Afghan Biographies

Karzai, Shah Wali Shahwali

Name Karzai, Shah Wali Shahwali
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1959
Function/Grade Halfbrother of President Karzai
History and Biodata

3. Biodata:
karzai_shah_waliShah Wali Karzai, son of Abdul Ahad Karzai,  was born 1959 in Karz village, Dand District of Kandahar Province. He is a younger halfbrother of President Karzai (and brother to late AWK) who appointed him as chief of the Popolzai Tribe (20110713) to which the Karzai familiy belongs after Ahmad Wali Karzai was killed in his house in Kandahar on 20110712. Shah Wali Karzai is a mechanical engineer from Laurel Park, MD, USA· but currently resides in Kandahar living in Ahmad Wali Karzais (AWK) compound.· From there Shahwali Karzai runs his own engineering consulting firm and Mahmoud’s real estate project Ayono Mena. Shawali's family lives outside Afghanistan.

Shah Wali Karzai fled Afghanistan after the Soviets invaded the country in 1979. He stopped in Pakistan and Frankfurt before settling in Laurel Park, Md., in 1982.

Shah Wali Karzai has been chosen to succeed Ahmad Wali Karzai as a senior elder of the Popalzai tribe, in what is likely an early bid by Karzai to curb the extent of the coming power struggle. Shah Wali Karzai is respected but relatively unknown; he may eventually be able to build up a power base that matches his younger brother's, but for now President Karzai is likely to be diminished in an area that should be his natural heartland.

Shah Wali Karzai is a businessman and trained engineer, two years older than his murdered brother, who used to travel frequently between Dubai and Kandahar and kept a much lower profile. He may struggle to entirely fill his brother's shoes.

Yet it is Shah Wali’s lack of political experience that makes him different from his brother and engenders concern among residents of Kandahar that he will not be able to manage the complicated tribal relations as his brother did.Shah Wali Karzai also does not have the fearsome reputation of his brother Ahmed Wali and will not have the same iron grip over the local administration and the population, several elders in Kandahar said. “Ahmed Wali was very effective and strong — people were scared of him,” Hajji Alikozai said. “I could not say anything in front of Ahmed Wali but I can before Shah Wali Khan,” he said. That loss of fear alone could herald the decline of the Karzais’ power in Kandahar, he added.

More Background:
In 2001 later President Hamid Karzai asked the United States, which has provided him arms and other supplies, to pluck him out of Afghanistan with a helicopter and return him to Pakistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said 20011100. The U.S. military obliged with an extraction mission. "This is damaging," said Shah Wali Karzai· in Quetta about Rumsfeld's statement. "People are going to run away from America if they continue this ... the moderate people who oppose the Taliban are not happy with this," he said. (20011100)

He speaks Pashtu, Dari and English.

Last Modified 2011-07-13
Established 2011-07-13