Today marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, the former Minister of Commerce, Kabul MP, and head of the Economic Commission of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament.
On November 6, 2007, a delegation of parliament members led by Kazemi decided to travel to Kunduz province to assess the economic situation. But while traveling through Baghlan, he was killed in a terrorist attack along with 63 students and five other parliament members.
Five other MPs-- Abdul Matin, Sibgatullah Zaki, Haji Sahib Rahman Hemat, Nazik Mir Sarferaz and Mohammad Arif Zarif--lost their lives in the blast.
“Everything shook at once. On both sides of the road there were trees and the leaves of the trees fell to the ground. I don’t remember more than just a couple of minutes after the blast,” said Safia Sediqi, a former parliament member.
“The night before the incident, Mr. Kazemi was asleep. Three times I woke him up and told him the convey was leaving, and he should get ready. When Mr. Kazemi traveled to Baghlan my little boy was eighteen months old,” said Hamida Kazemi, Kazemi 's wife.
“The hardship we went through after our father’s death--in fact, it would be simpler to say that the “mountain melted” because everything depended on our father,” said Massoud Kazemi, Kazimi’s son.
Kazemi was born in Surkhi Parsa district of Parwan province and he had studied business at Isfahan University in Iran for three years.
After the establishment of the interim government in 2001, he was appointed Minister of Commerce and then, after winning an election, he become a member of parliament representing Kabul.
Afghan political figures remember Kazemi:
“He was a patriotic person. He was a patriot and he was a capable person,” said Hamid Karzai, former Afghan president.
“He quickly understood the issues and needs of Afghanistan and Afghanistan's priorities,” said Abdullah Abdullah, National Unity Government (NUG) Chief Executive.
Kazemi’s accomplishments include:
-Facilitating help for entrepreneurs for both large and small businesses
-Establishing an Investment Support directorate
-Obtaining an 80% customs exemptions in the United States and India for Afghan goods
-Initiating the construction of the Zaranj—Delaram—Chabahar transit road
-Founding the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and building connections with the US, Korea, Iran and many other countries.
-Attracting investors and creating the High Investment Commission
-Initiating building and renovation of industrial parks in Kabul and many other provinces