two hundred or three hundred thousand dollars so that 1 could start our business. Certainty, he invited me to house with more Iranians. Ustod said to give me some money for commercial purposes. Iranian said that to the court that if he had said it a couple of days before, they would have given everything. Ustod asked who was given the money; they answered one million dollars presented to HojiHalim. Ustod got agitated, felt uncomfortable and asked why it was HojiHalim who was the one who agreed that we would distribute fifty thousand dollars between the commanders so that they could use for the purposes of commerce and the occupation of farmers. I got angry and went to Pyanj. Nuri sent a man after me, but I did not come back. He came for me and said that the President had sent me to appoint you as commander. We come to President. He appointed me as Deputy Border Troops. He said that I was appointed yourcommander. After that, I broke all contacts with Iranians. Iran is a big state and should have thoroughly analyzed and would have drawn conclusions from the wrongful acts of Hoji Halim. He gathered four hundred or five hundred people and armed themat his courtyard house. They were informed on war, to Romit valley, they wrapped up their weapons and come to their homes. Only fourteen people remained with HojiHalim. The people whocooperated with the government and law enforcement agencies informedon Hoji Halim's whereabouts. Now it is difficult to deceive our people.

- You know the border situation well, is there a threat to Tajikistan from ISIL?

- The threat always exists. However, I am sure that nothing like this will happen. Because, Tajikistan has chosen the right political line. The people understood the essence of the current of the Salafi movement. Got up to fight and will not allow us to turn into the second Afghanistan. The ISIL's purpose is not only Tajikistan, but also Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and even Russia. They want to destabilize all this territory right up to the Russian border. And in Afghanistan there are many Uzbek mujahideen group. Jumaboy, Qori and Tohir had more than ten thousand armed militants in their ranks. The children who were born on that time, today have reached the ageof seventeen. The neighboring countries must be united. And we must unite for this struggle. This is our only way to ensure peace in the region.


"Faraj" Newspaper #50(576), December 13, 2017