Abdul Zahir (politician)

Abdul Zahir (3 May 1910 — 21 October 1982) was Prime Minister of Afghanistan in the early 1970s, during the reign of King Zahir Shah. He was born in the Laghman Province of Afghanistan. He attended secondary school in Kabul and university in the United States, earning an MD from Columbia University and a Master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Zahir became a medical doctor and returned to Afghanistan to practice medicine, but eventually entered politics. His political positions included terms as Minister of Health, Speaker of House of the People from 1961 to 1968,[1] and Ambassador to Italy and Pakistan. Most prominently, he served as Prime Minister of Afghanistan from June 1971 to December 1972. A few months after resigning, King Zahir Shah was overthrown and Abdul Zahir retired from politics.

Sharifi Abdul Zahir
Speaker of the House of People
In office
Preceded byMohammad Nawroz Khan
Succeeded byMohammad Omer Wardak
Prime Minister of Afghanistan
In office
9 June 1971 – 12 December 1972
MonarchMohammad Zahir Shah
Preceded byMohammad Nur Ahmad Etemadi
Succeeded byMohammad Musa Shafiq
Personal details
Born3 May 1910
Laghman, Afghanistan
DiedOctober 21, 1982(1982-10-21) (aged 72)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Political partyIndependent
ChildrenAhmad Zahir, Zahira Zahir, Asif Zahir, Belqiss Zahir

Zahir was married to Quraisha and had four children. His son Ahmad Zahir was a popular musician who died in a car accident in 1979. His daughter Zahira Zahir is a hairdresser in Washington, DC.[2][3][4] His eldest son, Asif Zahir (1932—2000) was also politically active during his lifetime as Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in 1980s and he remained ambassador in Kuwait (1989—1992) and Italy (1992—1993). He resigned from his post and lived in Peshawar, Pakistan, where he started a campaign for peace in Afghanistan by setting up a political group called the Afghan National Movement (ANM). His youngest daughter, Belqiss Zahir is currently living in Germany and runs a beauty salon.


  1. ^ "A glance of the History of Assemblies of Afghanistan" (PDF). Wolesi Yirga. 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ Amy Waldman (20 March 2003). "Kabul Journal; The Afghan Elvis 'Lives' 24 Years After His Death". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  3. ^ John R. Thomson (20 September 2005). "Above & Beyond: Profiles of Afghan commitment". National Review. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  4. ^ "The Life of the President's Barber". CNN. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 3 February 2008.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Nur Ahmad Etemadi
Prime Minister of Afghanistan
1971 – 1972
Succeeded by
Mohammad Musa Shafiq