Prime Minister of Afghanistan

Prime Minister of Afghanistan
AppointerKing (1927–1973)
President (1978–2001)
Formation25 October 1927
1 May 1978
First holderShir Ahmad
Final holderAbdul Rahim Ghafoorzai
Abolished17 July 1973
21 August 1997

The prime minister of Afghanistan was a post in the Afghan government. The position was created in 1927 as an official appointed by the king of Afghanistan. The holder served mostly as an advisor, until the end of the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1973. During the 1980s, the position was the head of government.

History of the office


The chairman of the Council of Ministers was not headed by the prime minister, but the King. Only during his absence was the premier the acting chairman of the Council.

Until 1963, King Mohammed Zahir Shah appointed his relatives as prime ministers. King Zahir Shah also had the power to dismiss or transfer the prime minister. From 1963 onwards, this was changed, stating that the head of the Afghan government was the prime minister, and that the government consisted of its ministers. It was the first time that King Zahir Shah did not play an important role in the government, leaving it to an elected authority. However, it also stated that they cannot engage in any other profession during their tenure of office.

The 1964 Constitution also granted the prime minister the power to summon the Electoral College in case of the death of the king. The prime minister only answered to the Wolesi Jirga about the General Policy of the government, and individually for their prescribed duties.[1]

Democratic Republic

In April 1978, Mohammed Daoud Khan was killed during a coup that started the Saur Revolution. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) revived the office of Prime Minister that year, and it remained throughout the 1980s.

The president was in charge of the appointment of the prime minister, who in turn appointed the Council of Ministers. The Council's stated purpose was to formulate and implement domestic and foreign policies, to formulate economic development plans and state budgets, and to ensure public order.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the president was required to appoint the prime minister in order to form the government. The prime minister had the power to dissolve the government. Several Afghan presidents during the Democratic Republic era were also appointed as Prime Minister. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the prime minister was no longer in charge of the government. The general secretary of the PDPA or the director of the KHAD exercised greater power.

Also, the 1990 Constitution established that only Afghan-born citizens are eligible to hold the office, something that was not specified in the previous documents.

Islamic State/Emirate

After the collapse of Mohammad Najibullah's government, a transitional state was created. Thus, the office of Prime Minister once again played an important role in the history of the nation.

There was constant friction between the president and the premier during this period. The state had collapsed and there was not an effective central government from 1992 until 1996. Thus, the position became de facto ceremonial, with little power in what was left of the government.

The title was abolished when the Taliban forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took over control in 1996. The deputy leader of the Taliban was often known as the prime minister throughout its rule. With the death of Mohammad Rabbani in 2001,[2] the Taliban decided not to revive the office.

Until August 1997, the government which the Taliban had ousted, which remained in rebellion until the end of the Taliban rule in 2001, had a prime minister in the government, but the position was abolished.

