An Afghan man, who awarded a Medal of Bravery to U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year, has been killed by Taliban.
Zabihullah Mujahid a Taliban spokesperson in a tweet Sunday took responsibility for the attack. “One of those criminals who had taken a medal to U.S. President Trump is killed in the blast in Logar. His name is Gul Nabi who had designed the medal.”
Afghan officials criticized the targeted killing of civilians who “support the policy of peace.”
“Taliban cannot justify this act of terror under Islamic or any other laws. They target whoever serves humanity,” General Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesperson for Afghan Defense Ministry, told VOA.
“The man they killed was not alone. All of the people of Logar were with him when they decided to award Donald Trump with the Medal of Bravery,” he added.
According to Afghan officials, Nabi was killed after a bomb in his car exploded Thursday.
With the help of some other tribal elders, Gul Nabi had prepared the gold medal and awarded it to President Trump for what they said was his strict policy against Pakistan.
According to a tribal elder, on Jan. 13, in a community gathering, more than 300 participants agreed to award the medal to the U.S. president. The text on the medal inscribed in gold reads: “Bravery medal, on behalf of the people of Afghanistan to Donald Trump, the President of the U.S.”
The medal was reportedly sent to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Jan. 13.
Trump’s Pakistan policy
In his first tweet of 2018, Trump said: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Donald Trump also accused Pakistan of being a safe haven for extremists and threatened to cut off billions of dollars in aid to the country.
Pakistan denies these charges.
Pakistan is the one country in the region that has done the most against terrorism, and no country can accuse Pakistan of not doing enough against terrorism and extremism, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s outgoing ambassador to the United States, told VOA.
“We’ve said time and again that there are no safe havens in Pakistan,” Chaudhry, said.
Afghan officials, however, blame Pakistan for providing safe heavens to the militants and link most of the violence in Afghanistan to Pakistan-based militant groups.
“The reason that terrorism still exists in Afghanistan, although Afghan forces have killed thousands of them, is that they have safe havens in Pakistan,” Radmanish told VOA.
“Pakistan is also recruiting foreign terrorists, training and equipping them in seminaries and then sends them to Afghanistan with specific targets,” he added.
But Chaudhry says to hold Pakistan responsible for a lack of success in Afghanistan is not fair treatment.
Threats of death
A tribal elder Sayed Farhad Akbari who also helped Nabi in creating the medal told VOA that he and other tribal elders regularly receive death threats from the Taliban.
“We all awarded the gold medal to Trump for his strict policy against Pakistan,” Akbari added. “Taliban did this [attack] at the behest of Pakistan.”
Pakistan is likely to reward any punitive action in Afghanistan, says Walter Dorn, professor at Royal Military College of Canada & Canadian Forces College.
“Pakistan might have encouraged the Taliban to take action against those who produced the medal,” Dorn told VOA.
Ibrahim Rahimi and Madeeha Anwar contributed to this report.