Remembering Mustafa Kazimi on his 15th death anniversary

On November 6, 2007, a suicide bomber threw himself at a delegation of lawmakers visiting Baghlan province, killing at least 60 people, including a prominent politician and member of parliament Mustafa Kazimi and many children who had formed a welcome parade.

The delegation was in the province to assess the economic situation in Kunduz and had just arrived in Baghlan when the tragedy happened.

Five other MPs, including Abdul Matin, Sibgatullah Zaki, Haji Sahib Rahman Hemat, Nazik Mir Sarferaz and Mohammad Arif Zarif, were also killed in the bombing.

Kazemi was born in 1963 in Parwan. He was a key authority in Afghanistan’s interim government after the fall of Kabul in 2001 and a key participant of the Bonn conference in December the same year. He was appointed as the minister of commerce in the transitional and interim governments in early the 2000s.

He founded Hizb-e Eqtedar-e Milli party, also known as the United National Front, in 2004 and was elected as the leader. The same year elections were held and Kazemi was elected to parliament as a representative for Kabul. He also became the head of the National Economy Commission in the House.

“Ustad Kazemi made efforts to create national unity, revive Afghanistan’s war-torn economy, eliminate monopoly and ethnocentrism in power, prove Afghanistan as a safe and peaceful country in the region and the world, and prevent war and bloodshed and create global peace,” his son, Jamal Kazemi, said.

Referring to Afghanistan’s current issues, he added: “Today’s situation is far from the ideal situation expected by our national martyrs, especially Ustad Kazemi. Returning to the will of the people and establishing an all-inclusive government is the way out of this crisis.”

Ordinary Afghans said Kazemi was a national figure who was in favor of peace and unity in the country and one who worked tirelessly to achieve this.

“Kazemi always wanted the people of Afghanistan to be united and sought the progress of the country,” said Abdul Wadud, a Kabul resident.

“Kazemi’s martyrdom was indeed a great loss for Afghanistan. He was thinking of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and improving the country’s economy and invited everyone to come together and unite,” said Mohammad Nader, a resident of Herat.

Some achievements by Kazemi when he was commerce minister and head of the parliament’s economic commission, include:

He established a mechanism to provide support for entrepreneurs for establishing small and large businesses.

He rolled out the “Directorate of Investment Support” to encourage investment in the country.

He succeeded in getting customs exemptions of 80% in the United States and India for Afghan goods.

Kazemi initiated the construction of Zaranj—Delaram—Chabahar transit road.

He established the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and built connections with the US, South Korea, Iran and many other countries.

He attracted investors and created the High Investment Commission as a hub and bridge between government and investors.

And he initiated the building of and renovation of industrial parks in Kabul and many other provinces.