Kabul: The Olympian national hero, Rohullah Nikpai, received the country’s most prestigious civilian award, the Highest National Award of Afghanistan, from President Hamid Karzai.
In a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in presence of United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, Vice President Karim Khalili, Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and other high-level ministers and officials, President Hamid Karzai conferred the Highest National Award of Afghanistan to the national hero, Rohullah Nikpai, who brought the first-ever medal to Afghanistan in the history of Olympics.
The President also awarded Afg200,000 to the female Hazara athlete, Rubina Muqimyar, and Afghanistan’s other contenders of the Beijing Olympics.
The Lower House had previously appreciated Rohullah for his historic win in the Beijing Olympics 2008. He was invited by the parliamentarians to the Parliament House. Upon his arrival, the MPs welcomed him by clapping. Speaker of the House Younas Qanooni greeted Rohullah on behalf of the MPs, saying, “The entire nation is proud of you.”
Some political analysts believe Karzai is paying special attention to Rohullah to earn Hazara votes in the upcoming presidential elections. Analysts also say Karzai’s generous awards to Rohullah is an attempt to divert attention from his mismanagement of the recent Behsud crisis.
Talking in this regard, a resident of Kabul, Khaliq, said, “Karzai gave the award to wash his ruisiaghu of Behsud massacre, as Ashraf Ghani Ahmedzai [Kuchi Leader] was also present in the award ceremony.”
The Hazaras believe that the Karzai Administration has been supporting the armed Kuchis who invaded Behsud last month, killing about 20 Hazara villagers.
Rohullah is said to be the first Hazara youth to have received the Highest National Award of Afghanistan.
Photos Courtesy of Pajhwak.