In the words of our current President Hamid Karzai who expresses sorrowfully, ‘Afghan vice President Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, passed away due to illness (diabetes), He was a patriot and a true Mujahid’.
Now how much the President meant this statement is but a secret only kept to him however, the late vice President was a famous household name among the Panjsheris.
Qasim Fahim, a reprehensible character, formerly known as ‘Fahim-e-Gaw’ (Cow Fahim), nicknamed by ‘Commander Ahmad Shah Masoud’, both were leaders of Tajik ethnic minority during the Russian Invasion and Taliban Regime.
Fahim, aged 56 was accused of being a cold blooded, hard-hearted warlord who was supported by Russians, Persians and Indians during the Taliban-regime and now was supported by US. He used to have his own militia and was supposed to step down at the coming elections next month as the US-led combat troops pull out of Afghanistan.
In 2002, with the strong backing from the US, he was appointed as the Defence Minister of Afghanistan, that’s where he got heavily criticised for appointing only Tajiks as the senior officers and failed to build a national army. As a vice President to Hamid Karzai, Fahim as expected, brought many Tajiks to Kabul and appointed them on key positions in the country.
Starting from Monday, on behalf of the government, the services of Qasim Fahim will be honored as the national flag will be flying at half-mast across the country and there will be three days national mourning (yes, forcibly) for the deceased vice President.