By S. Ghilzai
February 3, 2016
Mohammad Hanif Atmar is the current National Security Advisor.
Mohammad Hanif Atmar is a Pashtun from the Laghman Province of Afghanistan. He was born in 1968. During the Soviet war in the country, Atmar worked with KHAD, the Afghan intelligence agency under the communist government, and fought against the mujahedeen with the Afghan army. Subsequently, he lost a leg during a battle in Jalalabad. When Kabul fell to the mujahideen, Atmar fled to the United Kingdom where he stayed for over a decade. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Computers and a Master’s degree in Public Policy, International Relations, and Post-War Reconstruction both from the University of York. Since then, Atmar has worked for humanitarian agencies focusing on aiding Afghanistan. With the new government in place following the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Atmar was selected to be the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in the Transitional Government under President Hamid Karzai’s interim term. In May 2006, Atmar was selected to be the new Minister of Education, a position he held until October 2008, when he was sworn in as the Minister of Interior. Now, under President Ashraf Ghani, Atmar is the National Security Advisor. He has also published a several books about Afghanistan.