“An angel is buried here” – Corriere.it

“An angel is buried here” – Corriere.it

Bazarak (Panshir Valley, Afghanistan) – I don’t know if this barren, sand-covered, sun-baked hill will ever become a place group for them Islamic population to‘Middle Asia: The nature of the region – with its barrier of mountains, flowing rivers and an ancient network of rough and impassable roads – certainly does not favor wanderings and mass gatherings. But for Afghans, In this region and other regions Tomb of Ahmed Shah Masoud It will remain an immortal symbol of the history and tragedy of the people or just the coffin sanctuary of the hero who already at the beginning of the 1980s was called “Hero”. The lion of Panjshir.

This is the land I have been frequenting for a long time and I feel very sorry for not arriving in time Masoud’s funeral On the hill Sarisha (North your bazaar, The capital of the region of the same name), which they immediately called Salari Shahidan Hill Mount Martyr. They made him sleep in a warm pit of sand, and spread a heap of turf on it: but that was a temporary arrangement because Grave He will eventually find himself in a circular cave with rock walls: and someone will appear everywhere Mosque A tower There are already plans to transform the hill, which lies in the middle of a circle of the taller, more dramatic Sisters but without a tuft of grass, into an oxygen-filled park of trees, flowers and fountains.

A handwritten sign in Persian says: “Here is buried a man who was like… angel, Follow it slowly. its name Masoud». At the burial ceremony, which was celebrated seven days after the attack As a debtorat the main headquarters Leader, There was a large crowd: a sea of ​​people even in the surrounding hills. A sea of ​​woe. The widow and seven children, six girls and a boy, the youngest of the group being 13 years old. Of course, the hierarchyNorthern Alliancewhich has been fighting since 1996 against Taliban: Professor Pooranuddin Rabbani, who remains the legitimate president of Afghanistan, and Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah (Masoud’s right-hand man and tireless negotiator), comrades-in-arms in the nearly ten-year-long jihad, the holy war against the Russians, as well as Abdul Sayyaf. But the other brave and sometimes controversial commanders, who, after leaving him alone in the fight against the “Warriors of God,” had recently become close to him again, and made themselves available to the Lion of Panjshir, were unable to reach the deadline.

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The Uzbek general was missing Rashid DostumMaster of Mazar-i-Sharif, who often changed his faith and teaching from 79 onwards, now allied with one and now with the other, strong in A band of mercenaries And the owner of the few fighter planes that the Soviets inherited. The leader was missing Ismail Khanformer Governor L HeratHe escaped from the prison in which the Taliban imprisoned him and is now fighting them on the western front, on the border with Iran. Above all, the leader was missing Abdul Haqwandering between Dubai and Europe (A few days ago, I exchanged a phone call with him in Rome), who always had great respect for Masoud. The Russians feared him more than anything else. Because of his specialization, they gave him a nickname bomber. If a power station exploded, a bridge fell, or an arsenal burned down, you could be sure he was behind it. Almost always. While from Tehran Gulbuddin Hekmatyar – Masoud’s irreducible enemy – was agitating for the Taliban, saying he was ready to Strive or Struggle If the Americans attackafghanistan, Ismail Khan, Abdul Haq and Dostum had consolidated an agreement with the Northern Alliance that should have led to a coordinated and decisive attack against the Kabul army. Understand that sudden and tragic death Tajik commander of Panjshir It would have been compromised, as the unique and irreplaceable evidence had died.

It is not surprising if, now, I Mujahideen Alliance They hope and depend greatly on the support of the Americans to deal the final blow to the Taliban mullahs Mohamed Omar. Sections special forces Subordinate United State They had already entered Afghan territory to discover the Saudi wolf’s den. Osama bin Laden. Only the naive would have thought that the liquidation of Ahmad Shah Massoud was not linked to attacks Manhattan and Washington: If the responsibility lies with the Saudi billionaire and the regime that hosted and protected him for years, it is not in vain that the first victim of the fundamentalists’ crazy project is the most aggressive and irreducible opponent of the Taliban. Like the pilots of the planes that split the twin skyscrapers New York And destroyed Pentagon, i Two pseudo-Arab journalists were suicide bombers.

