Abdul Qadir (Afghan leader)

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Abdul Qadir (1954-2002) was an Afghan, known for his work in government and business, as well as being the older brother of the late Abdul Haq. He was assassinated in 2002 while Vice President and Minister of Public Works in the government of Hamid Karzai, previously having been governor of Nangarhar.

Politics and peacemaking

When the Soviet-backed Mohammed Najibullah government fell, he became head of the ruling and consultative council in Jalalabad, and known as one of the mujahideen who avoided factionalism. He mediated among Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Ahmad Shah Massoud. A Pashtun, he was affiliated with the Hezb-e-Islami Khalis political party. It was suggested, however, that he was involved both in drug trade and drug suppression. He stayed in Jalalabad until the Taliban takeover in 1996. In exile in Germany, he took part in the 2001 Bonn Peace Conference that established the interim government under Karzai. [1]

Drug suppression

While governor, he told reporters, after raiding an opium market, "America and the rest of the international community told us flatly, 'Either you do this, or we won't give you the help that was promised at Tokyo.' 'We knew what we had to do,' he said, 'and now it's up to America and the rest of the world to keep their promises to us.'" [2] The raid was led by his son, Zahir, who was later one of the militia commanders at the Battle of Tora Bora.

His killing is believed more to have been more likely a matter of personal revenge than an act against the government. As governor, he had supported an unpopular government attempt to reduce the drug trade by eradicating opium crops. He had also made business enemies.[3] Those arrested shortly afterward included guards at his own ministry. [4]

References

  1. "Abdul Qadir: The Afghans' Pashtun Vice-President", Independent (UK), 9 July 2002
  2. John F. Burns (5 May 2002), "Afghan Warlords Squeeze Profits From the War on Drugs, Critics Say", New York Times
  3. Jason Burke (7 July 2002), "Minister's killing rocks Afghanistan", Guardian (UK)
  4. "12 Arrested In Connection With Minister's Assassination", UNWire, 8 July 2002