December 24, 1957 – Birthdate of Hamid Karzai, Afghan politician, 12th President of Afghanistan.
After the October 7, 2001 launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, the United Front (Northern Alliance) worked with teams of U.S. special forces. Together, they overthrew the Taliban regime and mustered support for a new government in Afghanistan. Karzai and his group were in Quetta (Pakistan) at the time, where they began their covert operation. Before entering Afghanistan, he warned his fighters:
“We might be captured the moment we enter Afghanistan and be killed. We have 60 percent chance of death and 40 percent chance to live and survive. Winning was no consideration. We could not even think of that. We got on two motorbikes. We drove into Afghanistan.”— Hamid Karzai, October 2001
In December 2001, political leaders gathered in Germany to agree on new leadership structures. Under the December 5th Bonn Agreement, they formed an Interim Administration and named Karzai Chairman of a 29-member governing committee. He was sworn in as leader on December 22nd. The loya jirga of June 13, 2002 appointed Karzai as Interim President of the new position as President of the Afghan Transitional Administration. Former members of the Northern Alliance remained extremely influential, most notably Vice President Mohammed Fahim, who also served as the Defense Minister.
After Karzai was installed into power, his actual authority outside the capital city of Kabul was said to be so limited that he was often derided as the “Mayor of Kabul”. The situation was particularly delicate since Karzai and his administration have not been equipped either financially or politically to influence reforms outside of the region around Kabul.
Karzai served as president of Afghanistan from December 2001 to September 2014.
On July 10, 2004, Afghan Post issued a set of 2 stamps commemorating Karzai’s inauguration and shows him taking the presidential oath.
On September 10, 2004 Afghan Post issued a set of 2 stamps commemorating the First Direct Presidential Elections in Afghanistan.