Afghan Biographies

Atta, Ustad Mohammad Noor Ata


Name Atta, Ustad Mohammad Noor Ata
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth 1965
Function/Grade Provincial Governor Balkh
History and Biodata

1. Former Governors of Balkh:
Mohammad Eshaq Rahgozar,
Ustad Atta Mohammad Noor (2004, 20170221)

Deputy Governor:
Muhammad Zaher Wahdat Abdul Zahir Wahdat Mohammad Zahir Wahdat (20091119, 20110926, 2013117), survived a suicide attack unhurt in his armored vehicle (2013117, 20140807)
Governor’s house chief of staff:
Qais Mehrain (20160115)

Spokesman for Balkh’s governor:
Munir Farhad Munir Ahmad Farhad (20110110, 20150905)

Department of provincial Information and Culture Director:
Saleh Mohammad Khaliq (20111013)

Department of the Haj and Religious Affairs Head:
Mullah Abdul Hanan Hamed, acting head (20110413)

Balkh Provincial Counternarcotics Departmen Head:
Farid Mohammad Azizi Ajizi acting head (20110822)

Provincial Energy and Water Director:
Eng. Nasir (20110901)

Balkh Director of Refugee and Repatriation Affairs:
Abdul Saboor Qadri Saboor Qaderi (20120116, 20120905)

Agricultural Department Head:
Kabit Shams (20120209)

Department of Labor and Social Affairs Director:
Mrs. Gulalai Hotak (20130119) fined in graft case

Women affairs director:
Mrs. Fariba Majid (20080716, 20110417, 20130208) applied for asylum in Finland (20130208)
Mrs. Rabia Muradi (20131223)

High Peace chief for Balkh:
Haji Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimkhel (20120713)
Department of Public Health:
Mirwais Rabi (2012)
Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development:
Eng. Basit Aini (2012)
Department of Public Works:
Eng. Enayatullah (2012)
AIHRC Director:
Mrs. Fawzia Nawabi (20130413)
 

2. Previous Functions:
Commander 7th Afghan Corps,

3. Biodata
Atta_NoorAtta Mohammad was born 1965 and raised in Balkh Province in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He is an ethnic Tajik but he is half-Tajik only. Originally, Atta comes from Logar province. His wife is the cousine of Mr. Qanuni´s wife, both women hailing from the Pashtun province of Nangarhar. He was a hgh school teacher after the soviet invasion. Atta Mohammad previously served as the Commander of 7th Corps of Northern Afghanistan until he was appointed Governor by Hamid Karzai. During the war against the Soviets, Atta Mohammad served as a military commander for Burhanuddin Rabbani's Jamiat-i Islami. He and Abdul Rashid Dostum are bitter rivals dating back to the Soviet war when he and Dostum fought on opposite sides. Also a  rival clan leader to Atta is Commander Akram Khakrezwal.

After the Taliban lost control of Mazar-e Sharif, Atta Mohammad's forces and forces loyal to Dostum clashed several times against each other for dominance over the city. Ata is under enormous pressure. Since Afghanistan has become peaceful, the former mujahideen commander, has ruled the province with an iron grip.

He managed to kick his rivals, Abdur Rashid Dostum, the Uzbek leader, and Haji Mohammad Muhaqqiq, the Hazara leader, out of the province without using force. Dostum relocated to Sheberghan, capital of Jowzjan province, Muhaqqiq went to Kabul, and Atta Noor has purged the government of almost all other ethnic groups.

In the confusion following the overthrow of the Taliban, Atta Noor took over Mazar-e-Sharif while other forces were busy purging the north the Taliban forces. Noor is still affiliated with the Jamiat-e-Islami party, the dominant party in the mainly tripartite Northern Alliance. He was the commander of the Seventh Corps of what UN disarmament experts politely refer to as "Afghan Military Forces".

Atta Mohammad at the time of the fall of the Taliban commanded some 20,000 troops. He had close ties with Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim, with whom he was a member of Jamiat-e Islami, a predominantly ethnic Tajik political grouping.

