Mohammed Daud Daud

Mohammed Daud Daud

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A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 H.E. Mohammed Daud Daud (Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 / Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: محمد داود داود) (January 1969 - 28 May 2011), also known as General Daud Daud, was the police chief in northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and the commander of the elite 303 Pamir Corps. He was considered one of the most effective and important opponents of the Afghan Taliban.

Gen. Daud studied engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

 in college. After graduating college in the 1980s he joined the forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the retreat of Soviet troops and the defeat of the Afghan communist regime, Gen. Daud remained in Takhar province of Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Massoud had ordered him to guard northern areas and to keep his forces out of the capital Kabul. When the Taliban took power in Kabul, General Daud served as a leading military commander of the anti-Taliban United Front
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

 under the command of Ahmad Shah Massoud, which later spearheaded the defeat of the Taliban. In October 2001, Gen. Daud was directly responsible for retaking the city of Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 from an Al Qaeda-Taliban alliance.

After the fall of the Taliban regime, he was appointed a Deputy Interior Minister for Counter Narcotics in Afghanistan. His campaign against poppy cultivation was successful in several provinces such as Logar, Ghazni, Wardak, Paktia, Paktika and Panjshir.

In 2010, he was appointed police chief of 8 northern provinces. Daud commanded all Interior Ministry forces in the north, including his own elite force of police commandos, Pamir 303. Considered one of the most effective opponents of the Taliban he was a high profile target. Gen. Daud was assassinated on May 28, 2011 after a Taliban bomb attack in Taloqan, Afghanistan, in which six other people also lost their lives.

General Daud and the Battle of Kunduz

General Daud was responsible for overseeing the November 2001 siege of Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 which was the last major battle in the assault to topple the Taliban During the siege of Kunduz all sides of the city were surrounded by Northern Alliance
Northern Alliance
The Afghan Northern Alliance is a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996.Northern Alliance may also refer to:*Northern Alliance , a Canadian white supremacist group...

 forces. Inside the city it was estimated 20,000-30,000 Taliban fighters were holed up. Many of these fighters had vowed to fight to the death, rather than surrender to Northern Alliance forces. Inside of Kunduz during the November 2001 siege were the so called "Afghan Arabs", the foreign volunteers believed to be led by Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

. According to General Mohammed Daud a pro-Taliban leader named "Omar al-Khatab"--was leading a force of 1,000 foreign fighters belonging to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. Little was known about the foreign Taliban. According to Afghan Taliban soldiers taken prisoner by the Northern Alliance, the foreigners did not fight side by side with the Taliban, but in separate units, under their own commanders. As the siege wore on, the mayor of Kunduz eventually trekked through the surrounding mountains to meet General Mohammed Daud of the Northern Alliance. A meeting between the two men supposedly took place in a garden near Taloqan
Tāloqān is the capital of Takhar Province, in northern Afghanistan. It is located in the Taluqan District. The population was estimated as 196,400 in 2006.-History:The old city to the west on the riverside was described by Marco Polo in 1275 CE as:...

. Following the meeting with General Daud the mayor was ready to surrender, but still needed time to negotiate with the foreign volunteers, who bitterly opposed the surrender. In an effort to end the siege, General Daud promised the low ranking Taliban fighters fair treatment if they surrendered: "We will allow the low-ranking foreigners to appear before a court."
On November 27, 2001 street-to-street fighting began at 7am in Kunduz, when Northern Alliance troops led by General Mohammed Daud advanced into town. The remaining Taliban were defeated and Kunduz fell into Northern Alliance control. After victory at the siege of Kunduz and the subsequent establishment of the Interim Government in Afghanistan, General Daud was appointed as Military commander of Corps No 6 in Kunduz /Kunduz province.

General Daud's political career

General Daud was the former governor of the Takhar province in Afghanistan. Daud was appointed as governor at the request of the British government in order to oversee Takhar province. The former governor, whom Daud replaced, had been widely implicated in the drug trade. British officials regarded Mr Daud as the cleanest governor in Afghanistan and hoped that his extensive experience in development would help to win over the population and curb opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...


Gen. Mohammad Daud was the top counter-narcotics official in the Afghan government. Counternarcotics enforcement activities have been directed from within the Ministry of Interior since 2002. General Mohammed Daud was named Deputy Ministry of Interior for Counternarcotics by Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 in October 2004. He was also the head of the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan
Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan
The Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan is specialist force under the Afghan Ministry of the Interior. The CNPA is the lead agency for counter narcotics investigations in Afghanistan and has an establishment of some 3000 officers...

