Insurgents on Sunday killed Jan Mohammed Khan, a senior aide to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, along with a Member of Parliament on Sunday night raising doubts about the efficacy of security measures in the conflict ridden nation.
According to police officials, Jan Mohammed Khan, the former governor of southern Uruzgan province, was killed when at least two insurgents stormed into his house on Sunday night, reported the Washington Street Journal (WSJ). An intense battle ensued between the insurgents who were holed up inside the house and the police officials for three hours. The insurgents also shot dead Mohammed Hashem Watanwal, a parliamentarian from Uruzgan, who was visiting Khan at the time.
Taliban claimed for the attack, accusing Khan of helping American forces.
Khan's assassination was the second victory in the increasingly successful Taliban's endeavors to infiltrate the power circle of the government. His death closely followed the killing of the President's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai last week.
Khan was a close friend and ally of President Hamid Karzai and was instrumental in initiating peace talks with the Taliban, stated the report. Afghan and Western officials said that his death was an indication that the Taliban were not interested in conducting any peaceful negotiations to the government.
Khan's and Karzai's death is a serious blow to Afghanistan as well as to the US forces who will now have a harder time navigating the Pashtun tribal structure. Both the slain leaders were veterans of the region's tribal politics.
Khan's killing also undermines Afghanistan's gradual shift to assume full control of its security. Khan's death occurred the same day as NATO began handing off control of the country's security to Afghan force. According to the report, the US led coalition is supposed to allow most of the international troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by late 2014. The coalition relies on the support from Afghan leaders like Jan Mohammed Khan and Ahmed Wali Karzai to gather support for the Afghan government among the tribes.