Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures some governments, policy makers and human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, the group works on behalf of refugees, children and political prisoners. Human Rights Watch in 1997 shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, it played a leading role in the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions; the organization's annual expenses totaled $50.6 million in 2011 and $69.2 million in 2014, $75.5 million in 2017. Human Rights Watch was co-founded by Robert L. Bernstein and Aryeh Neier as a private American NGO in 1978, under the name Helsinki Watch, to monitor the then-Soviet Union's compliance with the Helsinki Accords. Helsinki Watch adopted a practice of publicly "naming and shaming" abusive governments through media coverage and through direct exchanges with policymakers.
By shining the international spotlight on human rights violations in the Soviet Union and its European partners, Helsinki Watch says it contributed to the democratic transformations of the region in the late 1980s. Americas Watch was founded in 1981. Relying on extensive on-the-ground fact-finding, Americas Watch not only addressed perceived abuses by government forces but applied international humanitarian law to investigate and expose war crimes by rebel groups. In addition to raising its concerns in the affected countries, Americas Watch examined the role played by foreign governments the United States government, in providing military and political support to abusive regimes. Asia Watch, Africa Watch, Middle East Watch were added to what was known as "The Watch Committees". In 1988, all of these committees were united under one umbrella to form Human Rights Watch. Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch opposes violations of what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR.
This includes capital discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. HRW advocates freedoms in connection with fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion and freedom of the press. HRW seeks to achieve change by publicly pressuring governments and their policy makers to curb human rights abuses, by convincing more powerful governments to use their influence on governments that violate human rights. Human Rights Watch publishes research reports on violations of international human rights norms as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it perceives to be other internationally accepted, human-rights norms; these reports are used as the basis for drawing international attention to abuses and pressuring governments and international organizations to reform. Researchers conduct fact-finding missions to investigate suspect situations using diplomacy, staying in touch with victims, making files about public and individuals, providing required security for them in critical situations and in a proper time generate coverage in local and international media.
Issues raised by Human Rights Watch in its reports include social and gender discrimination, military use of children, political corruption, abuses in criminal justice systems, the legalization of abortion. HRW has documented and reported various violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law. Human Rights Watch supports writers worldwide, who are being persecuted for their work and are in need of financial assistance; the Hellman/Hammett grants are financed by the estate of the playwright Lillian Hellman in funds set up in her name and that of her long-time companion, the novelist Dashiell Hammett. In addition to providing financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants help raise international awareness of activists who are being silenced for speaking out in defense of human rights; each year, Human Rights Watch presents the Human Rights Defenders Award to activists around the world who demonstrate leadership and courage in defending human rights. The award winners work with HRW in investigating and exposing human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch was one of six international NGOs that founded the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in 1998. It is the co-chair of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a global coalition of civil society groups that lobbied to introduce the Ottawa Treaty, a treaty that prohibits the use of anti-personnel landmines. Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organizations that monitor censorship worldwide, it co-founded the Cluster Munition Coalition, which brought about an international convention banning the weapons. HRW employs more than 275 staff—country experts, lawyers and academics – and operates in more than 90 countries around the world. Headquartered in New York City, it has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Washington, D. C. and Zürich. HRW maintains direct access to the majority of countries. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are among the handful of countries that have blocked access for HRW staff members.
The current executive director of HRW is Kenneth Roth, who has held the position since 1993. Roth conducted investigations on abuses in Poland after martial law was declared 1981, he focused on Haiti, which had just emerged from the Duvalier dictatorship but continued to be plagued wi
Mir Yazdanbakhsh of Kharzar was a chieftain of the Hazara people in the Hazarajat of central Afghanistan in the 19th century. Son of Mir Wali Beg, he was born in 1790, he expelled Mir Muhammad Shah after his father was assassinated by a minor chief. He consolidated his power to become undisputed chief of the Hazaras. Yazdanbakhsh was a powerful figure in Behsud, who controlled the Shibar and Hajikak passes into Bamiyan, his great power imprisoned him. Yazdanbakhsh managed to escape, or pay a ransom, returned to Behsud, where he continued to control the Bamiyan routes and submit revenues to Kabul, he was assassinated in Bamiyan. Christine Noelle. State and tribe in nineteenth-century Afghanistan: the reign of Amir Dost Muhammad Khan. Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-7007-0629-1, ISBN 978-0-7007-0629-7
Mazār-i-Sharīf called Mazār-e Sharīf, or just Mazar, is the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan, with a 2015 UN–Habitat population estimate 427,600. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by highways with Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the southeast, Herat in the west and Termez in Uzbekistan in the north, it is about 55 km from the Uzbek border. The city serves as one of the many tourist attractions because of its famous shrines as well as the Islamic and Hellenistic archeological sites; the ancient city of Balkh is nearby. The name Mazar-i-Sharif means "Tomb of the Prince", a reference to the large, blue-tiled sanctuary and mosque in the center of the city known as the Shrine of Ali or the Blue Mosque; some people believe that the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, is at this mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, after Ali's remains were transferred to Mazar-i-Sharif as per request of Ja'far as-Sadiq. This is however rejected by other Muslims, as the majority believe he is buried in Iraq.
The region around Mazar-i-Sharif has been part of Greater Khorasan and was controlled by the Tahirids followed by the Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ilkhanates and Khanate of Bukhara until the mid-18th century when it became part of the Durrani Empire after a friendship treaty was signed between emirs Murad Beg and Ahmad Shah Durrani. Mazar-i-Sharif is known for the famous Afghan song Bia ke berem ba Mazar by Sarban. Mazar-i-Sharif is the regional hub of northern Afghanistan, located in close proximity to both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, it is home to an international airport. It has the highest percentage of built-up land of all the Afghan provincial capitals, it has additional built-up area extending beyond the municipal boundary but forming a part of the larger urban area, it is the lowest-lying major city in the country, about 357 metres above sea level. The city was spared of the devastation that occurred in the country's other large cities during the Soviet–Afghan War and subsequent civil war, is today regarded one of the safest cities in the country.
The region around Mazar-i-Sharif has been part of Greater Khorasan and was controlled by the Tahirids followed by the Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ilkhanates and Khanate of Bukhara. According to tradition, the city of Mazar-i-Sharif owes its existence to a dream. At the beginning of the 12th century, a local mullah had a dream in which the 7th century Ali bin Abi Talib and son-in-law of Muhammad, appeared to reveal that he had been secretly buried near the city of Balkh; the famous Jalal al-Din Rumi was born in this area but like many historical figures his exact location of birth cannot be confirmed. His father Baha' Walad was descended from the first caliph Abu Bakr and was influenced by the ideas of Ahmad Ghazali, brother of the famous philosopher. Baha' Walad's sermons were published and still exist as Divine Sciences. Rumi completed six books of mystical poetry and tales called Masnavi before he died in 1273. After conducting researches in the 12th century, the Seljuk sultan Ahmed Sanjar ordered a city and shrine to be built on the location, where it stood until its destruction by Genghis Khan and his Mongol army in the 13th century.
Although rebuilt, Mazar stood in the shadow of its neighbor Balkh. During the nineteenth century, due to the absence of drainage systems and the weak economy of the region, the excess water of this area flooded many acres of the land in the vicinity of residential areas causing a malaria epidemic in the region, thus the ruler of North Central Afghanistan decided to shift the capital of the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The Mazar-i-Sharif means "the noble shrine"; this name represents the Blue Mosque, known to be the grave of Ali. The city along with the region south of the Amu Darya became part of the Durrani Empire in around 1750 after a treaty of friendship was reached between Mohammad Murad Beg and Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founding father of Afghanistan. In the late 1870s, Emir Sher Ali Khan ruled the area from his Tashkurgan Palace in Mazar-i Sharif; this northern part of Afghanistan was un-visited by the British-led Indian forces during the Anglo-Afghan wars of the 19th century. During the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War, Mazar-i-Sharif was a strategic base for the Soviet Army as they used its airport to launch air strikes on mujahideen rebels.
