Hamid Karzai: Wikis

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His Excellency The Honourable
 Hamid Karzai
Ḥāmid Karzay
حامد کرزی

Karzai at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 8, 2009

Incumbent
Assumed office 
7 December 2004
Acting: 22 December 2001 to 7 December 2004
Vice President Mohammed Fahim (First)
Karim Khalili (Second)
Preceded by Burhanuddin Rabbani

Born 24 December 1957 (1957-12-24) (age 52)
Karz,[1] Kandahar province, Afghanistan
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Zeenat Quraishi Karzai
Religion Islam

Hamid Karzai (Pashto: حامد کرزی - Ḥāmid Karzay; born 24 December 1957) is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on December 7, 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban government in late 2001. During the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, on December 5, 2001, Karzai was selected by prominent Afghan political figures to serve a six month term as Chairman of the Transitional Administration. He was then chosen for a two years term as the Interim President during the 2002 Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan. After the 2004 presidential election, Karzai won and became President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He then won the 2009 presidential election after his opponent withdrew from the run-off race.[2]

Contents

Early years and personal life

Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun of the Popalzai tribe, was born in the village of Karz,[1] which is located on the edge of Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan. His grandfather, Khair Mohammad Khan, had served in the 1919 Afghanistan’s war of independence and as the Deputy Speaker of the Senate. Karzai's family were strong supporters of the former Afghan King, Zahir Shah. His uncle, Habibullah Karzai, served as representative of Afghanistan at the United Nations and is said to have accompanied Zahir Shah in the course of the King's state visit to the United States for a special meeting with U.S. President John F. Kennedy.[3] His father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, served as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament during the 1960s. Hamid Karzai attended Mahmood Hotaki Elementary School in Kandahar and Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan School in Kabul. He graduated from Habibia High School in 1976.[4]

From 1979 to 1983, Karzai took a postgraduate course in political science at Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. After obtaining his Master’s degree in India he returned to work as a fund-raiser by supporting anti-Soviet Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the Soviet intervention for the rest of the 1980s. When Najibullah's Soviet-backed government fell in 1992, Karzai served as Deputy Foreign Minister in the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Family and tribal lineage

In 1999, Hamid Karzai married Zeenat Quraishi, an obstetrician by profession who was working as a doctor with Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. They have a son, Mirwais, who was born in 2007.[5]

Karzai has six brothers, including Mahmoud Karzai, Quayum Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai, and one sister Fauzia Karzai. He is well versed in several languages, including his mother-tongue Pashto, as well as Persian (Dari), Urdu/Hindi, English and French.[6] He is often seen wearing a Karakul hat, something that has been worn by many Afghan kings in the past.[7][8][9][10]

In initial biographical news reporting, there was confusion regarding his clan lineage; it was written that his paternal lineage derived from the Sadozai clan.[11] This confusion might have arisen from sources stating he was chosen as the head, or Khan of the Popalzai.[12] Traditionally, the Popalzai tribe has been led by members of the Sadozais.[13] The first King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, was the leader of the Sadozais, and the Sadozai lineage continued to rule Afghanistan until 1826 when the Barakzais ascended to the throne.

Karzai is believed to be from the Shamizai subtribe of the Popalzais.[13] His grandfather, Khair Muhammad Karzai, was head of the Popalzai tribe from Kandahar who relocated to Kabul and ran the business of a guest house. This allowed Karzai's father Abdul Ahad, to gain a foothold in the royal family, and subsequently, the parliament. These actions and upwards movement within the Popalzai tribal system, led to the Karzai family furnishing a viable Shamizai clan alternative to Sadozai leadership in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion when the Sadozai clan failed to provide a tribal leader.[13][14]

Soviet war in Afghanistan

Karzai was involved in helping to provide financial and military support for the Mujahideen during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.[15] The Mujahideen were secretly supplied and funded by the United States, and Karzai was a contact for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the time.[16]

While Karzai's brothers emigrated to the United States,[15] Hamid Karzai remained in Pakistan during the Soviet occupation.[17] He accompanied the first Mujahideen leaders into Kabul in 1992 following the Soviet withdrawal.[17]

Taliban era

American Special Forces led by Hamid Karzai during Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001.

When the Taliban emerged in the mid 1990s, Karzai, like many other Afghans, supported them, because he saw them as a force that could finally end the violence and corruption in his country. However, he later broke with them and refused to serve as their ambassador to the United Nations, telling friends he felt the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was wrongly using them.[18] Karzai recently stated that "there were many wonderful people in the Taliban."[19 ]

Karzai lived in exile in Quetta, Pakistan, where he worked to reinstate the former Afghan king, Zahir Shah. On the morning of July 14, 1999, Karzai's father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, was gunned down as he was coming home from a mosque in the city of Quetta. Reports suggest that the Taliban carried out the assassination.[18] Hamid Karzai worked closely with Ahmad Shah Massoud in 2001 to help gather support for the anti-Taliban movement. In an interview in February 2005, Karzai criticised the role the United States played in empowering the Taliban to take control in Afghanistan. He claimed that he spent many years before the September 11, 2001, attacks in USA warning embassies about the threat, but that the West failed to respond, describing it as an act of "neglect, selfishness and short-sightedness."

