Marshal Fahim dies from illness
KABUL (Pajhwok): First-Vice president Field Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim died Sunday of natural causes, a presidential spokesman said.
Aimal Faizi wrote on tweet "with deep sadness, the first vice president, Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim has passed away. May his soul rest in peace.”
He said the government of Afghanistan has called for a three-day national mourning, during which the national flag will be half-hoisted for his demise.
President Karzai has expressed his deep grief and condolences to the nation and his family.
Karzai called Fahim a true patriot and said his death was "a huge loss for Afghanistan."
Fahim, an ally of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Northern Alliance commander, had also served as defense minister in Karzai's first administration.
Fahim fought against the Soviets and went on to battle against the Taliban before they were ousted in 2001.
The son of Maulvi Abdul Matin, Fahim was born in the Amraz area of central Panjsher province in 1958.
After completing his primary education in hometown, he was admitted to an Arabic Darul-ul-Uloom for Islamic studies in Kabul.
After the 1979 coup against former President Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan, he migrated to Pakistan and returned in 1980 to launch an armed struggle in the Shigal district of eastern Kunar province.
The following year in summer, he entered Panjsher valley and joined Ahmad Shah Massoud forces as the commander of the Mujahideen in the northern sector. He mobilised Mujahedeen in Panjsher and other parts of the country.
Fahim was Mujahedeen commander in the Andarab district of northern Baghlan province.
He had a significant role in mobilising Mujahedeen and used to travel to northeastern Baghlan, Takhar and Kunduz provinces in this regard.
In 1988, as a mujahideen commander in north of Kabul, he gained more ground against the Soviet army, advancing to Faryab, Jawzjan and Balkh provinces in 1990 and expanding and creating further solidarity among Shura-i-Nezar forces.
After Dr. Najibullah regime collapsed in 1993, Fahim entered Kabul leading Mujahedeen forces and was appointed head of the KHAD under interim president Sibghatullah Muhaddedi.
He continued to serve as the head of intelligence under president Burhanuddin Rabbani, even when the Taliban took the power over most provinces in the second half of the 90s.
After the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud in 2001, two days ahead of the 9/11 attacks, Fahim was confirmed the leader of Mujahideen resistance forces until Kabul was reclaimed with support from international troops in 2001.
Fahim was appointed as defence minister well as one of the five vice-chairmen after the new government was inaugurated in December, 2002.
In 2003, President Karzai confirmed Fahim would hold for life the rank of Marshal, Afghanistan's highest with all rights and privileges for his proactive role in the country’s independence.
After the emergency Loya Jirga, he was elected as first-vice president and minister of defence and was also honoured with the Ahmad Shah Baba Medal.
Marshal Fahim, who had survived many assassination attempts, was fluent in Dari, Pashtu and Arabic, but did not speak English. He left behind twelve children.
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