Mazar-i-Sharif was the main city that linked to Soviet territory in the north the roads leading to the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. As a garrison for the Soviet-backed Afghan Army, the city was under the command of General Abdul Rashid Dostum. Mujahideen militias Hezbe Wahdat and Jamiat-e Islami both attempted to contest the city but were repelled by the Army. Dostum mutinied against Mohammad Najibullah's government on March 19, 1992, shortly before its collapse, formed his new party and militia, Junbish-e Milli; the party took over the city the next day. Afterwards Mazar-i-Sharif became the de facto capital of a stable and secular proto-state in northern Afghanistan under the rule of Dostum; the city remained peaceful and prosperous, whilst rest of the nation disintegrated and was taken over by fundamentalist Taliban forces. The city was called at the time a "glittering jewel in Afghanistan's battered crown". Money rolled in from foreign donors Russia, newly independent Uzbekistan and others, with whom Dostum had established close relations.
He established his own airline. This peace was shattered in May 1997 when he was betrayed by one of his generals, warlord Abdul M
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
Ghazni known as Ghaznin or Ghazna, is a city in central Afghanistan with a population of around 270,000 people. The city is strategically located along Highway 1, which has served as the main road between Kabul and southern Afghanistan for thousands of years. Situated on a plateau at 2,219 metres above sea level, the city is 150 km south of Kabul and serves as the capital of Ghazni Province. Ghazni is an ancient city with a rich history. Ghazni Citadel, the Minarets of Ghazni, the Palace of Sultan Mas'ud III and several other cultural heritage sites have brought travellers and archeologists to the city for centuries, in 2013, ISESCO declared Ghazni the year's Islamic Capital of Culture. During the pre-Islamic period, the area was inhabited by various tribes who practiced different religions including Buddhism and Hinduism. Arab Muslims introduced Islam to Ghazni in the 7th century and were followed in the 9th century by the Saffarids. Sabuktigin made Ghazni the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century.
The city was destroyed by one of the Ghurid rulers, but rebuilt. It fell to a number of regional powers, including the Timurids and the Delhi Sultanate, until it became part of the Hotaki dynasty, followed by the Durrani Empire or modern Afghanistan. During the First Anglo-Afghan War in the 19th century, Ghazni was destroyed by British-Indian forces; the city is being rebuilt by the Government of Afghanistan in remembrance of the Ghaznavid and Timurid era when it served as a major center of Islamic civilisation. The Afghan National Security Forces have established bases and check-points to deal with the Taliban insurgency. Ghazni is a transit hub in central Afghanistan. Agriculture is the dominant land use at 28%. In terms of built-up land area, vacant plots outweigh residential area. Districts 3 and 4 have large institutional areas; the city of Ghazni's population surged from 143,379 in 2015 to 270,000 in 2018 as refugees from violent areas fled to the city. The city covers a total land area of 3,330 hectares.
The total number of dwellings in Ghazni city is 15,931. In 2013, ISESCO declared Ghazni the year's Islamic Capital of Culture. In August 2018, the city became of the site of the Battle of Ghazni; the city was founded some time in antiquity as a small market town. It may be the Gazaca mentioned by Ptolemy, although he may have conflated it and the town of Ganzak in Iran. In the 6th century BC, it was conquered by the Achaemenid king Cyrus II and incorporated into the Persian empire; the city was subsequently incorporated into the empire of Alexander the Great in 329 BC, called Alexandria in Opiana. By the 7th century AD, the area was a major centre of Buddhism. In 644, the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited a city named Jaguda—which was certainly the contemporary name of the Ghazni – while returning from Varnu —and as he crossed the land of a people he called O-po-kien. In 683, Arab armies brought Islam to the region. Yaqub Saffari from Zaranj conquered the city in the late 9th century. For nearly two hundred years the city was the dazzling capital of the Ghaznavid Empire, which encompassed much of what is today Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eastern Iran and Rajasthan.