As the U.S. military was preparing for a confrontation with the Taliban in September 2001, Karzai began urging NATO nations to purge his country of Al-Qaeda. "These Arabs, together with their foreign supporters and the Taliban, destroyed miles and miles of homes and orchards and vineyards," he told BBC, "They have killed Afghans. They have trained their guns on Afghan lives... We want them out."[18]

The Karzai administration

Karzai appointed as President of the Afghan Transitional Administration at the July 2002, Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan.

After the October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom, Mujahideen loyal to the Northern Alliance and other groups worked with the US military to overthrow the Taliban and muster support for a new government in Afghanistan. Karzai and his group were in Quetta, Pakistan, where they began their covert operation. At this stage he warned his fighters by stating:

"We might be captured the moment we enter Afghanistan and be killed. We have 60 percent chance of death and 40 percent chance to live and survive. Winning was no consideration. We could not even think of that. We got on two motorbikes. We drove into Afghanistan."[20]

In October 2001, Hamid Karzai and his group of fighters survived a US friendly fire missile attack in southern Afghanistan. The group suffered injuries and was treated in the United States; Karzai received injuries to his facial nerves as can sometimes be noticed during his speeches.[21] On November 4, 2001, American forces flew Karzai out of Afghanistan for protection.[22]

Karzai speaking before the U.S. Congress in June 2004.

In December 2001, political leaders gathered in Germany to agree on new leadership structures. Under the December 5 Bonn Agreement they formed an interim Transitional Administration and named Karzai Chairman of a 29-member governing committee. He was sworn in as leader on December 22. The Loya Jirga of June 13, 2002, appointed Karzai Interim holder of the new position as President of the Afghan Transitional Administration [23]. Former members of the Northern Alliance remained extremely influential, most notably Vice President Mohammed Fahim, who also served as the Defense Minister.

Karzai re-enacted the original coronation of Ahmad Shah Durrani at the shrine of Sher-i-Surkh outside of Kandahar where he had leaders of various Afghan tribes, including a descendent of the religious leader that originally chose Ahmad Shah Durrani as key players in this event.[24] Further evidence that Karzai views himself fulfilling a Durrani monarch's role arise from statements furnished by close allies within his government.[25] His younger brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, has made statements to a similar effect.[26]

After Karzai was installed into power, his actual authority outside the capital city of Kabul was said to be so limited that he was often derided as the "Mayor of Kabul". The situation was particularly delicate since Karzai and his administration have not been equipped either financially or politically to influence reforms outside of the region around the capital city of Kabul. Other areas, particularly the more remote ones, are currently and have historically been under the influence of various local leaders. Karzai has been, to varying degrees of success, attempting to negotiate and form amicable alliances with them for the benefit of Afghanistan as a whole, instead of aggressively fighting them and risking an uprising.

In 2004 he rejected a US proposal to end poppy production in Afghanistan through aerial spraying of chemical herbicides, fearing that it would harm the economic situation of his countrymen. Moreover, Karzai's younger brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai – who partially helped finance Karzai's presidential campaign – was rumored to be involved in narcotic deals.[27] Karzai said that he has sought in writing a number of times, but failed to obtain, U.S. proof of allegations that Ahmed Wali is involved in illegal drugs.[28][28]

2004 Presidential candidacy

Inauguration of Hamid Karzai on December 7, 2004, after winning the presidential election.

When Karzai was a candidate in the October 9, 2004, presidential election, he won 21 of the 34 provinces, defeating his 22 opponents and becoming the first democratically elected leader of Afghanistan.

Although his campaigning was limited due to fears of violence, elections passed without significant incident. Following investigation by the UN of alleged voting irregularities, the national election commission on November 3 declared Karzai winner, without runoff, with 55.4% of the vote. This represented 4.3 million of the total 8.1 million votes cast. The election took place safely in spite of a surge of insurgent activity.[29]

Karzai was officially sworn in as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on December 7, 2004, at a formal ceremony in Kabul. Many interpreted the ceremony as a symbolically important "new start" for the war-torn nation. Notable guests at the inauguration included the country's former King, Zahir Shah, three former US presidents, and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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Karzai with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in June 2006.

After winning a democratic mandate in the 2004 election and removing many of the former Northern Alliance warlords from his cabinet, it was thought that Karzai would pursue a more aggressively reformist path in 2005. However, Karzai has proved to be more cautious than was expected.

Ever since Karzai's new administration took over in 2004, the economy of Afghanistan has been growing rapidly for the first time in many years. Government revenue is increasing every year, although it is still heavily dependent on foreign aid.

