Dawn News

Afghan president congratulates Olympic medallist

Rohullah Nikpah. -Photo by Reuters

KABUL: Afghanistan's first medallist in the London Olympics received a personal phone call of congratulation from the war-torn country's president Friday.

Rohullah Nikpah took a taekwondo bronze medal, repeating his performance in the 2008 Beijing Games when he became the nation's first-ever Olympic medal winner.

President Hamid Karzai called Afghanistan's team in London Friday to congratulate Nikpah and all the Afghan athletes, his office said.

“Afghan athletes have shown in recent years that they don't have less talent than the athletes of other countries and with hard work and effort they can hoist the flag of Afghanistan in the international sports arena,” Karzai's office said.

Nikpah's victory was greeted with jubilation in a country ravaged by war for three decades, setting social media sites alight with pride.

Another Afghan Taekwondo hope, Nesar Ahmad Bahawi, began his quest for a medal Friday with a victory in his first bout.

Thanks to Nikpah and Bahawi, taekwondo has become one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan.

Around 25,000 competitors practise in hundreds of clubs around the country, and events with the Afghan fighters in London were shown live on several TV channels.

Before the 2008 Games, the country's previous best Olympic finish was a fifth place in wrestling in 1964.

NATO has some 130,000 troops in Afghanistan helping Karzai's government fight a Taliban insurgency.

Email feedback and queries to Dawn.com's editorial team, or visit our contact page


