Hashmat Karzai laid to rest
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): President Hamid Karzai’s cousin Hashmat Khalil Karzai was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in southern Kandahar province late on Tuesday night hours after he was assassinated by a suicide bomber at his residence.
Hashmat Karzai was hosting guests at his heavily fortified residence (Hashmat Qala) when a well-dressed suicide bomber, who had entered the venue among the guests, hugged Hashmat and blew up explosives hidden in his turban at 10am on Tuesday.
Hundreds of tribal elders, his brother Hikmat Khalil Karzai, President Karzai’s brothers Mahmood Karzai and Shah Wali Karzai, former Nangarhar governor Gul Agha Sherzai, deputy provincial governor Abdul Qayum Patyal and provincial council members attended Hashmat’s funeral prayers.
Patyal told Pajhwok Afghan News that the assassination of Hashmat Karzai was a big loss. He condemned the attack on Hashmat in strongest terms on the behalf of the provincial government. He said security organs were investigating the attack and details of the probe would be shared with the media once completed.
A number of tribal elders who talked to Pajhwok Afghan News called the assassination of Hashmat Khalil Karzai a huge loss and demanded serious investigation into the plot.
Kandahar provincial council member and tribal elder Haji Agha Lalai Dastagiri said Hashmat Khalil Karzai as a good human being and an influential elder had always been in the service of the people. He said the late Karzai would help the people resolve their problems.
Dastagiri said Khalil Karzai was a staunch supporter and campaign manager in Kandahar of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
He said Hashmat Khalil had won the most votes in Kandahar during the provincial council elections held on April 5. “Killing someone under the pretext of greeting him on the occasion of Eid is an unpardonable crime.”
Kandahar governor Tooryalai Weesa said Hashmat served as a defensive wall for Kandahar and his murder was highly condemnable.
A statement issued from the governor’s house said a 24-year-old person who hid explosives in his turban approached Hashmat Khalil and detonated the explosives as he hugged him. Another person was seriously injured in the blast.
“Such crimes by the enemies of Afghanistan, who have been shedding the blood of Afghans over the past 14 years, are no longer tolerable by the nation. They (the enemies) earned a bad name to Islam and the humanity.”
The killing of Hashmat Khalil drew strong condemnation from President Karzai, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, former jihadi leader Ustad Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf and dozens others.
The attacker had been able to enter the residence of Khalil Karzai despite rigorous checking at the entrance.
The death of Hashmat Karzai is also a blow to Ashraf Ghani and the latest in a series of assassination of powerful figures and allies of the Karzai government in the last few years.
In the last three years, three of President Karzai’s closest aides in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, have been killed.
His provincial deputy governor was killed in January 2011 and his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai was assassinated later that year in July.
Kandahar’s mayor was murdered a few weeks later while in Kabul another Karzai advisor Jan Mohammed Khan, was shot dead at his home.
The former president Buhanuddin Rabbani, head of the High Peace Council, was killed by a turban bomber in September 2011.
So far the Taliban or other insurgent groups have not claimed responsibility for the killing of Hashmat Khalil.
The security situation in Kandahar has once again deteriorated. The month of Ramadan witnessed a series of coordinated attacks on government offices and homes of high-ranking government officials. There were massive attacks during the month in some districts.
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