US congressman alleges targeted killings of former Afghan forces

Rep. Brian Mast, a member of the US House, stated Wednesday that former Afghan security forces are “systematically being killed” in Afghanistan, contradicting claims by the Biden administration and the Taliban.

Mast criticized the Biden administration for denying these targeted killings, which include former US government allies. He refuted the Taliban’s denial of international reports about the killing and torture of former security forces, citing evidence from international organizations of deliberate killings.

During a Foreign Affairs hearing in September, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland claimed not to have seen a consistent pattern of Taliban murders of Afghans who aided US efforts. “That’s a lie that to this moment is resulting in people fearing for their life,” Mast said. He cited several instances of former Afghan forces being killed, despite the Taliban’s amnesty pledge.

“These are the facts: Banu Nigar, an Afghan police officer, was shot dead in front of her family while eight months pregnant. Mohammad Hashim, an Afghan police chief who assisted the US, was tortured and hanged. Haji Aqazai, a security official, was killed despite surrendering for the Taliban’s amnesty. Allah Halimi, a military officer, was arrested and later found decapitated,” Mast detailed.

“A news cycle may move on, but we can’t turn the page because this chapter is still being written,” he added.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee met to discuss Taliban reprisals against former Afghan military associates of the US, with bipartisan attendance and support from veterans and an Afghan journalist.

Mast emphasized US investigations into these reprisals. Despite the Taliban’s amnesty declaration in 2021, over 200 former Afghan soldiers and officials have been killed extrajudicially.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported 800 serious human rights violations since the Taliban’s takeover, including arrests, detentions, torture, and disappearances.

Due to security concerns, potential Taliban reprisals, and economic challenges, numerous former Afghan security staff have fled to neighboring countries.