CNN Editorial Research
Here is a look at the life of Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan.
Birth date: December 24, 1957
Birth place: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Father: Abdul Ahad Karzai, politician
Mother: Mother’s name unavailable publicly
Marriage: Zinat Quraishi Karzai (1999-present)
Children: daughter’s name unavailable publicly, 2016; Howsi, 2014; Malalai, 2012; Mirwais, 2007
Education: Himachal University, India, master’s degree in Political Science
A member of the Popalzai clan, part of the larger Pashtun tribe.
Karzai was educated in India and is fluent in several languages, including English, Pashto, Dari and Urdu.
His grandfather, Khair Mohammad Khan, served as deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament.
His father held high level posts in the government of King Mohammed Zahir Shah.
1979 – After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Karzai and his father flee to Pakistan.
1992-1993 – Serves as deputy foreign minister, in the government of Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union.
Mid-1990s – Briefly aligns himself with the Taliban.
1996 – Declines an invitation to become Taliban ambassador to the United Nations.
1999 – Karzai’s father is murdered in Quetta, Pakistan, allegedly by the Taliban.
October 2001 – Slips into Afghanistan from Pakistan, to incite an uprising against the Taliban.
November 2001 – Is rescued by US forces during a skirmish with Taliban fighters.
December 2001 – Karzai is chosen as interim leader of Afghanistan.
December 5, 2001 – Is slightly injured by an errant US bomb.
December 22, 2001 – Is inaugurated as interim president in Kabul.
January 2002 – Visits the United States and the United Nations. Is an honored guest at US President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address.
June 13, 2002 – At the Loya Jirga, Karzai is named president of Afghanistan for a two-year term.
September 5, 2002 – Survives an assassination attempt in his hometown of Kandahar.
February 26-28, 2003 – Travels to the United States to meet with President Bush and answers questions about progress in Afghanistan during a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
November 3, 2004 – Is officially elected president of Afghanistan.
December 7, 2004 – Is inaugurated president of Afghanistan.
September 18, 2005 – First open parliamentary elections in 30 years.
April 27, 2008 – Narrowly escapes an assassination attempt at a military parade in Kabul.
March 29, 2009 – After the date of the presidential election is moved to August 2009, the Afghan Supreme Court rules that Karzai will remain in office for three months after his official term ends in May.
August 20, 2009 – Afghanistan holds its second presidential election. Karzai wins by a landslide despite widespread allegations of low voter turnout, intimidation and fraud.
October 31, 2009 – A run-off election is canceled when Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah drops out, leaving Karzai as the only candidate and winner by default.
November 19, 2009 – Karzai is sworn in for a second term as president of Afghanistan.
May 12, 2010 – Meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House.
July 20, 2010 – Announces he would like to see Afghan security forces take the lead on military operations in Afghanistan by 2014.
January 26, 2011 – Inaugurates the National Assembly, ending a political standoff between Karzai and the parliament. The inauguration comes four months after a nationwide election that critics said was marked by extensive fraud.
September 29, 2014 – Steps down as president.
June 2015 – Travels to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
February 5, 2019 – Travels to Moscow for a two-day conference to meet with members of the Taliban and other key Afghan figures to set the stage for peace negotiations.
December 2, 2021 – In an exclusive BBC interview, Karzai calls the Taliban “brothers” and urges Afghans who have left Afghanistan to return. Karzai also urges the United States to return to help the Afghan people. Karzai says he has held conversations concerning when Afghan women and girls would return to school and work.
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