Taj Mohammad Wardak

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For other uses, see Taj Mohammed (disambiguation).

Taj Mohammad Wardak is an Afghan politician, from the Pashtun ethnic group. He spent some of the period of the Taliban's administration in the United States of America, and became an American citizen.[1]

Early political career[edit]

In the mid-1960s Wardak held the position of Deputy Governor of Badakhshan Province[2] In the 1970s he served as Governor of Badakhshan Province and Governor of Laghman Province.

Governor of Paktia[edit]

Wardak was appointed Governor of Paktia province in Afghanistan in the winter of 2002.[3] He served for only a few months due to opposition from local warlord Pacha Khan Zadran[4] Zadran was one of the principal actors in a violent struggle for control for the province after the fall of the Taliban, and Wardak was appointed as a compromise solution between the competing warlords. Wardak was an Afghan exile living in California as an afghan-american.[citation needed]

Minister of the Interior[edit]

According to Guantanamo captive Hafizullah Shabaz Khail, in testimony before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal Taj Mohammed [sic] Wardak was the first governor Hamid Karzai appointed for the Province of Paktia.[5] Khail said he was appointed the District Chief of Zormat because the new governor, Taj Mohammed, trusted him. He said Taj Mohammed Wardak was replaced, as governor, by Raz Mohammed Dalili when Hamid Karzai asked him to assume a position in Kabul.

According to the BBC the "relatively unknown" Wardak was appointed Interior Minister on Wednesday, June 19, 2002.[6]

According to Islam Online Wardak's appointment raised controversy within the Ministry.[7] They quote unnamed Ministry officials, and sentry Mohammad Halim:

"The interior ministry is on high alert because the people say why Qanooni Saheb has been transferred. He should come back, It is a state of high alert and strike. We do not like Wardak, because we do not know him and we want the return of Qanooni."

Wardak was one of several cabinet ministers Karzai appointed to a high level commission to investigate the assassination of Abdul Qadir, Vice President, and also one of Karzai's leading rivals.[8] Qadir, like Wardak, was a Pashtun. Analysts said Karzai picked cabinet ministers from each of Afghanistan's ethnic groups, so each group would realize he was taking the investigation seriously. The commission included Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili, Intelligence Services Director Mohammad Arif Sarwari, Rural Development Minister Mohammad Hanif Atma, and former Interim Irrigation Minister Hajji Mangal Hussain.

Wardak and Karzai differed in their interpretation of the deaths of students shot during a demonstration.[9] Karzai called the first student known to have died a "martyr". Wardak said that student was shot by other students.

Wardak was replaced on January 28, 2003, by Ali Ahmad Jalali.[10][11]

An article published on the web-site of The Jamestown Foundation on June 23, 2004 described Wardak as a "presidential aide".[12]

2004 elections[edit]

Wardak was one of the running mates for Presidential candidate Mohammad Yunos Qanuni.[13]

National Independence Party of Afghanistan[edit]

Taj Mohammad Wardak is listed as the head of the National Independence Party of Afghanistan on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Justice web-page that lists the licensed political parties.[14][15]


  1. ^ Babak Dehghanpisheh (June 20, 2002). "Ending With a Whimper". Newsweek. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  2. ^ Royal Audience. Kabul Times. vol. iv. no. 71. June 19, 1965
  3. ^ "Eyewitness: Guarding Gardez". BBC. April 29, 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  4. ^ "Pacha Khan Zadran". Global Security. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  5. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Hafizullah Shabaz Khail's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 11-21
  6. ^ "Karzai sworn in as president". BBC. June 19, 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  7. ^ "Afghanistan's Qanooni Refuses New Post". Islam Online. June 20, 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  8. ^ Ron Synovitz (July 8, 2002). "Killing Of Pashtun Minister Qadir Leaves Karzai Vulnerable". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  9. ^ Ardeshir Moaveni (December 11, 2002). "Promising an Army, Afghan President faces immediate threats". Eurasia.net. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  10. ^ Abe Rein (January 29, 2003). "Afghanistan daily digest". Eurasianet. Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Afghanistan: Top Security Official Resigns Amid Controversy". Radio Free Europe. September 28, 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  12. ^ A. Jamali (June 23, 2004). "The fall of Ghor: An ominous development for Karzai". The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on November 21, 2006. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Presidential Candidates: Mohammad Yunos Qanuni". Afghanistan Votes. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Licensed Political Parties". Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Political Parties". Afghanistan Votes. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
Preceded by
Pacha Khan Zadran
Governor of Paktia Province, Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Raz Mohammed Dalili
Preceded by
Yunis Qanooni
Afghan Interior Minister
19 June 2002—January 28, 2003
Succeeded by
Ali Ahmad Jalali