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Zalmay Khalilzad – Biography – Free PDF Download


  • Khalilzad was born in 1951 into the Noorzai clan in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, and grew up in the country’s capital Kabul.
  • Khalilzad began his education at the public Ghazi Lycée school in Kabul. He first spent time in the United States as a Ceres, California, high school exchange student with AFS Intercultural Programs.
  • Later, he attained his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees from the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon. Khalilzad received his doctorate at the University of Chicago.


  • From 1979 to 1989, Khalilzad worked as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
  • In 1984, Khalilzad accepted a one-year Council on Foreign Relations fellowship to join the US State Department, where he was an adviser to the Near East and South Asia Bureau.
  • From 1985 to 1989, Khalilzad served in the Reagan administration, as a senior State Department official, advising on the Soviet–Afghan War, after the Soviet invasion.
  • 1993 and 2000, Khalilzad was the director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure at the RAND Corporation.


  • He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush and, briefly, President Barack Obama.
  • Khalilzad’s previous assignments in the Bush administration included Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2004 to 2005 and Ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007. In 2017, he was considered for Secretary of State in the Trump administration.
  • On September 5, 2018, Khalilzad was appointed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to serve as a special envoy to Afghanistan


  • Signing of the US-Taliban deal by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalizad and Mullah Abdul Gani Baradar on behalf of Taliban at Doha, Qatar on February 29 had all the trappings of a mega show DEAL
  • US and Taliban have signed a historic agreement- “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan”- in Doha, Qatar. It outlines a series of commitments from the US and the Taliban related to troop levels, counterterrorism, and the intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at bringing about “a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
  • Highlights of the agreement:
  • Military troops withdrawal: It lays out a 14-month timetable for the withdrawal of “all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel.”
  • Release of prisoners: The agreement also calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 “prisoners of the other side” on the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations. The relevant sides have the goal of releasing all the remaining prisoners over the course of the subsequent three months.


  • What Taliban will do?

  1. Taliban will take steps “to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”
  2. Those steps include commitments that the Taliban will instruct its members “not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies”.
  3. It “will also prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening the security of the United States and its allies, and will prevent them from recruiting, training, and fundraising and will not host them in accordance with the commitments in this agreement.”


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