After months of the Unity Government’s negotiations over the shape of the country’s new Cabinet, the Wolesi Jirga approved sixteen new ministers on April 18. Eight other ministerial positions had already been
The government must still nominate a defense minister, as the second candidate for the job withdrew from consideration earlier this month. Despite this crucial vacancy, Kabul-based dailies noted such sweeping ministerial appointments are rare in national politics, adding that the country’s deteriorating security situation necessitated quick action by Parliament.
Afghanistan Today provides a complete overview of the appointments:
Eklil Hakimi, Finance
Hakimi has been Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States, Japan, and China.
Nur ul-Haq Ulumi, Interior
Ulumi served as a general during the communist regime toppled by the Afghan mujahideen in 1992. A Pashtun from Kandahar, he was the governor-general of the state under President Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai.
Salahuddin Rabbani, Foreign Affairs
Supported by Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, Rabbani is the head of powerful Jamiat-e Islami party. He is also the head of the High Peace Council, a position he accepted after the former head, his father Burhanuddin Rabbani, was killed in a suicide bomb attack.
Abdul Razaq Waheedi, Telecommunication and Information Technology
A professor at Esfahan University and Azad University of Iran as well as Kabul University, Waheed founded the Association of Afghan Mathematicians. For the past nine years, he has worked as the Administrative Director of the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.
Mahmood Baleegh, Public Affairs
Educated in Iran, Baleegh been a professor at Polytechnic University of Kabul and served as the deputy director of a construction company in Kabul.
Homayoon Rasa, Trade and Industry
Rosa is a former Deputy Minister to the Ministry of Education as well as the Deputy Director to the Directorate of National Security of Afghanistan.
Abdul Barry Jahani, Information and Culture
Jahani has a bachelor’s degree in Pashto literature and authored the Afghan national anthem. Prior to this appointment, he lived in the United States.
Assadullah Zamir, Agriculture and Livestock
Zamir has a master’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of California. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he worked at the Ministry of Rural Development, Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Mines and Industry.
Muhammad Gulab Mangal, Borders and Tribal Affairs
Mangal was governor of insecure Helmand province from 2008 to 2012.
Abdul Satar Murad, Economics
The former head of Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah’s presidential campaign, Murad was the first deputy foreign affairs minister during the Mujahideen regime. He was Afghanistan's ambassador to Malaysia and the governor of Kapisa province.
Muhammadullah Batash, Transport
Batash has a PhD in Social Sciences and International Relations from Moscow University. He has served in various capacities in the state and private sector. He was the governor of Faryab province for the last three years.
Assadullah Haneef Balkhi, Education
Balkhi has a PhD from Umul-Qura University in Saudi Arabia. For the past three years, he was ambassador to Kuwait.
Sayeed Sa’adat Mansour Naderi, Urban Development
Previously poised to lead the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, Naderi has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of London. He previously served as an advisor to the National Bank of Afghanistan.
Abdul Baseer Anwar, Justice
Supported by Abdullah, Anwar holds two master’s degrees in political science. He was previously an advisor to President Hamid Karzai.
Salamat Azimi, Counter Narcotics
One of four female Cabinet members, Azimi was a professor at Balkh University and worked at Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, advocating children rights. She has a bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science.
Fareeda Momand, Higher Education
Formerly a professor at Kabul Medical University, Momand has worked at various hospitals in Kabul and is one of four female Cabinet members.
Nasreen Oryakhail, Labor, Social Affairs and Martyrs
A Kabul Medical University professor, Oryakhail is a former director of Rabia Balkhi Hospital. She received a medal of honor from the U.S. State Department last year.
Ali Ahmad Osmani, Energy and Water
Nominated by Abdullah, Osmani has a master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Ferdosi University in Iran. He was a professor at Herat University and a number of private universities.
Delbar Nazari, Women’s Affairs
Another Abdullah nominee, Nazari is a former Afghan parliamentarian. She worked at Oxfam and UNICEF. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Kabul University.
Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Refugees
A former minister under the Mujahideen regime, Balkhi has studied at the Iran seminary city of Qom. He has served as a member of the Afghan parliament since 2005 and has been a head of the Ulama Council since 2005.
Firuzuddin Firuz, Public Health
Nominated by Abdullah, Firuz is a former World Bank advisor on health affairs. He was Deputy Minister of Health from 2002-2004.
Nasir Durrani, Rural Development
A former Deputy Minister of Mines, Durrani earned his higher education degrees in the United States and Pakistan. He worked at the Steel Mills Company in Peshawar for eight years and then worked in the energy sector in the United Kingdom and France.
Daud Shah Saba, Mines
A former governor of Herat province, Saba holds a Master’s degree from Kabul Polytechnic Institute. He is a former advisor to President Hamid Karzai.
Faiz Muhammad Usmani, Hajj and Religious Endowments
Educated at religious schools in the city of Zahedan in southeastern Iran, Usmani is best known for hosting a religious program on TOLO TV. He has worked as a university lecturer and as an adviser for Afghan-Turk schools in Afghanistan.