Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai

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Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai
Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai.jpg
Born 1958 (1958)
Logar, Afghanistan

Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai (Pashto: محمد معصوم ستانکزی; 1958) is the acting Defense Minister of Afghanistan. He was appointed Afghan Defense Minister on 24 June, 2015, and is currently serving as acting Defense Minister. Prior to this appointment, he was the CEO of the Joint Secretariat of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program since 2009. He was seriously injured in the suicide bombing that killed High Peace Council Chairman Berhanuddin Rabbani on September 20, 2011, but recovered from his injuries. He was named Defense Minister on 6 June 2015 by the Parliament of Afghans, winning 97% of the vote.

On May 21, 2015, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced Stanekzai as his nominee for the Minister for Defense.[1] In June, to coincide with the new Defense Minister speaking in Parliament, the Taliban attacked the Kabul parliament with a car bomb.[2]

Early life[edit]

Masoom Stanekzai was born in 1958 in Mughul khel village of Mohammad Agha District of Logar Province, in the Stanekzai tribe, to a middle-class family. He is the third child of Mahmood Khan, a government servant. After graduating from high school, he joined Kabul Telecommunication Institute and after that he graduated from Kabul Military University and joined the Army of Afghanistan. He served in the Afghan Army for more than a decade. As his last job in the army, he served as deputy commander of the Qargha Division in the rank of colonel.


He has served as Director of the Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy Conservation in Afghanistan (2001-2002), Minister of Telecommunication/Information and Communications Technology in the Afghan Transitional Government ( 2002- 2004), Secretary of the High Council for Peace and Reconciliation (2010-2014), Security Adviser to The President and "Reintegration Minister". An adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and vice chair of the Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, a group responsible for the disbandment of illegal armed groups. From 2002 to 2004, he was minister of telecommunication/information and communications technology in the Afghan Transitional Government and, prior to that, he was director of the Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy Conservation in Afghanistan. He has 25 year of substantive experience in design and management, including telecommunication, humanitarian aids, community development, renewable energy, government and security sector. He has worked with government entities such Afghan independent Human Right Commission. Most recently, he completed a draft regulatory framework for the operation of private security companies in Afghanistan, which was adopted by the government. Stanekzai was a Jennings Randolph Afghanistan Fellow May 1, 2008 - February 28, 2009. He is also working for the United States Institute of Peace but he is mostly based in Kabul, Afghanistan. His Project Focus is: Security, Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Afghanistan. Masoom Stanekzai in charge of reconciliation acknowledged February 2, 2010 that the government had been in talks for some time with Taliban leaders to bring them into the government and end the war, dismissing the Taliban’s denials. Among members of the High Peace Council, only Massom Stanikzai is present in all secrete and public talks with the Taliban, and the rest are excluded from the process. But President Karzai did not officially put an end to the council and has not yet come to the conclusion that the council is no longer fruitful. He avoids to decide that it is best to activate the council again by appointing a new head, and revising its policies and structure in order to have a pivotal place in talks.


Mohammad Massoom Stanekzai earned a master's degree in philosophy of engineering for sustainable development from Cambridge University and a master’s in business management from Preston University while he has a B.A. from the Kabul Telecom Institute and is a graduate of the Kabul Military University. He can speak Dari, Pashto and English fluentl. In 2008 Masoom was made a visiting fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.[3] Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai was made the Jennings Randolph Afghanistan Fellow from May 1, 2008 to February 28, 2009.

Stanekzai’s research focuses on security, reconstruction and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

degree institution
B.A. Kabul Telecom Institute
Kabul Military University
M.A. Preston University[disambiguation needed] business management
M.A. Cambridge University
  • 2005-2006[4]
  • philosophy of engineering for sustainable development


  1. ^ "Ghani Names Stanekzai as Defense Minister Nominee". 
  2. ^ Matthew Weaver. "Afghanistan parliament attacked by Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen". the Guardian. 
  3. ^ "Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai: Jennings Randolph Afghanistan Fellow May 1, 2008 - February 28, 2009". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Minister M. Masoom Stanekzai of Afghanistan joins the Centre to Research Re-Building Afghanistan". Cambridge University. November 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-19.