Hamid Karzai (born 24 December 1957) was the President of Afghanistan for almost ten years, from December 2004 to September 2014. He became Chairman of the Transitional Administration in 2001 under an agreement brokered in Bonn, Germany and was confirmed as Interim President in a 2002 national council. He won direct elections in 2004 and again in 2009, the latter being marred by allegations of fraud.
- Not very far from here stood two towers that symbolized freedom, prosperity and progress. Half way around the globe stood two magnificent Buddha's that represented a culture of tolerance and a nation with a rich history. These symbols have been linked together through the global scourge of terrorism. Terror may have demolished these physical structures, however it strengthens the willpower of the international community never to let down the spirit and determination with which these icons were built
- Democracy as a system of government may indeed be unprecedented in Afghanistan, but democracy as a way of life, a set of principles and values, is deeply embedded in our society.
- Speech at the India Today Conclave (February 25, 2005)
- Politics without morality is close to sin.
- There is no doubt that people are angry. When a family is hit by a bomb and I am the president here with the responsibility -- when a suicide bomb takes places and murders the people of this nation -- I am the president of this country and it is my responsibility to bring peace to these people.
- [http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1072624.html President Karzai Discusses Worsening Security (March 9, 2006)
- My problem is that I am perhaps too much of a democrat for this time of the country's life. If you need a dictator, then go to the Afghan people. Let them elect a dictator. I am not one of those.
- Interview with Times magazine (September 10, 2006)
- Terrorism sees, in the prosperity of the Afghan people, its ultimate defeat.
- Address to Canadian Parliament (September 22, 2006)
- Today, while celebrating the jihad victory, we once again invite those who have sided with aliens because of seduction against their nation, to give up sedition and evil and join peaceful life.
- Karzai offers peace, Taliban free Frenchwoman Apr 28, 2007
- We have no other choice, we have no power to stop the [U.S.] planes, if we could, if I could … we would stop them and bring them down, ... If we had a chelak, we would throw it and stop the American aircraft. We have no radar to stop them in the sky, we have no planes, ... I wish I could intercept the planes that are going to bomb Afghan villages, but that’s not in my hands.
- Afghan president wishes he could down U.S. planes. www.cnn.com (November 26, 2008).
- On the security front the entire Nato exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure.
- Quoted on BBC News, "Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai says Nato caused 'great suffering'", (October 7, 2013).
Commencement Address to Boston University Class of 2005
Commencement Address to Boston University Class of 2005 (May 22, 2005)
- On my graduation there was a party by the junior students, and I was given a hair brush as a gift — if I take off my hat, you know what I mean.(laughter)
- When you see on the news or read in the newspaper that so many people were killed in places far away, do not let these numbers become mere abstractions to you. These are real people, like you and I. They are families, friends; they have pain, they have grief.
- We must not turn away when we hear the cries of the hungry. We must not stand by when we see the killing and terrorizing of the innocent. We should not wait until hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of our fellow human beings have died as occurred in Afghanistan, before we act.
- Every time we ignore the suffering of others or stand by and watch, we do not only act against our own interests but we violate a part of our humanity.
About Hamid Karzai
- In 2007, Afghanistan supplied approximately 93% of the global supply of heroin....Despite his commitment to eradicating the drug trade, opium production under the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has skyrocketed.
- I don't know anyone who is more admired and respected in the international community than President Karzai, for his strength, for his wisdom and for his courage to lead this country, first in defeat of the Taliban and now a democratic and unified Afghanistan. And I can tell you I am with foreign ministers and with heads of state all over the world. I sit in the councils of NATO. I sit with the EU. I sit with people all over the world and there is great admiration for your president and also for what the Afghan people are doing here.