Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, the veteran mujahideen leader of the end of the 20th century, the former President of Afghanistan, is dead, having been killed by the very group to whom he gave up office in 1996, the Taliban, and which he was trying to engage in dialogue as head of the High Council for Peace. Professor Rabbani was an ethnic Tajik, but his opposition to the Kabul regime started from Kabul University, where he taught, and which he abandoned to come to Pakistan. Here he was ultimately part of the mujahideen coalition that fought the Soviets, and was even President of the Afghan Interim Government that preceded the Taliban, but never got control of the entire country. The place where he was killed is indicative: it was in his Kabul home, close to the US Embassy. Though the Taliban have not yet claimed responsibility, the method, of a suicide bomber using a bomb smuggled in a turban, is indicative. The task Prof Rabbani was engaged in, was not at all progressing at the expected pace, will now come entirely to a halt. At the same time, the fact that the Taliban felt the need to carry out the assassination shows that Prof Rabbani was putting them under some pressure. Prof Rabbanis killing is also probably the highest profile assassination since the US invasion began. It seems to be part of a series that started with the assassination by a security operative of the Presidents half-brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, in Kandahar, where he was Governor. Prof Rabbanis assassination would thus indicate the lack of security that seems to be part of the Kabul regime even now, and which would multiply with the impending departure of the occupying forces. The Karzai regime will not be able to find a replacement for Prof Rabbani because it cannot command those of similar stature, if indeed anyone can be found. Prof Rabbani was not just a loss to his friends and family, but also the Karzai regime. But then, maybe this is how he would like to have died, trying to bring peace to Afghanistan to the end.