On September 20, 2006, Karzai told the United Nations General Assembly that Afghanistan has become the "worst victim" of terrorism.[30] Karzai said terrorism is "rebounding" in his country, with militants infiltrating the borders to wage attacks on civilians. He stated, "This does not have its seeds alone in Afghanistan. Military action in the country will, therefore, not deliver the shared goal of eliminating terrorism." He demanded assistance from the international community to destroy terrorist sanctuaries inside and outside Afghanistan. "You have to look beyond Afghanistan to the sources of terrorism," he told the UN General Assembly, and "destroy terrorist sanctuaries beyond" the country, dismantle the elaborate networks in the region that recruit, indoctrinate, train, finance, arm, and deploy terrorists. These activities are also robbing thousands of Afghan children of their right to education, and prevent health workers from doing their jobs in Afghanistan. In addition he promised to eliminate opium-poppy cultivation in the country, which helps fuel the ongoing insurgency. He has repeatedly demanded that NATO and U.S.-led coalition forces take more care when conducting military operations in residential areas to avoid civilian casualties which undermine his government's already weak standing in parts of the country.[31]

During the Karzai administration, public discontent grew about corruption and the civilian casualties in the fight against the Taliban insurgency. In May 2006, riots broke out in Kabul, when after a fatal traffic accident in the town involving a US military convoy security forces opened fire on protesters. During the rush, in Kabul's northern outskirts a truck went out of control and crashed into a dozen vehicles, killing at least one person and injuring six. Angry Afghans then threw stones, smashing windows in the convoy vehicles. Afghan police also opened fire, when they came to the assistance of the US troops. Rioters set two police cars alight. At least seven civilians were killed during the protest and 40 wounded. Thousands of protesters marched through the capital shouting slogans against Karzai and the US. By early afternoon, up to 2,000 protesters had gathered in central Kabul, some marching on parliament and some on the presidential palace. Several hundred more congregated at an intersection near the US embassy. A few dozen people forced their way past a police cordon guarding the road to the US embassy and threw stones at vehicles carrying foreigners into the compound, prompting the occupants to fire into the air before turning back. The unrest left at least seven people dead and 40 injured [32].

In a video broadcast on September 24, 2006, Karzai stated that if the money wasted on the Iraq War was actually spent on rebuilding Afghanistan, his country would "be in heaven in less than one year".[33] In May 2007, after as many as 51 Afghan civilians were killed in a bombing, Karzai asserted that his government "can no longer accept" casualties caused by the US and NATO operations.[34 ]

Assassination attempts

  • 5 September 2002: An assassination attempt was made on Hamid Karzai in Kandahar City. A gunman wearing the uniform of the new Afghan National Army opened fire, wounding Gul Agha Sherzai (former governor of Kandahar) and an American Special Operations officer. The gunman, one of the President's bodyguards, and a bystander who knocked down the gunman were killed when Karzai's American bodyguards returned fire. Recently, some pictures of the US Navy's DEVGRU responding to the attempt have surfaced. Allegedly one of their members was wounded.
  • 16 September 2004: An attempted assassination on Karzai took place when a rocket missed the helicopter he was flying in while en route to Gardez.
  • 10 June 2007: The Taliban attempted to assassinate Karzai in Ghazni where Karzai was giving a speech to elders. The Taliban fired approximately 12 rockets, some of which landed 220 yards (200 m) away from the crowd. Karzai was not hurt in the incident and was transported away from the location after finishing his speech.[35][36][37]
  • 27 April 2008: Insurgents, reportedly from the Haqqani network, used automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades to attack a military parade that Karzai was attending in Kabul [38]. Karzai was safe, but at least three people were killed, including a parliamentarian, a ten-year-old girl and a minority leader, and ten injured.[39][40][41 ] Others attending the event included government ministers, former warlords, diplomats and the military top brass, all of whom had gathered to mark the 16th anniversary of the fall of the Afghan communist government to the mujahideen.[42 ] Responding to the attack during the ceremony, the United Nations said the attackers "have shown their utter disrespect for the history and people of Afghanistan."[43 ] Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, stating, "We fired rockets at the scene of the celebration." He went on to say there were 6 Taliban at the scene and that 3 were killed. "Our aim was not to directly hit someone," Mujahed said when asked if the intention was to kill Karzai. "We just wanted to show to the world that we can attack anywhere we want to" [43 ]. The ability of the attackers to get so close to Karzai suggested they had inside help. Defense minister Wardak confirmed that a police captain was connected with the group behind the assassination attempt and that an army officer supplied the weapons and ammunition used in the attack [44].

Honorary degrees and awards

Karzai receiving a commemorative medallion of the September 11th 2001 tragedy from Jack Kingston. The medallion was forged from steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site.

Over the years Hamid Karzai has become a well recognized figure. He has received a number of awards and honorary degrees from famous government and educational institutions around the world. The following are some of his awards and honoraria.

Relations with the United States, Pakistan and Iran

Karzai with former US President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush at Camp David on August 5, 2007.

