Zalmai Rassoul

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Zalmai Rassoul
Zalmai Rassoul.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
10 January 2010 – 5 October 2013
PresidentHamid Karzai
Preceded byRangin Dadfar Spanta
Succeeded byAhmad Moqbel Zarar
Personal details
Born (1943-05-11) 11 May 1943 (age 76)
Kabul, Afghanistan

Zalmai Rassoul (Pashto: زلمی رسول‎; born 11 May 1943[1]) is an Afghan politician who served as Foreign Minister of Afghanistan from January 2010 to October 2013. He previously served as National Security Advisor beginning in June 2002. He has accompanied Afghan President Hamid Karzai on all official visits since the establishment of the Interim Administration in 2001. He resigned as Foreign Minister on 5 October 2013 to stand as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.


Rassoul was born in or about 1942 in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Abdu'l Qayyum Khan Sarkar and his wife Farukh Begum, daughter of Emir Habibullah Khan.[2] Amānullāh Khān, the King of Aghanistan 1909-1929, was his uncle.[3][4] He attended Lycée Esteqlal where he graduated as the valedictorian. Subsequently, he traveled to France to study on a scholarship at the Paris Medical School and received his M.D. in 1973. An ethnic Pashtun,[5] belonging to Barakzai (Mohammadzai) tribe (of the Zirak branch of the Durrani Confederacy), he is fluent in Dari Persian, French, English, and Italian and has a working knowledge of Arabic and Pashto.

He has over 30 publications in European and American medical journals[6] and is a member of the American Society of Nephrology.

Since 1998, Rassoul devoted his full attention to the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) as the director of the Secretariat of Mohammad Zaher Shah, the former King of Afghanistan. Under Rassoul's leadership, the Secretariat in Rome played a key role in the future political transition of Afghanistan. Prior to the Bonn Conference, Zahir Shah dispatched numerous delegations to world capitals, Afghanistan's neighbors, and Afghanistan itself to build support for the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

Rassoul accompanied President Hamid Karzai, at that time a leading member of the Executive Committee of the Loya Jirga, on these missions. Rassoul was suited for this work because of his long term, close contact with Afghan resistance and his 1980 founding and publishing of the monthly publication Afghan Reality created to increase awareness and be a voice of information from inside Afghanistan to the international community regarding the plight of the Afghan people.

Rassoul was nominated by President Hamid Karzai as Minister of Civil Aviation and unanimously approved by the Cabinet in March 2002. Under his leadership, Afghanistan's aviation sector was revived after many years of United Nations sanctions against the Taliban and Afghanistan. Rassoul played an important role in Afghanistan's readmission to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Prior to his service in the Afghan government, Rassoul served as a delegate to the historic November 2001 Bonn Conference. Following the Bonn Conference, he accompanied President Karzai to Kabul for the inauguration of the Afghan Interim Administration.

Dr. Rassoul is unmarried and has no children.[7]

2014 presidential election[edit]

On 5 October 2013 Rassoul resigned from his position as Foreign Minister and on 6 October he officially filed his nomination to stand as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.[8] His running mate is Ahmad Zia Massoud.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  2. ^ "HERAT". 1921-05-13. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  3. ^ Koelbl, Susanne (2014-03-27). "Zalmai Rassoul Seeks to Emerge from Karzai Shadow in Afghan Elections - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  4. ^ "Biographies of 11 presidential runners | Pajhwok Election site". Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  5. ^ "Northern alliance rejects outside security force for Afghanistan". November 29, 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  6. ^ Rassoul, Dr. Zalmai. "Google Scholar". List of publications. Google.
  7. ^ Carberry, Sean (2 April 2014). "Afghanistan's Next President Will Be ..." NPR. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Dr. Zalmai Rasoul nominated for 2014 presidential elections". 6 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  9. ^ Ahmed, Azam (30 March 2014). "In Afghan Presidential Campaign, North Is All-Important". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Ahmad Moqbel Zarar