Omer Daudzai emerges as strong candidate to replace Karzai

Published: March 21, 2013

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Daudzai. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Daudzai has emerged as a strong candidate to replace Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the next year’s presidential elections in Afghanistan, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Daudzai, talking to The Express Tribune, hinted that he may become a candidate for the next year’s presidential elections in Afghanistan but he will hold further consultations before formally making an announcement.

Daudzai, a close confidant of Karzai, clarified his remarks published in a British daily that ‘he is preparing to launch his campaign for the presidential elections’. Daudzai said that he has not yet made a final decision of being a candidate.

“I cannot say that I am a candidate. Also I cannot say that I am not a candidate,” the Afghan ambassador said in Islamabad. “I need to further think and consult and then I will make a decision,” he said.

Afghan sources said that consultations on the name of Daudzai had continued for long among the inner circles of President Karzai, who cannot run for third time under the Afghan constitution.

The sources also refuted Afghan media reports that President Karzai may support his brother if he stands for the post.

“President Karzai will never want to leave a legacy that his family member replaces him,” said an Afghan official, who was privy to the ongoing consultations in Kabul about Karzai’s replacement.

People close to Karzai also think that a man with some ‘Islamic credentials’ should replace Karzai to win support among the people in Afghanistan and the Islamic world.

Reader Comments (10)

  • khanzada sharif nl
    Mar 21, 2013 - 3:13PM

    good gesture from president karzai about not willing any fsmily member to succeed him. anothet sign afghanistan is becoming more mature.

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  • kabuli wala
    Mar 21, 2013 - 3:33PM

    no one knows this guy in Afghanistan apart from some journalists. the fact that he has been ambassador to iran and he is now ambassador in pakistan and that this news comes from a british source and then carried forward by a pakistani outet means for us afghans: don’t trust this guy. i think he is too close to pakistan and iran and the british which is i think never been good for afghanistan.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 21, 2013 - 7:48PM

    @kabuli wala:
    If he is close to Iran, then most likely he is anti-Taliban. Isn’t that good for Afghanistan?

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  • Laila Habibya
    Mar 21, 2013 - 8:21PM

    It Doesn’t look like he is closer to Iran or Pakistan than he is to his country. I think he only went to Iran when the Embassy there was a wreckage and the children of Afghans didn’t even have the right to go to a normal school in Iran. He earned them their rights. It is pretty clear that he chose to become the Ambassador of these two countries in order to fix Afghan ties with these two countries. Otherwise, nobody would leave the position of being the Chief of Staff of the president to only become an ambassador. Many ppl don’t know about him because he doesn’t care about fame and bragging about his deeds like some of our other leaders, I think he simply likes to get his work done. No one knows if he will even run for the elections. but where he is right now, I think he has done a great deal for his country.

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  • UK
    Mar 21, 2013 - 8:32PM

    @kabuli wala:

    Was US Employee (Karzai) , or Saudi Employees (Taliban) good for you? It will take decades for democracy to mature in Afghanistan, and real political parties and strong candidates to show up. At least this guy is a known diplomat and friendly (perceived) with two large neighbors who took and supported millions of refugees, and land locked Afghanistan’s economy depends on them. Not sure how being friendly with them is bad for the country.Who knew Karzai when he got his first term and I remember his second term elections. He won by default because other contestants refused to participate in run off elections. His opponents demanded a fair and impartial election chief, Karzai refused, they refused to participate in elections under then Election chief, Karzai declared winner, What a joke.

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  • Zalmai
    Mar 21, 2013 - 9:40PM

    Omar Daudzai’s portfolio as current ambassador to Pakistan and former ambassador to Iran will serve him well in dealing with both nations but his alleged relationship with the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Iran diminishes his credibility as a patriotic Afghan.

    I agree with Kabuli Wala and think this guy cannot be trusted.

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  • Zalmai
    Mar 21, 2013 - 10:50PM

    @UK

    Hamid Karzai comes from an influential family and he served his country during the Mujahidin and Taliban regimes. He didn’t just come out of thin air.

    It will take decades for political parties and democracy to flourish in Afghanistan but it has to succeed on its own terms by not compromising its ideals and national interest to Pakistan and Iran.

    Post colonial nations like Pakistan and India are muddling through imperfect democracies 65 years after gaining independence and most of Latin America recently made the transition from military junta governments to liberal democracies.

    Afghanistan in the last 10 years has made tremendous strides in building institutions and human capital and its political system is maturing rapidly, catching up to its neighbors that have not experienced the negative after effects of the great game and the cold war.

    Most people forget that Afghanistan has been around since 1747. Afghanistan drafted its first constitution in 1923, which at the time was politically and socially one of the most progressive in the Islamic world.

    Afghans know they face challenges but they also know that they have to chart their own course on equal terms with its neighbors and for that to happen they need a patriotic leader in the mold of Amanullah Khan Ghazi not Omar Daudzai.

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  • kabuliwala
    Mar 22, 2013 - 2:44AM

    karzai was uk and pakistans favourite after the Bonn conference. this remained until the second term. the brits and americans wanted to get rid of him but karzai outplayed them all. now that he had realised what he needs to do for his country he has become an incompetent leader in the eyes of the west. but now he has become our favourite. he will not be able to run for another term.
    as for as daudzai is concerned. nobody knows him in afghanistan.he needs foreign press to promote him as a “strong” candidate.on what basis? such person is never to be trusted.

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  • Haseeb
    Mar 22, 2013 - 2:08PM

    If you trust Karzai then it shouldn’t be hard for you to trust Daudzai, since he is the right arm of Karzai: his best man. If you consider Karzai strong and smart then he won’t make a mistake in choosing the right man for the country.

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  • Mansor
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:11AM

    I think this man is mentally challenged, few years ago he took millions of dollars from Iran in the name of supporting presidential office. @Haseeb, karzai is no more credible to afghans and nor his puppets, Karzai himself was a puppet and he is producing puppets here on. I highly encourage people to vote for Ustad Ata and his party because he has shown what he has done for people of Afghanistan. He did not flee to other nations during war time unlike Daudzai. Therefore the people of Afghanistan is far more smarter then what they were before, and they will not make a mistake in choosing their president once again.

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