is the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Afghanistan's presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004, and on
November 3, 2004, the Joint Electoral Management Body of Afghanistan finally
certified the elections and declared Hamid Karzai the winner with 55.4% of the
votes. He took the Presidential oath of allegiance at Salam Khana Palace on
December 7, 2004 in the presence of dignitaries and officials from around the
Before that, Karzai served as the President of the Transitional Government in Afghanistan; he was chosen as head of state by a Loya Jirga in June 2002.
Hamid Karzai was not widely known until he was chosen to lead a provisional administration
which was set up in Bonn, Germany in December 2001. Karzai was actually a compromise that was reached between the former king's (Mohammad Zahir) supporters and the United
Front (UNIFSA), whose ground troops, with help from the United States, defeated
the Taliban and drove them out of Kabul.
During the Soviet war, Karzai helped transfer arms and money to the Mujahideen,
and also later served as deputy foreign minister under President Burhanuddin
Rabbani. However, when the Taliban emerged on the scene, Karzai supported
them, and even worked as a consultant to help a major US oil company, Unocal
sign a deal with the Taliban to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. The deal
was not reached after women rights organizations in the United States put
pressure on Unocal to not do business with the Taliban due to their extremely
oppressive treatment of women in the country. Eventually, Karzai grew tired of
the Taliban and later in 2001, after the attacks on the World Trade Center in
New York, began to secretly work with the United States to find an alternative
to Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Karzai was born in 1957, and comes from the well known Popalzai
Chronology of Hamid Karzai's life
|December 24, 1957
||Birth - village of Karz, near Kandahar.
||Graduates from high school, and then travels to
India as an exchange student and is accepted by the International Relations
and Political Science M.A. program at Simla University.
||Obtains his Masterís Degree. Later moved to
Pakistan and joined the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union's
occupation of Afghanistan.
||Serves as the Director of Information for the
National Liberation Front led by Professor Sebghatullah Mujadidi.
||Formation of the Mujahideen's transitional
government occurs, and Karzai is appointed as Director of the Foreign
Relations Unit in the Office of the President of the Interim Government.
||Appointed as Deputy Foreign Minister in the
||Resigns from his position as Deputy Foreign
Minister, and begins to work actively for the organization of a national
Loya Jirga (Grand Council).
||Believed to be supporting/working with the
- August: Hamid Karzai's father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, is killed in
Pakistan (most likely by Pakistan's ISI).
- Marries Dr. Zeenat Quraishi
||December: Chosen to lead a provisional
administration which was set up in Bonn, Germany.
- June: Chosen as the President of the Transitional Government
- September 5th: Survives assassination attempt in Kandahar city.
||June: Receives an honorary Knighthood - awarded by
United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II
- July 4: Awarded the Philadelphia Liberty Medal in Philadelphia,
- September 16: Survives assassination attempt while in route to Gardez
- November 3: Joint Electoral Management Body of Afghanistan certifies
the presidential elections and declares Hamid Karzai the winner.
- December 7: Took the Presidential oath of allegiance at Salam Khana
- Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Boston University (May 22)
- Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the
University of Nebraska at Omaha (May 25)
||Honorary Doctorate of Law from Georgetown
University (September 25)
- April: Karzai acknowledges meetings with Taliban
- June 10th: Survives assassination attempt
- September: Offers peace talks with the Taliban.
- October: Rejects Western accusations that Iran is working against
Karzai's government and secretly supporting the Taliban.
||April 18th: Survives assassination attempt
||April 27th: Confirms that he willing be running
for re-election on August 20th.