Today the name Arsala Rahmani joins the list of martyrs to the butchery of the Afghan wars. To those who knew him well, Rahmani was much more than the “key peace negotiator” in today’s tragic headlines.
He represented one of Afghanistan’s – and the West’s - last hopes of securing an end, or at least the beginning of an end, to a conflagration now bleeding into its thirty-fifth consecutive year of conflict.
Funny, soft-spoken and engaging, Rahmani was both an accomplished guerrilla commander and a persuasive mediator. His years as a deputy minister in the Taliban regime gave him unique perspective and influence.
As one of the first Talib leaders to accept Hamid Karzai's invitation to join his Western-backed regime, Rahmani lent the corruption-ridden Kabul government immense credibility.
Equally, Rahmani posed a threat to the most extreme terrorist fronts based in Pakistan and supported by Pakistan's military. In the poisoned minds of these individuals, Rahmani, a man of peace and reconciliation, had to die.
Skyreporter first featured this video profile of Arsala Rahmani in June of 2007. Part two will be posted here tomorrow.
Salam, Rahmani. May you never get tired. May you ever be prosperous.