Yesterday, Jawad Zahak’s body was welcomed like a hero by the people of Bamiyan. According to local reporters, about 7 thousand people waited at the Bamiyan airport from 1:00pm to 6:00pm until two helicopters from the Ministry of Defense arrived with the body of Zahak and his companions. The people are yet to make a decision where to bury him: Bamiyan city, Yakawlang district his birthplace or Mazar-e Sharif where Zahak allegedly asked his heirs to bury him to be close to the tomb of Abdul-Ali Mazari.
Zahak was not a highly educated person. However his dedication to public service and courageous and sharp language made him a powerful political figure in Hazarajat. He had a Facebook account and occasionally shared his thoughts with his friends in a grammatically broken Dari. His last ‘status update’ can sum up his entire political struggles in the post-Taliban Bamiyan:
Bamiyan, the undiscovered land: neither the international community nor Mr. Karzai and his cabinet know that Bamiyan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. If they knew, they would allocate at least a small percentage of those billions of Dollars coming from the foreign donors to the central government, for the reconstruction of Bamiyan province.
A Bamiyani blogger just wrote that Mr. Zahak will be buried in Bamiyan city in Gulzar-e Shuhada (Garden of Martyrs) cemetery. And also the three other men killed with him were not his “companions” as the media reported, but ordinary passengers who got caught by the abductors on June 3 based on ID cards they carried with themselves that showed they were working for the government or foreign NGOs. Mahdy Mehraeen a photographer in Bamiyan has published a collection of photos from the funeral at The Republic of Silence, a popular Hazara website.