The people which have no human rights!
Afghanistan is the place of origin of several tribes and nations, which during the centuries lived together with a big proud, but with enormous troubles and difficulties.
With time these tribes became famous and stabilized their national identity as real residents to this country, as set out in article 4 of the Afghanistan constitution as follows:
The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes.
Basically the purpose of the present topic is to focus on the situation of whom which are absolutely forgotten that pointed out in the constitution as “Other tribes”.
In addition to other parts of the country, also in north east zone people are living with the very poor condition under the name of Jogi or the Badakhshan people call them Qawal ha.
However this people are very hardworking in nature, but unbelievably having very high patience.
Migration to Afghanistan:
It is worth mentioning that, Jogi people are illiterate, there for, we can not specify the exact time of their displacement, however according to their elders they left Kolab tow centuries ago when Lagui ha attacked theme and they all escaped to Afghanistan.
Their place of origin is from Kolab which is located in the neighboring country of Tajikistan. There main profession was husbandry, while there coming to Afghanistan they had their own flocks of animals, but due to worse situation gradually they lost every thing. Some of them claim the existence of their sixth generation here in Afghanistan since they left Kolab.
Basically, this ethnic minority are Tajik, Suni-with Islam religion. Along side, Dari language they can also talk with a special locally languages. In addition to that, they know other locally languages too where they settle.
Mainly this people are divided in to five tribes, for example; Qataghani, Kulabi, Balkhi, Sag baz (dog trainer) and Halwa khor.
The Proportion of their families in north east zone as follows:
Qataghani 120 house holds.
Kulabi 450 house hold ( app 300 kunduz and 150 Takhar)
Balkhi 400 house hold.
Sag baz 500 house hold.
Halwa khor 120 house hold.
They are estimated to be Approximately 10000 people.
Life condition of this people is so amazing, even different than the life of Kochi people. mainly they are rural and during the four season of the year they tour from one place of resident to other one.
Economically, women are the only source of income and bread winner for the rest of the family members. Men have no obligation in this regard as they are mainly unemployed and have no occupation. Their mobile house is made of worn out varied cloth which can be moved so easily.
Tools and appliances which are required for living are few, comprised of some dress and dishes. There is no any reach man among them, economically they are all in one level, it means they are all living in poverty.
While their coming to a place or village they take part in all locally ceremonies and gatherings as others, they go for the prayers to the nearest mosques and whiles their being in the dessert performs the prayer on collective manner among them selves.
As it is pointed out, Jogi women are extremely hard working, which toils away all day long for earning something for subsistence of their family, and doing this by tow ways.
Through fortune telling.
Begging, if the first one does not have any income.
As the market of fortune telling has stagnated recently, there for, begging is their profession.
Commonly the words which used in fortune telling by Jogi women are similar, while saying, even some house wife women believe and thinks to be all the words are absolutely right which make them interested a lot.
They try to find the exact information first regarding the specific family or families which they are interested in to trying their fortune. By doing this they get some people happy and some unhappy, because the past and future of some one is described by theme.
Zulykha a woman which she was very clever and open minded described their life style as follows:
“I am the second wife of my husband and I have 2 son and 6 daughters, the first wife of my husband has 4 son and 7 daughters. Totally my husband has 19 son and daughter”. We have our bags on our shoulders every time, by doing this we support our families; we have no option without this. She also added we know that “fortune telling” is not correct, but through this we earn some bread for our families. Thanks Allah she stated, from the past up to now we haven’t been involved in any kind of crime, murder, pederasty, robbery, theft or some thing else as the others. Even there haven’t been any complain against us in the court or some where else.
Mainly the men of this minority group are involved and eager to play with quail and the Sagbaz tribe apart form playing with dogs, are al so eager to play quail.
The best dog for this people is by name of Makhmal, which they get it from north province of Mazari sharif, for the purpose of hunting Bodana (one bird by this name).
While, playing with dogs or Bodana, there is no any sort of condition or betting between them.
Increasingly, some men of this tribe are al so interested to play “Buzkashi” which is common in some parts of Afghanistan. Ultimately there are around 20 guys who know about the Buzkashi game and the famous one is Pahlawan sherin who is the richest person among the Jogi people, that so far could save about 100000 Afghani through this game and it will be spend for his future requirements like, shrouding and burial, he stated.
Meanwhile, every family has a horse which is used while their movement to other places. It is worth mentioning that this people are not well interested to have a profession or job. Totally there are four persons having the profession of goldsmiths and carpentry. They are just expert in fishing net waving and making cage for their Bodana.
Due to a cold weather in Badakhshan province Jogi people are not interested to live there into winter season, rather they are willing to be in kunduz, Takhar and Baghlan provinces which have warm climate.
It is worth mentioning that, they know all the families based in north east provinces of Kunduz, Takhar and Baghlan, because while doing their job, they try to search in every street, region etc.
Access to education:
The interviews conducted with some women, elders and literate people of this vulnerable group, specially an interviewee by the name of Qari Ghulam Faroq, deducted that, they are the only people in afghan society who do not have the accessibility to education. Because all the time they moving around and that is why they are not familiar with the education and its advantages, as well as religious learning.
