HAMID KARZAI FAST FACTS
Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, was born on December 24, 1957 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He comes from a political family, with his father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, being a politician and his grandfather, Khair Mohammad Khan, serving as deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament. Karzai was educated in India, obtaining a master’s degree in Political Science from Himachal University. He is fluent in several languages, including English, Pashto, Dari and Urdu.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Karzai and his father fled to Pakistan. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, Karzai served as deputy foreign minister in the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani. During the mid-1990s, he briefly aligned himself with the Taliban but declined an invitation to become their ambassador to the United Nations in 1996.
In October 2001, Karzai slipped into Afghanistan from Pakistan to incite an uprising against the Taliban. He was later rescued by US forces during a skirmish with Taliban fighters and was chosen as the interim leader of Afghanistan in December 2001. In June 2002, he was named president of Afghanistan for a two-year term at the Loya Jirga.
During his presidency, Karzai survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bombing and widespread allegations of low voter turnout, intimidation, and fraud during the presidential elections. He was eventually sworn in for a second term as president of Afghanistan in November 2009.
After stepping down as president in September 2014, Karzai continued to be involved in diplomatic efforts, including meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2015 and engaging in peace negotiations with members of the Taliban in February 2019.
Following the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Karzai called for the return of Afghans who had left the country and urged the United States to come back and assist the Afghan people. He also held conversations concerning the return of Afghan women and girls to school and work.
On December 3, 2022, Karzai left Afghanistan for the first time since the Taliban seized power, reportedly facing travel restrictions. He is expected to visit the United Arab Emirates, then Germany.
In conclusion, Hamid Karzai has played a significant role in the political landscape of Afghanistan, navigating through turbulent times and advocating for the well-being of the Afghan people.
1. « Hamid Karzai Fast Facts. » CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Apr. 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/world/hamid-karzai-fast-facts/index.html.
2. « Hamid Karzai: The Wise Man of Afghanistan. » BBC News, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59681407.