 (CNPA). General Daud and his staff worked with U.S. and British officials in implementing the Afghan government's expanded counternarcotics enforcement plan. Soon following his appointment, General Daud led an Afghan delegation that participated in a thirty night session of the sub-commission on illicit Drug Traffic and related matters in the Near and Middle East (HONLEA) in Beirut, Lebanon. Delegates from twenty-one countries participated in the meeting. General Mohammad Daud delivered a presentation on the counter narcotics activities of the government of Afghanistan, achievements and problems still being faced.
President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 has taken steps to establish landlocked Afghanistan as a trade hub connecting the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. General Daud has been involved in President Hamid Karzai's plan to rehabilitate the war torn Afghan economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

. In late December 2002 General Daud lead an economic trade delegation to neighboring Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

. Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 has been particularly interested in swiftly opening trading routes in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 where there is a vast market for Afghan goods.

General Daud has expressed optimism about Afghanistan's effort to halt the opium trade: "We witnessed a remarkable reduction in the level of poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 cultivation all over Afghanistan last year. We worked very hard in the provinces where poppy cultivation was higher last year. The poppy eradication campaign is extensively under way in 11 provinces. Some 45,000 jeribs [9,000 hectares] of poppy cultivated land have so far been cleared. The campaign will start in 11 other provinces soon."

General Daud was also involved in Afghanistan's Disbandment of Illegal Armed (DIAG). DIAG is a program within the Afghan Ministry of Interior. DAIG supports the Afghan government's objectives to bring stability to Afghanistan through the continuing process of demilitarization. The program also focuses on removing from office those government officials with proven links to illegal armed groups. General Daud said that DIAG is not a program to take only weapons from individuals but that it is a program to disband the armed groups in order to ensure a sustainable safe and secure country.

Acid attack on Afghan schoolgirls

On November 12, 2008 attackers in Afghanistan sprayed acid in the faces of at least 15 girls near a school in Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

. One of the girls who was attacked was quoted as saying, "We were going to school on foot when two unknown people on a motorcycle came close to us and threw acid in our faces", 16-year-old Atifa told the BBC." At least two of the girls were blinded by the attack. General Mohammad Daud was tasked to deal with the incident. The attack on the girls, who had been wearing all-covering burqas, drew wide condemnation including from President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 and U.S. First Lady Laura Bush
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

 who described it as "cowardly and shameful".

General Daud said authorities had arrested 10 men in connection to the attack a few days after the occurrence. In discussing the acid attack, General Daud stated at a press conference: "The attack was the work of the Taliban and we have not finalised our investigation". As the investigation into the acid attack continued General Mohammad Daud, told the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 that "the attack was the work of the Taliban" and that the attackers "were taking orders from the other side of the border [with Pakistan] from those who are leading terrorist attacks in Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

." The ten Afghans that were arrested were each been promised 100,000 Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i rupees (US$1,300) by Taliban rebels in Pakistan to carry out the attack, deputy interior minister General Mohammad Daud told reporters. Many of the ten men who had been arrested had confessed to the attacks. General Daud said his ministry had opened a bank account to collect money for the girls' medical treatment and education.

Military operations

In March 2011 a BBC crew was embeded with General Daud's forces during a battle against the Taliban in Baghlan
Baghlan is a city in northern Afghanistan, in the eponymous province, Baghlan Province. It is located three miles east of the Kunduz River, 35 miles south of Khanabad, and about 1,700 metres above sea level in the northern Hindu Kush...

. The journalist described:

Opium in Afghanistan

Opium from Afghanistan provides more than 90 percent of the world's total supply, funding international drug syndicates with billions of dollars in profits every year. General Mohammad Daud has said that more than 110,000 people are actively involved in drug business across the country. This number had been estimated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC). In June 2007 General Daud estimated there were over 1,000 smugglers, including some government officials arrested over the previous three years. General Daud stated in an interview: "Our job as a law enforcement agency is to make sure eradication is done and farmers are not cultivating opium poppy.We want to put some 4–5 traffickers in jail from each poppy producing province to make an example. . . .The other side is the poverty of the farmers. We, the Afghan state, will do our part; there will be no more poppy cultivation. But it is the responsibility of the big donors to provide alternative livelihoods, alternative crops and development to the farmers, both short term and long term." The head of the UN's drugs agency said recently the Taliban made $100 million last year by levying a 10% tax on opium-growing farmers. In response to the illicit opium trade, General Mohammad Daud reported that counter-narcotics activities had been "boosted considerably" since 2007. During the first eight months of 2007, over 300 tonnes of cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

, over 25 tonnes of opium and over 10 tonnes of heroin, as well as several tonnes of heroin-producing chemicals, were impounded. Twenty-five heroin-producing laboratories were also destroyed, according to the Interior Ministry.

