Sachiho Weber

 

Hamid Karzai is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan. His Excellency claims he had spent many years before the September 11, 2001 attacks in the USA, warning embassies about the threat, but that the West failed to respond. His Excellency describes this as an act of “neglect, selfishness and shortsightedness.” His Excellency has told the United Nations General Assembly that Afghanistan has become the “worst victim” of terrorism.

 

Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun of the Popalzai tribe, was born December 24, 1957, in the village of Karz, which is located on the edge of Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan. His grandfather, Khair Mohammad Khan, had served in the 1919 Afghanistan 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. Karzai’s father, Abdul Aha Karzai, served as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament in the 1960s.

After obtaining his Master’s degree in political science at Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, he returned to work as a fund-raiser by supporting anti-Soviet Mujahideen in Afghanistan from his tribe’s base in Pakistan during the Soviet intervention until the end of the 1980s. He is well versed in several languages.

When the Taliban emerged in the mid 1990s, Karzai 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. Karzai stated that “there were many wonderful people in the Taliban.”

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. Karzai has six brothers, including Mahmoud Karzai, Quayum Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai, and one sister, Fauzia Karzai.

Hamid Karzai is believed to be from the Shamizai subtribe of the Popalzais. 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 upward 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.

On December 7, 2004, Karzai was officially sworn in as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan 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 U.S. presidents and then U.S. Vice President, Dick Cheney.

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.





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