Hamid Karzai (Pashto/Dari: حامد کرزی; born 24 December 1957) is an Afghan politician who was the President of Afghanistan from 22 December 2001 to 29 September 2014, originally as an interim leader and then as President for almost ten years, from 7 December 2004 to 2014. He comes from a politically active family; Karzai’s father, uncle and grandfather were all active in Afghan politics and government. Karzai and his father before him, Abdul Ahad Karzai, were each head of the Popalzai tribe of the Durrani tribal confederation.
In the 1980s Karzai was active as a fundraiser for the mujahideen who were fighting to expel Soviet Army troops during the Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989). After the Soviet withdrawal, the Islamic State of Afghanistan was established and then it was replaced in 1996 when the Taliban came to power and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. In July 1999 Karzai’s father was assassinated and Karzai succeeded him as head of the Popalzai tribe. In October 2001 the US invasion of Afghanistan began and Karzai became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001. During the December 2001 International Conference on Afghanistan in Germany, Karzai was selected by prominent Afghan political figures to serve a six-month term as Chairman of the Interim Administration.He was then chosen for a two-year term as Interim President during the 2002 loya jirga (grand assembly) that was held in Kabul, Afghanistan. After the 2004 presidential election, Karzai was declared winner and became President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He won a second five-year term in the 2009 presidential election; this term ended in September 2014.