Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud Lion of Panjshir Around noon on September 9, 2001, at a mountainous military base in Khwaja Baha-ud-din, northern Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the commander of the Northern Alliance, interviewed two North African Arab correspondents for an interview about their fight against the Taliban.
Suddenly, the TV camera picked up by “reporters” exploded with horrific power, instantly killing the al-Qaeda-affiliated journalists and injuring Massoud. His man “Panjshir’s lion” jumped on a jeep, hoping to take him to a hospital in a helicopter, but Massoud died just 15 minutes later on the road.
In this explosive moment, Afghanistan lost its tough power for a moderate type of Islamic government, and the Western world lost a valuable ally in the coming Afghanistan war. Afghanistan lost itself a great leader but gained a martyr and national hero.
Masood’s childhood and youth
Ahmad Shah Massoud was born on September 2, 1953, in an ethnic Tajik family in Bazak, Panjshir, Afghanistan. His father Dost Muhammad was a police commander in the bazaar.
When Ahmed Shah Massoud was in the third party, his father became police chief in Herat, northwestern Afghanistan. The boy was a talented student in elementary school and in his religious education. He eventually accepted a strong moderate Sunni Islam, in which the Sufis took hold.
Ahmad Shah Massoud attended high school in Kabul after transferring his father to the police force there. A skilled linguist, this young man fluent in Persian, French, Pashto, Hindi and Urdu and was fluent in English and Arabic.
As an engineering student at Kabul University, Massoud joined the Muslim Youth Organization (Szmazin and Young Men First Muslims), who opposed the communist government of Afghanistan and the growing Soviet influence in this country. of Afghanistan ousted and killed President Mohammed Daud Khan and his family in 1978, Ahmad Shah Massoud was deported to Pakistan, but soon returned to his native place in Panjshir and an army stood. Of
As the newly installed hardline Communist government raided the whole of Afghanistan, killing an estimated 100,000 civilians, the rebels armed with Masood and his poor fought for two months. However, in September 1979, his troops were out of ammunition, and Massoud, 25, was seriously injured in the leg. They were forced to surrender.
The leaders of the mujahedin against the USSR
. Ahmad Shah Massoud immediately devised a guerrilla war strategy against the Soviet Union (since a frontal attack on Afghan communists earlier this year failed). Masood’s guerrillas blocked the Soviet Union’s main route to the Salang Pass and stopped it in the 1980s.
Every year from 1980 to 1985, the Soviets made two widespread attacks against the position of Massoud, each attack being bigger than the last. Nevertheless, Masood’s 1,000 to 5,000 mujahideen repelled every attack against 30,000 Soviet troops, equipped with tanks, field artillery, and air support. This brave resistance called Ahmad Shah Massoud the “Lion of the Panjshir” (in Persian, the lion of Panjshir, literally “the lion of five lions”).
During this period, Ahmad Shah Massoud married his wife, Siddiqa. They had one son and four daughters, born between 1989 and 1998. Siddiqa Masood published a memorandum of her life with the commander in 2005 called “Por amour de Masud”.
Defeat the Soviets
In August 1986, Massoud launched his campaign to liberate northern Afghanistan from the Soviet Union. His forces seized the city of Farkhor, including a Soviet-based military base. In November 1986, Masud’s forces also defeated the 20th Division of the Afghan National Army in the canal of northeastern Afghanistan.
Ahmad Shah Massoud studied the military tactics of Chi Guevara and Mao Zedong. His guerrillas became a series of hit-and-run strike exercises against a superior force and captured large quantities of Soviet artillery and tanks.
On February 15, 1989, the Soviet Union withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan. This bloody and costly war will be a major help in the collapse of the Soviet Union over the next two years – thanks to a small part of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Mujahideen faction.
Outside observers expected the Communist regime in Kabul to end as soon as its Soviet patrons withdrew, but the fact remains that it lasted three more years. With the final collapse of the Soviet Union in early 1992, the power of the Communists collapsed. On April 17, 1992, a new alliance of northern military commanders, the Northern Alliance, ousted President Najibullah.
Minister of Defense
In the new Islamic state of Afghanistan born after the collapse of the Communists, Ahmad Shah Massoud became the Minister of Defense. However, his rival Gulbuddin Hekmatyar started bombing Kabul just a month after the new government was installed, with Pakistani support. When Uzbek-backed Abdul Rashid Dostum formed an anti-government alliance with Hekmatyar in early 1994, Afghanistan became a full-scale civil war.
Under various fighters, militants raided, looted, raped and killed civilians throughout the country. The atrocities were so widespread that a group of Islamic students in Kandahar formed out of control to oppose guerrilla fighters and protect the dignity and security of Afghan citizens. The group called itself the Taliban, which means “students.”
Northern Alliance Commander
As a defense minister, Ahmad Shah Massoud tried to involve the Taliban in discussions about democratic elections. However, Taliban leaders were not interested. With military and financial support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the Taliban seized Kabul and ousted the government on September 27, 1996. Massoud and his followers returned to northeastern Afghanistan, where they formed a northern alliance against the Taliban.
Although most former government leaders and Northern Alliance commanders took office in 1998, Ahmad Shah Massoud remained in Afghanistan. The Taliban tried to lure him into offering resistance by offering him the post of prime minister in his government, but he refused.
In early 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud once again suggested that the Taliban join them in support of the democratic elections. They again refused. Nevertheless, their position within Afghanistan was weakening. The common people did not like the Taliban’s actions, such as wearing women’s burqas, banning music and kites, and briefly cutting organs or publicly executing suspected criminals. Not only other ethnic groups, but also their own Pashtuns, were against the Taliban rule.
Nevertheless, the Taliban took control of power. They received support not only from Pakistan but also from Saudi Arabia, and offered asylum to Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda followers.
Massoud’s assassination and its aftermath
It was just as al-Qaeda activists made their way to Ahmed Shah Massoud’s base, disguising reporters, killing him with a suicide bomb on September 9, 2001. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban’s extremist alliance wanted to oust Massoud and weaken the Northern Alliance before striking the United States September 11.
Since the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Afghanistan has become a national hero. A tough fighter, yet a moderate and thoughtful man, he was the only leader who never fled the country with all his ups and downs. Immediately after his death, President Hamid Karzai honored him with the title “Hero of the Afghan Nation,” and many Afghans consider him a close relative.
In the West too Masood is highly respected, Although he is not as widely remembered as he should be he knows that he is the only person responsible for ending the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War. It’s more than Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev. Today, the Panjshir region controlled by Ahmad Shah Massoud is a peaceful, tolerant and stable region of war-torn Afghanistan.