Haji Abdul Qadeer

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Haji Abdul Qadeer
حاجی عبدالقدیر
Qadeer in 2002
Vice President of Afghanistan
In office
19 June 2002 – 6 July 2002
PresidentHamid Karzai
Personal details
Jalalabad, Afghanistan
Died6 July 2002(2002-07-06) (aged 50–51)
Kabul, Afghanistan
RelationsDin Mohammad (brother)
Abdul Haq (brother)

Haji Abdul Qadeer (Pashto: حاجی عبدالقدیر; c. 1951 – 6 July 2002) was a prominent Northern Alliance leader in Afghanistan and opposed the Taliban. Originally a commander of the Hezb-i Islami Khalis faction during the Soviet–Afghan War, he then served as governor of Nangarhar Province, the head of the Eastern Afghanistan Shura, and later Vice President of Afghanistan and Minister of Public Works in the administration of Hamid Karzai from 19 June 2002 until his assassination on 6 July 2002. He was the older brother of fellow anti-Soviet and Northern Alliance commander Abdul Haq, who was executed in late 2001 by the Taliban.


Abdul Qadeer belonged to the influential Pashtun Arsala family from Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.[1] He was involved in Afghan politics even before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Qadeer fought against them as a key resistance commander with the Hezb-e Islami Khalis faction.[1] After the Soviet retreat in 1989 and the fall of the Afghan communist regime in 1992, Qadeer was appointed governor of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.

On 27 September 1996, the Taliban took power in Kabul with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia. Qadeer had to flee from Nangarhar and entered neighbouring Pakistan. Because of his opposition to the Taliban (unlike Yunus Khalis), however, he soon faced trouble with the authorities in Pakistan. Qadir then left for Germany.[1] In the following years he shuttled between Germany and Dubai where he had started a trading business.

In 1999, Qadeer returned to Afghanistan and joined the Northern Alliance (United Front), which was the only resistance force left against the Taliban regime and its allies.[1] The United Front included forces and leaders from different political backgrounds as well as from all Afghan ethnicities including Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras or Turkmens. Qadeer came to lead the United Front's Eastern Shura and ensured the alliance's influence in the largely Pashtun east of Afghanistan.[1]

From the Taliban conquest in 1996 until November 2001 the United Front controlled roughly 30% of Afghanistan's population in provinces such as Badakhshan, Kapisa, Takhar and parts of Parwan, Kunar, Nuristan, Laghman, Samangan, Kunduz, Ghōr and Bamyan. Ahmad Shah Massoud did not intend for the United Front to become the ruling government of Afghanistan. His vision was for the United Front to help establish a new government, where the various ethnic groups would share power and live in peace through a democratic form of government.

Qadeer's younger brother Abdul Haq, a famous anti-Soviet resistance fighter, was executed by Taliban Interior Minister Mola Abdul Razaq from Zhob Pakistan, (captain Imam's student). Taliban agents on October 26, 2001 when trying to rally anti-Taliban support among the Pashtuns as part of the US-led effort against the Taliban after 9/11.[1]

After the fall of the Taliban regime Abdul Qadeer joined with two other leaders, Hazrat Ali and Haji Mohammed Zaman, to lead the Eastern Shura.[2] After the 2001 Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, Afghan interim president Hamid Karzai nominated Qadeer to be one of the Vice Presidents of Afghanistan, and Minister of Public Works.

Abdul Qadeer was alleged to have had connections with those engaged in Afghanistan's opium poppy trade.[3]


On 6 July 2002, Qadeer and his son-in-law were killed by gunmen. In 2004, one man was sentenced to death and two others to prison sentences for the assassination.[4][5][6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Qadeer belonged to the very influential Pashtun Arsala family from the east of Afghanistan.[1] His brother was the anti-Soviet commander of Kabul Front Abdul Haq who was executed in late 2001 by the Taliban. The Arsala family is based in the Afghan province of Nangarhar. The capital of Nangarhar is Jalalabad. He had very strong ties with the late Afghan King, Zaher Shah. The Afghans, in particular the people of Nangarhar refer to him as the "Warrior of Afghanistan". He is known to have accomplished many things in the time of his power, especially in Nangarhar where he governed.[3]

Abdul Qadeer's son Zahir Qadir, a former military commander in the Afghan National Army, is currently serving as the deputy speaker of the Afghan House of Representatives.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Meena Baktash (July 8, 2002). "Abdul Qadeer: Key leader in Afghan struggle". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  2. ^ Pepe Escobar (December 7, 2001). "Taking a spin in Tora Bora". Asia Times. Archived from the original on December 21, 2001. Retrieved December 31, 2007.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ a b Syed Saleem Shahzad (July 9, 2002). "A body blow to U.S." Asia Times. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002. Retrieved December 31, 2007.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ "Afghanistan". US Department of State. February 28, 2005. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  5. ^ Burke, Jason (October 6, 2002). "A year of living on the edge". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  6. ^ "Pak seals border temporarily following shootout in Afghanistan". Outlook India. November 8, 2002. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  7. ^ "Border clashes open new Afghan front line". London: The Telegraph. July 18, 2003. Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  8. ^ "Zahir Qadir elected as first deputy house speaker". Khaama Press. January 23, 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Governor of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan
(? prior to Taliban period), again 2001–2002
Succeeded by