The Ghaznavids took Islam to India and returned with fabulous riches taken from Indian princes and temples. Although the city was sacked in 1151 by the Ghorid Ala'uddin, it became their secondary capital in 1173, subsequently flourished once again. Between 1215 and 1221, Ghazni was ruled by the Khwarezmid Empire, during which time it was destroyed by the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan's son Ögedei Khan. In the first decades of the 11th century, Ghazni was the most important centre of Persian literature; this was the result of the cultural policy of the Sultan Mahmud, who assembled a circle of scholars and poets around his throne in support of his claim to royal status in Iran. The noted Moroccan travelling scholar, Ibn Battuta, visiting Ghazni in 1333, wrote: Ghazni City is famous for its Ghazni Minarets built on a stellar plan, they date from the middle of the twelfth century and are the surviving elements of the mosque of Bahramshah. Their sides are decorated with intricate geometric patterns.
Some of the upper sections of the minarets have been destroyed. The most important mausoleum located in Ghazni City is that of Sultan Mahmud. Others include the Tombs such as the Tomb of Al Biruni; the only ruins in Old Ghazni retaining a semblance of architectural form are two towers, about 43 m high and 365 m apart. According to inscriptions, the towers were constructed by Mahmud of his son. For more than eight centuries the “Towers of Victory” monuments to Afghanistan’s greatest empire have survived wars and invasions, the two toffee-colored minarets, adorned with terra-cotta tiles were raised in the early 12th century as monuments to the victories of the Afghan armies that built the empire. By the time the Ghurids had finalized the Ghaznavid removal from Ghazni, the city was a cultural center of the eastern Islamic world; the Buddhist site at Ghazni is known as Tapar Sardar and consists of a stupa on a hilltop, surrounded by a row of smaller stupas. Nearby, an 18-metre long Parinirvana Buddha was excavated between early 1970s.
It is believed to have been built in the 8th Century AD as part of a monastery complex. In the 1980s, a mud brick shelter was created to protect the sculpture, but the wood supports were stolen for firewood and the shelter collaps
Bamyan is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. With an altitude of about 2,550 m and a population of about 100,000, Bamyan is the largest town in the central Afghanistan region of Hazarajat, lies 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. In 2008, Bamyan was found to be the home of the world's oldest oil paintings; the city of Bamyan has a population of 100,000. It has a total land area of 3,539 hectares; the total number of dwellings in this city are 4,435. The Bamiyan valley marked the most westerly point of Buddhist expansion and was a crucial hub of trade for much of the second millennium CE, it was a place where East met West and its archaeology reveals a blend of Greek, Persian and Indian influence. The valley is one of Afghanistan's most touristic places. Bamyan City joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a Crafts and Folk Art city in 2017. Situated on the ancient Silk Route, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China and the Middle East passed through it.
The Hunas made it their capital in the 5th century. Because of the cliff of the Buddhas, the ruins of the Monk's caves, Shahr-e Gholghola, its local scenery, it is one of the most visited places in Afghanistan; the Shahr-e Zuhak mound ten miles south of the valley is the site of a citadel that guarded the city, the ruins of an acropolis could be found there as as the 1990s. The town is the cultural center of the Hazara ethnic group of Afghanistan. Most of the population lives in downtown Bamyan; the valley is cradled between the parallel mountain ranges of the Koh-i-Baba. Bamyan is a small town with a bazaar at its center, it has no infrastructure of gas, or water supplies. According to Sister Cities International, Bamyan has established a sister city relationship with Gering, United States, it has an airport with a gravel runway. Mountains cover ninety percent of the province, the cold, long winter, lasting for six months, brings temperatures of three to twenty degrees Celsius below zero. Daizangi Hazara people live in the area.