In a 2008 interview, Karzai expressed his feelings towards the United States by stating: "If I am called a puppet because we are grateful to America, then let that be my nickname."[48] Although many in United States charge that Iran is meddling in Afghanistan's affairs, Karzai believes that Iran is only a friend of Afghanistan despite Iranian-made arms being found in his country.[49] In 2007 Karzai contradicted US assessments on Iran's role in Afghanistan by saying that Iran so far has been a helper in the reconstruction process.[50][51][51] On August 5, 2007, Karzai was invited to Camp David in Maryland, USA, for a special meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush. In October 2007 Karzai again rejected Western accusations against Iran, stating, "We have resisted the negative propaganda launched by foreign states against the Islamic Republic and we stress that aliens' propaganda should not leave a negative impact on the consolidated ties between the two great nations of Iran and Afghanistan."[52] Karzai added, "The two Iranian and Afghan nations are close to each other due to their bonds and commonalities, they belong to the same house and they will live alongside each other for good."[52][53] However, just a year prior Karzai warned that "Iran and Pakistan and others are not fooling anyone."

If they don’t stop, the consequences will be … that the region will suffer with us equally. In the past we have suffered alone; this time everybody will suffer with us.… Any effort to divide Afghanistan ethnically or weaken it will create the same thing in the neighboring countries. All the countries in the neighborhood have the same ethnic groups that we have, so they should know that it is a different ball game this time.[54]
Hamid Karzai , February 17, 2006
Karzai with US President Barack Obama and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari during a US-Afghan-Pakistan Trilateral meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C.

In December 2007 Karzai and his delegates travelled to Islamabad, Pakistan, for a usual meeting with Pervez Musharraf on trade ties and intelligence sharing between the two Islamic states.[55] Karzai also met and had a 45-minute talk with Benazir Bhutto on the morning of December 27, hours before her trip to Liaquat National Bagh where she was assassinated after her speech.[56] After Mrs. Bhutto's death Karzai labelled her as a brave woman who had a clear vision "for her own country, for Afghanistan and for the region – a vision of democracy and prosperity and peace."[57] In September 2008 Karzai was invited on a special visit to witness the sworn in ceremony of Asif Ali Zardari, who became the new President of Pakistan.[58] Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have improved since Zardari took office. The two nations often make contacts with one another concerning the war on terrorism. Pakistan even allowed NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan to launch attacks on illegal militant groups in Pakistan. This was something strongly opposed by the previous government of Pakistan.

Starting in 2009, the US and a number of western nations attempted to distance themselves from Karzai.[59] International criticism has centered around the government of Karzai for failing to secure the country from Taliban attacks, systemic governmental corruption, and most recently, widespread claims of electoral fraud in the 2009 Afghan presidential election.[28][28][60] Karzai staunchly defended the election balloting, stating that some statements criticizing the balloting and vote count were "totally fabricated." He told the media that "There were instances of fraud, no doubt... There were irregularities... But the election as a whole was good and free and democratic." He further went on to say that "Afghanistan has its separate problems and we have to handle them as Afghanistan finds it feasible... This country was completely destroyed... Today, we are talking about fighting corruption in Afghanistan, improved legal standards... You see the glass half empty or half full. I see it as half full. Others see it as half empty."[61]

2009 Presidential candidacy and new cabinet

On the eve of the August 20 presidential election, Karzai seemed at once deeply unpopular but also likely to win the majority of the votes. He was blamed by many for the failures that plagued the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the toppling of the Taliban government end 2001, from the widespread corruption and the resurgence of the (neo-)Taliban to the explosion of the poppy trade. His unpopularity and the likelihood of his victory foremd an atmosphere with a kind of national demoralization, which could discourage many Afghans from voting and dash hopes for substantial progress after the election [62][63][64].

In this second presidential election, Karzai was announced to have received over 50% of the votes. The election was tainted by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing, intimidation, and other electoral fraud. [65]

Two months later Karzai accepted calls for a second round run-off vote, which was scheduled for November 7, 2009. [66] [67] On November 2, 2009, Karzai's run-off opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the race and election officials announced the cancellation of the run-off race. Karzai, the only remaining contender, was declared the winner a short time later. [68]

Karzai presented his list of 24 cabinet nominees to the Afghan parliament on December 19, 2009; however, on January 2, 2010, the parliament rejected 17 of the nominees. According to the parliament, most of the nominees were rejected due to having been picked for reasons other than their competency. A member of parliament said that they had been picked largely based on "ethnicity or bribery or money."[69]

Seeking peace

Since late 2001 Karzai has been trying desperately to bring peace in his country, even going as far as pardoning all militants that would lay down weapons and join the nation's rebuilding process. However, all of his offers have been rejected by the Taliban and other militant groups. In April 2007, Karzai acknowledged that he spoke to militants about trying to bring peace in Afghanistan.[70] He noted that the Afghan militants are always welcome in the country, although foreign insurgents are not.[71] In September 2007, Karzai again offered talks with militant fighters after a security scare forced him to end a commemoration speech.[72] Karzai left the event and was taken back to his palace, where he was due to meet visiting Latvian President Valdis Zatlers. After the meeting the pair held a joint news conference, at which Karzai called for talks with his Taliban foes. "We don't have any formal negotiations with the Taliban. They don't have an address. Who do we talk to?" Karzai told reporters. He further stated: "If I can have a place where to send somebody to talk to, an authority that publicly says it is the Taliban authority, I will do it."[72]

In December 2009 Karzai announced to move ahead with a plan for a Loya Jirga to discuss the Taliban insurgency. The Taliban would be invited to take part in this Jirga [73].