List of heads of government

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

Name Portrait Lifespan Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
Kingdom of Afghanistan (1926–1973)
Shir Ahmad No image.svg c. 1885–? 25 October 1927 January 1929 1 year, 68 days Independent
Prime Minister; Deposed
Shir Giyan No image.svg Died 1929 January 1929 1 November 1929 304 days Independent
Prime Minister; Deposed
Mohammad Hashim Khan Mohammad Hashem Khan.jpg 1884–1953 1 November 1929 9 May 1946 16 years, 189 days Independent
Prime Minister; Member of the Barakzai dynasty
Amanat Lewana No image.svg Unknown c. 1944 c. 1946 c. 2 years Unknown
Prime Minister; Eastern Province only during the 1944–47 tribal revolts
Shah Mahmud Khan No image.svg 1890–1959 9 May 1946 7 September 1953 7 years, 121 days Independent
Prime Minister; Member of the Barakzai dynasty
Mohammed Daoud Khan Mohammed Daoud Khan (cropped).jpg 1909–1978 7 September 1953 10 March 1963 9 years, 184 days Independent
Prime Minister; Member of the Barakzai dynasty
Mohammad Yusuf Mohammad yousuf khan.jpg 1917–1998 10 March 1963 2 November 1965 2 years, 237 days Independent
Prime Minister
Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal.jpg 1919–1973 2 November 1965 11 October 1967 1 year, 343 days Independent
(until 1966)
Progressive Democratic Party
Prime Minister
Abdullah Yaqta No image.svg 1914–2003 11 October 1967 1 November 1967 21 days Independent
Acting Prime Minister
Mohammad Nur Ahmad Etemadi No image.svg 1921–1979 1 November 1967 9 June 1971 3 years, 220 days Independent
Prime Minister
Abdul Zahir No image.svg 1910–1982 9 June 1971 12 November 1972 1 year, 156 days Independent
Prime Minister
Mohammad Musa Shafiq No image.svg 1932–1979 12 November 1972 17 July 1973 247 days Independent
Prime Minister; Deposed during the 1973 coup d'état
Republic of Afghanistan (1973–1978)
Post abolished (17 July 1973–27 April 1978)
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (1978–1992)
Nur Muhammad Taraki Nur Muhammad Taraki.png 1917–1979 1 May 1978 27 March 1979 330 days People's Democratic Party
(Khalq faction)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Hafizullah Amin Hafizullah Amin.jpg 1929–1979 27 March 1979 27 December 1979 275 days People's Democratic Party
(Khalq faction)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers; Assassinated during Operation Storm-333
Babrak Karmal No image.svg 1929–1996 27 December 1979 11 June 1981 1 year, 166 days People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Sultan Ali Keshtmand No image.svg 1935– 11 June 1981 26 May 1988 6 years, 350 days People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers; First Tenure
Mohammad Hasan Sharq No image.svg 1925– 26 May 1988 21 February 1989 271 days Independent
Chairman of the Council of Ministers; Appointed as part of the National Reconciliation process
Sultan Ali Keshtmand No image.svg 1935– 21 February 1989 8 May 1990 1 year, 76 days People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers; Second Tenure
Fazal Haq Khaliqyar No image.svg 1934–2004 8 May 1990 15 April 1992 1 year, 343 days People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
(until June 1990)
Homeland Party
Chairman of the Council of Ministers; Resigned
Islamic State of Afghanistan (1992–2002)
Abdul Sabur Farid Kohistani No image.svg 1952–2007 6 July 1992 15 August 1992 40 days Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
Prime Minister
Post vacant (15 August 1992–17 June 1993)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar No image.svg 1947– 17 June 1993 28 June 1994 1 year, 11 days Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
Prime Minister; First Tenure
Arsala Rahmani Daulat No image.svg 1937–2012 28 June[citation needed] 1994 1995 0–1 years Islamic Dawah Organisation
Acting Prime Minister
Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai No image.svg 1944– 1995 26 June 1996 0–1 years Islamic Dawah Organisation
Acting Prime Minister
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar No image.svg 1947– 26 June 1996 11 August 1997 1 year, 46 days Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
Prime Minister; Second Tenure; The Islamic State remained the internationally recognized government, despite only controlling about 10% of Afghan territory
Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai No image.svg 1947–1997 11 August 1997 21 August 1997 10 days Independent
Prime Minister; Killed in an aircraft crash
Post vacant (21 August 1997–13 July 2002)
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996–2001)
Mohammad Rabbani
No image.svg 1955–2001 27 September 1996 13 April 2001 4 years, 198 days Taliban
Deputy Head of the Supreme Council; Prime Minister; Deputy leader of the Taliban; Died in office
Abdul Kabir
No image.svg 1958–[citation needed] 16 April 2001 13 November 2001 211 days Taliban
Acting Deputy Head of the Supreme Council; Acting Prime Minister; Deposed

See also


  1. ^ Richard S. Newell (1997). Peter R. Blood (ed.). Afghanistan: A country study. Federal Research Division. The Constitutional Period, 1964-73. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Dugger, Celia W. (20 April 2001). "Muhammad Rabbani, Advocate of Some Moderation in Taliban". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2012.

External links

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