Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan

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Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan
  • دولت اسلامی انتقالی افغانستان (Dari)
  • Dawlat-i Islāmī-yi Intiqal-i Afğānistān
Motto: lā ʾilāha ʾillà l-Lāh, Muḥammadun rasūlu l-Lāh
لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله
"There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah"
Anthem: قلعه اسلام قلب اسیا
(English: "Fortress of Islam, Heart of Asia")
StatusTransitional government
Common languagesPashto, Dari
Sunni Islam
GovernmentTransitional government
• 2002–2004
Hamid Karzai
Historical eraGlobal War on Terrorism
11 June 2002
• Islamic Republic established
7 December 2004
CurrencyAfghan afghani (AFA)
Calling code93
ISO 3166 codeAF
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Afghan Interim Administration
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Today part ofAfghanistan

The Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA), also known as the Afghan Transitional Authority, was the name of the temporary transitional government in Afghanistan put in place by the June 2002 loya jirga. The Transitional Authority succeeded the original Islamic State of Afghanistan, and preceded the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2004–2021).


Following the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, a United Nations-sponsored conference of Afghan political figures in Bonn, Germany, led to the creation of the Afghan Interim Administration under the chairmanship of Hamid Karzai. However, this Interim Administration, which was not broadly representative, was scheduled to last for only six months, before being replaced by a Transitional Administration. The move to this second stage would require the convening of a traditional Afghan "grand assembly", called a Loya Jirga. This Emergency Loya Jirga would elect a new Head of State and appointed the Transitional Administration, which, in turn, would run the country for a maximum of two more years until a "fully representative government" could be elected through free and fair elections.[1]


Electing a head of state[edit]

The most important task for the Loya Jirga was to choose a president for the Transitional Administration who would lead the country until official presidential elections could be held in 2004. Initially, there were two candidates who had declared to run: former president of Afghanistan and Northern Alliance leader Burhanuddin Rabbani and the American-backed chairman of the Afghan Interim Administration Hamid Karzai. Karzai was also supported by Abdullah Abdullah and Mohammad Fahim, two important leaders of the Northern Alliance. A third possible candidate was Zahir Shah, former king of Afghanistan until 1973. He had spent years living in Rome but had returned to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime. Already at the Bonn Conference which installed the interim administration there was a group of supporters of Zahir Shah, called the Rome-group, who wanted to take the former king to take up the position of head of state.

Upon arrival in Kabul, more than 800 delegates signed a petition urging the nomination of Zahir Shah as Head of State, if only as a figurehead. In view of the speculation, which the petition aroused, United States and United Nations representatives pressed the former King to withdraw. The start of the Loya Jirga was delayed from 10 to 11 June because of "logistical and preparatory problems." On 10 June the American representative Zalmay Khalilzad gave a press conference in which he declared that Zahir Shah was not a candidate. The same day, in a press conference of Zahir Shah the former king confirmed this and said "I have no intention of restoring the monarchy. I am not a candidate for any position in the Loya Jirga."[1] Hamid Karzai, who sat next to Zahir Shah at the press conference called Zahir Shah the "father of the nation" and thanked him for the "confidence His Majesty has put in me."[1] The next day former President Burhanuddin Rabbani withdrew his candidacy for Head of State in favour of Hamid Karzai "for the sake of national unity"[1]

So it looked like Karzai would go into the race for head of government uncontested, but two other candidates emerged. To be on the ballot at the Loya Jirga a candidate had to submit 150 signatures for his candidacy. Glam Fareq Majidi gathered only 101 signatures, so he was disqualified as a candidate. Former mujahedeen fighter, Mohammed Asef Mohsoni submitted a list with 1,050 names for Karzai and also Masooda Jalal, a woman doctor working with the World Food Programme, and Mahfoz Nadai, an Uzbek army officer, poet and a deputy government minister gathered enough signatures to be on the ballot.[2]

The election for president of the transitional administration was held by secret ballot on 13 June 2002 — with black-and-white photos of the candidates adjacent to their names. Hamid Karzai was chosen with an overwhelming majority of 83% and stayed in office as President.

Elections for President of Transitional Administration, by the 2002 Loya Jirga
Candidates Votes %
Hamid Karzai 1,295 83%
Masooda Jalal 171 11%
Mahfoz Nadai 89 6%
Total Votes 1555 100%

Appointing the government ministers[edit]

On 18 June, the day that Karzai would present his cabinet to the Loya Jirga he told the loya jirga that he needed one more day to make his final list.

