Afghan Biographies

Nuristani, Tamim Muhammad Nooristani


Name Nuristani, Tamim Muhammad Nooristani
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1962
Function/Grade Ex Governor
History and Biodata

2.Previous Functions:
Governor Nuristan (20060804, fired 20080710),
Governor Nuristan, second time (20110904, 20130521-20140204) sacked

3. Biodata:
nuristani_tamimTamim Nuristani was born 1962 in Nuristan Province and hails from of the Kata Tribe. His father was a mayor of Kabul. When the communists overthrew Afghanistan's government in 1978 they threw his father in prison. Nuristani and the rest of the family fled to New Jersey in 1980. Nuristani says he drove a cab in New York for a while. Nuristani has also spent considerable time abroad as a student in Germany and in the restaurant business - a fried chicken restaurant in Brooklyn and later a line of pizza parlors in Sacramento. His family is one of the most famous in Nuristan. Four uncles were killed by the communists, and another uncle is a fugitive HiG commander.

He is the brother-in-law of the Jamiati, Massud Khalili, who was a close friend to the late Ahmad Shah Massud, has family relations with a local prominent Hezb-e Islami commander, and reportedly his early appointment was supported even by Sayyaf*.

He is reportedly urban and well spoken, and has the support of much of his province. Leaving his family in the U.S. after 9/11, Nuristani was elected to the Emergency Loya Jirga and the Constitutional Loya Jirga. Prior to the national elections, Nuristani made it a priority to establish security in his province. Nuristani’s goal is to improve the infrastructure (particularly roads) and welfare of his province.

Lawmaker Dad Mohammed Nuristani, who is no relation to the governor, accused him of playing tribal politics and contributing to insecurity. He also accuses the governor of associating with known militants. Specifically, the governor's distant cousin — Haji Ghafour — who the military says is active in warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's militant faction. Nuristani dismisses such talk as squabbling by political rivals. He admits he has talked to Haji Ghafour, but only to try to get him to turn himself in.(20071113).

Nuristani was relieved of his duties by President Karzai in July 2008 after he complained the U.S. was not paying enough attention to the lives of the people  the IDLG saw a good reason to force him out. Nuristani was fired hours after telling Al Jazeera that an US raid on July 5, 2007 was poorly executed and would inflame tensions. A woman and a child were among those killed by missiles fired by US helicopters, he said in an interview to Al Jazeera's James Bays after news of the raid broke.

He was succeeded by governor Hazrat Din Noor Jalali also a Nuristani native though of Nurgram District. One could quibble over whether a successful Americanized businessman or a commander for a mostly successful mujahideen group (Hazrat Din once served under Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, and later under Ahmed Shah Massoud) was better for the province, it is interesting to see that many people complained Tamim Nuristani didn’t travel enough throughout the province.(20080729).

Tamim Nuristani was second time appointed Governor of Nuristan. It is rumored that Karzai approached Tamim Nuristani shortly before the parliamentary election 2010 and told him not to campaign, that he would be made governor instead, provided he was able to broker a deal with Abdul Ghaffur similar to that the government had with the other prominent Hezb commander in Nuristan, Mawlawi Sadeq, informally in control of Kamdesh district. However deals under the table, even if successful, would not be a sufficient solution for Nuristan’s governance problems.

Nuristani said: The Taliban insurgents are in control of six districts of eastern Nuristanprovince, where work on 800 reconstruction projects has been suspended over the past two years, the newly appointed governor said on Sunday. The six districts where the Taliban still hold sway are Bargimatal, Kamdesh, Waigal, Mandol, Duab and some parts of Noorgram districts. Work on only six of the 800 projects approved two years back had been completed, he said, adding the rest of projects could not be completed due to security problems. His predecessor Jamaluddin Badar refuted Nuristanis claims.(20110904)

Tamim Nuristani survived a second attack on his life in less than 24 hours on 20120717 morning when militants targeted his motorcade. Nuristani was travelling from the provincial capital Paroon to Nurgram district through Wama town when the fighters assaulted his convoy.
Nuristani province on 20131209 said he escaped unhurt in a gun attack involving armed insurgents, but his secretary and a guard were injured. The incident took place in Bolwayi area of eastern Laghman province.

President Hamid Karzai has removed the Nuristan Governor Tamim Nuristani and two other officials for their role in the theft of wheat meant for distribution to residents of the remote eastern province. Sacked was also the head of the National Disaster Management Authority for Nuristan province and head of the provincial department for rural rehabilitation and development.(20140204)

Nuristani  holds an U.S. passport and is fluent in Dari, Pushtu, English and German.

Last Modified 2017-02-05
Established 2009-10-09