Unocal connection

There's been much debate over Karzai's alleged consultant work with Unocal (Union Oil Company of California since acquired by Chevron in 2005). In 2002 when Karzai became the subject of heavy media coverage as one of the front runners to lead Afghanistan, it was reported that he was a former consultant for them.[74][75][76] Spokesmen for both Unocal and Karzai have denied any such relationship, although Unocal could not speak for all companies involved in the consortium.[77] The original claim that Karzai worked for Unocal originates from a December 6, 2001 issue of the French newspaper Le Monde,[77] Barry Lane UNOCAL's manager for public relations states that, "He was never a consultant, never an employee. We've exhaustively searched through all our records."[78][79] Lane however did say that Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was a Unocal consultant in the mid-1990s.[80]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Burke, Jason (2008-03-07). "Hard man in a hard country". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/20/afghanistan?gusrc=rss&feed=global. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  
  2. ^ BBC News-Karzai declared elected president
  3. ^ THE AFGHAN RULERS: FIERCELY TRADITIONAL TRIBES, By JERE VAN DYCK, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES; THE FOLLOWING DISPATCH WAS WRITTEN BY A FREELANCE JOURNALIST WHO RECENTLY SPENT SIX WEEKS IN AFGHANISTAN. (The New York Times); Foreign Desk. December 21, 1981.
  4. ^ Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Office of the President
  5. ^ BBC News (January 26, 2007), Hamid Karzai becomes father at 49.
  6. ^ "Bio: Hamid Karzai". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44641,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  7. ^ "Hamid Karzai's Famous Hat Made From Aborted Lamb Fetuses". Fox News. April 24, 2002. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,51034,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  8. ^ "Karakuls burst upon the fashion world". Taipei Times. May 27, 2007. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/bizfocus/archives/2007/05/27/2003362700/print. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  9. ^ "HSUS Investigation Reveals Slaughter of Unborn and Newborn Lambs for Fur". Humane Society. December 12, 2000. http://www.infurmation.com/press_detail.php?id=99. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  10. ^ "Transcript of NBC "Dateline" Feature on Karakul Production". furcommission. (9:00 PM ET) December 11, 2000, Monday. http://www.furcommission.com/news/newsF02d.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-01. "Karkakul lambs produce a very soft and supple coat. But the coat thickens quickly, and after the baby lamb is three days old, it's (sic) coat is too thick and rough to be used as fur. So the lambs are slaughtered — the younger, the better."  
  11. ^ Globalist Story. June 03, 2004.
  12. ^ Taliban run-in highlights dangers for Afghan opposition leader. November 6, 2001.
  13. ^ a b c Tribal Analysis Center Pashtun Tribal Analysis"The Durrani Popalzai tribe’s Khan Khel, the Saddozai, failed to advance a competent family for leadership during the anti-Soviet period. Instead, they placed tribal leadership in the hands of Abdul Ahad Karzai, a member of a key family in the Shamizai subtribe. Following Abdul Ahad’s assassination in 1999, his son, Hamid Karzai, inherited his father’s mantle and can be expected to retain this tribal leadership position for the remainder of Afghanistan’s conflict. Normally, the eldest son would have been selected to bear this tribal responsibility, but this son was living in the United States and was generally unavailable to serve as tribal leader."
  14. ^ Bahlol Lodhi's bio of the Karzai family ascension. December 19, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Stockman, Farah (22 May 2005). "Afghan president's brother looks back". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2005/05/22/afghan_presidents_brother_looks_back/. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  16. ^ Mills, Nick (August 31, 2007). Karzai: the failing American intervention and the struggle for Afghanistan (Ilustrated ed.). John Wiley and sons. pp. 240. ISBN 0470134003.  
  17. ^ a b Burke, Jason (20 July 2008). "Hard man in a hard country". The Observer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/20/afghanistan?gusrc=rss&feed=global. Retrieved 2009-04-14.  
  18. ^ a b c PBS, Profile: Hamid Karzai, December 2001.