They don’t have any Moulavi either among them (a person who know about the Islamic issues in a high level), except just in every tribe they have four or five mulas with low level of Islamic learning, just train the children and youths in primarily Islamic issues as well as doing the job of Imam daily in five times prayer.
Qari Ghulam Faroq is the only person among the Jogi people who could just memorize the 12 chapter of holy Quran. He al so stated, by this he could gain a lot of advantages as he was employed by UNAMA as a civic educator for Kochi People, during the parliamentary election based in Badakhshan province. Through this he al so bought a part of land and now he has made a house for his residence in Badakhshan, but now he is unemployed and looking for a job.
Mean while, he al so prohibited his wife from begging and fortune telling. Ghulam Faroq al so mentioned that, among them there is person who calls him as a doctor, but he doesn’t know well, whether he is an educated person or not.
He frankly stated that, however fortunetelling is not true, but it is their necessity, to use it as a source of income.
Ghulam Sediq is one of the other interviewee, in kunduz province, stated, since some months one of the Ex Jihadi commanders by the name of Mir Alam khan let them to live and camp temporarily on his own land. He added during this period of time we gradually understood the advantages of knowledge and differences between literate and illiterate persons. So we went to our nearest school for the enrollment of our children and teenagers, but the head master said, due to your migratory in every season we are not allowed to attend your teenagers in the School.
The reader may think and ask himself:
Does any one have the authority to not let the others in accessing to education in this time?
Although, the illiteracy overshadowed in every aspect of their lives, in addition, they have no attention to their health issues. While suffering to health problems and diseases they do not use or take any medication for their health treatment, they resist wither they recover normally or pass a way. They just believe, on their religious elders when they get sick or face to any problem.
Recently some of them, while facing with health problems, refer to doctors, but regretfully, majority of them due to economic problems can’t afford the fees of the doctors.
The women in the time of pregnancy, do their activities as usual even up to the final day of delivery; they just rest at least for tow or three days after the child birth. And delivery also takes place normally (they never refer to doctors or midwife).
Many times it has been seen that 7-8 month pregnant women along side 2 - 3 years old babies al so carrying the full bags from morning to after noon. With doing this we can understand that how they have a hard and pain full life in to days world.
Engagement and Marriage:
The proper age for the marriage should be between 14- 20 amongst this people. But the age of the daughters must not be higher than 20.
“Ejab wa quabool” (The affirmation and acceptance) of the boy and girls for the marriage is as good as the other people and tribes based in Afghanistan, if a daughter engages according to choice of her parents, the “Maher” (a marriage portion payable to the wife) is taken by parents. Mean while there would be no sensitivity or problem if a daughter chose a boy as her future husband, just with the difference of “the Maher” would not be taken by the parents of the daughter.
Mainly for the first time, proposing for marriage being suggested by the boys, but as mentioned, the girls have also the right to choose a person as their future life partner.(it seems that , they are more open minded than the other tribes in Afghanistan).
As this people are in a very poor economic situation, the marriage portion is not so high; almost 10 up to 20 thousand Afghani is the highest rate.
The wedding ceremony is conducted by their religious elder, or if he was not available, they refer to the nearest locally religious elder in order to proceed the ceremony.
The period for the engagement is six months up to one year and it would be not prolonged more than this.
Another kind of engagement amongst the Jogi people, which is not so common, is called “Daman chak” and it takes place when in tow families simultaneously tow babies (boy and daughter) are born, they are engaged to each other according to the choice of their parents. But it is worth mentioning, when they became young, it is their interest and choice whether they want and love each other or not. And there will be no interfere and sensibility from the parents of the tow parties.
The most marriages take place as a “Badal” (tow families exchange their daughters among themselves) and this happens on willingness and agreement of each family and due to economic depression the wedding ceremonies of this people aren’t so sumptuous.
As mentioned, at least the Jogi people have not a piece of land through out the Afghanistan, there for; they perform their funeral ceremonies in the places where they are, settled. They do not transfer the funerals to other places, death bodies are buried where they are living.
After the burial, we must give food as a charity to all locally people when some one dies, and also, In the past charity ceremonies cost about 20000 up to 50000 Afghani a man said. Traditionally, the family of death has to prepare about (140 Kg) raisins for the breakfast of the invited people and if there is any restaurant in our vicinity, then we must provide food (at least for 100-200) people, but he added, hopefully since one year according to demand of our elders and with the support of all the people, we are decided to eradicate this custom, which is economically not appropriate with the life style of our people.
Jogi people are not paid due courtesy and respect in the society. Usually they are holding in contempt and abjectness, even some times they are humiliating by lewd persons. Their behavior is most regrettable, when face some one.
One of the elder of this people with a bitter sigh said that:
As a matter of fact, our nature is lower than the others, because begging is something very shameful, but after all we do this for our substances and to support our families.
And another man said: “The price of all the tools and requirements which belongs to our houses is equal to the price of one door or windows of the other people houses”.
