And how long the list
I was disheartened to read this morning that Abdul Rahman was killed. Well, assassinated. “Murder of a public figure by surprise attack,” yep, assassinated.
Mr Rahman was shot dead in his home district of Zharai, not far from Kandahar city. He was among elders who took President Karzai to task at an angry meeting of 1,500 tribesmen in the city at the start of April.
On a rare visit to the area, the birthplace of the Taliban, the president was sharply criticised on issues of security, corruption, bribery and nepotism. He was also told few dared join the army for fear of being killed by the militants. Mr Rahman was one of a number of elders who said they feared being killed by the Taliban if they spoke out against them.
I doubt anyone is surprised to find his worries were well founded. Democracy Arsenal had a scathing criticism of Ahmed Wali Karzai this morning, which is germane to the topic by way of AWK’s control of the region and general dismissal of such targeted attacks and killings as business as usual for Kandahar City and surrounding districts. If the fellow in charge of the place won’t even take seriously his own elder citizens’ concerns about imminent death for opening their mouths, how likely is it that ISAF could effectively work with the guy to any desired end?
DA pulled a quote from that Steve Coll’s report from Kandahar I linked to last week. Worth re-reading again, and again and again as ISAF moves into the summer offensive.