  19. ^ Marlowe, Ann (February 11, 2008). "Two Myths About Afghanistan". United States: The Washington Post. p. A13. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/10/AR2008021001972.html. Retrieved 2008-02-11. "On Aug. 20, 1998, the day the United States sent cruise missiles to kill Osama bin Laden, Karzai told The Post that "there were many wonderful people in the Taliban. So he spent much of the fall offering to negotiate with Taliban chief Mohammad Omar and the vicious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar."  
  20. ^ Academy of Achievement - Profile: Hamid Karzai
  21. ^ Afghanistan, from the August 18 — August 25, 2003 issue of TIME magazine.
  22. ^ The Guardian, Taliban lose grip on Mazar i Sharif, November 7, 2001.
  23. ^ "A Buoyant Karzai Is Sworn In as Afghanistan's Leader"
  24. ^ Karzai's coronation at Sher-i-Surkh in NY Times
  25. ^ NYTimes Article Entitled Karzai's Labyrinth Quote from article: "As such he’s the last resort for those seeking to rectify injustice. 'In his dream he is a king,' one friend says"
  26. ^ Yahoo article about Ahmad Wali Karzai"Yes, I am powerful because I am the president's brother," he [Ahmad Wali Karzai] said. "This is a country ruled by kings. The king's brothers, cousins, sons are all powerful. This is Afghanistan. It will change but it will not change overnight."
  27. ^ Karzai's Family Secret, by Gerald Posner
  28. ^ a b c d Associated Press, Karzai says U.S. 'attacking' him over election
  29. ^ Matthew J. Morgan (9/30/2007). A Democracy Is Born: An Insider's Account of the Battle Against Terrorism in Afghanistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275999998. http://www.ademocracyisborn.com/.  
  30. ^ RFE/RL, Karzai Says Afghanistan 'Worst Victim' Of Terrorism
  31. ^ KATHY GANNON (October 18, 2006). "Civilians reported killed by airstrikes as NATO hunts Taliban". The Standard Times. http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/10-06/10-19-06/16world-nation.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  32. ^ "Afghanistan: violence surges"
  33. ^ msnbc (updated 7:31 p.m. ET September 24, 2006). "Karzai says U.S. underfunding Afghanistan". pub. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14986859/. Retrieved 2007-12-11. "Iraq war money could have stabilized the nation against Taliban surge, he says"  
  34. ^ Pamela Constable (May 3, 2007). "Karzai Says Civilian Toll Is No Longer Acceptable". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050202757.html?hpid=sec-world. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  35. ^ "UN 'outraged' after assassination attempt on Karzai". The Associated Press. 10 June 2007. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/11/asia/AS-GEN-Afghan-Violence.php. Retrieved 11 December 2007.  
  36. ^ Tim Albone in Kabul (11 June 2007). "Taleban fail in rocket attempt on Karzai’s life". London: timesonline. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1913019.ece. Retrieved 11 December 2007.  
  37. ^ "Karzai unhurt in Taleban attack". BBC News. 10 June 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6738201.stm. Retrieved 1 May 2008.  
  38. ^ "Karzai Escapes Attack in Kabul by Gunmen "
  39. ^ Gopal, Amand, "The most deadly US foe in Afghanistan", Christian Science Monitor, 31 May 2009
  40. ^ "Leaders attack attempt on Karzai's life". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 April 2008. http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/leaders-attack-attempt-on-karzais-life/2008/04/28/1209234703430.html. Retrieved 1 May 2008.  
  41. ^ "Karzai survives Taliban assassination attempt during military parade". The Guardian. 28 April 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/28/afghanistan. Retrieved 1 May 2008.  
  42. ^ "Afghan president survives assassination bid". MSNBC. 2:04 p.m. ET 27 April 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24332573/. Retrieved 1 May 2008. "ceremony to mark the 16th anniversary of Afghanistan’s victory over the Soviet invasion"  
  43. ^ a b "Afghan president escapes deadly parade attack". Google News. 2008. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hmW-4fUkegeSQ3uAx2VRfXwxQ-YA. Retrieved 1 May 2008.  
  44. ^ "Police and Army Officers Tied to Attempt on Karzai’s Life"
  45. ^ "Queen gives Karzai knighthood". BBC News. 2003-06-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2968994.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-01.  
  46. ^ 2004 Recipient Hamid Karzai - Liberty Medal - National Constitution Center
  47. ^ "AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI CHALLENGES BOSTON UNIVERSITY GRADUATES TO BE GUIDED BY HUMANITY". Boston University. May 22, 2005. http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news/releases/display.php?id=937. Retrieved 2007-12-11.  
  48. ^ Karzai: Terrorists could regain control - CNN.com
  49. ^ Los Angeles Times, U.S. says Pakistan, Iran helping Taliban
  50. ^ Gates: Troop draw downs "possible" this year, Washington Post
