Abdur Rahman Khan’s Tortures & Massacre of Hazaras
From the end of 1888, the amir spent eighteen months in his northern provinces bordering upon the Oxus, where he was engaged in pacifying the country that had been disturbed by revolts, and in punishing with a heavy hand all who were known or suspected to have taken any part in rebellion.
Shortly afterwards (in 1892) he succeeded in finally beating down the resistance of the Hazara tribe, who vainly attempted to defend their independence, within their highlands, of the central authority at Kabul. In the late 1880s many of the Hazara tribes revolted against Abdur Rahman, the first ruler to bring the country of Afghanistan under a centralized Afghan government. Consequent on this unsuccessful revolt, numbers of Hazaras fled to Quetta in Balochistan and to the area around Mashhed in northeastern Iran. Most active in the revolt were the Uruzgani, the southernmost of the Hazara tribes. Following their defeat, a considerable number of Uruzgani left the country, as did many Jaghuri, their nearest neighbors to the northeast. The territory, which they abandoned, was occupied by Afghans of the Ghilzai tribe, supported by the Amir as plan for Pashtunization of Afghanistan.
By sending Sunni clerics to every village in Hazarajat Abdur Rahman forced the Hazaras to attend Sunni mosques and abandon Shiism. He imposed tougher regulations on Hazaras by forcing them to pay heavy taxes. For instance, from 500 families in Ajristan each well-to-do family was forced to pay 40 Sir (6.7 kg) wheat while the poor ones paid three Afs, each. In Daya Fulad, Zawuli and Sepai districts the state collected Afs. 80,000 and forced the Hazara girls into marriage. In the Shikhali district an estimated 7,000 head of cattle were taken away from Hazaras and 350 men and women of the Jaghori district had been sold at Kabul markets each at the price of 20-21 As. Abdur Rahman’s brutal suppression compelled a large number of Hazaras to seek refuge in Iran, India, and Russia. Abdur Rahman could only succeed in subjugating Hazaras and conquering their land when he effectively utilized internal differences within the Hazara community, co-opting sold-out Hazara chiefs into his bureaucratic sales of the enslaved Hazara men, women and children in 1897, the Hazaras remained de facto slaves until King Amanullah declared Afghanistan’s independence in 1919.