Omar Zakhilwal

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Omar Zakhilwal
Omar Zakhilwal.jpg
Omar Zakhilwal in 2009
Finance Minister of Afghanistan
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 2009
President Hamid Karzai
Preceded by Anwar ul-Haq Ahady
Personal details
Born 1968
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
Religion Islam

Omar Zakhilwal (Pashto: ډاکتر عمر زاخيلوال ; born 1968) is a politician in Afghanistan, serving as the Finance Minister and Chief Economic Advisor to the President Hamid Karzai.[1] He is also the president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.[2]

Early life[edit]

Zakhilwal was born in 1968 in the Nangarhar or Jalalabad of Afghanistan.[3] He is believed to be an ethnic Pashtun.[4] In 1984, at the age of 17, Zakhilwal along with his family fled his country among the Afghan refugees and settled in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1991, he along with the family immigrated to Canada.

Education and academics[edit]

Zakhilwal obtained his Bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. He then moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he earned a Master's degree in economics at Queen's University. Soon after that he found a job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa, where he completed a doctorate in economics at Carleton University. He graduated in 2001.[1]

Zakhilwal published numerous articles and research papers on political, economic and social issues related to Afghanistan for newspapers, magazines and journals such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Wahdat, Forum of Federation Quarterly, Human Rights Tribune, Al-Ehram, Afghan Post, Heela, Dawat, Mujahid Wolus, Afghan Mosaic, and Afghan Mirror.[5] His work is in English, Pashto and Dari, and some of his articles are available on the internet.

Politics[edit]

Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal greeting Nancy Dupree at a party inside the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Over the course of his stay in Afghanistan, Zakhilwal has been part of the 2002 and 2003 loya jirgas. He served as an author of Afghanistan's First National Human Development Report, which was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in February 2007 and won the UN special award for best analysis in June 2007.

He also worked as an Afghan counter-part to the North-South Institute-led "What Kind of Peace is Possible?" research project, examining the role of community led development in sustainable peace building, as well as working on a strategy for Counter-Narcotics Alternative Livelihood in Afghanistan. He has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, CIDA and other organizations.

Zakhilwal served as the President of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), a member of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, Acting Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan. He became the Chief Economic Advisor to President Hamid Karzai in July 2008, and in March 2009 he was chosen as the new Minister of Finance.

Work history[edit]

Zakhilwal's Posts[5][5]
Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan
Ministry of Finance Finance Minister
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman
Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) President
Transport and Civil Aviation Acting Minister
Da Afghanistan Bank Member of the Supreme Council
Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan The Chief Advisor
Government of Canada Senior Research Economist
Carleton University in Ottawa Professor of Economics
Board of Directors of Partnership Afghanistan Canada President

References[edit]


Preceded by
Anwar ul-Haq Ahady
Finance Minister of Afghanistan
March 2009-present
Succeeded by