When terrorists attacked the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, an unexpected help came to the aid of the embattled consulate guards and Afghan security forces – the Governor of the province himself.
Ata Mohammed Noor is a former mujahideen who fought Soviet forces during their occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s.
An experienced fighter, the 50-year-old Noor is currently the Governor of the Balkh province of which Mazar-e-Sharif is the capital.
When the Indian consulate came under attack from terrorists on Monday, the Afghan security forces and the consulate guards composed of ITBP jawans were quick to respond.
At the time Ata Mohammed Noor was watching the football match between India and Afghanistan with his family.
Moments later, he was out in the middle of counter-terror operations directing it.
The strength of the security forces was bolstered when the Governor’s personal guards joined the fight against the terrorists.
But what earned the praise and heartfelt thanks of the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha was the courageous act of the Governor as he himself came out wielding a gun and joined his men.
The Governor was seen coordinating the counter-terror operation in and around the embassy. He was spotted giving instructions to the men and checking troop movements from time to time.
Even the Indian Ambassador acknowledged this.
The battle-hardened Ata Mohammed Noor put in his vast experience and knowledge of warfare into the operation, which was concluded successfully without any Indian casualty.
#Afghanistan: Atta Mohammad Noor declares end of siege near India’s consulate after all four attackers killed.
— Frud Bezhan (@FrudBezhan) January 4, 2016
Noor is the most powerful man in Balkh province and not just because of the chair he holds. An immensely wealthy man, Noor’s eldest son, Khalid Noor, is a graduate of the Sandhurst Military Academy in England. His second son, Tariq, is a Public administration student in an American university in Dubai.
Noor has been the Governor of Balkh since 2004, when he was elected by then Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Having a well deserved ‘chai’ with Gov Atta Noor and his Sandhurst educated son pic.twitter.com/wtN2mM1FjU
— Amar Sinha (@SenseandC_sense) January 4, 2016