Tributes pour in for slain former Afghan female lawmaker

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Tributes poured in on Monday for a former Afghan female lawmaker who was shot and killed by gunmen in her home in the capital of Kabul the previous day. The slaying was the first time a lawmaker from the previous administration was killed in the city since the Taliban takeover.

Mursal Nabizada was among the few female parliamentarians who stayed in Kabul after the Taliban seized power in August 2021. Police say one of her bodyguards was also killed in the attack on Sunday.

Karen Decker, the U.S. chargé d’affaires for Afghanistan, tweeted: “Hold the perpetrators accountable!”

“Angered, heartbroken by murder of Mursal Nabizada – a tragic loss. I offer Mursal’s family my condolences and hope to see them receive justice for this senseless act," Decker also said in her tweet.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “shocked" by the killings of Nabizada and a bodyguard and “calls for a prompt, thorough, and transparent investigation and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice," U.N. associate spokesperson Stephanie Tremblay said.

Nabizada’s brother was also wounded in the attack, according to Khalid Zadran, spokesman for the Kabul police chief in the Taliban administration. A police investigation was underway, he added.

Hannah Neumann, a member of the European parliament, also tweeted her condolences. “I am sad and angry and want the world to know! She was killed in darkness, but the Taliban build their system of Gender Apartheid in full daylight,” Neumann said.

Earlier, local police chief Hamidullah Khalid said another security guard had fled the scene with money and jewelry.

Abdullah Abdullah, a top official in Afghanistan’s former Western-backed government, said he was saddened by Nabizada’s death and hoped the perpetrators would be punished. He described her as a “representative and servant of the people.”

Nabizada was elected in 2019 to represent Kabul and stayed in office until the Taliban takeover. She was originally from eastern Nangarhar province. She also worked at a private non-governmental group, the Institute for Human Resources Development and Research.

After their takeover, the Taliban initially said they would not impose the same harsh rules over society as they did during their first rule of Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

But they have progressively imposed more restrictions, particularly on women. They have banned women and girls from schooling beyond the sixth grade, barred them from most jobs and demanded they cover their faces when outside.