Other Important Personalities in Afghan History

Mohammad Ayub Khan
M. Ayub Khan was the son of Amir Shir Ali. He is well known for defeating the British in the famous Battle of Maiwand (July 27, 1880). After his defeat at the hands of Amir Abdur Rahman, he left to live in India, and died in 1914.

Tahir Badakhshi
Tahir Badakhshi was one of the original members of the PDPA, but left the party to form the Setam-e-Milli (National Oppression) party. Badakhshi preached against Pashtuns and claimed that the minority groups in Afghanistan were being oppressed. He was imprisoned in 1978 and killed in 1979.

Mir Mohammad Sidiq Farhang
Farhang was a famous Afghan politician and historian. His greatest work was a two volume history book, entitled "Afghanistan in the last five centuries". He died in 1990.

Mir Ghulam Mohammad Ghobar
Ghobar was a poet, writer, and a well respected historian. His greatest work was a two volume book entitled "Afghanistan in the path of history".

Abdul Haq
A prominent Afghan commander who fought guerilla battles against Soviet and Communist Afghan troops in Kabul in the 1980s. He was a commander for Hezb-e Islami (Khalis faction). When the Mujahideen took over Kabul in 1992, Abdul Haq briefly served as Kabul's police chief, and was also a cabinet minister. He left politics to run a successful trading company in Dubai, United Arab Emirate for a while and then returned to politics in 1998 as a UN peace mediator. In 2001, he was working with the United States to find an alternative to the Taliban, when he was captured and killed by the Taliban on October 26 2001. 

Yunis Khalis
Khalis was the head of the Islamic Party (Hezbe Islami-Khalis). Khalis played an important role in Afghanistan's anti-communist war. In October of 2003, the Pakistani newspaper, The News International reported that Khalis had joined the Taliban's fight against the US and International forces in Afghanistan. Shortly afterwards, Khalis went into hiding and was not heard of until his son announced his death on July 19, 2006. Khalis was 87. Anwar ul-Haq Mujahid, Khalis's son, has taken over the party's leadership. 

Ustad Khalilullah Khalili
Khalili was a lecturer, writer, diplomat, and an excellent poet. His poems are widely read by Afghans, and many see him as the greatest contemporary poet of the Persian language. He is also known for his historical biography of Habibullah Kalakani. Khalili died in 1987 in Pakistan, and was buried there. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1907.

Haji Latif
Haji Latif fought for the National Islamic Front (Mahaz-i-Milli-Islami) against the Communists. He was martyred on August 8, 1989, by means of poisoning in Kandahar Province. Haji Latif was over 80 years old. Latif was remarkable on the battlefield, so much that he was nicknamed, "Lion of Kandahar". He was more successful than Commanders half his age.

Commander Mohammad Panah
Panah was an important commander under Ahmad Shah Masood. He fought successfully against Russian troops, and he played an important role in defending Kabul from Hekmatyar's army. Mohammad Panah died fighting the Taliban on March 23, 1995.

Malalai was an Afghan heroine who played a major role in the battle of Maiwand during the second Anglo-Afghan war. She used her veil as a banner to encourage the Afghan soldiers fighting the British. Schools and hospitals have been named after her.

Haji Abdul Qadir
Haji Qadir was a former commander in Hezb-e Islami (Khalis faction) during the Soviet war, prominent member of UNIFSA, as well the former governor of Nangarhar province. With UNIFSA, he fought the Taliban in the east, and was made Vice Chairman of Afghanistan's interim administration after the Bonn Conference, however he was assassinated in 2002, possibly by the Taliban. The famous Mujahideen commander Abdul Haq of Kabul was his younger brother.

Mullah Rabbani
Mullah Rabbani was the second most important member of the Taliban movement until he died on April 16, 2001; it was reported that he died as a result of cancer. Many analysts believe that it was Mullah Rabbani that ordered the execution of Dr. Najibullah when the Taliban took Kabul in late 1996. There were also rumors that Mullah Rabbani, and the head of the Taliban movement (Mullah Omar) had serious political differences.

Dr. Anahita Ratebzad
Anahita Ratebzad was the highest ranking woman in the parcham faction of the PDPA, She is well known as an expert propagandist and close companion of Babrak Karmal. She also obtained an MD degree from Kabul University in 1963. Her former husband, Dr. Qamaruddin Kakar used to be Zahir Shah's personal physician.

Sayed Qasim Reshtya
Reshtya was a politician, and the author of numerous publications on Afghan history. Mir Mohammad Sidiq Farhang was his brother.

Timur Shah
Timur Shah succeeded to the throne after his father, Ahmad Shah Abdali, died. Previously he was the governor of Herat. He ruled for 20 years and during that time he moved the capital from Kandahar to Kabul for security reasons. Timur Shah also had plans of mobilizing a massive army to completely remove the British from India.

Ahmad Zahir
Ahmad Zahir is considered one of Afghanistan's greatest popular musicians. His songs are widely listened to by Afghans both young and old. His death remains a mystery, but many believed he was assassinated by Communists on July 14, 1979. He was 33 years old.

By Abdullah Qazi (last updated on May 7, 2007)


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