Afghan Biographies

Arsala, Hedayad Amin

Name Arsala, Hedayad Amin
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1942
Function/Grade Presidential Candidate 2014 Election
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
World Bank Official (1969-1987)
NIFA Founding Member (1987)
Finance Minister Afghan Exile Government (1989-1992)
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mujaheddin Government (1992-1995)
Vice President of Afghanistan Transitional Government (2002-2004)
Senior Minister and Presidential Adviser in the Karzai Administration (2004 - 2013)
Candidate Presidential Eelection 2014

3. Biodata:
Arsala_Amin_HedayatArsala, an ethnic Pashtun, was born 1942, grew up in Kabul and attended high school there and completed his BA and MA in Economics. He also was focusing on international relations, at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in the United States of America. He also completed the course work and qualifying exams for a PhD in Economics at George Washington University, Washington DC. In May 2008, SIU conferred an honorary doctorate on Arsala for his distinguished service to Afghanistan. He is the nephew of moderate Pashtun leader Pir Gailani. In 1969, Hedayat Amin-Arsala was the first Afghan to join the World Bank (WB) through the Young Professional Program. He served there for 18 years in several economic and senior operational posts. Active in the resistance against the Soviet occupation since 1979, he left the WB in 1987 to participate full-time in the Afghan struggle. He was a founding member of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan (NIFA), led by Pir Sayed Ahmad Gailani, and a member of the Supreme Council of Mujahideen Unity (formed in February 1980). He served as the Finance Minister in the Afghan Interim Government (AIG) in exile from 1989-1992. When the Soviets withdrew and there was a subsequent regime change in Afghanistan,

Arsala was appointed as the Foreign Minister of the newly-formed Mujahideen coalition government in early 1993. He withdrew from that post in 1995 due to infighting and political disagreement amongst some Mujahideen groups. With the rise of the Taliban, Arsala- with some compatriots- launched a peace campaign which called for a broad-based interim Government through a Loya Jirga. This peace movement, later known as ‘The Rome Group’, and its key members, including Arsala, were key participants in the Bonn deliberations after 11 September 2001. The Bonn Conference resulted in the famous Bonn Agreement and the formation of the Interim Afghan Administration.

Hamid Karzai was appointed Chairman and Arsala was appointed as Vice Chairman and the first Minister of Finance in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The Bonn Conference also provided a roadmap for subsequent political developments. In June 2002, the Transitional Government of Afghanistan was formed. The Emergency Loya Jirga of Afghanistan elected Hamid Karzai as President, and Arsala was appointed as Vice President of Afghanistan. As Vice-President (VP), Arsala simultaneously headed the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission. He also chaired the Economic Coordination Council and the National Census Committee. He was a member of the National Security Council, and at times, in Karzai’s absence, Acting President. After 2.5 years as VP, Arsala was appointed Senior Advisor to the President as well as the Minister for Commerce and Industry. In 2006, he became the Senior Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and in the latter part of 2008, he simultaneously became the Chairman of the Government Coordination Committee (GCC) and served as the Co-Chair of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board.

Senior presidential advisor, Hedayat Amin Arsal, quiete frequently chairs the Council of Ministers (CM) meeting at the presidential palace. (20121010)

Most of the 16 Presidential candidates disqualified by the IEC in 2013 have endorsed Arsala, calling themselves "Tahood-e-Milli-Baray Nejat-e-Afghanistan". Tahood-e-Milli-Baray Nejat-e-Afghanistan denounces any sort of power-sharing on the basis of package distributions and rejects the approach of forming a coalition government.(20140210)

Hedayat Amin Arsala was a presidential candidate 2014 with his First vice president, Gen. Khudaidad (Hazara) and his Second vice president, Mrs. Safia Seddiqi (Pashtun). Sebghatullah Mojadedi along with the vice presidents of Hedayat Amin Arsala also endorsed Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai for the second round of election.(20140522)
Hedayat Amin Arsala, former presidential candidate, endorsed presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai in Kabul on 20140609.

Former minister of finance Hidayat Amin Arsala returned to Afghanistan. (20220622)


Arsala is married to the US citicen Betsy Thomas Amin-Arslala. The couple  has 3 children.

Arsala speaks Pashtu, Dari and English.

Last Modified 2022-06-23
Established 2009-10-09