  51. ^ a b Karzai at odds with US over Iran | NEWS.com.au
  52. ^ a b "Karzai Underlines Strong Bonds between Iran, Afghanistan". pub. 2007-10-20. http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8607280722. Retrieved 2007-12-11.  
  53. ^ "Karzai: Anti-Iran propaganda cannot have impact on Tehran-Kabul friendly ties Tehran". IRNA. October 20, 2007. http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-236/0710207137174726.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-11.  
  54. ^ Carnegie Papers - Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations in the Post-9/11 Era by Frédéric Grare. October 2006.
  55. ^ Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), Islamabad, Kabul agree on intelligence cooperation. December 27, 2007.
  56. ^ PAN, Bhutto, Karzai meeting proved the first & last one. December 28, 2007.
  57. ^ Bhutto assassinated
  58. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, Pakistan's Zardari sworn in as new president
  59. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090918/wl_afp/afghanistanvoteunrestus_20090918015926
  60. ^ "Future Karzai cabinet to balance 'warlords' and West". Salahuddin, Sayed. 14 Oct 2009. http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-43144720091014. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  
  61. ^ Karzai staunchly defends Afghan election balloting
  62. ^ "Afghan Leader Criticizes U.S. on Conduct of War "
  63. ^ "Leader of Afghanistan Finds Himself Hero No More "
  64. ^ "Afghan Leader Outmaneuvers Election Rivals"
  65. ^ Afghan commission orders first ballots invalidated
  66. ^ Karzai Agrees to Nov. 7 Runoff in Afghanistan
  67. ^ Hamid Karzai agrees to run-off amid fears of more violence and fraud
  68. ^ [1]
  69. ^ "Afghan MPs reject most Karzai cabinet nominees". BBC. 2 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8437677.stm. Retrieved 2 January 2010.  
  70. ^ "Afghan President Karzai Admits Seeking Peace Talks With Taliban". AP. September 24, 2007. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297819,00.html?sPage=fnc/world/afghanistan. Retrieved 2008-05-11. "UNITED NATIONS  — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday his government is working very hard on peace talks with the Taliban that would draw the insurgents and their supporters "back to the fold.""  
  71. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17980166
  72. ^ a b "Afghanistan's Karzai urges Taliban talks after scare". reuters. September 9, 2007. http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-29427920070909. Retrieved 2007-12-11.  
  73. ^ "Karzai To Unveil Afghan Cabinet In Days"
  74. ^ Ilene R. Prusher, Scott Baldauf, and Edward Girardet (June 10, 2002 edition). "Afghan power brokers". The Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0610/p01s03e-wosc.html. Retrieved 2007-12-11. "...Karzai is a former employee of US oil company Unocal ... bidding for the lucrative contract to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan"  
  75. ^ Marc Erikson (2009). "Mr Karzai goes to Washington". Asia Times Online. http://www.atimes.com/c-asia/DA29Ag02.html. Retrieved September 12, 2009. "And one further thing both men have in common is that in 1996/97 they advised American oil company Unocal on the US$2 billion project of a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline."  
  76. ^ Tom Turnipseed (January 10, 2002). "A Creeping Collapse in Credibility at the White House:". counterpunch. http://www.counterpunch.org/tomenron.html. Retrieved 2007-12-11. "As reported in Le Monde, the new Afghan government's head, Hamid Karzai, formerly served as a UNOCAL consultant"  
  77. ^ a b "Hamid Karzai". globalsecurity. 2007. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/afghanistan/karzai.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-11. "The claim appears to have originated in the December 9, 2001 issue of the French newspaper Le Monde. Some have suggested that Karzai was confused with U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad."  
  78. ^ Jared Israel interviewing Barry Lane (9 July 2002). "Emperor's closthes interviews Unocal Oil". Emperor's Clothes. http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/lane.htm. Retrieved September 12, 2009. "Jared Israel:The other thing that is being asserted everywhere is that Hamid Karzai, the current head of the Afghan 'government' once worked for you.
    Barry Lane: Yeah. Yeah, well that's probably one of the great urban legends. He never worked for us.
    Jared Israel: He didn't work for somebody else who worked for you?
    Barry Lane: No. No, not him. He was never a consultant, never an employee. We've exhaustively searched through all our records to try and find out where the hell that came from."
     
