Ahmad Shah Masood
Ahmad Shah Masood was was born in 1953 in the Jangalak district of
Panjsher. He played one of the most important roles in Afghanistan's modern history. To his admirers, he is known as the "Lion of
Panjsher", a name given to him for his successes as a military commander during the war against the Soviet occupation. In fact, his fight against the Soviets was so well known that the
Wall Street Journal labeled him as the "Afghan who won the cold war". After the Communists were defeated, Masood's troops
were the first Mujahideen group to enter Kabul, and help establish a Mujahideen government. He served as President Burhanuddin Rabbani's Defense Minister, and engaged in numerous battles to prevent Rabbani's rivals such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from taking over the government. Eventually, Rabbani's government fell, and the Taliban with secret
financial and military help from the Pakistanis, took over the capital. Masood and his allies pulled their forces north and worked on defending the north and the central regions from being completely taken over by the Taliban. Masood was chosen as the military leader of UNIFSA when on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Masood was killed. He was the victim of an Al Qaeda suicide attack. The attackers posed as television journalists, setting off a bomb packed inside their video camera.
In 2001, after the removal of the Taliban by the UNIFSA and US forces, the the
Afghan Interim Government under president
awarded Masood the title of "Hero of the Afghan Nation".
Chronology of Ahmad Shah Masood's life|
|September 2, 1953
||Birth - Jangalak district of Panjsher
||Masood enrolls at Kabul Polytechnic Institute
for Engineering and Architecture. Masood also becomes involved with the
Sazman-i Jawanan-i Musalman (Muslim Youth Organization), the student branch
of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Society of Afghanistan) led by
||Masood tries to stir up revolts against
government in Panjsher.
||At this time, PDPA (People's Democratic Party of
Afghanistan) comes to power, and Masood is actively involved in resistance
against their rule. In July 1978, Masood participates in one of the first
instances of revolt against the PDPA government in Nuristan province.
||Masood joins Rabbani's Jamiat-e Islami
Afghanistan after Rabbani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar split and go separate
||Masood stirs up a major revolt in Panjsher
against the communist Afghan government. The revolt eventually fails and
Masood learns the the ineffectiveness of open confrontation against a much
better armed and larger force. At this time, he starts to resort to
||Actively involved in the Soviet resistance.
Successfully defends Panjsher against massive Soviet attacks.
||Signed a tactical treaty with the Soviets.
This game Masood time to regroup his army, reel in greater political
support, bolster resistance in other areas outside of Panjsher, and take
advantage of the mineral wealth of the area to finance his resistance
against the Soviets. In July 1983, Masood creates the Shura-e-Nazar (Council
of Supervision). This military council would coordinate the actions
of 130 Mujahideen commanders from several provinces (Badakshan, Parwan,
Kapisa, Baghlan, Laghman, Kunar, Takhar and Kunduz ) of northern
||Massive Soviet onslaught against Masood's
forces. Each time, Masood successfully defeats the Soviets and the
puppet Afghan government forces.
|Late Summer 1986
||Masood captures Farkhar in Takhar Province, and
in November, his forces overrun the headquarters of the DRA 20th division at
Nahrin in Baghlan province. Other resistance groups learn from Masood and
employ similar guerilla warfare techniques against the Soviets.
||At the age of 35, Masood marries daughter of
||Masood and his men are ambushed by Hekmatyar's
group. Several of Masood's men are killed, however Masood manages to escape.
||Masood's forces enter Kabul, and on April 26,
1992, the Peshawar Accord is announced. Mujahideen government is created.
Masood becomes Minister of Defense.
||Masood creates "Bonyad-e Farhangi wa Ta'wani
Mohammad-e Ghazali" (The cooperative Mohammad Ghazali culture foundation).
||Battles against Hekmatyar's army. Intensive
rocket bombardment of Kabul by Hekmatyar. Numerous civilians are
killed and Kabul is massively damaged.
|September 26, 1996
||Masood and Rabbani are forced out of Kabul by
the Taliban. Taliban march into Kabul on September 27, 1996.
|Summer of 2000
||Leaves Panjsher to solicit help from Abdul
Rashid Dostum and Ismael Khan.
|end of 2000
||Masood and Alliance (United Front) forces lose
more and more ground to the Taliban.
||Masood goes to Europe, holds press conferences
and tries to inform western leaders about the growing power of Al Qaeda in
Afghanistan as well as Pakistan's secret assistance to the Taliban and Al
|September 9, 2001
||Death. Killed by suicide attackers.
Interestingly enough, after this, suicide attacks become very common in
by Abdullah Qazi /2001 (updated November 18, 2007 by AQ)