Northern California Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

Stanford Law scholar among the dead in American University attack in Afghanistan

By Michelle de Leon | Oct 14, 2016

STANFORD -- A Stanford Law School scholar was one of the victims of the deadly 10-hour long assault at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in August – a tragedy that killed at least 16 individuals.  

Naqib Ahmad Khpulwak, an assistant professor at the university, was one of the victims of the assault that took the lives of teachers, students, police officers and security guards. According to authorities who responded to the scene, Khpulwak was killed while he was attempting to help some students escape through a window in his office. He was 32 years old.

Entrance of the Saleha Bayat Building at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. | USAID Afghanistan/Wikimedia Commons

Khpulwak, a Fulbright Scholar, was a visiting fellow at Stanford Law School in 2013 where he stayed for six months. He earned his master’s degree in comparative politics and security studies at the Old Dominion University-(GPIS). Khupulwak was a resident of Nangarhar, which is an eastern province in Afghanistan.

“We are devastated to learn that Naqib Ahmad Khpulwak, who for a short time studied at Stanford as a visiting fellow at Stanford Law School, was apparently killed in the attack on the American University of Afghanistan, where he was teaching law. No Stanford students or employees were at the university at the time,” announced the university in their official statement following the deadly attack at AUAF.

The school noted that “Stanford Law School, with support from the U.S. State Department, developed and continues to work with the law program for the American University of Afghanistan to educate and strengthen rule of law in Afghanistan.”

The statement also acknowledged and commended the efforts of the AUAF community to help bring forth change in Afghanistan. Stanford extended their sympathy to the family and loved ones of Khpulwak, calling his death a “heartbreaking loss.”  Khpulwak had been widely known as an advocate of change in Kabul. Unlike his peers who opted to seek employment in other countries, he remained in the country to help his fellow Afghans.

“Stanford applauds the efforts of the faculty, students and staff at AUAF to make a difference in their country and hopes that this terrorist attack will not slow their noble efforts to educate, change and bring peace to Afghanistan. Our sympathies and best wishes go out to all of those affected by this terrible act and to all those who had worked closely with Naqib. It is a heartbreaking loss,” the statement read.

In a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the attack was labeled as a “cruel and cowardly act.” Condemning the “heinous attack” on AUAF, the U.S. Embassy extended their help and support to the Afghan authorities in the investigation process.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured, as well as with the victims’ families, colleagues and friends,” announced U.S. Ambassador P. Michael McKinley in the press release. “We remain strongly committed to the people of Afghanistan who are dedicated to establishing lasting peace and security and building the brightest possible future for their children.”

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Organizations in this Story

Old Dominion University Stanford Law School Stanford University U.S. State Department