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Prime Minister of Afghanistan

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Title: Prime Minister of Afghanistan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mohammad Hasan Sharq, Nur Muhammad Taraki, Babrak Karmal, Abdul Zahir (Afghan Prime Minister), Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Collection: Lists of Prime Ministers, Politics of Afghanistan, Prime Ministers of Afghanistan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Prime Minister of Afghanistan

Prime Minister of Afghanistan
Appointer King (1927–1973)
President (1978–2001)
Precursor None
Formation 25 October 1927
1 May 1978
First holder Sardar Shir Ahmad
Final holder Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi
Abolished 17 July 1973
22 December 2001
Succession President

The Prime Minister of Afghanistan is a currently defunct post in the Afghan Government.

The position was created in 1927, and was appointed by the King, mostly as an advisor, until the end of the monarchy in 1973. During the 1980s, the position was the head of government.


  • History of the office 1
    • Kingdom 1.1
    • Democratic Republic 1.2
    • Islamic Emirate 1.3
  • Heads of government 2
  • Notes 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5

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.

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.

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 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 Rabbani in 2001, 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 in 2001, had a Prime Minister in the government, but the position was abolished.

Heads of government

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

# Name Born-Died Took office Left office Political Party
Kingdom of Afghanistan
1 Sardar Shir Ahmad c. 1885–? 25 October 1927 January 1929 Independent
Emirate of Afghanistan
2 Shir Giyan Died 1929 January 1929 1 November 1929 Independent
Kingdom of Afghanistan
3 Mohammad Hashim Khan 1885–1953 1 November 1929 May 1946 Independent
4 Shah Mahmud Khan 1890–1959 May 1946 7 September 1953 Independent
5 Mohammed Daoud Khan 1909–1978 7 September 1953 10 March 1963 Independent
6 Mohammad Yusuf 1917–1998 10 March 1963 2 November 1965 Independent
7 Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal 1919–1973 2 November 1965 11 October 1967 Independent
(until 1966)
Progressive Democratic Party
Abdullah Yaqta1 1914–2003 11 October 1967 1 November 1967 Independent
8 Mohammad Nur Ahmad Etemadi 1921–1979 1 November 1967 9 June 1971 Independent
9 Abdul Zahir 1910–1983 9 June 1971 12 November 1972 Independent
10 Mohammad Musa Shafiq 1932–1979 12 November 1972 17 July 1973 Independent
Republic of Afghanistan
Post Abolished (17 July 1973 – 27 April 1978)
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
11 Nur Muhammad Taraki 1917–1979 1 May 1978 27 March 1979 People's Democratic Party
(Khalq faction)
12 Hafizullah Amin 1929–1979 27 March 1979 27 December 1979 People's Democratic Party
(Khalq faction)
13 Babrak Karmal 1929–1996 27 December 1979 11 June 1981 People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
14 Sultan Ali Keshtmand 1935– 11 June 1981 30 November 1987 People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
Republic of Afghanistan
Sultan Ali Keshtmand 1935– 30 November 1987 26 May 1988 People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
15 Mohammad Hasan Sharq 1925– 26 May 1988 21 February 1989 Independent
(14) Sultan Ali Keshtmand 1935– 21 February 1989 8 May 1990 People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
16 Fazal Haq Khaliqyar 1934–2004 8 May 1990 15 April 1992 People's Democratic Party
(Parcham faction)
(until 1990)
Democratic Watan Party
Islamic State of Afghanistan
17 Abdul Sabur Farid Kohistani 1952–2007 6 July 1992 15 August 1992 Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
18 Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 1947– 17 June 1993 28 June 1994 Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
Arsala Rahmani Daulat2 1937–2012 28 June 1994 1995 Islamic Dawah Organisation
Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai3 1944– 1995 26 June 1996 Islamic Dawah Organisation
(18) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 1947– 26 June 1996 27 September 1996 Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
19 Mullah Mohammad Rabbani 1956–2001 27 September 1996 13 April 2001 Taliban
Mawlawi Abdul Kabir4 1958/1963– 16 April 2001 13 November 2001 Taliban
Northern Alliance of Afghanistan
I Gulbuddin Hekmatyar 1947– 27 September 1996 11 August 1997 Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
(Northern Alliance)
II Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai 1947–1997 11 August 1997 21 August 1997 Northern Alliance
III Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi 1929– 21 August 1997 13 November 2001 Northern Alliance
Islamic Transitional State of Afghanistan
20 Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi 1929– 13 November 2001 22 December 2001 Northern Alliance
Post Abolished (22 December 2001 – 7 December 2004)
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Post Abolished (7 December 2004 – Present)


  1. Abdullah Yaqta was prime minister in an acting capacity.
  2. Arsala Rahmani was prime minister in an acting capacity.
  3. Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai was prime minister in an acting capacity.
  4. Mawlawi Abdul Kabir was prime minister in an acting capacity.

See also

External links

  • Internet Page that has copies of several Afghan Constitutions
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