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Zahir Pajaziti (1 November 1962 – 1997) was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. He was the first Commander of the KLA, known as "First Gun of Freedom".

Zahir Pajaziti
Zahir Pajaziti Monument, 2018.jpg
Statue of Zahir Pajaziti in Prishtina
Born1 November 1962
Died1997 (aged 34–35)
AwardsHero of Kosovo


After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, Pajaziti remained in Kosovo while battles raged in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the Tirana military academy in Albania he undertook military training and later with the ascension of Sali Berisha to power, his government arrested Pajaziti in 1995.[1] Later at two secret camps in Tropojë and Kukës owned by the Albanian army close to the Albania-Kosovo border, Pajaziti along with Agim Ramadani and Sali Çeku organised military training for Kosovan Albanians.[2] Pajaziti joined the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)[2] in 1997. He and his group developed in the Llap region of Kosovo.[1] Pajaziti became the KLA commander for the Podujevo area and his deputy was Hakif Zejnullahu.[3] He was part of the KLA main staff.[3] Later that year, he was killed in a gunfight in Vushtrri[4][2] with the Yugoslav army.

In 2008, the president of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu, declared Pajaziti a Hero of Kosovo.[5] He is commemorated by a statue on Mother Teresa Boulevard in Pristina.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b Pettifer, James (2012). The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948-2001. Hurst. p. 69. ISBN 9781849041874.
  2. ^ a b c Kuperman, Alan J (2002). Tragic Challenges and the Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: How and why Ethnic Groups Provoke Genocidal Retaliation (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp. 317–318. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Schnabel, Albrecht; Gunaratna, Rohan (2006). Wars from Within: Understanding and Managing Insurgent Movements. Marshall Cavendish Academic. p. 179. ISBN 9789812104298.
  4. ^ Pettifer, James (2005). Kosova Express: A Journey in Wartime. C. Hurst & Co. p. 51. ISBN 9781850657491.
  5. ^ Milazim Kadriu: Zahir Pajaziti është një nga themeluesit e Shtabit të Përgjithshëm të UÇK-së
  6. ^ Zubkovych, Alina (2017). Dealing with the Yugoslav Past: Exhibition Reflections in the Successor States. Columbia University Press. p. 158. ISBN 9783838269436.
  7. ^ Björkdahl, Annika; Kappler, Stefanie (2017). Peacebuilding and spatial transformation: Peace, space and place. Routledge. p. 58.

Further readingEdit