I was kind of surprised he didn’t go back to Germany, but considering that’s where he stabbed his stepson for criticizing his desire to beat his wife I’m not all that surprised he stayed in Helmand. Haji Zahir is dead. The “governor” of Marjah, the man so imperfectly perfect Stanley McChrystal himself ferried him from Germany to central Helmand province to spearhead the “government in a box” they never quite got around to building… Haji Zahir is dead.
Permit me this brief moment of callousness. ISAF knew this man had a violent, disgusting past, and chose to conceal that when it first brought him to the area. His tenure of the Marjah area can only be called terrible. And within six months he was exiled from the District Sub-governor’s house. He was not a good man, or a good leader, or a good anything (maybe a good thug). Even his recent appointment as deputy of the Helmand Peace Council—a joke as sick as describing Ahmed Wali Karzai as “honest”—made the man out to seem an opportunist seeking money, rather than a patriot seeking a future.
Reading the report on his death, we see a scene from the Sopranos: the head of the Helmand Peace Council invites his deputy Zahir to dinner at his home in Lashkar Gah, and anonymous gunmen break into his house and kill Zahir, leaving the head of the council unscathed.
Lashkar Gah is one of seven areas to be handed over to Hamid Karzai’s administration in July. Seems they’re getting a head start.