Prominent Afghan politicians and mainstream Jihadi leaders including Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday gathered in Kabul to commemorate the 17th assassination anniversary of the country’s National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud.
The gathering which was held in the Loya Jirga tent in Kabul brought together politicians and Jihadi leaders who highlighted Massoud’s political legacy and spoke about the current challenges facing the Afghan people and the country in both security and on the peace process.
Speaking to participants at the gathering, President Ashraf Ghani’s Second Vice President Sarwar Danish touched on the issue of terrorism facing Afghanistan and said that the only way to overcome the crisis is for all Afghans to stand united against the trend.
“If Afghanistan wants to uphold the spirit of its martyr’s, unity is the way to do it,” Danish said, adding that “the enemies are targeting civilians and even their places of worship.”
He also said that the elections are the only way to resolve the crisis. He called on the nation to work with election commissions and to support them.
He said that “blaming government and putting all the pressure (on it) is not a logical solution.”
“Peace is the only way for the country to survive,” he added.
At the event, the CEO said that currently Afghan security forces are fighting against insurgents on three battlefields.
Abdullah criticized Massoud supporters for having fired shots into the air throughout the day.
He said that “creating disturbances in the city is equal to the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud for the second time – because Massoud was against such issues.”
“Massoud himself always acted against disorder in the country,” Abdullah said.
He said that Massoud talked to Taliban’s former leader Mullah Omar about peace talks and on ways to find a solution to the crisis in the country.
“Amir Sahib (Massoud) talked to the Taliban leader on the phone once, including his defense minister. In the conversation, Mullah Omar asked him to lay down arms, you (Massoud) are popular in Tajikistan and thus you can expand the Islamic Emirate over there, but Amir Sahib (Massoud) told Mullah Omar that it was not the solution,” said Abdullah.
Abdullah also stated that the demands by political parties which are legitimate should be addressed. He says Afghans want transparent elections.
Abdul Rasul Sayyaf also addressed the event and said the enemies of Afghanistan are trying to create ethnic division in country.
Sayyaf, a former Jihadi leader, said the Afghan nation will one day stand on its own feet and that it will take its revenge against countries interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs.
“Today we are enemies of each other,” he said.
On peace talks, Sayyaf said that “as serious as we were about Jihad at the time against the opposition, we are serious about this and hungry for peace. Peace is the order of Allah and we want peace but peace that maintains the dignity and history of this nation. Peace to end the war and a peace that does not divide Afghanistan.”
He said political parties are working on this and that they will soon share the details with the media.
On elections, he said: “there is no other way than elections to transfer the power in the country. We must not allow Afghanistan to go backwards, to 16 or 17 years ago. We will hold elections. Elections is a must and no one with any reason can daily the elections.”
Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated 17 years ago in a suicide bombing in Khajwa Bahawuddin district in Takhar by two terrorists posing as journalists.
Ahmad Shah Massoud, son of Colonel Dost Mohammad Khan, was born in Jangalak area in Panjshir district in September 1953.
He spent his childhood days in Panjshir and started school at the age of five. As a young boy he moved to Herat with his family and then to Kabul where he continued his studies.
Massoud enrolled at the Polytechnic University in Kabul in 1973 and at the same time received membership of the Nahzat Islami Afghanistan party. Two years later, in 1975, he led the first rebellion of Panjshir residents against the government of that time.