By S. Ghilzai
February 3, 2016
Omar Zakhilwal is an Afghan politician.
Omar Zakhiwal is a Pashtun who was born in either Badkhashan, Nangarhar or Jalalabad – details are not known – in 1968. As a young adult, Zakhilwal’s family moved from Afghanistan, to Pakistan, and finally to Canada, as refugees, because of the Soviet invasion.
He attended University of Winnipeg in Canada, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, then went on to Queen’s University, also in Canada, for his Master’s degree, also in Economics. He then completed his PhD, again in Economics at Carelton University in 2001. Zakhiwal has held numerous jobs in the Afghan government since the fall of the Taliban in 2001; including being the Minister of Finance, under President Hamid Karzai, from 2009 until 2015. He has also been the Chairman of Afghanistan Cricket Board, as well a member of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank. Zakhiwal has published articles and research papers in a wide range of subjects- all focused on issues in Afghanistan- in journals and newspapers around the world. He authored Afghanistan’s First National Human Development Report, for the United Nations Development Programme in 2007, and won best analysis for the document in June of the same year. He is currently the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, appointed in 2015 by President Ashraf Ghani.