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Foreign Presence in Afghanistan Enriching Yet Another Afghan Human Rights Violator

Posted by Derrick Crowe on January 8th, 2010

Many of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords are making a killing off of the Afghanistan war. Today via the Irish Times [h/t Steve Hynd] we learned that a “notorious violator of human rights,” Matiullah Khan, is being paid to let Dutch supply trucks pass through his territory. He’s been making $2,500 per truck.

This isn’t the first time Khan made the news for the fortune he’s making off of foreign forces. Gareth Porter reported on October 30, 2009 that he’d been making millions from the U.S. and Australians:

Col. Khan gets 340,000 dollars per month – nearly 4.1 million dollars annually – for getting two convoys from Kandahar to Tarin Kowt safely each month. Khan…evidently got his private army from his uncle Jan Mohammad Khan, a commander who helped defeat the Taliban in Kandahar in 2001 and was then rewarded by President Karzai by being named governor of Uruzgan in 2002.

As described by Vice Magazine’s Christoph Reuter, Khan is a poster child for the coalition’s support for some of the worst human rights abusers in Afghanistan:

His history under [Jan Mohammad Khan] is bloody. He led the hit squads that killed stubborn farmers who did not surrender their land, daughters, and livestock to the former governor. Dutch forces remain adamant that the mention of his name spreads fear and panic throughout the region.

“If we appoint Matiullah police chief, probably more than half of all people in the Baluchi valley would run over to the Taliban immediately,” one high-ranking Dutch officer explained. He did not want to give his name, because of the sensitive nature of the subject.

Here’s the kicker from the Vice article:

The Americans in particular like him a lot.

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