Hamid Karzai

President of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014

Hamid Karzai (born 24 December 1957) was the President of Afghanistan for almost ten years, from December 2004 to September 2014. He became Chairman of the Transitional Administration in 2001 under an agreement brokered in Bonn, Germany and was confirmed as Interim President in a 2002 national council. He won direct elections in 2004 and again in 2009, the latter being marred by allegations of fraud.

Hamid Karzai


  • Democracy as a system of government may indeed be unprecedented in Afghanistan, but democracy as a way of life, a set of principles and values, is deeply embedded in our society.
  • There is no doubt that people are angry. When a family is hit by a bomb and I am the president here with the responsibility -- when a suicide bomb takes places and murders the people of this nation -- I am the president of this country and it is my responsibility to bring peace to these people.
  • My problem is that I am perhaps too much of a democrat for this time of the country's life. If you need a dictator, then go to the Afghan people. Let them elect a dictator. I am not one of those.
  • Today, while celebrating the jihad victory, we once again invite those who have sided with aliens because of seduction against their nation, to give up sedition and evil and join peaceful life.
  • We have no other choice, we have no power to stop the [U.S.] planes, if we could, if I could … we would stop them and bring them down, ... If we had a chelak, we would throw it and stop the American aircraft. We have no radar to stop them in the sky, we have no planes, ... I wish I could intercept the planes that are going to bomb Afghan villages, but that’s not in my hands.

Commencement Address to Boston University Class of 2005


Commencement Address to Boston University Class of 2005 (May 22, 2005)

  • On my graduation there was a party by the junior students, and I was given a hair brush as a gift — if I take off my hat, you know what I mean.(laughter)
  • When you see on the news or read in the newspaper that so many people were killed in places far away, do not let these numbers become mere abstractions to you. These are real people, like you and I. They are families, friends; they have pain, they have grief.
  • We must not turn away when we hear the cries of the hungry. We must not stand by when we see the killing and terrorizing of the innocent. We should not wait until hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of our fellow human beings have died as occurred in Afghanistan, before we act.
  • Every time we ignore the suffering of others or stand by and watch, we do not only act against our own interests but we violate a part of our humanity.

About Hamid Karzai

  • I don't know anyone who is more admired and respected in the international community than President Karzai, for his strength, for his wisdom and for his courage to lead this country, first in defeat of the Taliban and now a democratic and unified Afghanistan. And I can tell you I am with foreign ministers and with heads of state all over the world. I sit in the councils of NATO. I sit with the EU. I sit with people all over the world and there is great admiration for your president and also for what the Afghan people are doing here.
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