On 19 June, the last day of the Loya Jirga, Karzai announced to the Loya Jirga the names of 14 ministers of the future Afghan transitional administration, including three Vice-Presidents. He also named a Chief Justice. "Do you accept this Cabinet," Karzai asked the loya jirga. After hands went up in support, he said, "All have accepted it and I am happy about it." This led to some controversy, since delegates stated that there had not been a proper vote and that the cabinet had not been democratically selected, but was the result of political negotiations parallel to the loya jirga.[1]

All three posts of Vice-President Karzai named were given to commanders of the Northern Alliance though Karzai was careful to make sure none of the vice-presidents were from the same ethnic background. After the Loya Jirga there was some controversies about the government Karzai had named and several names were added to the list before the actual cabinet was sworn in on 24 June, to appease certain factions within Afghanistan. On 22 June Karzai presented the more cabinet members, making the total number of ministers 29. This cabinet was installed at 24 June 2002. But due to controversy around the post of Woman's Affairs Minister this point stayed vacant. Before the end of June Karzai named a Stat adviser to the Women's Affairs Ministry and later also a formal Women's Affairs Minister. In these last days of June Karzai also added two more vice-presidents and another National Security Adviser.

More Pashtun representation[edit]

The interim government, led by a Pashtun, had 12 Tajiks and 9 Pashtuns as part of its cabinet of ministers. Hence, Pashtuns wanted the following transitional administration to be more representative. In the new administration there were 13 Pashtun ministers among the 30 ministers. The rest of the cabinet was made up of 7 Tajiks, 3 Uzbeks, 2 Hazaras, 2 non-Hazara Shi'ites, and 1 Turkmen.[3]

Cabinet of warlords[edit]

The Pasthun element in the Transitional administration was stronger than in the interim administration and the loya jirga was meant in part to increase civilian influence in the government. However, in many ways Afghanistan's military factions and warlords increased and further legitimized their power during the loya jirga. During and after the loya jirga, army and police officials threatened, imprisoned, and even killed candidates to stop them from running for the loya jirga, or to intimidate them from acting independently[4] The Northern Alliance still dominated the government. The three vice-presidents Karzai announced on the Loya Jirga, Khalili, Qadir and Fahim were all Northern Alliance commanders, although none of them had the same ethnic background. The powerful Tajik Jamiat-e Islami trio Fahim, Qanuni and Abdullah kept important positions in the new cabinet.

The powerful warlord Ismail Khan was not part of the administration, but he was represented by his son, Mir Wais Saddiq. However Saddiq was assassinated in 2004 while being in office as minister. Another powerful warlord, the Uzbek Abdul Rashid Dostum was also not part of the cabinet, however there was one Uzbek more in the transitional administration than in the interim administration.

In the years after the government was put in place, President Karzai made some efforts to limit the worst effects of warlord dominance, for example by replacing the relatively weak Pashtun who led the ministry of Interior by the more reform-minded Ali Ahmad Jalali.[4]

Adding royalists[edit]

At the Loya Jirga Karzai named former King Zahir Shah the Father of the Nation. However, some of the king's supporters thought that an honorary title wasn't enough for the king and they had rather seen him in an official position as president, with Karzai in a position as prime minister. Also, two of the Kings loyalist Hedayat Amin Arsala and Abdul Rassoul Amin had lost the position they had in the interim government. Because the members loyal to Zahir Shah, united in the 'Rome group' thought they had to less influence, Karzai added in end June Zalmay Rassoul as Security Adviser and Amin Arsala as a fifth vice-president.

Western-schooled intellectuals[edit]

Karzai was also under pressure to put some highly educated Afghans on the administration who had become refugees during the Communist rule or Taliban rule of Afghanistan and had been schooled by western universities. The most remarkable person Karzai put in his administration was Ashraf Ghani, who worked at the World Bank, as Finance Minister. Juma Mohammedi who became Mines Minister was also a World Bank employee. The new Interior Minister, Taj Mohammad Wardak, held American citizenship, as did Ali Ahmad Jalali, who replaced him as Interior Minister in January 2003.

Opposition from Yunus Qanuni[edit]

Because of this issue of Pashtun under representation, Yunus Qanuni, one of the important Northern Alliance leaders, told the opening session he would be resigning as minister of the important post of interior so Karzai could strengthen the national government by broadening its ethnic mix. Yunus Qanuni, the former Interior minister, was unhappy with the post of Education Minister he had been assigned, since he had expected to become something like prime minister. Qanuni said he considered not joining the government at all. The rank-and-file Panjshiri troops who dominate the Interior Ministry temporarily blocked off the roads around the Interior Ministry complex in Kabul on 20 and 21 June and brandished weapons to demonstrate that their loyalties remain with Qanuni. They denied the New Interior Minister, the 80-year-old Taj Mohammad Wardak, access to the Interior ministry.[5] After Karzai appointed Qanuni special adviser on security, through which he retained unofficial control over the Afghan intelligence apparatus and became de facto supervisor of Wardak, he decided to join the administration anyway, but he also formed a party outside of the government and run for president in the next elections.[1]

Women's affairs[edit]

There was also controversy around the post of minister for woman's affairs: Interim Women's Affairs Minister Sima Samar had been very outspoken and she had been threatened and complaints against her were filed by the supreme court who eventually decided not to charge her with blasphemy. Because at the Loya Jirga Samar wasn't on the list there was initially no minister appointed for woman's affairs. Karzai later appointed Government Mahbuba Huquqmal as State Representative in the Women's Affairs Ministry and after that Habiba Sarabi as formal minister of Women's Affairs.

