Abdul Ahad Karzai, 77, a onetime Afghan tribal leader and deputy speaker of its House of Representatives who had lived in Laurel on and off since 1983, was gunned down July 14 outside a mosque in Quetta, Pakistan, by two men who escaped on motorcycle.
His death was deplored by the U.S. State Department in a statement issued the day of the shooting. The statement said Mr. Karzai was "the distinguished leader of the Populzai tribe and a major voice for moderation among the Pushtun tribes."
The statement went on to say that Mr. Karzai "played a significant role in the fight against the Soviet occupation of his country" and that he was "active in trying to find peace" in his homeland.
Mr. Karzai, who also was a former diplomat and senator, was an ally of former Afghan king Zahir Shah. He was considered by observers to be a skilled mediator in the constant tribal disputes that long monopolized Afghan politics.
Mr. Karzai had arrived in Pakistan, a country he often visited to meet with Afghan exile leaders, a few days before the shooting.
In the United States, he worked to help Afghan refugees. He also had testified before congressional groups and had been consulted by the United Nations and foreign embassies on the situation in South Asia.