Ahmad Wali Karzai, Prisedent Hamid Karzai’s brother, is no more as he is shot dead in his house today in Kandahar. Ahmad Wali was one of the most powerful man in Southern Afghanistan. He will be remembered for his role as a power broker and a crucial pillar in Afghan politics. He has also been controversial and was blamed for drug smuggling and his strong relations with CIA. He and President Karzai has rejected these claims.
Talking to journalists in Kabul today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that his half brother’s assassination reflects the suffering of all Afghan people. Since the beginning of the war on terror in 2011, this was the first time Hamid Karzai has lost a very immediate family member. He said Wali’s death is a pain he shares with all Afghans.
The officials say the head of Kandahar’s Provincial Council was killed by a security official who was a regular visitor to Wali Karzai. Late Karzai was famous for his generous hospitality which may have helped the assassin reach him easily with weapon. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the killing and has said the murderer was one of them infiltrated in Wali Karzai’s long list of aids.
This was the third attempt on his life. In May 2009, insurgents ambushed his vehicles in eastern Nangarhar province. He escaped unharmed.
Just a couple of months before that the Taliban suicide bombers stormed Kandahar’s provincial council office, killing a dozen people in an assault that Ahmed Wali Karzai said was launched to kill him but he had already left the compound.
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Some may welcome his assassination because he was dubbed a dictator and someone who was the practical ruler of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul and Uruzgan—the southern provinces. However his death has left a huge security vacuum behind. International community has been working closely with him to bring the Taliban to negotiation table. With Wali Karzai’s death, the US has lost a close ally in a key region just before beginning to withdraw some 33,000 troops from Afghanistan. He was famous for solving problems and therefore was dubbed as “the trouble shooter” in Afghan political circle.
Wali Karzai’s death will not only sabotage the negotiations attempts with the Taliban and peace process but will also play as a moral boost for the insurgents who eye the foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is a huge blow to the US efforts of looking for political solutions to a war that has never been so difficult than today.
Ahmad Wali Karzai has left five children behind. His family friends say the youngest of his children is a month-old son who will never see his father.