|History and Biodata
Haji Agha Lalai Lalay Dastgeeri (var. Dastagir) is a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council (2009), the head of the Panjwayi district council and a member of the Qayum Karzai council. He has good relations with Ahmad Wali Karzai and is presently involved in preparing a new Kandahar tribal council upon suggestion of Ahmad Wali Karzai. He has a better relationship with Ahmad Wali Karzai than with Gul Agha Sherzai. He was also head of the new reconciliation commission but resigned in May 2010 because he was running again for the provincial council. He was re-elected with the 5th highest score.
He comes from a very influential khan family that revolted against the Communist era People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) because they were heavily affected by land redistribution. The revolt cost his father his life. During the jihad he switched factions frequently and later became a Taliban commander. He also used political marriage to create networks. One of his sisters is married to a Taliban commander, the other with a commander of the Nurzai tribe that was led by Ustad Abdul Malim. He is a regionally influential tribal elder with good links to both the government and the Taliban insurgency.
He is also said to be influential beyond the Alokozai tribe. He successfully reclaimed the land of his family and is one of the wealthiest of all Alokozai khans, owning 350 jeribs (70 hectares) of land plus three vineyards. In addition to holding a seat on the Provincial Council, he is also head of the Panjwayi District Shura. He is a close associate of Ahmad Wali Karzai and reportedly also has direct access to President Karzai. Dastgeeri is a former member of the Taliban who left that movement through the “Peace Through Strength” reconciliation program, which he later led for a time. It is assessed that he will be an influential player in working with Ahmad Wali Karzai in aligning the Kandahar power structure following an eventual ISAF withdrawal.