BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Afghans mourn slain vice-president
Qadir coffin Kabul
Qadir was shot dead on Saturday
Afghanistan is holding a national day of mourning for the Vice President, Haji Abdul Qadir, who was assassinated in Kabul on Saturday.


This is a black day for us

Kabul resident Ibrahim
Flags are flying at half mast across the country, and mosques are holding prayer services as a mark of respect for the Pashtun leader.

Mr Qadir was shot dead in his car, along with his son-in-law. Twelve people have been arrested, including 10 security guards.

While it is still not known who carried out the killing, correspondents say Mr Qadir's death highlights concerns about whether the government can impose order on a country that has spent more than two decades engaged in war and civil conflict.

Reports from the Afghan capital say traffic is light although most shops and markets are expected to remain open.

'Black day'

"This is a sad day of remembrance for a great man and a hero of Afghanistan," a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

Haji Abdul Qadir
Qadir was the most powerful Pashtun after Hamid Karzai

"This is a black day for us...," the Associated Press quoted Ibrahim, a Kabul resident, as saying.

"Qadir was a good man and we'll pray today that he goes to heaven," he said.

On Monday the international security force (ISAF) in Afghanistan agreed to join the investigation into Mr Qadir's death, following a request from President Karzai.

The investigation is being spearheaded by a five-man commission comprising ministers, ex-ministers and the head of the intelligence.

But the BBC's Kate Clark in Kabul says finding the assassins will not be easy.

Eye-witnesses

It is five months since the Minister for Civil Aviation was stabbed to death in front of scores of witnesses at Kabul airport, but no one has been charged.


Qadir was a good man and we'll pray today that he goes to heaven

Kabul resident
And the murder of Mr Qadir looks like being a more difficult case.

But one of the commission members, Haji Mangal Hussein, said they did have eye-witnesses, and at least one man who said he would recognise the assassins if he saw them again.

The commander of ISAF, Major General Hilmi Akin Zorlu, said his soldiers were on high alert in the capital to prevent any further attacks.

"It is vital to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice as soon as possible and ISAF will donate every resource required to achieve it," he said.

Powerful leader

Qadir was a powerful military and political figure with vast business interests in the east of Afghanistan.

Afghan police in Kabul
The killing has added to insecurity in Kabul

An old mujahideen commander who fought against the Taleban, he was also suspected by Western diplomats of making money out of the heroin trade.

He first achieved fame during the war against the Soviets in the 1980s.

Having made his money exporting goods to Pakistan, he was the first Afghan host to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, letting him use a network of caves in the east after he left Sudan.

He went on to become one of the few prominent Pashtuns to join the Tajik and Uzbek-dominated Northern Alliance which fought the Taleban.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Kate Clark
"Flags have been flown at half mast"

Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

30 Nov 01 | South Asia
06 Jul 02 | South Asia
07 Jul 02 | South Asia
Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes