By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Was it a genuine gesture of national reconciliation, or a barely concealed mockery of US meddling in Afghanistan?
Whatever way one were to interpret it, the recent visit by the Afghan National Security Adviser to the graves of two diametrically opposed political figures in two different cities of the country was an open slap on the face of the Americans who are scheming to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban militants.
Hamidullah Mohib, who recently conveyed President Ashraf Ghani’s protest to the Donald Trump administration for its cutting out the Afghan government from the direct US-Taliban negotiations in Doha, Qatar, took time during the Eid ul-Fitr holidays to visit the grave in Gardez of Mohammed Najibullah, the country’s Soviet-backed president from 1987-to-1992, and then the grave in Panjshir Valley of the "Lion of Panjshir” Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Defence Minister in the post-communist government of President Burhan od-Din Rabbani.
It was the first formal visit to the grave of a resented relic of the dark communist past of Soviet era Afghanistan by a senior Afghan government official.
It should be recalled that in 1996 following the fall of the Rabbani government and the withdrawal of Shah Massoud from the capital, the Taliban, supported by the US and Saudi Arabia, had violated the diplomatic immunity of the UN office in Kabul, where Najibullah and his brother had taken asylum since 1992.
To the horror of the civilized world the two ethnic Pashtun brothers who had refused the offer by influential Tajiks of safe passage to asylum in India and erred in expecting some sort of ‘Islamic’ clemency from fellow Pashtun Taliban, were brutally beaten, dragged behind a jeep, castrated, shot, and then strung up from a traffic light pole outside the presidential palace.
Five years later in September 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud, who as Leader of the mostly Tajik Northern Alliance was leading the liberation struggle against the Taliban, was killed in Panjshir in a cowardly manner by terrorists of the CIA-backed al-Qa’eda outfit disguised as journalists.
It was clear from Hamidullah Mohib’s tweet and the photographs he released on the social media that he wanted the Afghan people and the world to know the purpose of his visit to the graveyards in Gardez and Panjshir.
The Afghan National Security Adviser, whose meetings are boycotted by US officials following his recent criticism of Washington for "delegitimizing” the Afghan government by excluding it from the negotiations in Qatar, and who has charged Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy to Afghanistan, of seeking to become a "viceroy”, tweeted:
"During Eid, I visited the tombs of two historical figures in our country, with whom my family had differing views in the past. However, bringing real peace depends on tolerance, and overcoming predetermined classifications.”
Mohib, an ethnic Pashtun himself who until 2018 had served as the Afghan ambassador to the US, said in a second tweet: "Today’s Afghanistan is made up of different beliefs that used to be antagonistic to each other, but today all work under one system, one flag and one Afghanistan.”
This indicates that national reconciliation is the need of the hour in Afghanistan as was recently demonstrated by the agreement to share cabinet posts in the new government by President Ghani and his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah – a closed associate of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud.
It also indicated the deep distrust of both the US and the Taliban by the majority of Afghan people, whatever their ethnicity, political affiliations, and religious denominations.
Mohib’s visit to the graves of the two diametrically opposed figures, thus carries a message for multiple audiences — for the Taliban, whose agreement with the US has thrown the country into another cycle of violent uncertainty; for the Tajiks who fear a fresh Pashtun takeover; for the Hazaras and other Shi’a Muslims who are the frequent victims of terrorist attacks by takfiri elements; and for the turncoat ethnic Pashtun Khalilzad, who motivated by his slavish attitude to the US unsuccessfully ran for the Afghan presidency in both the 2009 and 2014 elections.
Najibullah’s daughter, Muska, who lives in exile in India, captured some of the irony in her own tweet, titled "The Khalilzad Strategy” on the American way to distract the world from a failed peace deal in Afghanistan by trying to create a regional mess.