Biography of Ahmad Zia Massoud

Zia Massoud

by S. Ghilzai / Published on July 17, 2014

Ahmad Zia Massoud, the younger brother of renowned war-hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, was born on May 1st, 1956, in the town of Muqur, in Ghazni Province. He attended Lycée Esteqlal, the French high school in Kabul, and after, the Polytechnical University of Kabul.

During the Soviet invasion, Massoud worked with his older brother, as a member of the Mujahideen (Anti-Soviet), and also as part of the United Islamic Front (anti-Taliban).

Once the Taliban was overthrown in 2001, President Hamid Karzai appointed Massoud as the Afghan Ambassador to the Russian Federation (which later was extended to include Armenia, Belarus and Moldova as part of Massoud’s domain). Karzai then asked Massoud to be on his 2004 Presidential ticket, as First Deputy Vice President. Political differences forced Karzai to take on Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim on his 2009 ballot, replacing Massoud.

In the 2014 Presidential elections, Massoud joined forces with Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, as his First Deputy Vice President. When Dr. Rassoul was voted out of the race, Massoud publicly announced he was supporting and endorsing Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

Ahmad Zia Massoud may come from the same lineage as the treasured war hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, but blood may be the only thing the pair have in common. Ahmad Zia Massoud’s time in government has been plagued with many rumors of corruption, from Ponzi schemes to pocketing foreign aid money. One of the worse incidents was when Massoud arrived at the Dubai International Airport, from Kabul, carrying with him, $52 million in cash, during his time as Vice President under Karzai. According to many sources, including Wikileaks, The Guardian and RAWA, Massoud was allowed to keep the cash “without revealing the money’s origin or destination”.


Swami, Praveen. “Wikileaks Reveals: Ahmed Zia Massoud, Afghan Vice-President Carried 52M USD in Cash to Dubai.” RAWA News. RAWA, 29 Nov. 2010. Web. 15 July 2014.

Steele, Jonathan, and Jon Boone. “WikiLeaks: Afghan Vice-president ‘landed in Dubai with $52m in Cash'” The Guardian. N.p., 2 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 July 2014.