Public Prosecution Department said a commission is to be set up to investigate corruption cases attributed to Ustad Mohammad Noor Atta and others. (20100315)

Governor Atta is in opposition to Karzai and traveled to Usbekistan on 20091119, where he had shifted his family 3 months ago. Plenty of rumors were heard in Mazar-e-Sharif which range from medical treatment to organizing resistance against der Karzai Government. He was meeting Russian and Usbek politicans to assess his political options after the reelection of President Karzai in 2009.

Atta Mohammad Noor was the only provincial governor to openly support Karzai’s rival, Abdullah Abdullah, in the August 2009 election. This opposition has given rise to concerns of violence if the central government decides to attempt to reign in Atta’s power. The leaders of Balkh’s two other primary political parties supported Karzai.

Critics, however, have claimed that Mohammad Noor has become wealthy through his leadership by leveraging his large degree of informal power in order to secure lucrative business deals for himself.

Others claim that he has effectively stifled opposition or dissent to his rule over the province through force and intimidation and runs the province as his own personal fiefdom. Atta continues to control a private militia force in the province and has allegedly infiltrated his supporters into the official security services.
 

In case of civil war after the western troops withdrawal it is said, that Atta will take Mazar-i-Sharif and Balkh Province (20120720). Another source said: "Who says that Atta will keep only Mazar and entire Balkh in the case of a civil war? Atta has already influence beyond Balkh westward to Faryab and eastward to Badakhsan and southward to the gates of Kabul. As the new head of Jamiat he is likely a king of that territory. He will surely expand his ''kingdom'', not only because of the Tajiks living outside of Balkh in the northern provinces, specially those living in the predominant Uzbek/Turkmen provinces of Jawzjan, Faryab and partly in the Uzbek dominanated districts of Kunduz and Sar-i-Pol province. In 2001 he was commanding some 1200 men, in 2003 he was commanding 20 000 men and today he is commanding 60 000 and in addition he has three small but powerful militias in the region around 10 000-12 000 (with the support of other southern, mainly Tajik militias). The only thing that keep him away from expanding is the presence of US and the reputation he could earn. So better waiting till Dostum do something stupid..." (20131114)
 

Noor said he has temporarily moved outside the country due to some health issues and vowed to stand by the side of the Afghan people upon his return. This comes as earlier reports suggested that Ata Mohammad Noor has transferred all his executive authorities to Zahir Wahdat, deputy provincial governor of Balkh province. Wahdat had confimed that Noor had transferred all his executive authorities to him; however, he did not disclose further information in this regard.(2014080)

 

To Atta´s ethnicity, he is half-Tajik. Originally, Atta comes from Logar province. His wife is the cousine of Mr. Qanuni´s wife, both women hailing from the Pashtun province of Nangarhar.

Ata Mohammad Noor
a close ally of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah during the presidential elections 2014 has said Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is not the president-elect of Afghanistan. He declared Dr. Abdullah as the true winner of the two rounds of presidential elections ahead of the political agreement between the two candidates. Noor insisted that Dr. Ashraf Ghani has reached to the presidential position due to a political agreement.(20140924)

Atta, who has been ruling the northern Balk province as its exclusive leader for the past decade, is arguably the fiercest critic of Ghani in Abdullah's camp. A former member of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the civil war, Atta fearlessly challenged Karzai's authority when he was in power. An ethnic Tajik, he holds the key to many northern provinces and is likely to retain his post in the unity government.(20140930)

A Human Right Watch (HRW) report released March 3, 2015 profiles of "strongmen" linked to police, intelligence, and militia forces responsible for serious abuses in recent years. Among them is Atta Mohammad Noor. (20150304)

Atta Mohammad Noor, Balkh acting governor, is reportedly to be reintroduced as governor of the northern province.(20150517)

Concerns regarding the establishment of militia forces further heightened after reports emerged regarding an agreement reached between Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor, vice president Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and deputy CEO Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq.(20151124)

The acting provincial governor of the northern Balkh province and a prominent political figure Ata Mohammad Noor has said he is ready to step down as the governor of Balkh province if the government takes practical steps for the commitments.(20161216)

The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) has announced that president Ashraf Ghani has ordered the appointment of Atta Mohammad Noor, as the new governor of Balkh province.(20170221)


Noor speaks Dari.

Last Modified 2017-02-21
Established 2009-10-09