Tajikistan honours Lion of Panjshir Ahmad Shah Massoud after two decades

The award comes just days after American soldiers left, and fuels speculation that Tajikistan will support the resistance being led by Ahmad Shah Massoud's son along with former Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh.
Afghans carry a wreath of flowers during a ceremony commemorating the 11th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Kabul.(AP File Photo)
Afghans carry a wreath of flowers during a ceremony commemorating the 11th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Kabul.(AP File Photo)
Published on Sep 02, 2021 08:07 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

In a significant development, Tajikistan on Thursday awarded the country's highest distinction to former Afghan defence minister Ahmad Shah Massoud and former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Massoud was known as the Lion of Panjshir and led the strongest resistance against the Taliban from his stronghold in the valley until he was assassinated two days before 9/11.

His son Ahmad Massoud is currently leading the resistance against Taliban along with former vice president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh and former defence minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi in Panjshir valley. Panjshir is separated from Tajikistan by Badakhshan province where Tajiks and Uzbeks are a majority rather than Pashtuns, who form the core of the Taliban.

This is the only region which was not captured by the Soviets or the Taliban in the 1980 and 1990s.

Rabbani, meanwhile, served as the political head of the Northern Alliance, when it took on the Taliban in the 1990s.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon issued the decree awarding the Order of Ismoili Somoni 1st Class on both the leaders posthumously. According to the president's official website, the award has been given to Massoud and Rabbani "for their assistance and mediation in organising inter-Tajik peace negotiations in 1993-1996". The honour is a recognition of the role the two leaders played in ending the civil war in Tajikistan.

The Order of Ismoili Somoni signed by Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon
The Order of Ismoili Somoni signed by Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon


The website also said that the decrees have been issued as Tajikistan marks 30 years of its independence on September 9, 2021.

The award comes just days after American soldiers left, and fuels speculation that Tajikistan will support the resistance being led by Ahmad Massoud and Saleh.

Saleh is a Tajik and fought with Massoud's father as he took on the Taliban. After the US' withdrawal, Saleh said that he will not betray his mentor and vowed to continue fighting Taliban.

The Order of Ismoili Somoni is Tajikistan's highest distinction. It is named after Isma'il ibn Ahmad, the ruler of the Samanid dynasty, also known as Ismoili Somoni.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The site where the blast took place in Pakistan's Karachi. 

    7 injured in blast near New Memon Mosque in Pakistan's Karachi

    At least seven people were injured after a blast took place near the New Memon Mosque in Karachi's Kharadar area, Pakistan website Dawn reported. According to footage aired on several Pakistan TV channels, vehicles suffered damages due to the blast. Around 10 injured were brought to the medical facility at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, the website reported.

  • Elisabeth Borne has served as Labor Minister in Macron’s previous government since 2020.

    Elisabeth Borne is new French prime minister, second woman to hold top post

    Elisabeth Borne was appointed France's new prime minister on Monday to become the second woman to hold the post in the country. Borne, 61, succeeds Jean Castex, whose resignation was expected after President Emmanuel Macron's re-election last month. Macron and Borne are expected to appoint the full government in the coming days. Borne is the second woman to hold the position after Edith Cresson, who was prime minister in 1991-1992 under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

  • A local resident walks along an empty street with residential buildings damaged by a military strike in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine. (File image)

    Russian shelling kills 10 civilians in Ukraine's Sievierodonetsk

    At least 10 civilians were killed by Russian shelling of the city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. The governor of the Luhansk region, Gaidai, had said earlier on Monday that heavy shelling had caused fires in residential areas.

  • This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

    Ukraine war: Russia agrees to evacuate wounded soldiers from Azovstal plant

    Russia on Monday said there was an agreement to evacuate wounded Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. "An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded," news agency Reuters quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying in a statement. Russia attacked the port city of Mariupol – which it now claims to controls – for nearly two months.

  • Most deaths in the United States happened in urban areas, but rural places — where opposition to masks and vaccinations tends to run high — paid a heavy price at times.

    US deaths from Covid hit 1 million, less than 2 ½ years into the pandemic

    The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 16, 2022