Rep. Michael McMahon, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement yesterday expressing dismay at the murder of Arghandab District Governor Haji Abdul Jabar and his son this past Tuesday.
“I am shocked to hear the tragic news of Haji Abdul Jabar’s and his son Kaduz’s brutal murder,” Rep. McMahon said. “Governor Jabar’s death is a huge loss not only to the Arghandab district, but also to the security of our international community.”
Mr Jabar was killed on Tuesday evening when a remotely-detonated bomb struck his car minutes before he completed his daily drive back to his home in Kandahar city, according to an article in the Financial Times–one of his teenage sons, who rarely left his side, and a bodyguard also died.
A gruff ex-guerrilla, Mr Jabar was by no means a flawless partner, but American commanders had come to see him as something of a rough-cut diamond, according to the Financial Times article.
Death squads have intensified their targeting of government officials ahead of the operation to secure Kandahar, the centerpiece of the US strategy to reverse the Taliban’s advances before American troops start to withdraw in July 2011, according to the Financial Times–the highest profile victim of the recent spate of killings was Kandahar’s deputy mayor, Azizullah Yarmal, who was shot dead in a mosque in the city in April.
“I met Governor Jabar during my recent trip to Afghanistan and remember feeling a sense of admiration for his leadership in the war- torn Kandahar region.” Rep McMahon said. “He brought his district peace and prosperity, and this stability, in turn, gave our troops a secure location from which to operate.”
Congressman McMahon represents New York’s 13th CD, which includes all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
Haji Abdul Jabar will be the subject of a piece in the New York Times Magazine this Sunday written by James Traub.
Mr. Traub wrote about the Afghan governor in an article currently appearing on the Foreign Policy Magazine website:
“Jabar was not an especially noble character. He was an imperious figure, an ex-mujahideen commander who tended to browbeat everybody he saw as his inferior, including Christopher Harich, a State Department official who tried, with very little success, to advise him on good government…He conducted audiences rather than meetings….He was not much more honest than the next man; once he was caught using the local police to shut down a contractor who hadn’t gone through him….The DG may have tried the patience of his handlers, but they understood very well that he was the face of government in Arghandab.”
James Traub, in his article, said he grieved for Kaduz, a sweet and deferential 19-year-old youth who ran errands for his father.
About the murdered District Governor, Mr. Traub recalled:
“When I persisted in asking him about local affairs at lunch one day, he ignored me, and then, with an amused smile, told a long story about a student who peppers his master with questions so that he can steal the old man’s food while he’s distracted.”
Governor Jabar was a dedicated partner to our country, Rep. McMahon said:
“The Taliban’s brutal murder of him and his son only furthers my belief that our presence is necessary to root out this type of barbarism and ensure that our own soil is safe from terrorism. “
Foreign Policy Magazine: James Traub’s article < Click here>
Financial Times Article < Click here>