Unknown assassins murdered Afghan vice president Abdul Qadir today as he left Ministry of Public Works. This is a particularly bitter moment, because Qadir is the brother of Abdul Haq, the exiled Pashtun leader who returned to the country to rally his people against the Taliban and wound up being captured and executed. The real problem here is that there’s no way right now to tell who killed him or why. Perhaps it was a personal vendetta, perhaps it was members of another ethnic group who resented the fact that Pashtuns had been given that seat in government, perhaps it was former elements of the Taliban who resented the fact that he led part of the uprising against them. If I were in charge of the international peacekeeping force, I’d be trying to figure it out.
This also really leads you to respect Hamid Karzai’s personal bravery. He could certainly be cooling his heels in America or in Europe, free from the responsibilities of running a shattered country and walking around every day with the sword of Damocles over his head. Hopefully Afghanistan will be able to turn things around.