Comments (52) Closed

Aug 11, 2012 12:10pm
Heartfelt Congratulations Afghanistan, from Pakistan :)
N Sadat
Aug 11, 2012 11:49am
wish u all the best Afghanistan alwaysssssssssssssss!!!
Aug 11, 2012 10:14am
Millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and eating up its resources and no sign of gratitude.
Aug 10, 2012 01:47pm
Love you Afghanistan ........wish from India
Aug 10, 2012 01:46pm
We have seen Bangladesh over taking us in economy, Exports and other fields. Now we will see Afghanistan going past us in different domains. We need to work hard to get ourselves on the right path again and to put an end to a culture of corruption and laziness that is dragging us down. Wake up Pakistan!!
Aug 10, 2012 01:19pm
Even Afghanistan won an olympics medal. Where are you Pakistan?
Aug 10, 2012 01:48pm
congratulation to our Afghan brothers,,,, keep it up ,,,,, from a Pakistani Brother
Saad (DXB)
Aug 10, 2012 02:05pm
Naah Bangladesh is just a tad bit lower than us in exports.. a few million dollars.. But not to worry.. They should surpass us soon..
Saad (DXB)
Aug 10, 2012 02:05pm
Oh we Pakistanis have no doubt about that..
Aug 10, 2012 02:25pm
Congrats to our Afghan brothers from across the border. Well done lad. You have made your countrymen proud along with us Pakistanis.
Aug 10, 2012 02:28pm
I am in touch with numerous Pakistanis in Jeddah and I am disappointed with their basic attitude and behavior and although very impressed with their love for the Rasool Mohammed PBUH. I must add however, that true love implies integrating the principles of truthfulness, honesty , fairness and justice, good manners and etiquettes, love and compassion,humility and decency and in short each and every virtue which the prophet practiced in his lifetime and laid them as the cornerstone of his teaching .It gives me pain to see that we muslims are lacking in virtually every department which can raise the standards of effectiveness in our daily lives and very far from the teachings of the great prophet. My Pakistani brothers instead of being a role model for the rest of the Ummah are a disgrace to say the least. We can write a lot but believe me writing and talking is not the solution. We have to understand first how far we have moved from the mainstream Islam and that merely observing the tenets of Islam ritually is not following the religion but it has to be right from the heart and soul.Once we have identified the ailment we shall start making a mark not only nationally but also Internationally and shall command the respect of one and all.
Aug 10, 2012 03:18pm
well said, instead of corruption and war we need growth and peace.
Aug 10, 2012 03:51pm
mubarak ho ap ko ALLAH ap ko hush rakhay ameen.
Aug 10, 2012 04:29pm
Shame on us. Even Afghanistan won a medal and we came back empty-handed. Our Army should stop supporting terrorists and instead focus on the talents of the young generation.
Aug 10, 2012 04:47pm
Congrats Afghanistan and thanks Aman from India, we wish you all the best as well.
Aug 10, 2012 04:48pm
And thanks to our sweet neighbour Pakistan. lol
Aug 10, 2012 05:56pm
brother from another mother
Aug 10, 2012 06:19pm
why do you not publish my posts? This is censorship, remember you live by the sword, you will die by the sword....you wont like it when someone censors you one day, you never know...it could be me.
Aug 10, 2012 06:20pm
Well done Rohullah your really Afghanistan's national Hero Hero Herooooooooooooooooooooooooo..... All Afghans really proud on youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu..... ?????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ?????? 2016 ???? ??? ?? ???? ????????? ??????
Tariq S
Aug 10, 2012 06:21pm
Congratulations to Afghanistan But this is also a lesson for Pakistan, where we ony have cricket, I feel cricket has destroyed all other sports in Pakistan, it is a curse, we dont have track and field, no swimming, no wrestling, no judo, not even hockey, the cricket has sucked all the glamour and attention from all other sports.
Aug 10, 2012 06:29pm
@Zishi, these country does not have Zardari ruling them.
Aug 10, 2012 06:59pm
@Nish What do you mean EVEN AFGHANISTAN WON AN OLYMPIC MEDAL. My friend Afghanistan will do better in the future. Pakistan has been ruined.
sahib khan
Aug 10, 2012 07:00pm
well done AFG
Aug 10, 2012 07:02pm
we have simply one thing to do: stop our double games at all levels(nationally and internationally, public and government, arm and isi) and be honest then we will achieve something.
Mahmood Nisar
Aug 10, 2012 07:08pm
Zishi, You should cheer for Muslims victory everywhere even if he is not from your own country. I pride in Pakistan's nuclear power on the basis of the single Islamic country to have nuclear power even though I am from Afghanistan.
Riza Haidar
Aug 10, 2012 07:16pm
Congratulations bro. You once again showed your talent to the world :) High Respect. From Kabul, Afghanistan.
Muhammad Musa
Aug 10, 2012 08:35pm
We must learn to love our country in real sense and results will start pouring in.
fazal Ahmed siddiqui
Aug 10, 2012 11:37pm
congratulation to all Afghanistan people great achievement keep it up brother .Nikpah you are the real hero for all of us. within Afghanistan and out side Afghanistan. and we all love you, and praying for more more such a great achievements. advise ???????but always keep your self away from present politicization. and the dirty member of parliaments, who are the agents of of foreign counter's. and securing their interests. Zinda bad Afghanistan. Ahmed Siddiqui.
jawed sarwae
Aug 11, 2012 12:09am
It is tough for Pakistan to compete with Afghanistan. in PAKISTA N officials and ministers are only inetrested to make money through bribery and illegal means.Even Bangladesh is better in Law and Order situation. Wake up Pakistan before you are gone with the wind.
Aug 11, 2012 12:38am
Congrats Afghanistan. Good going, as far as we Pakistanis are concerned our position is 'A medal is a medal whether you win it or not'
Muhammad Faisal
Aug 11, 2012 12:39am
watching Talk shows
Aug 11, 2012 04:40am
Aug 11, 2012 04:57am
Um, if the Afghans have stability in their country, they can easily compete in most of the events and give a real compeition to USA,Russia and China, they are a tough race and know how to compete , survive the odds, its unfortunate that circumstances have been unfortunate for them.
Aug 11, 2012 04:59am
heartiest congratulation to Afghan nation ....from your brothers in Pakistan
Mohammad ali gaad
Aug 11, 2012 05:09am
Great Job, With their hard-work they reached their mark and About our Pakistan i will like to say one word ! Improve Improve Improve.
Sanjeev Mishra
Aug 11, 2012 06:00am
Congrats Afghan friend...... a salute from India.
Aug 11, 2012 06:38am
Congratulations to Rohulla Nikpah for back-to-back bronze medals in successive Olympics. Wish him all the best for gold medal at Rio de Janeiro Olympics(2016)
Aug 11, 2012 06:50am
Jeehai butto... butto pher b zinda hai... kash our rulers do some work instead of slogans
Ali Vaqar Awan
Aug 11, 2012 07:18am
Congradulations to Nikpai for wining a medal. Despite less facilities its a big achievement that Afghanistan finds itself in medal table. While Pakistan is having dark days as it continues to be away from medal. Its more sad that despite population of over 18 crore our nations fails to find medal winner. Its a wake up call for Pakistan.
Aug 11, 2012 07:56am
and playing gilli dandah and harassing minorities in pakistan. shame on you
Aug 11, 2012 07:57am
and smell the chai
Aug 11, 2012 12:37pm
Salute to Afghan friend from India on a Pakistani portal...................................:)
Aug 11, 2012 03:00pm
It's a waste of time since my comments will be censored
Aug 11, 2012 03:00pm
why censorship?
Aug 11, 2012 03:05pm
This is the last straw when even poor old war torn Afghanistan wins an Olympics medal! Pakistan, SHAME ON YOU for a country of 180 million strong not to win a single medal. I agree that very soon Pakistan will be overtaken by both Afghanistan and Bangladesh in all fields. Pakistan = FAILED STATE!
Aug 11, 2012 03:37pm
Aug 11, 2012 07:03pm
fasting and praying
Khan usafzai
Aug 11, 2012 08:58pm
Well done Afghanistan, i hope so Pakistan also learn from you.... It's a wake up call for pakistan that apart from Militancy their are many ther field to compete... either become a prosperous nation or War loving nation-->choice is yours.
Aug 11, 2012 11:35pm
Cricket is the game of lazy people !!!!!
Aug 12, 2012 03:48am
1st off...Great job!!! And all thanks to Allah swt. 2nd..."poor old war torn Afghanistan" is an understatement. Afghanistan has always been an undefeatable country with Allah's guidance until recently. So the Olympics is not impossible for an Afghan. He worked hard for it and deserved it and inshallah Pakistan joins the race but please no comparisons. Mina from Chicago, IL
Aug 13, 2012 02:45am
Congrats to my afghan brothers for this achievement which will give all of you a reason to cheer and also best of luck for all the endeavors that you have to put in to build your war ravaged country..
Amer Rao
Aug 13, 2012 08:57am
Congratulations, to All Afghans from Canada :)