Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, vice-president of Afghanistan, was laid to rest on Tuesday with military honors in a special memorial ceremony attended by high-ranking government officials and politicians, after dying of a heart attack on Sunday.
Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, a candidate for the presidency in the upcoming April elections led a prayer ceremony at the presidential palace and President Hamid Karzai said in a speech that Fahim was devoted to Afghanistan.
Karzai declared him as a patriot and said he had lost his "friend, brother and the people of Afghanistan lost their servant."
"Marshal Fahim was my colleague in taking every important decision on Afghanistan," he said.
Fahim's son Adib also addressed the gathering and announced his father as loyal to the Afghan people and in the service of the country.
"My father was a peace supporter. Until his life's last moment he wanted peace in Afghanistan and transparent 2014 elections," said Adib.
After the funeral ceremony held in the Presidential Palace, Marshal's coffin was transferred to the Badam Bagh hill of Kabul for burial.
Marshal Fahim, former commander of the Northern Alliance and ethnic Tajik leader from Panjshir, died of a heart attack in his Kabul home early on Sunday.
He served in different capacities, including Defence Minister and Vice President, over the past 13 years. He became Karzai's first vice president in 2009.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral ceremony. Marshal Fahim's body was laid with military honor and 21 cannon shots. Tough security measures undertaken by the Afghan forces around the city to secure the funeral ceremony.
Many in the city have put up pictures of him in public areas. Some others expressed their sorrows by placing black fabric on doors and walls.
Afghan nationals in different provinces of the country have told TOLOnews that Mr. Fahim had crucial role in national politics and announced his death a loss while some other citizens criticized the government for calling for a period of national mourning.
Memorial ceremonies for Fahim were held in Baghlan, Khost, Zabul, and Herat provinces as well as the capital.
A number of people praised Fahim's legacy.
"We offered prayers for Marshal Fahim and we really deplore his demise and share the grief and appreciate his work," said Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil, Police Chief of northern Baghlan.
"We hold Holy Quran recitation ceremony for Marshal Fahim and prayed for his soul," said Malawi Khudaidad, the Herat Peace Council Chief.
"The death of Marshal Fahim was a loss for the country and he played significant role in present political system," said Mansour, a resident of northern Parwan province.
But some residents disagreed with the government's decision to announce three days of national mourning for Fahim's death.
"A couple of weeks ago, 21 Afghan National Army soldiers were killed and Karzai did not announce national mourning. He even did not attend their memorial ceremony and now that his vice president has died of natural causes, he declares three days national mourning," said Abdul Rahman, a resident of eastern Nangarhar.
More prayer ceremonies will be held in the provinces on Wednesday.