In continuation of a series of biographies covering the newly elected members of the Afghan parliament, this time Reporterly is looking into the lives of six new lawmakers from Daikundi, Kapisa and Zabul provinces.
However, despite the announcement of the final parliamentary results for 18 provinces, the fate of the final results of parliamentary elections in 15 provinces is still unclear.
Ali Akbar Jamshidi from Daikundi Province
Ali Akbar Jamshidi was born in 1974 and is now 44 years old. He was born in Sangtakht district of Daikundi Province. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations Department of Political Science and is now a graduate student.
Mr. Jamshidi has previously served as a senator, and he told Reporterly about the holding of the elections in the province: “The election we had behind in Daikundi, despite the challenges and problems, was fairly transparent and witnessed security and monitoring ensured by locals but there were some technical problems, such as malfunction of biometric devices, which slowed down the process and some other problems that we hope to be resolved in the next elections. ”
In 2009, he was a candidate for the Provincial Council elections and was successful in winning a seat, after which he was nominated for the Senate and received a sufficient number of votes to enter the upper house of parliament. He worked as a senator from Daikundi Province until 2014.
But what motivated Mr Jamshidi to run for parliamentary elections was the limited authority of the Senate. Jamshidi decided to participate in parliamentary elections to serve and work for deprived people in his province.
Before getting into the Senate and the House of Representatives, he chose a clear path in his professional life in the winter of 2002 after the Taliban era. He was working to build schools in northern Daikondi and had established many schools in the areas such as Sangtakht, Bandar, Ashtarlay and Khidir, which was then part of Uruzgan Province. Jamshidi was the principal of the schools in Sangtakht and Bandar districts of Daikundi Province from 2004 to 2009.
He also worked with the Reform and Convergence Team in the 2014 presidential elections and served as an advisor to the chief executive from 2015 to 2017 but was subsequently dismissed.
He hails from one of the deprived areas of the Daikundi province, in which the government has not paid any attention towards the spheres of education, health and citizenship services. But now Mr. Ali Akbar Jamshidi is trying to improve the situation of this province in cooperation with his colleagues.
Khadija Elham Khalili from Kapisa Province
Khadija Elham Khalili is one of the new lawmakers who has come to the Afghan parliament from Kapisa province and was an independent candidate.
Elham Khalili was born 29 years ago in Kapisa and she earned her bachelor’s degree in medical science and master’s degree in management.
The motivation of this young woman to enter the Afghan politics laid in strive for a real service to the people of Kapisa. Referring to the main problems in the province, such as unemployment of 80 percent among the young people in Kapisa, Ms. Khalili told Reporterly that she wants to do more for her province .
She pledges, as the representative of the Kapisa Province, to make major changes in the province and Afghanistan and tries to focus on empowering women.
Khadija Elham Khalili is satisfied with the vote she has received and is pleased about how parliamentary elections were held in Kapisa province.
She expressed her satisfaction with the massive turnout, especially women’s, on the Election Day, and told Reporterly: “Despite the many problems and challenges that existed in this province and three districts were insecure, women attended the polling significantly.”
She also expressed resentment with the situation in the election commissions and noted that “no one from the election commissions has ever asked me for money.”
Khadija Elham has worked with Administrative Office of The President, Department of Monitoring and Evaluation & the Presidential Decrees Follow-up before her candidature to the Afghan Parliament. She also served as a medical doctor in Kapisa province, during which period, she would visit the patients for free, two days a week in order to help them.
It should not be left out that Ms. Khalili has established a school in this province as well as literacy classes for women, apart from creating courses for farmers and farmworkers to plant saffron instead of poppy cultivation.
Mir Haidar Afzali from Kapisa Province
Engineer Mir haidar Afzali was born in 1988 in Kapisa province. He graduated from Ghulam Haidar Khan high school in Kabul province, and in 2005, went to Kabul Polytechnic University.
In 2012, he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and in 2015 completed his master’s degree in Islamic Azad University, Kabul Branch, in management.
Engineer Afzali has been involved with the community since his time as a civil and social activist and is also a leading member of Youth Coherence Organization in Kapisa.
He has participated in various leadership training programs inside the country and abroad, such as Japan, Indonesia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Afzali has also won enough votes in the current parliamentary elections and has entered the House of Representatives.
