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Abdullah Abdullah


Abdullah Abdullah (Dari: عبدالله عبدالله, born 5 September 1960) is an Afghan politician and a doctor of medicine. He was an adviser and a close friend of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir," who was assassinated in September 2001.[2] After the fall of the Taliban regime, Abdullah served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2005.

Abdullah ran as an independent candidate in the 2009 presidential election and placed second 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 allegations of electoral fraud. In 2010, he created the Coalition for Change and Hope, which is one of the leading democratic opposition movements in Afghanistan.[3][4] In 2011, the coalition was transformed into the National Coalition of Afghanistan, which is supported by dozens of Afghan political parties and members of parliament challenging the government of Hamid Karzai.[5] He stood again as a candidate in the April 2014 presidential election

Early life 

Abdullah was born in the second district of Karte Parwan in Kabul, Afghanistan.[1] According to Abdullah, both of his parents were born in Kabul.[1] He is reportedly of mixed Pashtun and Tajik ethnicity. His father, Ghullam Muhayuddin Khan Zmaryalay, was aPashtun from Kandahar.[2][6][7] He has seven sisters and two brothers.[8]

Abdullah's father, Ghullam Muhayuddin Khan, was appointed as a senator by King Zahir Shah. Khan served in Kandahar and was a high-ranking government official who had risen through the ranks. Abdullah's early years were split between living in Panjshir and Kabul, where his father was serving as an administrator in the land survey, and subsequently the inspection section of the Prime Minister's office.

Until he became a government minister, Abdullah had only a first name; demands from Western newspaper editors for a family name led him to adopt the full name Abdullah Abdullah.[9]

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 at Kabul University’s Department of Medicine, where he graduated and received his medical diploma in 1983.[10]

After receiving his degree, Abdullah served as the resident ophthalmologist at Noor Eye Institute in Kabul until 1986. Later, Abdullah left the country due to the social and political unrest during the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government. He worked, briefly, at the Syed Jamaluddin Afghani Eye Hospital for Afghan Refugees in Peshawar,Pakistan.
 
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.[11] Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal referred to Massoud as "the Afghan who won the Cold War".[12]
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 and appointed an interim government. According to Human Rights Watch:


"The sovereignty of Afghanistan was vested formally in the Islamic State of Afghanistan, an entity created in April 1992, after the fall of the Soviet-backed Najibullah government. [...] With the exception of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, all of the parties [...] were ostensibly unified under this government in April 1992. [...] Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, for its part, refused to recognize the government for most of the period discussed in this report and launched attacks against government forces and Kabul generally. [...] Shells and rockets fell everywhere. Meanwhile, Hezb-e-Wahdat Islami which was one of the most critical powers also stood against the central government for committing systematic injustice to Hazara community. The main reason for the collapse of the Mujaheedin government was not in fact the rocket shells of Hekmatiyar but rather the marginalization of an entire community, the Hazaras. Certainly, if Hazaras were not ignored and given their due rights in power sharing, neither the Taliban nor any other force could have easily overthrown the government. "[13]

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received operational, financial and military support from Pakistan.[14] Afghanistan expert Amin Saikal concludes in Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival:


"Pakistan was keen to gear up for a breakthrough in Central Asia. [...] Islamabad could not possibly expect the new Islamic government leaders [...] to subordinate their own nationalist objectives in order to help Pakistan realize its regional ambitions. [...] Had it not been for the ISI's logistic support and supply of a large number of rockets, Hekmatyar's forces would not have been able to target and destroy half of Kabul."[15]
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 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.

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.[16] Following the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, the United Islamic Front (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 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 partial diplomatic recognition from the international community (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 asking the international community to providehumanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan.[17] Dr. Abdullah translated when Massoud stated that the Taliban and Al Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" 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.[17] 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.[18]

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