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Afghan Presidential Candidates 2014 Who's who in the April 5 election.

Abdullah Abdullah

A former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah came second in the 2009 presidential election with more than 30 per cent of the vote but withdrew from a head-to-head runoff with the incumbent Hamed Karzai, claiming he lacked confidence that the ballot would be free and fair.

 

Mohammad Daud Sultanzoi

Mohammad Daud Sultanzoi is a Pashtun from Ghazni province. When Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in 1979, he was working as a pilot for the national carrier Ariana, and diverted his plane to Germany. He settled in California and spent 22 years as a pilot for United Airlines.

 

Abdul Rahim Wardak

 

Born in Wardak province and educated in the United States, Abdul Rahim Wardak was part of the mujahedin who fought the Soviets in the 1980s, as part of the National Islamic Front (Mahaz-e Milli-ye Islami) led by Pir Sayed Ahmed Gailani.

 

Qayyum Karzai

An elder brother of the current president, Abdul Qayyum Karzai was born in Kandahar but spent many years as a businessman in the United States.

 

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Ashraf Ghani is a former anthropology professor and World Bank executive who has done extensive work on rebuilding nation states. Following the defeat of the Taleban in 2001, he served as special advisor to United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and helped draw up the Bonn Agreement that shaped structures for the new Afghan state. He went on to serve as finance minister in the transitional government.

 

Mohammad Nader Naim

Born in Kabul in 1964, Mohammad Nader Naim belongs to the last royal family. He is a grandson of Mohammad Daud Khan, who ousted his cousin King Zaher Shah in 1973 and became head of state, only to be assassinated himself in 1978.

 

Qutbuddin Hilal

 

Running as an independent, Qutbuddin Hilal is the only candidate not to have served in any post-2001 Afghan government. Instead, he comes from Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e Islami, a group that is still fighting alongside the Taleban.

 

Gul Agha Sherzai

 

Born to Mohammad Shafiq in Kandahar province in 1954, Sherzai joined his father to become a mujahedin commander fighting against the government in the latter part of President Najibullah’s rule.

 

Zalmai Rasul

Zalmai Rasul is a medical doctor by training who worked for the exiled monarch Zahir Shah and returned to Afghanistan in 2002.

 

Abdul Rabb Rasul Sayyaf, Ismail Khan, Abdul Wahhab Irfan

Sayyaf is the only candidate who was at the head of one of the old mujahedin factions. In his case it was Ittehad-e Islami, a smallish group that punched above its weight with Saudi financial backing. In the civil war of the early 1990s, Ittehad was one of several armed factions accused of war crimes in battles that shredded Kabul.

 

Hedayat Amin Arsala

From an influential Kabul family, Hedayat Amin Arsala is a technocrat, a successful economist who became the first Afghan to join the World Bank in 1969 and spent 18 years working there.

TODAY'S WORD
Monitors Worry About Runoff Fraud
 

A number of Afghan election monitoring groups have warned that the runoff round of this year's presidential race could face increased fraud on the part of candidates so long as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) have staff members supporting one or the other candidate and engaging in fraud themselves. more......

DIALOGUE
Regional Experts Develop Common Vision for Future Afghanistan
Around 60 regional multidisciplinary and leading experts and specialists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Central Asian Republics, China, India, Russia and Turkey presented a common view on the future of Afghanistan in Kabul through the launch of the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability.”click here..
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Articles

Meeting a Young Dr. Abdullah

 
It had been a long journey into the Hindu Kush mountains, starting in the Northwest of Pakistan in the summer of 1987. We began by secretly crossing the border into Afghanistan, trekking through Nuristan and finally making it over half a dozen 10,000-foot mountains to the Panjshir Valley. There, I   more......
 


Abdullah Abdullah Moves Toward Center of Afghan Power

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — AFTER decades roaming the margins of power — as a close aide to the revered resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, as a foreign minister and later as Afghanistan’s perennial opposition leader — Abdullah Abdullah may finally be arriving at the center of it all.Since his electoral loss to President Hamid Karzai in 2009, Mr. Abdullah, who is of mixed Pashtun and Tajik ethnicity, has widened his political base, having used persuasion and energy to forge alliances built  more......

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Biography
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah: In His Own Words
 
I was born about fifty years ago in this house (pointing to his father’s house located in Kart-e-Parwan, Kabul). My father Ghulam Muhayuddin was from Kandahar province and my mother was from Panjshir. Before moving to Kart-e-Parwan my parents lived in the De Afghanan area of Kabul more......
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VIDEO GALLERY

The Afghan Election  The Man Who Could Upset Karzai

In Afghanistan's presidential race, the top challenger to President Karzai is former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

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