ISLAMABAD: Twenty-one years after his assassination, the federal government intends to name a road in Islamabad after the Afghan commander Ahmed Shah Massoud.
Sources in the federal government recently said that the Foreign Office discussed the plan with the Home Office, which is the parent ministry of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The sources said that in February this year, Ahmed Wali Massoud, a brother of the late Afghan leader, asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to name a street in Islamabad after Ahmed Shah Massoud. The Prime Minister had agreed to consider the request.
Subsequently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, by official letter, requested the Interior Ministry to obtain the opinion of the CDA before transmitting a summary to the Prime Minister for final approval.
Process underway at the request of the brother of the assassinated Afghan leader to the Prime Minister
The Home Office last month asked for CDA’s comments on the summary.
Ahmed Shah Massoud, also known as the “Lion of Panjshir” resided in Pakistan during the Soviet war and his father is also buried in Peshawar, reflecting his close ties to Pakistan, the sources said.
He is held in the highest regard among Afghan leaders for his resistance to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. Later, he also served as Afghanistan’s defense minister.
The sources said various states have recognized Ahmed Shah Masooud’s contribution to Afghanistan. France honored him with a plaque in Paris last year while San Diego declared September 9, 2020 Ahmed Shah Massoud Day.
When contacted, CDA planning member Naveed Ilahi said that according to existing policy, roads / streets can only be named after foreign heads of state.
He confirmed that the Interior Ministry sought comments from the CDA for naming a street / road named after Ahmed Shah Massoud.
“A road can only be named after heads of state from foreign countries. We are investigating the case of Ahmed Shah and will inform the government of our existing rules. We will follow all government directives, ”he said.
The sources have so far said that the federal government has named four roads after the head of state of foreign countries – Faisal Avenue in honor of former Saudi King Shah Faisal, Attaturk Avenue in the honor of the Turkish hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk; the roads were also named in honor of Chinese leader Zhou Enlai and former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
A federal government source said: “Ahmed Shah Massoud was a brave Muslim commander and had excellent ties with Pakistan. We want to give its name to a road in the capital to pay tribute to its resistance. “
Asked about the CDA rules, he said, “The rules can be changed, which is not a big deal for the government,” adding that Pakistan has respect for all ethnic communities in Afghanistan. Therefore, the government wanted to name a road after the Afghan killed. commander and chief.
Posted in Dawn, le 18 June 2021