Mohammad Qasim Fahim



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Afghan War News > Biographies > Mohammad Qasim Fahim

Mohammed Qasim Fahim Vice President Mohammed Qasim Fahim died in March 2014 at age 56 (or 57?) of natural causes. He was a Tajik warlord who was a senior leader of the Northern Alliance. While Karzai was president Fahim served first as Minister of Defense and then later as vice president.

Early Life. Fahim was born in the Panjshir Valley in 1957. He attended primary school in Panjshir and high school in Kabul. He graduated in Islamic Sharia studies from the Arabic Institute in Kabul in 1977. After the Communist coup of 1978 he became a refugee in Pakistan (at age 21). He then returned one year later to fight with the Mujahideen against the Communists working for Command Masoud.

Military Career. He started out as a fighter against the Afghan Communist regime and then in the jihad against the Soviet invasion and occupation in the 1980s. He later was a senior leader of Ahmad Sha Massoud - the leader of the Northern Alliance in during the civil war and the fight against the Taliban in the 1990s. At one point in the mid-1990s Fahim was in charge of the Afghanistan intelligence service. Upon Massouds' assassination by al Qaeda operatives Fahim took over leadership of the Northern Alliance to continue the fight against the Taliban. Once the Taliban were toppled from power he was appointed Minister of Defense under Karzai during the Afghan transitional administration; he served in this capacity until 2004.

Civil War. During the early 1990s Afghanistan was engaged in a fierce civil war between the Mujahideen groups that had fought the Soviets and the Communist Afghan government. Fahim was a senior leader of the Tajik group and took part in the horrendous fight for Kabul that killed thousands of civilians.

Fight Against the Taliban Regime. After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 1996 Fahim joined up with the dominent Tajik group and fought against the Taliban until the Taliban regime fell in late 2001.

Political Career. In 2009 Fahim was chosen to be Hamid Karzai's First Vice President in which he served until his death.

CIA Payroll. Fahim was most assuredly on the CIA's payroll to ensure his continued loyalty to the Afghan government and his cooperation with the United States. With the payoffs from the CIA plus his ability to diverts funds from the coffers of the Ministry of Defense - Fahim became an extremely wealthy man. The money he received from the CIA and his other activities helped him establish a vast patronage network that not only provided him with loyal supporters but which further enriched his family and inner circle.

Questionable Activities. While serving under Massoud he was one of the senior intelligence chiefs of the Northern Alliance and his methods were known to be brutal. Once the Taliban regime was toppled Fahim was rumored to be an extremely corrupt politician, an adept power broker, and to be heavily engaged in the drug trade.

Political Power. Fahim enjoyed immense political power within Afghanistan up until his death. His work behind the scenes contributed to an increase in security, stability, and reconciliation between Tajiks and Pashtuns. But he also became extremely wealthy through corruption and acquired and maintained immense personal power with his extensive network of supporters within the government and the military.

Illness. Fahim had suffered a variety of illnesses over the past few years to include heart attacks and diabetes.

Effect of Fahim's Death. His passing creates a vacumn in the power politics of Afghanistan that could cause some instability or at the very least - some adjustments in the political scene. He was instrumental in garnering Northern Alliance support for Karzai in the early years of the current Afghan regime.

Websites with Info on Fahim

Mohammed Fahim. By Wikipedia.

Mohammed Qasim Fahim. By Warlords of Afghanistan.

Mohammed Qasim Fahim Biography. Afghanistan Online.

H.E. Mohammed Fahim. Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Oslo.

News Reports about Mohammed Fahim

March 13, 2014. "As Afghan Tajiks Lay Leader to Rest, Eyes Turn to Political Future". National Public Radio.

March 9, 2014. "Mohammed Fahim dies at 57, Afghanistan's first vice president". The Washington Post.

March 9, 2014. "Warlord Who Tamped Conflicts as Afghan Vice President Dies". The New York Times.

March 9, 2014. "Condolence Statement from Ambassador James Cunningham on the Death of First Vice President Marshal Qasim Fahim". Embassy of the United States, Kabul, Afghanistan.

March 9, 2014. "Statement on passing of Afghan 1st Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim". ISAF News.

August 26, 2009. "Accused of Drug Ties, Afghan Official Worries U.S." The New York Times.


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