AFGHANISTAN. Herat: The Paris Council has voted unanimously to place a plaque in Paris 8 district in a tribute to Afghan Commander Ahmad Sha Massoud on Wednesday. “20 years after his murder, Paris is the first city in the world to honor this peace veteran who has fought for the freedom of Afghanistan and against the Taliban’s obscurantism,” Arnaud Ngatcha, the deputy mayor of Paris said in a tweet.
Afghanistan’s national hero, Massoud was a resistance commander who fought the Taliban (the 1990s) and Russia (1979-1989). He was assassinated by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in a suicide bombing in 2001. The incident happened just two days before the September 11 attack in the United States.
“Commander Massoud is one of those men and women who make, write and anticipate history for causes which benefit everyone and whose passing away wreaks havoc and plunges us into the greatest sorrow. His commitment has received international recognition,” Arnaud Ngatcha said in another tweet.
“The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo discussed with Ahmad Massoud in a phone call following the vow voted by the Paris Council paying tribute to his father. He will be attending the inauguration of the plaque in honor of Commander Massoud in the capital next March.”
French Ambassador to Afghanistan, David Martinon welcomed the decision. In a tweet, he said, “The homage the city of Paris is paying to Commander Massoud, 20 years after his martyrdom, is another sign of the centennial friendship between the French and the Afghans. We are proud of it.”
Ahmad Massoud, son of Massoud thanked Paris for recognizing his father’s contributions toward peace, justice, and freedom in Afghanistan.”It is an honor for Afghanistan’s ppl & especially my family to see our National Hero being commended 20 years after his martyrdom,” he said on a Twitter post.
“He fought against the tyranny of communism and international terrorism & believed that victory would only be achieved once both evils were defeated globally.”
Chairman of Higher National Peace Council Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also thanked the Paris mayor. “Thank you Paris, we greatly value your gesture. Indeed, Massoud was a man of peace, whose unfailing commitment to the cause transcended national boundaries,” Dr. Abdullah tweeted.
Atta Mohammad Noor, Chief Executive of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan and former governor of Balkh province of Afghanistan reacted, “My heartiest appreciation to the Paris Council to place a plaque in Paris 8 in tribute to the Afghan National Hero Late Ahmad Shah Massoud. 20 years since his martyrdom, Aamer Saheb who fought for freedom, still lives in our hearts and memories. Thanks.”
Ahmad Sha Masoud was an anti-Taliban commander. In 1992, he was appointed as the Defense Minister of Afghanistan. After his assassination in 2001, the Afghan government called Massoud its ‘National hero’.