In December 2008, General Daud was a keynote speaker at a U.N. conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. General Daud stated that Afghan law enforcement agencies needed international assistance in training and equipment. He talked about lack of security and linkage between drug-trafficking and terrorism as well as profound corruption in the police and the army. His presentation highlighted the Ministry of the Interior's strategy in the field of counternarcotics. These included dismantling drug-trafficking networks/organizations, poppy eradication and crop substitution. General Daud informed the participants that the "poppy eradication force" would complete its training soon and would be deployed to the southern provinces of Afghanistan. He noted that the force would be responsible for manually eradicating poppy plantations. He called for international support to continue with the poppy eradication programme and to expand the crop substitution programme to other provinces. The General suggested posting liaison officers to Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan in order to foster international cooperation. Afghanistan had signed agreements with a number of countries and was in the process of signing memorandums of understanding with neighboring countries aimed at improving cooperation, information-sharing, and controlled delivery operations, according to the General. His ministry's activities in strengthening security at the borders and airports and establishing border control liaison officers were also emphasized.

In February 2009 General Daud stated that he was hopeful that the poppy crop production in Afghanistan would likely to drop by 50 percent this year. General Daud stated in a press conference Taliban and smugglers have joined hands to pose a bigger threat to the Afghan government. Special counter narcotics police have come under enemy attack during the counter-narcotics drive in several occasions that inflicted casualties on the law-enforcers, he said. The campaign against poppy was successful in Logar, Ghazni, Wardag, Paktia, Paktika and Panjshir provinces.

Taliban and opium

The opium trade has been a continuing source of financing for the Taliban. Taliban insurgents
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 force farmers to grow opium poppies
Poppies can refer to:*Poppy - the plant*The Poppies - multiple uses*"Poppies", a song by Patti Smith Group from their 1976 album Radio Ethiopia*"Poppies", the first track on the debut album by Marcy Playground....

 to fund their operations. General Daud was recently quoted as saying, ""The Taliban have forged an alliance with drug
A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.In pharmacology, a...

 smugglers, providing protection for drug convoys and mounting attacks to keep the government away and the poppy flourishing." General Mohammad Daud was further quoted in The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

about this alliance, saying, "There has been a coalition between the Taliban and the opium smugglers. This year, they have set up a commission to tax the harvest." In return, he said, the Taliban had offered opium farmers protection from the government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

's eradication efforts. The switch in strategy has an obvious logic: it provides opium money for the Taliban to sustain itself and helps it to win over the farming communities. In a continued effort to curb the opium trade in Afghanistan Mohammed Duad reported in June 2008 that police in Kabul set fire to 7.5 tonnes of narcotics. In April 2009, the Afghan anti-drug officers burned more than six-and-a-half tons of seized heroin, opium, hashish and drug-manufacturing chemicals worth up to £70 million on the UK market. "If we do not burn the drugs, thousands of others will become drug addicts", said General Daud Daud, deputy minister for counter narcotics at the Interior Ministry. By burning this amount of opium and narcotics we show the people we are committed to the fight against drugs."

Mobile opium processing labs

Reports seem to suggest Afghan drug traffickers are turning to new concealment methods. Mobile processing labs started to be seen at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004. These processing labs can be difficult to locate. According to General Daud "reports and tip-offs" have to be relied on in order to find them. General Daud added: "Previously, they were using wood in their big laboratories. They could not move [them] and we started to find their laboratories, so they decided to make all their laboratories into mobile labs so they can carry them to different places. They started using gas
Gas is one of the three classical states of matter . Near absolute zero, a substance exists as a solid. As heat is added to this substance it melts into a liquid at its melting point , boils into a gas at its boiling point, and if heated high enough would enter a plasma state in which the electrons...

 and diesel [as fuel]." Afghan counter-narcotics police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 point to key smugglers having strong links with processing laboratories and say that laboratories are sometimes heavily guarded. "They have a lot of weapons, and in some areas they are supported by government officials," said Daud, although he would not reveal in which areas guarded laboratories had been a particular problem. A Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 resident who has had close contact with the drugs trade said that laboratories, often just comprising metal drums and a large press, are mainly located in the border areas. The location of laboratories in these areas points to the involvement of Pakistani chemists.


Gen. Daud was assassinated in a Taliban bomb attack in Taloqan, Afghanistan , after a meeting held in the headquarters of the provincial governor of Takhar Province
Takhar Province
Takhār is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It was established in 1964 when Qataghan Province was divided into three provinces: Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar. It is in the north-east of the country. Its capital is Taloqan. Its salt mines are one of Afghanistan's major mineral resources...

. The attack caused six fatalities, among them two German soldiers. The commander of ISAF troops
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 in North Afghanistan, General Markus Kneip, was wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.