Abdullah Abdullah

Abdullah Abdullah

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Abdullah Abdullah is an Afghan politician
Politics of Afghanistan
The politics of Afghanistan consists of the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly, with a president serving as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the military. The nation is currently led by the Karzai administration under President Hamid Karzai who is backed by two vice...

 and a doctor of medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

. He was an adviser and friend to Ahmad Shah Massoud, legendary anti-Taliban leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir". After the fall of the Taliban regime, Dr. Abdullah served as Afghanistan's Foreign Minister from 2001 until 2005. In 2009 Abdullah ran as an independent candidate in the Afghan presidential election
Afghan presidential election, 2009
The 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing, intimidation, and other electoral fraud....

 and came in second place with 30.5% of the total votes. On November 1, 2009, Abdullah quit the runoff election that would have taken place six days later, on November 7, due to large-scale allegations of fraud against his opponent Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

. In 2010 Abdullah created the Coalition for Change and Hope
Coalition for Change and Hope
The Coalition for Change and Hope is a political coalition in Afghanistan organized by Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and presidential candidate. The group ran candidates in the 2010 parliamentary election, winning more than 90 out of 249 seats in the parliament and thus becoming the...

 which is the leading democratic opposition movement in Afghanistan.

Early life


Abdullah was born in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in 1960. Until he became a government minister, he had only one name, Abdullah; demands from Western newspaper editors for a second name led him to adopt the name Abdullah Abdullah. Like most Afghans, he was raised in a devout Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 family. Abdullah Abdullah is of mixed Tajik and Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 ethnicity. His father, Ghullam Muhayuddin Khan, was from the Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 region, and was a high ranking government official who had risen through the ranks. Abdullah's early years were split between living in Kandahar and Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, where his father was serving as an administrator in the land survey and subsequently the inspection section of the Prime Minister’s office. A number of his ancestors had worked in the court of the royal house of Afghanistan
Emirate of Afghanistan
The Emirate of Afghanistan began with the end of the Durrani Empire and the reign of Dost Mohammad Khan in 1823 and ended when Amir Amanullah Khan became Shah in 1926. This period was characterized by the expansion of European colonial interests in Central Asia...

 in past centuries.

Eventually, Abdullah’s family settled in Kabul where his father was appointed as a senator by King Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973...

. Abdullah’s father had a great impact on his son's life.

Education and medical career


Abdullah was a top student throughout his elementary and high school years. He graduated from Naderia High School in 1976 and went on to study ophthalmology
Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems...

 at Kabul University’s Department of Medicine
Kabul Medical University
Kabul Medical University is located in Kabul, Afghanistan on the campus of Kabul University. The medical institution was initially maintained by collaboration with the Turkish and French sponsors. KMF developed into a single autonomous University in 2005...

 where he graduated and received his M.D. degree in 1983.

After receiving his degree, Abdullah served as the resident ophthalmologist at Noor Eye Institute in Kabul until 1986. Starting in 1985, Abdullah left the country due to the social and political unrest during the leftist government and went on to work at the Syed Jamaluddin Afghani Eye Hospital for Afghan Refugees in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Soviet war in Afghanistan


In September 1985 Abdullah became the Head of the Health Department for the Panjshir Resistance Front coordinating treatments and health care for the resistance fighters and the civilian population. Abdullah soon became a close associate and advisor to Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud in the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

 the Wall Street Journal named Massoud "the Afghan who won the Cold War".

Islamic State of Afghanistan


After the fall of the communist Najibullah-regime in 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement (the Peshawar Accords). The Peshawar Accords created the Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic State of Afghanistan
The Islamic State of Afghanistan was the name of the state of Afghanistan after the collapse of the communist regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, in 1992. In 1996, the country was renamed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by the Taliban, after seizing control of the majority of the...

 and appointed an interim government. According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

:

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received operational, financial and military support from Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Afghanistan expert Amin Saikal
Amin Saikal
Professor Amin Saikal is Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. Professor Saikal has specialised in the politics, history, political economy and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia...

 concludes in Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival:
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

 was defeated militarily in Kabul in late 1994 by then minister of defense Ahmad Shah Massoud's forces. Abdullah worked as an advisor for Massoud. In 1995 Abdullah became the Spokesperson for the Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic State of Afghanistan
The Islamic State of Afghanistan was the name of the state of Afghanistan after the collapse of the communist regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, in 1992. In 1996, the country was renamed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by the Taliban, after seizing control of the majority of the...

.