Transportation facilities are increasing, but sparse. Notably Bamyan is now connected by road through Maidan Wardak; the connection between Maidan Shar and Bamyan – 136 km long – makes it possible to reach Kabul in a 2-hour drive. The connection is completed missing just 15 km of paving The main crops are wheat, barley and baquli, grown in spring; when crops are damaged by unusually harsh weather, residents herd their livestock down to Ghazni and Maidan provinces to exchange for food. The city and the province are served by Bamyan Airport. A new airport has been completed in 2015 with an asphalt runway; the project was funded by the Japanese Government and carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services. Bamyan's climate is transitional between cold arid and semi-arid, with cold winters and warm, dry summers. Precipitation falls in late winter and spring; the city of Bamyan was part of the Buddhist Kushan Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. After the Kushan Empire fell to the Sassanids, Bamyan became part of the Kushansha, vassals to the Sassanids.
The Hephthalites conquered Bamyan in the 5th century. After their Khanate was destroyed by the Sassanids and Turks in 565, Bamyan became the capital of the small Kushano-Hephthalite kingdom until 870, when it was conquered by the Saffarids; the area was conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. In 1221 the city and its population were wiped out by Genghis Khan; the Qarlughids established their capital in the city soon thereafter. The first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft about 1824. During 1998–2001, Bamyan has been the center of combat between Taliban forces and the anti-Taliban alliance. Bamyan is known as the capital of Daizangi. On the cliff face of a mountain nearby, three colossal statues were carved 4,000 feet apart. One of them was 175 feet high standing statue of the world's tallest; the ancient statue was carved during the Kushan period in the fifth century. The statues were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam though they were left intact by Muslim rulers for 1200 years.
Limited efforts have been made to rebuild them, with negligible success. At one time, two thousand monks meditated in caves among the sandstone cliffs; the caves were a big tourist attraction before the long series of wars in Afghanistan. The world's earliest oil paintings have been discovered in caves behind the destroyed statues. Scientists from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility have confirmed that the oil paintings of either walnut or poppy seed oil, are present in 12 of the 50 caves dating from the 5th to 9th century; the murals have a white base layer of a lead compound, followed by an upper layer of natural or artificial pigments mixed with either resins or walnut or poppy seed drying oils. The paintings may be the work of artists who travelled on the Silk Road; the caves at the base of these statues were used by Taliban for storing weapons. After the Taliban were driven from the region, civilians made their homes in the caves. Afghan refugees escaped the persecution of the Taliban regime by hiding in caves in the Bamiyan valley.
These refugees discovered a f
Sayed Ismael Balkhi was one of the most prominent reformist leaders in 20th-century Afghanistan. An innovative poet and well-known mystic, charismatic political leader and untiring reformist. Sayed Ismael Balkhi was born on 1918 into a Sayed family of Hazara people in Balkhab district of Sar-e Pol province in Northern Afghanistan, he received early education in Afghanistan after which he traveled to Iraq for further studies in Islamic theology and jurisprudence. At the time when Balkhi left the country, the Afghan government did not provide enough opportunities to the Hazara people in order to get appropriate education in the country. Balkhi thus associated with the greater Hazara community. Balkhi was introduced to reformist movements popular at that time in the Middle East, he imported these intellectual enhancements to this motherland and started preaching it with a zeal unmatched in a country haunted by social ignorance and political isolation. A religious activist, Bakhi was concerned during the liberal late 1940s period of Afghanistan becoming a political radical.
In 1949, Balkhi plotted with at least five associates a coup d'etat against King Mohammad Zahir Shah. The plan was foiled, Balkhi spent fourteen years in prison under the charges of conspiring to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic; the dynamism of Balkhi's personality is that he got his education in an environment where clerics were either turned into radical revolutionaries like Khomeini and Khamenei or into self-absorbed mystics. He was an exception among all such individuals. Ismael Balkhi was a mystic. Balkhi believed in political change but he never embraced any terrorist ideology or internationalist approach, his patriotism and love for his country are evident in a number of poems he generated whilst in prison. Balkhi gave the Afghans a message of democracy, he preached individual liberty among fellow Hazaras. He taught, he might have had personality flaws like all other individuals of history but he is one of the flag-bearers of liberty and unity in Afghanistan. Tasnimnews.com/در «پگاه بیداری»؛ درک و دریافتی از اشعار علامه سید اسماعیل بلخی