Monday, September 24, 2012

Ahmad Shah Massoud - The Man Behind The Legend

Ahmad Shah Massoud : احمد شاه مسعود Aḥmad Šāh Mas'ūd; September 2, 1953 – September 9, 2001, was a military and political leader in Afghanistan known as the "Lion of Panjshir" (شیر پنجشیر). His role as a central leader against the Soviet in
vasion and occupation of Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 made the Wall Street Journal name Massoud "the Afghan who won the Cold War" following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989

In 1992, as militia leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was placing Afghanistan's capital Kabul under heavy bombardment, Massoud was appointed to the post of Minister of Defense by the peace and power-sharing agreement Peshawar Accord. Following the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in 1996, Massoud served as the main anti-Taliban and anti-Al Qaeda resistance leader providing shelter to over 400,000 internal Afghan refugees. He united the different ethnicities of Afghanistan in the multiethnic United Islamic Front (also known as Northern Alliance) and played a major part in the so-called Rome process which put into effect an even wider alliance against the Taliban and sought to find a peaceful post-Taliban solution for Afghanistan. In 1997, he helped end the civil war in neighboring Tajikistan urging parties to accept a United Nations peace plan

In 2001, Massoud issued several warnings that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale terrorist attack against the United States being imminent

Massoud was assassinated in Afghanistan's Takhar Province by two Arab suicide bombers, allegedly belonging to Al-Qaeda, on September 9, 2001, two days before the attacks of September 11 that caused the US and NATO to invade Afghanistan, allying themselves with the United Front. His earlier effort, together with the most senior leaders of Afghanistan's ethnicities, at forging a wide coalition across political and ethnic factions was instrumental in preparing the ground for the ultimate overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and the establishment of a multiethnic government. His followers call him Āmir Sāhib-e Shahīd ("Our Beloved Martyred Commander"). Massoud was posthumously named "National Hero of Afghanistan" by order of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The date of his death, September 9, is observed as a national holiday known as "Massoud Day" in Afghanistan

In 2002, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

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