Taliban Emirate versus United Front


On September 27, 1996, the Taliban seized power in Kabul with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

.
Following the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, the United Islamic Front
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

 (Northern Alliance) was created under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Dr. Abdullah became the United Front's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic State of Afghanistan
The Islamic State of Afghanistan was the name of the state of Afghanistan after the collapse of the communist regime, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, in 1992. In 1996, the country was renamed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by the Taliban, after seizing control of the majority of the...

 elements of the United Front, including the Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud and the Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, remained Afghanistan's internationally recognized government. The Taliban Emirate received no diplomatic recognition from the international community (except from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates).

In early 2001 Abdullah traveled with Ahmad Shah Massoud to Brussels where Massoud addressed the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 asking the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan. ([www.youtube.com/watch?v=t78N6Q5VD60 see video]) Dr. Abdullah translated when Massoud stated that the Taliban and Al Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

" and that without the support of Pakistan and Bin Laden the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year. On this visit to Europe Massoud also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U.S. soil being imminent.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


See also: Bonn Agreement (Afghanistan)
Bonn Agreement (Afghanistan)
Officially the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions, the Bonn Agreement was the initial series of agreements intended to re-create the State of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the...

 and 2001 in Afghanistan


Foreign ministry


In October 2001 the Taliban regime was overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom including NATO and United Front forces.
As a result of the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, Abdullah was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Interim Administration in December 2001.

Following the 2004 Afghanistan Presidential Elections, Abdullah was one of the few people who kept their position from the Transitional Government and was re-appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs for another year. In 2005 he resigned his position.

2009 presidential election



On May 6, 2009, Abdullah registered as an Independent candidate for the 2009 Afghan presidential election
Afghan presidential election, 2009
The 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing, intimidation, and other electoral fraud....

, running against incumbent president Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

. Abdullah selected as his running mates Humayun Shah Asefi as his First Vice President and Dr. Cheragh Ali Cheragh (a surgeon from Kabul who is a practicing Shia) as Second Vice President. Afghanistan has an Executive structure featuring two Vice President
Vice president
A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...

s, a First VP and a Second VP, to help ensure a stable government by attempting to provide ethnic and religious balance to senior government leadership positions. Unofficial and non-certified electoral results were announced during the day on September 16, 2009, showing that Abdullah was in second position with 27.8% of the total votes cast. President Karzai did not achieve the 50.01% vote majority required to avoid a runoff election. A large number of fraudulent ballots, mostly belonging to Karzai's camp, were disallowed by the Independent Afghan Electoral Commission. Karzai came under intense international political and diplomatic pressure from international leaders because of allegations of large-scale fraud. Hamid Karzai eventually agreed to participate in a designated head to head runoff election (held between the contenders with the two largest numbers of total votes in the first election) which was scheduled nationwide for November 7, 2009.

On November 1, 2009, Abdullah announced that he had decided to withdraw from the runoff election, citing his lack of faith in the President Karzai government's ability to hold a "fair and transparent" second election process. Subsequently Hamid Karzai was declared the winner by the Afghan Electoral Commission (essentially winning by default).

Coalition for Change and Hope


After the 2009 Afghan Presidential Elections, Abdullah created the Coalition for Change and Hope
Coalition for Change and Hope
The Coalition for Change and Hope is a political coalition in Afghanistan organized by Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and presidential candidate. The group ran candidates in the 2010 parliamentary election, winning more than 90 out of 249 seats in the parliament and thus becoming the...

 (CCH). The CCH presents the leading democratic opposition movement against the government of Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

.

In the September 18, 2010, parliamentary election the Coalition for Change and Hope won more than 90 seats out of 249 seats becoming the main opposition party. As a result, it is assumed that the new Parliament will introduce some checks and balances on the Presidential power.

Regarding the Taliban insurgency and Karzai's strategy of negotiations Dr. Abdullah stated:
"I should say that Taliban are not fighting in order to be accommodated. They are fighting in order to bring the state down. So it's a futile exercise, and it's just misleading. ... There are groups that will fight to the death. Whether we like to talk to them or we don't like to talk to them, they will continue to fight. So, for them, I don't think that we have a way forward with talks or negotiations or contacts or anything as such. Then we have to be prepared to tackle and deal with them militarily. In terms of the Taliban on the ground, there are lots of possibilities and opportunities that with the help of the people in different parts of the country, we can attract them to the peace process; provided, we create a favorable environment on this side of the line."

Massoud Foundation


Abdullah has been the Secretary General of the Massoud Foundation since June 2006. The Massoud Foundation is an independent, non-aligned, non-profitable and non-political organization established by people who have been affected by the life of Massoud. It provides humanitarian assistance to Afghans especially in the fields of health care and education. It also runs programs in the fields of culture, construction, agriculture and welfare.

External links