Baghlan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is of great significance to Hazara history and unity. It has shown capabilities in unifying local Hazaras regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shia in good and bad times. There are also Hazaras in Qundoz (e.g. Khaan Abaad Hazaras), Balkh, Badakhshan and Takhar, but this post is mainly about Hazaras in Baghlan and Samangan.
Baghlan is home to many Hazara tribes. Many people outside still remain unaware of their existence as there is very limited information available about them. The most inaccurate statement that I have come across on the net is the assumption that they are Tajiks. Their Hazaragi dialect and their ethnic identity are not considered in this assumption. They base this assumption on the idea that ‘Hazaras are Shia and those who are Sunni have to be Tajik’.
To gather first hand and reliable information will require a proper visit to their communities and villages. One of the reasons why they have been kept isolated is their location. Their villages are scattered throughout the province and are hard to get to. A number of these Hazara tribes, specially the ones living along the Hindu Kush mountain ranges are semi-nomadic. They usually have their traditional yurts built next to their muddy houses. The old photograph on the left shows the semi-nomadic lifestyle in Northern and parts of Central Afghanistan.
They speak Hazaragi and they still have their old Hazaragi tribal names. Some of these tribe names are:
- Qalugh / Qarluq
- Orta Balaaq
- Kara Mali
- Aymaq Hazaras
They have left us many inspiring lessons of bravery and sacrifice, specially when it comes to standing up for our rights, freedom and defending our lands.
Dar-e-Suf is an area that covers two districts in Samangan province, located west of Baghlan. While the Taliban were at the peak of their power and almost all of the country was under their control, this place remained the only place in the region where Taliban failed to take over until the end when they were overthrown. Hazaras of Dar-e-Suf were surrounded for the whole period when the Taliban were in power. They had no support and communication with the rest as all the other districts and provinces surrounding it were controlled by the Taliban. Yet they resisted with courage and sacrifice and left an inspiring story for future generations.
Soviets experienced a great challenge in these territories before they were defeated. They were led by Haji Shaykh Dawlat Rafe’i of Dand-e-Ghuri in Pol-e-Khomri (capital of Baghlan), Aamer Abullai of Nahrin District and Commander Baaz Mohammad Khaan of Tala Wo Barfak District. Peace be upon them.