Hashmat’s assassination widely condemned
KABUL (Pajhwok): The assassination of President Hamid Karzai’s cousin Hashmat Khalil Karzai in a suicide bomb attack at his home in southern Kandahar province a day earlier has been widely condemned.
Hashmat Karzai, who was an elected member of the Kandahar provincial council and a key member of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s campaign team, was killed before noon on Tuesday by a suicide bomber posing as guest.
Local officials in Kandahar said the attacker appeared to be 16-years-old, who was among the guests attending an Eidul Fitr event hosted by Hashmat Khalil at his heavily fortified residence near Kandahar City.
No group, including the Taliban, has so far claimed responsibility for the killing of Hashmat Khalil.
Dawat-i-Islami party leader and former jihadi commander Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf expressed his grief over the killing of Hashmat in a statement.
“The perpetrators of this assassination plot may face the wrath of God. I once again insist the spree of misfortunes will continue until Shariah is not imposed on these criminals.”
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal called the killing of Hashmat Karzai a huge loss to the nation and extended his condolences to the family of Karzai.
In his condolence message, Kandahar Governor Tooryalai Weesa expressed his grief and sorrow over the incident. “Today, Kandahar is witness to another big tragedy and all Kandaharis are in shock and distress. A leading provincial council candidate Hashmat Khalil Karzai has been martyred.”
The statement further said such activities on the part of the enemies of Afghanistan were no longer tolerable to the nation.
“Such acts by the enemies of the country, which result into martyrdom of Afghans and their leaders on a daily basis, have no place in Islam and humanity. They (enemies) are not only keeping enmity with the Afghan government but also with the nation by shedding the blood of the innocent. With their acts, they show their barbarism to the Afghans.”
The Kandahar governor’s office said the murder of Hashmat Khalil Karzai was a huge loss for Afghanistan and particularly for Kandahar. The tribes living in Kandahar would remember forever the untiring efforts by Hashmat Karzai for the development, peace and stability in the country and particularly in Kandahar, the statement said.
Paktia governor and presidential advisor Juma Khan Hamdard said Hashmat Khalil Karzai was the real son of the soil. He said the death of Hashmat was a huge loss for the country and they were shocked by his death.
His Khost counterpart Abul Jabbar Naeemi condemned the assassination of Hashmat Karzai in a statement issued by his office.
“The Khost governor’s house strongly condemns the barbaric attack as the handiwork of the enemies of Islam, the nation, peace and stability.”
It said those killing innocent people inside mosques and other places and planting mines on roads were obvious enemies of Islam.
“The attack on Hashmat Khalil Karzai on the sacred occasion of Eidul Fitr was a cruel and cowardly act. Such acts are the job of those working on anti-Islam and anti-humanity polices.”
Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) chief Abdul Khaliq Farahi called the attack far from all moral and Afghan values. He urged security organs to thoroughly investigate the incident and give special attention to the security of national figures.
In his message, Farahi said: “It was heartbreaking news. The enemy has always tried to do away with centuries-old national structure by killing influential tribal elders in order to create the environment of distrust between the people and the government.”
Zabul governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasiri also condemned the killing of Hashmat Khalil, saying the vacuum created with his death could not be filled. He said Hashmat was a leading tribal elder and businessman.
“I wish a chosen place in the Heaven for Shaheed Hashmat Khan Karzai and a shameful life in this world and a painful punishment hereafter for those who orchestrated his assassination.”
British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Richard Stagg strongly condemned the killing of Hashmat Khalil Karzai and expressed his sorrow and grief. He said like so many Afghans, the joys of Eidul Fitr were taken away from the family of Hashmat Khalil.
He said the killers of Khalil wanted to shatter the hopes of Afghan for a peaceful transition of power. Stagg offered his condolences to the entire family of Hamid Karzai.
US envoy James B. Cunningham strongly condemned the killing of Hashmat Karzai in a statement released by US Embassy in Kabul.
“US Ambassador James B. Cunningham condemns in the strongest terms the brutal attack in Kandahar today that killed Hashmat Karzai in his home.”
“The US Embassy offers its sincerest condolences to the President and his family in this time of tragedy, and our prayers are with them.”
“The perpetrators of the attack must be apprehended and brought to justice,” the statement said, adding that the US stood with the Afghan people to advance their right to freedom and prosperity.
Hashmat Khalil Karzai was a key member of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s campaign team and wielded strong influence in Kandahar after Ahmad Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Wali Karzai was shot dead by his guard inside his residence in July 2011 and the Taliban had claimed credit for his murder. However, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the assassination of Hashmat Karzai.
Hours before his murder, Hashmat Khalil Karzai wrote on his Facebook page condolences to the families who lost their relatives in violence.
On the first day of Eidul Fitr, Hashmat wrote: “I congratulate all Afghans on the observance of Eidul Fitr and pray to Allah Almighty to accept your prayers and worships.”
“I pray to Allah to award Heaven to all those martyred and patience to their families. I share the grief of all the bereaved families. I urge Allah to bring peace and a judicious system to Afghanistan with the grace of Eidul Fitr.”
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