The killing of famed comedian Nazar Mohammad, also known as “Khasha Zuwan,” on Tuesday in Dand district of Kandahar by the Taliban has sparked a strong outcry both in Afghanistan and abroad.
Prominent Afghan political leaders including former President Hamid Karzai have condemned his killing, calling it barbaric and against Islamic values.
The US embassy in Kabul also condemned the killing.
Khasha Zuwan was a famous comedian from Kandahar province. He was 60 years old at the time of his death, and had been involved with comedy for 40 years. His family said that he was not willing to show his comedies on TV, but the people of Kandahar loved him.
“The martyrdom of Khasha, who was bringing smiles to his people in this difficult time of war, indicates an enmity toward art,” said Qasim Wafayeezada, the acting minister of information and culture.
“Khasha Zuwan was a man who was bringing smiles to the face of the people,” said Essa Khan, a resident in Kandahar.
His fans say that despite the fact that he was an illiterate man, he had extraordinary talent.
Khasha’s family told TOLOnews that his dead body was handed over to them at the end of the day after he was arrested in Kandahar by the Taliban.
Video of his arrest on social media shows that he was insulted and beaten by the Taliban.
Cultural figures have decried his murder, calling it a crime against humanity.
“Slapping Khasha in the face was a slap in the face to the entire Afghan people, it was an insult to human dignity,” said Mohammad Sadiq Sarmastzada, an Afghan artist.
Many of Khasha’s fans reportedly refrained from talking to TOLOnews because they fear threats to their lives.
Previously the Taliban spokesman told TOLOnews that Khasha Zuwan was a member of the Afghan police and had insulted the Taliban.
The Taliban spokesman said that the group will investigate the way Khasha was murdered.
Khasha’s family has denied he had any links to the police. His family said that Khasha was performing for the security forces to get some money from them.
Khasha left seven children behind.