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Who Was Haji Mohammad Naeem Khan Kochi?

By Adil Ahmadzai

The late Haji Mohammad Naeem Khan Kochi, son of the Ghazi Mohammad Jan Khan Kochi and grandson of the Malak Toti Khan was born in the year 1935 in a pious, respectable, famous and historical family in Hesarak village of Logar province. He passed the period of childhood under the guidance and supervision of his father and elder brothers and learned a lot from them about Pashto traditions, customs and values. What he learned from his parents and relatives played key role in his success. While he grown up he loved the country and countrymen’s, so he came to serve with full enthusiasm and sincerity for Afghanistan. Haji Mohammad Naeem Khan Kochi was a great example of executing informal justice (Jirgas, reconciliation and decision making). He has always stood up for and defended rights of the people.

Haji Sahib as a prominent ethnic and political person performed significant role in struggling against the Russians. In this battle he faced many difficulties and made significant sacrifices, but he strived till the defeat of Soviet Union. In addition; after the victory of Jihad and the downfall of the Russians, he was in favor and tried to resolve issues & disputes with former President Dr. Najibullah through dialogue and political reconciliation.

After the success of Mujahidin, he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs by President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, and then as the Acting Minister for borders and tribal affairs by Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani.

During the civil war, he made significant efforts to resolve disagreements between Jihadi leaders. With the support and advice of Maulvi Saifurehman Mansoor and Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, he tried to prevent the escalation of the conflict between warring parties and made several visits for a peaceful solution to the problem between both parties (Engineer Gulbaddin Hekmatyar & Ahmad Shah Masoud).

Moreover; he worked with all the jihadi and political leaders in the southern zone to prevent the outbreak of civil war and did not allow anyone to turn the southern zone into a battlefield.

With advent of the Islamic Emirate, he called for the establishment of a single strong central system in coordination with a number of political and jihadi leaders in the southern zone, which is for the benefit of the people. Therefore; he convinced elders and leaders to declare support for the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate.

Likewise, when Islamic emirate assassinated Dr. Najibullah and his brother Shapoor Ahmadzai, Haji Sahib in accordance with Afghani & Pashto tradition and values after discussion and understanding with Taliban’s leaders, transferred their bodies from Kabul to Paktia and buried them in ancestral graveyard.

After the collapse of the Taliban regime, with many political and jihadi figures from the southeastern zone, he marched from Khost province to Kabul to welcome President Karzai and share the problems of people. During the way in a series airstrike by US forces several tribal elders, including Timur Shah Noor Ahmadzai (nephew of Haji Sahib), were martyred and wounded. Later on Haji Sahib was arrested by US forces and transferred to the brutal prison of Guantanamo. But As a result of two years efforts of former President Hamid Karzai and many other ethnic and jihadi figures, released from prison and re-engaged in the service of the country and its people.

He made many efforts in the path of unity to render significant services across the country which is commendable. The late Haji Sahib was honored by former President Hamid Karzai and current President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and appointed as an active and influential member of the High Peace Council, contributed significantly to peace and stability, remained an active member of the major consultative and traditional Jirgas of the time. .

Former President Hamid Karzai and current President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani have benefited from his knowledge, intelligence and ability in solving major ethnic problems and conflicts in the country. Also he was sent as a delegation to solve major ethnic and regional problems.

In a message Ex-president Hamid Karzai made it clear “that Mohammad Naeem Khan Kochi was a tribal elder and influential figure, a national thinker and a patriot who made unparalleled efforts to establish peace in the country and strengthen unity and solidarity among the people of Afghanistan”. Similarly Senior Advisor to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Higher Education Professor Hamidullah Farooqi stated “that Kochi Sahib was a respected leader and representative of the noble people of Logar province and Kochi people. Starting from jihad and resistance against the Soviet invaders, he played a substantial role in the reconstruction of the country and continued his efforts for reconciliation between the peoples and nations till the last day of his life”.

In addition; Muska Najib said “that death is huge loss for the country” and his efforts and effective role are not hidden from anyone and will write down in history in golden lines. At last, during June 2020 at the age of 85, this great personality turned his eyes away from this mortal world forever.

Many political, ethnic and Jihadi figures such as former President Hamid Karzai, current President Asraf Ghani, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, many members of parliament and Dr. Najibullah’s family express their deep sadness and condolence messages. May his soul rest in peace.

Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.

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