Afghan Biographies

Atmar, Hanif

Name Atmar, Hanif
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1968
Function/Grade Presidential Candidate 2019 (dropped out)
History and Biodata

2.Previous Functions
Advisor for humanitarian programs in aid agencies in Afghanistan and in Pakistan (1992-1994)
Program Manager for the Norwegian Committee for Afghanistan (1994-2000)
Deputy Director General of the International Rescue Committee,
Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in the Transitional Government (2002-2008)
Minister of Education (until October 2008)
Minister of Interior (2008)
Minister of Interior, second term, (20100102 - 20100606 resigned)
Chairman National Security Council NSC (20140930-20180825 resigned)

3. Biodata
atmar_hanifHanif Atmar, son of Mohammad Asef Atmar, was born in Laghman in 1968. Atmar is a Durani Pashtun. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Rural Development Studies from United Kingdom, an a master's degree in Internation Relations and Post War Development from York University, also in U.K. He has credentials with the former communists because he was an KHAD intelligence officer in the Afghan-backed Soviet regime. He fought on communists’ side. In 1988, Atmar lost one of his legs fighting with a Khad special-operations unit against mujahedeen fighters besieging the eastern city of Jalalabad. When the mujahedeen captured Kabul, he joined an exodus of Communist-era officials and went to Britain. He walks with a cane. Yet his tribal credentials are impeccable. He hails from an aristocratic Pashtun family in Laghman province.

The Americans and Europeans like him because he is a technocrat. Atmar and Karzai had clashed in recent months over Karzai's reconciliation efforts, said a senior U.S. military official who worked closely with Atmar. "Atmar really disagreed with the reintegration of the Taliban into the police and the army," the official said. After the Taliban attack on the Peace Jirga June 2010 he resigned.


Hanif Atmar fears Afghanistan may plunge into civil conflict if international forces pull out of the country on schedule in 2014.(20111118)


Weesa Daily reported that a reliable source told Kabul News that a Dubai based US contractor company had close ties with Hanif Atmar and gives the Right and Justice party US$ 50,000 to 60,000 on a monthly basis. It is said that the company has signed a US$ 10 billion contract with Pentagon to supply logistics for the US forces in Afghanistan.(20130506)

The long-awaited security agreement was inked by US ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham and national security adviser Hanif Atmar.(20140930)

While President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's  camp might not have as strong an interest as Abdullah’s in electoral reforms, amending the constitution and the division of power between central and local authorities was part of his electoral mandate. It is said for that, he should remove from his inner circle those who try to ‘sabotage the process,’ including his National Security Advisor, Hanif Atmar, who has monopolized decision making at the Palace.(20160420)


National security adviser Atmar said he resigned because of “serious differences over policies and principles with government leadership”. Different sources said Atmar had argued with President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai after warning that Ghazni, which sits on the main route linking Kabul to southern Afghanistan, needed to be reinforced and that the highway in particular was vulnerable. They said Ghani had told him to draw up a proposal before additional troops were deployed, frustrating Atmar, who wanted to move immediately. (20180902)

Reports suggest, former National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar will also run for the Preseidential election in April 2019 and Yunus Qanoni will be as his first deputy in his election ticket.(20181111)

The former National Security Adviser Mohammad Atmar has confirmed that he will seek nomination for presidential in next year’s presidential elections.(20181129) Atmar, once considered the second-most powerful official in Ghani's government, will be running against his former boss, who is seeking reelection in the April 20 vote.

Former national security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar is said to run as a candidate in Presidential Election 2019 with First Deputy: Qanooni; and Second Deputy: Muhaqqiq. (20190107)

he Paiwande Milli Party (Hezb-e-Paiwande Milli) led by Alhaj Syed Mansoor Naderi has announced all-out support to Mohammad Haneef Atmar in the upcoming presidential elections.(20190122)

Mohammad Hanif Atmar announced opting out of the September 28, 2019 presidential vote, saying he would not join any electoral team.(20190924)

Hanif Atmar speaks Dari, Pushtu, English and Urdu.

Last Modified 2019-09-24
Established 2009-10-08