I found and talked to some Masoud’s guards – They were chosen mostly from old classmates from Panjshir -, strong, laconic, determined people, ready to do anything to defend the “boss”. “But how – someone says, Rashid – do you prevent people? Murders Which falls on you and you are ready to die?” There is a tone of remorse in his words and the Tajik commander’s men are still in a state of shock, amazement and depression. “Believe me – said one of the journalists after seeing some Television footage from the funeral -: They were like dogs left without a leader of their pack. Lost, lost.” Now that I’m back on the road in a village Jagalik As I look at his home there – where there are now a widow and seven orphans – I think of our meetings, from the early 1980s until the end of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was already in the hands of the Taliban.

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From the beginning, Masoud He distinguished himself from other leaders by one thing: he never went “downstream,” never showed Peshawar (Pakistan) He did not care about the location of the headquarters of the seven jihad parties Policy. His role was as a soldier, and he took war seriously. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year. If you wanted to see him, talk to him, you had to go to him PanjshirAs I have done many times. There was only one other person like him in this sense: Younis Al-Khalthe leader of a small but aggressive group operating in his district – Nanjahar – And that it is possible that you will meet in the poppy field, this is inevitable Enfield 33 On the knees. He disdained me Kalashnikov. In Peshawar it prevailed Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Islamic Party, the Super Falcon, a favorite of the Pakistani intelligence agency – the ISI – and also of the Americans, who considered him the only man capable of defeating the Shuravis (the Russians). That’s why they entrusted him with most things Stinger – Surface-to-air missiles that changed the fate of the war from 1986 onwards, leaving crumbs for others.

I follow the path from Your bazaar in Roha With memories of fifteen or twenty years ago. It was 1981, and Masoud was 27 years old. Shaken by the tremors of the truck, which had saved me from ten kilometers from the mule road, I found myself in a small room on the Panjshir River where Leader He gave orders and technical explanations. The voice was soft, but there was no doubt that he was a man in control. His authority and prestige imposed themselves through sheer internal force. When I saw him again, three years later, in April 1984, he was already a legend. He rejected them Armored columns From sciuravi seven times. The seventh attack, which the Russians called “Farewell process Masoud», determined to get him out of the way once and for all. “They had to give in to changing their name – he told me with a bitter smile on that spring day in the mountains – Goodbye, Masoud.”

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At about the same time, Osama bin Laden He had enlisted in the ranks The Islamic Party led by Hekmatyar He led Arab unity in the fight against the invaders and against the communist regime Caboto. Little is known about his war exploits: but it was during this period that the scion of a wealthy Saudi construction developer began to dream and envision a new millennium built on Sharia and Quranic laws, in which the Western Christian culture that had dominated the world for centuries no longer had any place. Its purpose is to restore a Islamic theocracy: The end that justifies me Suicidal. “We love to die for it A reason from God As much as you love life.” The Twin Towers and the Pentagon collapsed under the pressure of this ideal. Ahmed Shah Masoud He has always shied away from this kind of glorification. He was also a member of a fundamentalist party Islamic Society But his nature made him follow the path of moderation.

While the Taliban mummified women in… burqa, By robbing them of their will to live, Masoud dared to admit that he would not object to anyone Female minister In his final government, two years ago, he launched the idea of ​​A Broad-based government Which did not rule out i Taliban: Nothing was done about it because the conditions proposed by the latter were unacceptable. Masoud did not die for the sake of God. He loved his valley, his family, his people and his soldiers. I’ve always had the impression that his look, not toward Heaven of martyrs And the heroes, they rested and remained on top of the men and events of this land. Unlike Bin LadenStill alive and in hiding, Masoud died torn apart for everyone’s cause.

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