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Executed Afghan Opposition Leader Was Experienced Mujahedin Commander - 2001-10-26


Veteran Afghan guerrilla commander Abdul Haq was known as one of the fiercest mujahedin commanders during the U-S backed war against the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989.

Born to a wealthy Pashtun family in 1958, Abdul Haq became politically and militarily active as a teenager who opposed the Soviet-backed president, Mohammad Daoud.

Mr. Haq was a supporter of the exiled former king Zahir Shah, who was ousted by Mr. Daoud in a coup in 1973, but who now has become a focus of international efforts to find an alternative government to the Taleban.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 following Daoud's ouster in a Marxist coup, Mr. Haq quickly became a mujahedin resistance leader, operating in and around Kabul.

After the Soviets left, he won widespread respect for refusing to join in the squabbling and corruption that characterized the power struggle among the mujahedin.

When the Soviets pulled out in 1989 and the Moscow-backed government of president Mohammad Najibullah collapsed in 1992, Mr. Haq was appointed Kabul police chief in the interim mujahedin government.

But he never took the job in Kabul, and left the country to begin a life in exile as a businessman and roving diplomat at large, representing no one but himself.

Recently, he had returned to Afghanistan to join talks about a possible post-Taleban government under ex-king Zahir Shah. He reportedly had gone to Nangarhar to persuade Taleban troops to defect.

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