Afghan Biographies

Alizai, Kamran


Name Alizai, Kamran
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth
Function/Grade Head of Herat Provincial Council (20170111)
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
Head of Herat Provincial Council (20170111)
3. Biodata:
In an incident in May 2016 in downtown Herat, Alizai’s bodyguards shot and severely wounded a provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) officer who had wanted to search the vehicles in Alizai’s convoy for illicit drugs.  It is because of events like this that some, have alleged that a major part of his wealth comes from large-scale smuggling of narcotics from western Afghanistan to Iran and Turkmenistan. In another blatant case, Alizai along with his armed men stormed the Herat Appellate Attorney’s Office (the part of the Attorney General’s Office that deals with appeals) and freed a man accused of embezzlement. This happened at the same time as, in Kabul, the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Centre was being opened by new Attorney General Muhammad Farid Hamidi and just before the Brussels conference on aid to Afghanistan when accountability would be one of the major themes.

Until this point, the Afghan government had been either unwilling or unable (or both) to hold Alizai accountable for allegedly breaking the law, but Attorney General Hamidi did try. The confrontation between him and Alizai became what Herati parliamentarian, Ahmad Farhad Majidi, called “the battle between law and force in Herat.” On 18 August 2016, the Attorney General issued an order suspending Alizai as head of Herat’s provincial council, banning him from leaving the country and asking the local government to arrest him. Nothing was actually done, though. This failure, among other things, increased the tension between Alizai and Governor Rahimi whose spokesman Jailani Farhad initially announced that the local administration would implement the Attorney General’s order. Back to Herat from a short visit to Kabul where he was seeking political support, Alizai was welcomed by a cheering crowd of supporters on 27 August 2016. He held a press conference soon afterwards in which he emphasised he did not apologise for his actions and blasted the local government, particularly Governor Rahimi, as “incompetent.”

One of the people Alizai contacted and won backing from in Kabul was First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum. Billboards showing pictures of Alizai and Dostum were put up in various parts of the city after Alizai’s return to Herat. Even President Ghani has not intervened to remove Alizai after earlier complaints against Alizai’s alleged violations of laws. “The president told us that the people of Herat have elected Haji Kamran [Alizai] as provincial council head, so he couldn’t do anything about it,” said a civil society activist who had attended a meeting with Ghani when he visited Herat to inaugurate the Salma hydropower dam in June 2016.

As expected, Alizai stayed in his post as head of Herat provincial council for a third consecutive term. He reportedly stayed chairman “through the force of money”. It is said that Alizai had offered up to USD 200,000 to each provincial council member who voted for him.(20170111)

The appellate court on Wednesday May 17,2017 awarded an eight months jail term to Kamran Alizai the Herat provincial council chairman. He was accused of misusing his authority. On March 27, the Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) had sentenced him to two and a half years in jail. Alizai rejected the ACJC decision and surrendered to police. After hearing arguments from both sides, the judicial panel sentenced Alizai to eight months in jail. The decision is not final and the accused could file a review petition. Alizai was accused of entering forcefully along with 20 of his armed supporters into the Herat attorney office and freeing a convict under investigation.(20170517)

Last Modified 2017-05-17
Established 2014-10-31