  79. ^ "Misinformation". USA.gov. United States Department of State. 2009. http://cambodia.usembassy.gov/definition.html. Retrieved September 12, 2009. "all the company's records made it clear that Mr. Karzai was "never a consultant, never an employee" of Unocal."  
  80. ^ Sumana Chatterjee and David Goldstein (July 5, 2004). "Analyzing "Fahrenheit 9/11": It's accurate — to a degree". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001972076_fahrenheit05.html. Retrieved September 12, 2009.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Burhanuddin Rabbani
President of Afghanistan
"Chairman" until June 13, 2002
Acting President, 2002 - 2004

2001–present
Incumbent

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hamid Karzai (born 24 December 1957) is the current and first democratically elected President of Afghanistan (since December 7, 2004). Since December 2001, Hamid Karzai had been Chairman of the Transitional Administration and been Interim President from 2002.

Contents

Sourced

Message to Taliban

  • Today, while celebrating the jihad victory, we once again invite those who have sided with aliens because of seduction against their nation, to give up sedition and evil and join peaceful life.
  • We have no other choice, we have no power to stop the [U.S.] planes, if we could, if I could ... we would stop them and bring them down.
    • November 26, 2008 [1]

Unsourced

  • On my graduation there was a party by the junior students, and I was given a hair brush as a gift — if I take off my hat, you know what I mean.
  • When you see on the news or read in the newspaper that so many people were killed in places far away, do not let these numbers become mere abstractions to you. These are real people, like you and I. They are families, friends; they have pain, they have grief.
  • We must not turn away when we hear the cries of the hungry. We must not stand by when we see the killing and terrorizing of the innocent. We should not wait until hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of our fellow human beings have died as occurred in Afghanistan, before we act.
  • Every time we ignore the suffering of others or stand by and watch, we do not only act against our own interests but we violate a part of our humanity.
  • Suffering in other parts of the world will continue to undermine your security and prosperity unless you seek to address it.
  • If you don't fight these terrorist here ,you will have to fight them in your capitals in Europe and America and where not.
  • Lets admit that today's terrorists are a mutation of our past mistakes. We must learn our lessons. We must learn that using and nurturing extremism as a tool of government policy has never yielded the betterment of any nation, and it never will.
  • We Afghans have the right to stand with full dignity and self-confidence in front of the people of the world and say that this immortal phoenix, this beloved Afghanistan, once again rose from the ashes of invasion and subjugation; we have the right to declare to all those who aspire the destruction of our soil, that this country will never vanquish.
  • Democracy as a system of government may indeed be unprecedented in Afghanistan, but democracy as a way of life, a set of principles and values, is deeply embedded in our society.
  • Not very far from here stood two towers that symbolized freedom, prosperity and progress. Half way around the globe stood two magnificent Buddha's that represented a culture of tolerance and a nation with a rich history. These symbols have been linked together through the global scourge of terrorism. Terror may have demolished these physical structures, however it strengthens the willpower of the international community never to let down the spirit and determination with which these icons were built.
  • Let me tell the world that we Afghans today stand with full dignity and declare to the world that we are rising from the ashes of invasion and will live forever……
  • Democracy plays wonders.
  • We should deal with terrorism wherever it occurs. Wherever they are trained.
  • On behalf of the Afghan people, I pledge today that we will be a dependable asset to the security of the region and of the world.
  • Any effort to divide Afghanistan ethnically or weaken it will create exactly the same things in the neighboring countries. All the countries in this neighborhood have the same ethnic groups that we have, so they should know that it is a different ball game this time
  • The past is gone. We were unaware: The Soviets came, invaded us and we went out of Afghanistan to defend our country. We defended our country and that was right, but we made a mistake by leaving our country. It was one of the biggest mistakes we made, leaving the country.
  • The United States, Pakistan, Iran and everybody should know that this time Afghans will not become refugees. I would be one of those Afghans who would not become a refugee again.
  • It has to be very, very clear. That is why I am talking so clear. This is my conscience speaking, the conscience of an Afghan person.
  • We are bloody determined. It is not going to be Pakistan playing the Pashtun, non-Pashtun game in Afghanistan. It is not going to be Iran playing this or that game or any other country. We can play the same game with a lot more historical power, with a lot more power in our history than others can. They should know that very well.
  • In the past we suffered alone. This time everybody will suffer with us.
  • I Would Rather Fail and Be Honorable
  • Afghanistan was a dilapidated extremely poor country.It neither bought from the west or the rest of the world nor had anything to sell to them. So Afghanistan in terms of the economics of today and in terms of the ways the world work today was irrelevant to the world. A country that doesn´t buy from you and that does not sell to you. The society that does not have much to sell to you or to buy from you is not relevant to the consumer world of today.
  • politics without morality is close to sin
  • My job here is to try to move forward, keeping this very delicate jar of the Afghan peace process and reconstruction and institution building in my hands through troubled waters. Through minefields, through stormy conditions, through areas that don't have proper light and keep this jar intact and safe, and take it to the distant place. Along the way I may have to do things that some in the international community may not like. But I have my Afghan judgment and that is what I use. And that Afghan judgment does not need to be understood by the international community.
  • Now if the poppy income for Afghanistan is between $2 billion to $2.5 billion, when it reaches international markets it reaches $50 billion. So where is the rest of the money? Who benefits more? There is a lot of difference between 2.5 and 50. Where is that $48 billion going? And do you think that $48 billion will allow us to destroy poppy in Afghanistan?
  • My problem is that I am perhaps too much of a democrat for this time of the country's life. If you need a dictator, then go to the Afghan people. Let them elect a dictator. I am not one of those.
  • I am burning out. When I feel burned out I am immediately reminded of Frost's great poem: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep/ But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep/ and miles to go before I sleep." We have a lot of miles to go. A lot of miles to go. I think no Afghan president, even after my term is complete, will have an option on this account. I have to work very hard. You can't imagine how destroyed this country was. You can't imagine how dispirited this country had become. How miserable it had become. Unbelievable. When you go to the country, to the mountains where I was fighting the Taliban, I came across families and people who had nothing on earth. Nothing. And if they survived it worked. We have to provide them a better life. It will take time, it will take effort, and it will take very hard work. And no vacations.
  • Terrorism sees, in the prosperity of the Afghan people, its ultimate defeat.
  • There is no doubt that people are angry. When a family is hit by a bomb and I am the president here with the responsibility -- when a suicide bomb takes places and murders the people of this nation -- I am the president of this country and it is my responsibility to bring peace to these people.

About Hamid Karzai

  • I don't know anyone who is more admired and respected in the international community than President Karzai, for his strength, for his wisdom and for his courage to lead this country, first in defeat of the Taliban and now a democratic and unified Afghanistan. And I can tell you I am with foreign ministers and with heads of state all over the world. I sit in the councils of NATO. I sit with the EU. I sit with people all over the world and there is great admiration for your president and also for what the Afghan people are doing here.

External links

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