Ahmad Zia Massoud - Biography


Ahmad Zia Massoud was born on May 1, 1956, in Muqur, which is in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. He attended the Lycée Esteqlal in Kabul. In 1976, he was admitted to the Polytechnical University of Kabul where he studied for three years. Caught up in the tumultuous events in the country after the communist Saur Revolution he left the university and joined the mujahideen led by his brother Ahmad Shah Massoud in the Panjsher Valley north of Kabul.

From 1978 to 1981, Ahmad Zia directed the resistance forces of Paryan in Haut-Panjsher. Between 1981 and April 1992, his commander and brother Ahmed Shah Massoud named him special representative of the Jamiat-e-Islami party to Peshawar, Pakistan, where the seven principal parties of the Afghan resistance met. During this period he maintained and increased contacts with political leaders of all the Afghan resistance movement, including diplomatic circles and international organizations. He also traveled abroad to make the case for the mujahideen.

After the fall of the Soviet-backed communist regime, Burhanuddin Rabbani, his father-in-law, chose him to be an advisor and special representative of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The Taliban eventually took power in Kabul and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Ahmad Zia Massoud joined the anti-Taliban United Islamic Front led by his brother Ahmad Shah Massoud. In the late 1990s, Ahmad Zia Massoud continued his political and diplomatic activities, working to raise the profile of Afghanistan on the international stage, and to call attention to the horrors of the Taliban.

In December 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, President Hamid Karzai named him ambassador to the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin. In February 2004 Ahmad Zia's functions were extended to include the Republic of Armenia, and then in July of that year, Belarus, and Moldavia as well.

On July 26, 2004, Karzai announced that he had chosen Ahmad Zia Massoud as his running mate over Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim in the October 9, 2004 presidential elections. While campaigning in the 2004 elections a bomb was detonated at a political rally of Massoud in the northern Afghan city of Feyzabad. Two people were killed but Massoud emerged unscathed.

After several political disputes between Ahmad Zia Massoud and Hamid Karzai, the two men parted ways. In the 2009 presidential elections Karzai ran on an election ticket with Mohammad Qasim Fahim instead. In December 2009 another bomb blast is believed to have targeted Ahmad Zia Massoud. He emerged unharmed while 8 people were killed and 40 wounded.

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