Afghan Biographies

Nuristani, Ahmad Yussef Dr. Nooristani,

Name Nuristani, Ahmad Yussef Dr. Nooristani,
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1947
Function/Grade Meshrano Jirga Member Nuristan appointed
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions of Ahmad Yussef Nuristani:
Spokesperson and Senior Aide to President Karzai (2002),
Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources and Environment in the Afghan Transitional Administration (2002), Deputy Minister of Defense (2006),
Governor Herat (20090118 - 20100824 ),
IEC Chairman Elections 2014 (20130804)
Meshrano Jirga Member Nooristan appointed 20180829

3. Biodata:
Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani was born 1947 in Shigram, Paron District, Nuristan Province. He received his early education at the Rahman Baba  Highschool in Kabul 1965. After high school, he entered the History and Geography department of Anthropology Faculty at the Kabul University and graduated with a Bachelor in 1970. In 1973, Nouristani received a Fulbright Scholarship to continue his higher education at the State University of Arizona and received a Master Degree in Anthropology in 1975. In 1981, he received his Ph.D in Near East Studies from the State University of Arizona and later in 2003 was awarded an honorary Ph.D by that University.


From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Nuristani worked as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at the Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona in the United States of America. He also worked as Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Kabul University. He has a PhD from the university of Tucson Arizona (1994). [Nuristani, Ahmad Yusuf, Ph.D. Emergence of ulama as political leaders in the Waigal Valley: The intensification of Islamic identity. The University of Arizona, 1994. Nuristani, Ahmad Yusuf. (1991) Emergence of ulama as political leaders in the Waigal Valley, the intensification of Islamic Identity. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Arizona.]
From April 1992 to May 1996, he served as the director of an elementary education project for Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. From 1985-1988, Dr. Nouristani has been from the founding members of Writers Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA) and many writings and articles of his have been published in the publication of the union. Before 2001, Dr. Nouristani has served in prestigious research and humanitarian aid organizations as consultant, coordinator and director.

He used to serve in the US consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan for several years. He has been actively involved in Afghan politics for the last 30 years and has participated in major conferences related to Afghan issues. He was one of the founding members of the Writer's Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA) as well as the Afghan Professor's University Association (APUA) during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan while living in Peshawar.

After the September 11 and consequent political changes in Afghanistan, Dr. Nouristani served as the Chief of Media and Spokesman for the Interim Administration from January 2001 to June 2001 led by Hamid Karzai. In the first cabinet of Interim Administration, Dr. Nouristani was appointed as the Minister of Irrigation and Environment, a position in which he played a crucial and substantial role in developing policies and drafting long term strategies. From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Nouristani served as the Deputy Minister of Defense and had considerably important role in fostering Afghanistan’s defense relations with its international allies.

He is living in Afghanistan as dual citizen of Afghanistan and the USA controversial clause in the new constitution stipulates, however, that only persons holding a single — Afghan — passport may serve in the government, making the choice difficult for those who have lived most of their adult years abroad and would like to maintain a foothold in their adopted countries. A most influential man from the Waygal valley (Provinz Nuristan) is deputy defense minister, Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani. Previously he was linked to the royalist Rome Group and maintained good relations with former interim president Hazrat MujadeddiHe’s also quite close to President Karzai.

President Karzai appointed Daud Saba as governor of western Herat province as the former governor, Muhammad Yousuf Nuristani, was running for parliamentary elections 2010.


President Ashraf Ghani's appointment of Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, former Head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), as Afghanistan ambassador to Spain has been challenged by the Office of the Chief Executive. Nuristani's alleged involvement in corruption and election problems had not been be taken into account.(20160711)

Sources also said that Ghani had ordered the Foreign Minister to appoint Nuristani as ambassador to Spain, but later issued a decree to this effect – after his order was not implemented by Rabbani.(20160726)


Newly appointed senator Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, who is the former chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and former governor of Herat, has an arrest order against him by the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC). Documents show that Nuristani was accused of misusing his authority twice while governor in Herat and was summoned to appear before the ACJC in connection with the allegations but failed to do so. The documents show that ACJC have on numerous occasions issued arrest orders but that the Ministry of Interior has failed to take Nuristani into custody. The documents state that the ACJC warned police that if they do not arrest Nuristani, then the ACJC will make a decision based on the Criminal Procedure Code. According to the documents, the ACJC summoned Nuristani to appear before them in order to answer to allegations of him having taken over one million AFs from Herat’s Milli Bus Enterprise. Nuristani however said he had paid the one million AFs on Herat province’s debt and for expenses relating to the province. Nuristani was recently appointed as a senator to the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) by President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.(20180903)

The former Chief of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani was sentenced to 13 months in prison on charges of embezzlement while he was serving as provincial governor of western Herat province.

Nuristani was sentenced to prison by Major Crimes Tribunal convicting him of embezzlement of State funds amounting to one million Afghanis. The verdict also stated that Nuristani is obliged to return one million Afghanis which he had obtained from Millie Bus Enterprise of Herat province in 2009. The court issued its verdict in the absence of Mr. Nuristani with his defense attorney claiming that Nuristani has returned the funds. The judge of the court said Nuristani can file an appeal to his conviction.(20190505)


Last Modified 2019-05-05
Established 2009-10-10