English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Tajikistan confers highest awards to resistance icons Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani

Burhanuddin Rabbani (First right) moving with Commander Ahmad Shah Masoud, Abdullah Izam and other Muj.(Photo: Internet Archive)

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of state independence of the Republic of Tajikistan, the President  Emomali Rahmon has announced on Thursday, to  honour the  “the Lion of Panjshir” Ahmad Shah Massoud and former Afghan president  Burhanuddin Rabbani with the "Ismoili Somoni of the I degree"- the country’s highest award.

The President first order says, “In honour of the 30th anniversary of state independence of the Republic of Tajikistan, the former Minister of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, National Hero of Afghanistan Ahmad Shah Massoud and the former President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani were  awarded the Order of Ismoili Somoni for assistance and mediation in the negotiations between Tajiks in 1993-1996 and the great contribution to peace, the Order "Ismoili Somoni"  Level I “to be awarded.”

The awards to Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani came at the time when Ahmad Shah’s son Ahmad Massoud, like his father, is currently fighting against the Taliban to save Panjshir Valley.

Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani were both ethnic Tajik and played key roles in the fight against the Soviet and then against the Taliban. Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was one of the main leaders of Afghanistan’s Anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s. Massoud was assassinated on September 9, 2001 just two days before 9/11, at the behest of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Burhanuddin Rabbani was a leader of Jamiat-e-Islami party and fought against Soviets and then the Taliban. He was president of Afghanistan from 1992-1996 and after the Taliban captured Kabul, he fled to Iran and remained President in exile. Like Massoud, he was killed in 2011 by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

Also read:  Tajikistan in global limelight as Afghanistan explodes

Both Massoud and Rabbani helped Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) in their fight against the communist ruling party of the newly formed country Tajikistan. Later Massoud and Rabbani played a key role in  convincing the IRP and president Emomali  Rahmonov to agree to a ceasefire that would end the civil war. Rahmonov officially announced his support for the Northern Alliance and later backed the US invasion of Afghanistan. However, some factions within Tajikistan still supported the Taliban and continue to pose a security challenge for Dushanbe.

The Order "Ismoili Somoni" is the highest state award of the Republic of Tajikistan and is awarded by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to worthy persons for meritorious services. The level I degree is awarded to the  heads of state, government and parliaments of foreign states.

Ismoil Somoni is the national hero of Tajikistan. The statue of the ancient king can be seen in most major towns and cities across the county.