The killing of Abdul Qadir[edit]

The Pashtun vice-president was Haji Abdul Qadeer, one of the few Northern Alliance commanders of Pashtun ethnic origin. On July 6, 2002, Qadir and his son-in-law were killed by gunmen in a surprise attack with unknown motive. In 2004, one man was sentenced to death and two others to prison sentences for the killing.[6]

Composition of the Transitional Administration[edit]

Afghan Transitional Administration
Date formed13 July 2002 (2002-07-13)
Date dissolved7 December 2004 (2004-12-07)
People and organisations
Head of stateHamid Karzai
Head of governmentHamid Karzai
No. of ministers28
Total no. of members28
PredecessorAfghan Interim Administration
SuccessorFirst Karzai cabinet
Transitional Afghan Ministers[7]
Name Ethnicity Incumbent/New
President Hamid Karzai Pashtun Incumbent (before chairman)
Vice-President and
Defense Minister
Mohammed Fahim Tajik Incumbent
Vice-President Karim Khalili Hazara New
Vice-President Hedayat Amin Arsala Pashtun New (was Finance Minister)
Vice-President and
Public Works Minister
Abdul Qadir
Abdul Ali
New (was Urban Affairs Minister) (killed on July 6, 2002)
New (Ali only took over the Public Works portfolio after July 6, 2002
Vice-President and
head of the Afghan Constitution Commission
Nematullah Shahrani Uzbek New
Special Advisor on Security and
Education Minister
Yunus Qanooni Tajik Incumbent (Special Advisor on Security is new post)
Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah Tajik Incumbent
Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Pashtun New
Interior Minister Taj Mohammed Wardak
Ali Ahmad Jalali
New (Jalali replaced Wardak in Januari 2003)
Planning Minister Mohammed Mohaqqeq Hazara Incumbent (but lost role as vice-chair)
Communications Minister Masoom Stanakzai Pashtun New
Borders Minister Arif Nurzai Pashtun New (was Small Industries Minister)
Refugees Minister Intayatullah Nazeri Tajik Incumbent
Mines Minister Juma Muhammad Muhammadi Pashtun New
Light Industries Minister Mohammed Alim Razm Uzbek Incumbent
Health Minister Sohaila Siddiqi Pashtun Incumbent
Commerce Minister Sayed Mustafa Kasemi Shiite Muslim Incumbent
Agriculture Minister Sayed Hussain Anwari Hazara Incumbent
Justice Minister Abbas Karimi Uzbek Incumbent
Information and Culture Minister Saeed Makhdoom Rahim Tajik Incumbent
Reconstruction Minister Mohammed Fahim Farhang Pashtun Incumbent
Haj and Mosques Minister Mohammed Amin Naziryar Pashtun New
Urban Affairs Minister Yusuf Pashtun
Gul Agha Sherzai
New (Sherzai took over on August 16, 2003)
Water and Power Minister Ahmed Shakar Karkar Uzbek Incumbent (but los role as Vice-chair)
Irrigation & Environment Minister Ahmed Yusuf Nuristani Pashtun New
Martyrs and Disabled Minister Abdullah Wardak Pashtun Incumbent
Higher Education Minister Sharif Faez Tajik Incumbent
Civil Aviation & Tourism Minister Mir Wais Saddiq Tajik New (was Labor and Social Affairs Minister)
Transportation Minister Said Mohammad Ali Jawid Shiite Muslim
Rural Development Minister Hanif Asmar Pashtun New
Labor and Social Affairs Minister Noor Mohammad Qarqin Turkmen
Woman's Affairs Minister Habiba Sarabi Hazara New
Supreme Court Chief Justice Hadi Shinwari Pashtun
Security Advisor Zalmay Rassoul Pashtun
State or Advisor-Minister for Women's Affairs Mahbooba Hoquqmal Pashtun
Governor of the Afghan Central Bank Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi Pashtun


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dick Gupwell (June 2002). "Loya Jirga Elects Karzai as New Head of State" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  2. ^ "The Loya Jirga". Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  3. ^ Resource Information Center, United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. "Refworld | Afghanistan: Information on situation of Hazaras in post-Taliban Afghanistan". Refworld. Archived from the original on 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2017-05-21.
  4. ^ a b Human Rights Watch. "HRW: "Killing You is a Very Easy Thing For Us": Human Rights Abuses in Southeast Afghanistan: II. Background". Retrieved 2017-05-21.
  5. ^ Ron Synovitz (2002-06-24). "Afghanistan: Qanuni's Security Post Solidifies Tajik Power Base In Government". Radio Free Europe. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  6. ^ "Afghanistan". US Department of State. February 28, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  7. ^ Thomas H. Johnson (February 2006). "The Prospects for Post-Conflict Afghanistan: A Call of the Sirens to the Country's Troubled Past" (PDF). Vol. V, no. 2. Strategic Insights. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
Preceded by Afghan Transitional Administration
2002 – 2004
Succeeded by