Prior to this, he worked in various governmental and nongovernmental institutions. Mr. Afzali, in 2011, set up a construction and engineering company called Atlas Kohistan, and was the chairman of the company for four years. The company has completed several construction projects in the provinces of Kapisa, Parwan, Bamiyan and Kabul.
He also worked as an Infrastructure Development Specialist in 2015 in the Mahmudraqi municipality, capital of Kapisa province, after which, in 2016, he was appointed as the head of Treasury Department of the Administrative Office of the President. After that, he was also appointed as the deputy and acting director of the Municipality’s Construction Control Department since the year 2017 on the basis of the proposal of the Kabul Municipality and the decree of the President of Afghanistan.
“For various reasons, I decided to be in the House of Representatives, and these reasons all sprout from the life of people and their challenges. I try to reduce these problems to the best of my capacity,” said Mr. Afzali, about his motivation to engage in Afghanistan politics.
Abdul Qadir Qalatwal from Zabul Province
Abdul Qadir Qalatwal, 54, was born in Zabul in 1964. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Mr. Qalatwal is entering house of representative for the second time as the representative of the Zabul province.
He has been the chief of staff and spokesman for the ministry of telecommunication before moving on to the politics. He was also a presenter for Afghanistan National Television for over 29 years.
Abdul Qadir Qalatwal is also pleased with the parliamentary election process in Zabul province, saying it was transparent. Speaking to Reporterly, he said: “Although we were experiencing technical problems, people were overwhelmingly present at the polls.”
He argues that his presence in the Afghan parliament would give him the opportunity to serve more for his people, because he says despite the fact that all of Afghanistan has many problems, Zabul has not received any privileges from the government since its establishment as other provinces have.
He continued to mention other problems, such as low educational levels for women in Zabul.
Mr. Qalatwal has plans for the next round of his career in the parliament, as he intends to implement each one according to his prioritization throughout his new term.
Zahra Tookhi from Zabul province
Zahra Tokhi, a familiar face from the 16th term of the Afghan House of Representatives, has also been able to return to parliament in the wake of the votes of the people of Zabul province for her.
Ms. Tookhi, 48, was born in Nowkhez village of Zabul province. In 1986, she graduated from the Bibi Khal high school in Zabul and then earned her bachelor’s degree in somatology from the University of Kazakhstan in 2005.
Zahra Tookhi has served as chairwoman of the women’s council of Zabul province in 1987 after a year of teaching in 1988. She was then elected as a member of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan during the government of Dr. Najibullah.
Ms. Tookhi migrated to Pakistan in the course of the war and then moved to Kazakhstan and then finally returned to Afghanistan in 2005.
“In all the provinces, especially Zabul, problems were undeniable. Although there was relative transparency, there was still fraud, and the election challenges were obvious,” she explained in an interview with Reporterly.
Her motivation behind stepping into politics comes from her childhood, when her grandfather was a senator of his time and fond of politics.
Although Zakhra speaks of her previous activities, she continues to emphasize that in the new term, she wants to do more work for the people of Zabul, especially the women of the province, who are struggling with local and provincial problems.
She noted that in Zabul there are many fictitious schools in some districts, and there is actually no place for the boys and girls to get an education.
Hamidullah Tookhi from Zabul Province
Hamidullah Tookhi has been elected to the parliament for the third time as a representative of Zabul.
He was the Afghan politician and representative of the people of Zabul province during the fifteenth and sixteenth terms of the House of Representatives. Mr. Tookhi has been a member of the Commission of the Martyrs and Disabled in the 16th term of the lower house of the parliament as well.
Hamidullah Tookhi was born in 1962 in Zabul province. He graduated from the Sheikh Mati high school in 1978, then joined the Mujahideen fronts. Mr. Tookhi served as governor of Zabul from 2002 to 2004 and later for three months as governor of Maidan Wardak province.
During the Afghan Jihad period, he was one of the mujahedeen commanders and subsequently served as commander of Zabul’s 27th division.
He says the wish of people of Zabul province is the reason he is in the parliament. “All people contacted me and wanted me to be a candidate from this province. Now it is my third time representing people in the House of Representatives. ”
Zabul province is one of those insecure provinces in the southern Afghanistan, most of which has been in the Taliban’s control for the last 16 years. Along with insecurity, drought is another challenge for people living in this province. Now Hamidullah Tookhi is determined to come up with different programs than previous terms.