A poet returns home to Afghanistan

The body of Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, one of Afghanistan’s greatest modern poets, was brought home to Afghanistan from Pakistan last month, and reburied following a ceremony at Kabul University.

Khalili, a hero to to the Afghan Mujahedeen fighting the Soviets during the 1980s, lived his final years in exile in Pakistan, and died there in 1987, too early to see the Soviets driven from his country. Relatives feared his grave in Pakistan might be desecrated, following Taliban attacks on Sufi shrines in the country in recent years.

Several Afghan government officials attended the ceremony in Kabul, as did Khalili’s son, a poet and Afghanistan’s ambassador to Spain, Massoud Khalili. I spent a lot of time with Massoud in Afghanistan last year and wrote about him here.



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