While their movements to other places, locally people harass them greatly, even some times they do not allowed to stay or camp in the places which they want to be there for a short period of time. For instance, he stated in year 1384 (2005) some of us camped in Zakhil village which is located on the outskirt of the kunduz city, while reaching spring season, the villagers expelled us explicitly to do not stay there any more.
Another example: we about 60 families camped for a short period of time in an old grave yard called “khuwaja Abdull Marouf” which is located in Faizabad city of Badakhshan province, but with time according to the suggestion of some religious elders, governmental authorities expelled us, but we protest widely, against this action of the authorities, we were suppose to launch our selves in Kokcha river, but governmental authorities respond to our demands immediately and after some days they allocated some land in a area which belongs to ex brigade headquarter of Badakhshan province.
Even we have faced such problems in the areas which were completely unutilized and uncultivated.
One of the interviewee stated, among the north east provinces of kunduz, Takhar, Badakhshan and Baghlan, mainly people welcome them in Badakhshan province and this resulted in earning the more food than the other provinces.
A number of Jogi people were most satisfied and pleased from one of the ex Jihadi commander “Mir Alam’ because 10 years ago he let 40 families of Kulabi and Balkhi tribes of Jogi people to camp on his own land.
Each one of the five tribes has respect and most courtesy to each other. Mean while they have the connection of relationship too.
One day, for the greetings of Jogi people I went to their tent, during our conversation I saw tow beg puts on the oven, so I asked them whither they have a party or this is for their selves? Replied me yes we have a party to night, because some of our relatives recently came from Mazari sharif province, because they have the right on us to be invited. That is why we invited them.
And their invitation may goes on for ten day among the other families.
They have never been involved in any political issues and tried to be independent and impartial.
Although, since there residence in Afghanistan, they have not received any Identification card, from any government which could prove they are the citizen of Afghanistan like the other people, but they were al so called for military services in the time of khalq regime (peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan), So the regime drafted 23 young boys for military service by force and were dispatched to Herat province, but after passing three months they could find the chance to escape from there and came back to their families.
This action of the governments of that time caused the Jogi people emigration to Pakistan in year 1981. They were al so living in one of the Afghan emigrants camps up to the end of 1992. In this period of time they were al so walking around as usual, and now they are well familiar in all parts and cities of Pakistan.
In the time of Jihad, on behalf of this tribe there were 2 persons (Abdul karim Zargar that has martyred and the other one is still alive. These tow persons were serving with “Commander Amir Chughyee”.
During the registration process for the elections (both presidential and parliamentary) they have all registered them selves for the voting.
A man said: in the past our elders referred to governmental authorities many times as regards Jogi people requirements and necessities, like allocation of land for them, obtaining of citizenship of Afghanistan and enrolments of our children and teenagers in the School. However the authorities did not considers our demands, rather they insulted our elders. And now we are so wander and too needful. While our settlement in an area at first we are looking wither the land owner would allowed us to stay or not.
A man said: “After all, we are also human beings and created by Allah. We must have also the right to access to education, freedom of thoughts, housing.
When Allah created human beings, also grant him a dignity and inalienable rights, but it is too depressing why the governments so far violating their rights and they haven’t done any thing in favor of them yet”.
The Jogi people actively participated in both presidential and parliamentary elections. They saying, we voted for Mr. Karziai, although no one told us to vote for him, we did this because we were too hopeful that he might also cooperate us and he will meet to our necessities. But unfortunately, since five years, no one asked about our living condition. Some other people under the name of “Kochi” available in Afghanistan they are also similar to Jogi people, but the governments support them well , allocate them land and their voices are also heard, even they have their representatives in Afghan parliament, but unfortunately for us, there is no right to open the door of offices.
The objective of the topic:
Usually in daily conversation we define the term of “Right” is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action. Although we used it every time, but it has many meanings indeed. And through this we can respond the question, that why so far there hasent been any attention or care concerning this people.
We can find out that, in one hand they face too economic depression and on the other hand the lack of educated people, caused them to not reach and obtain their right which belongs to every human being. Any way, we have to pave the ground to reach the voices of these voiceless people to the world.
Isn’t amazing, the people who are absolutely deprived of their economic, Social and cultural rights?
Do we know the tribe or nation, who do not have any one, a small part of the land for their living?
Is it believable the entire generations of a tribe have no access to education?
Is it true, the people who many times referred to schools for enrolment of their children, but they were told, because you have no citizenship of Afghanistan so far, that why we can’t do this?
And many more questions.
In fact one would answer to these questions, with initiating of protection activities and before that there must be wide assessments programs in order to find the proper solution as regards their access to their humanitarian rights.
I am certain, if we do not protect and support these people, their future will be darker.
I am not just concern; rather this is my responsibility to make every possible effort as regards obtaining their humanitarian rights.
I have also some suggestions about this, which would be presented in a proper time.
For the time being I just shared my concerns regarding this unique people.
Note: this topic has not references. It has been provided through my assessments, interviews, and meetings within tow year.