Afghan Biographies

Khalid, Asadullah

Name Khalid, Asadullah
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1969
Function/Grade Ex Minister
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
Governor of Ghazni Province (2001-2005)
Governor of Kandahar Province (2005-2008)
Nominated Minister of Tribal and Border Affairs, no vote of confidence 2008,
Minister Tribal and Border Affairs (20100628-20120800),
National Directorate of Security (NDS) Head (20120915 - 20130800)
Minister of Defense (20181224, 20201121, 20210319)

3. Biodata Asadullah Khalid:
khalid_asadullahAsadullah Khalid was born 1969 in Nawa District, Ghazni Province and hails from the Pashtun Ghilzai Taraki tribe. He completed his primary education at Mahmood Tarzai High School in Kabul and completed intermediate school at Etihad High School in Pakistan in 1986. He got admission at the National University of Tajikistan in 1996 and received a Bachelor degree in Political Science at Kabul University in 2001. He is an ethnic Pashtun from Taraki Tribe and former Kabul University drop-out, he left his political science course to fight the Taliban. He fought shoulder to shoulder with Ahmad Shah Massoud in the Northern Alliance.Sayyaf was reportedly applying significant pressure on Karzai to give the job of the NDS Chief· to the Assadullah Khalid. (20091219).


A source in the presidential palace says that President Karzai’s selection of Khalid as Minister of Frontier and Tribal Areas has given him the opportunity to maintain his power in the southern and eastern provinces and to continue abusing that power. A source says that Khalid is the most crucial member of a narcotics producing and smuggling syndicate. Various sources say one of Gul Agha Shirzai ’s (present governor of Nangarhar) tasks is to collect a toll from narcotics caravans for Asadullah Khalid. Canadian Government documents detailing the accusations were heavily censored by the government which, claiming national security, blacked out the references to “the governor.”

But multiple sources, both inside and outside the government, confirm that the words “the governor” have been censored as have whole passages referring to secret cells allegedly run by Khalid outside the official prison system.

In early 2007, Asadullah Khalid escaped an assassination attempt. He was targeted by a suicide bomber in which his motorcade was destroyed but he survived with only minor injuries. Rumours have long linked Khalid to secret prisons. That he had close ties with U.S. intelligence agents and special forces had been known since Canadian troops arrived in southern Afghanistan in early 2006. Governor Khalid was known to have private detention facilities where he held businessmen to extort money. There were reports of "sexual misconduct with young women," Colvin said (20100413). Richard Colvin, a Canadian diplomat posted in Afghanistan from April 2006 to October 2007 says this was known within Canadian government officials in May and June of 2006. He survived 2 bomb blasts in 2008.

He got a vote of confidence as the Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs on 20100628.

President Karzai approved the appointment of Assadullah Khalid, Minister of Frontier and Tribal Affairs, by preserving of his present position as coordinator of security of Kandahar province. (decision of meeting dated 30/5/1390 of the National Security Council).(20110822). Khalid has also served as a minister and member of the National Security Council. He has been appointed as security chief for the southern zone.

Asadullah Khaild said he survived a suicide attack in the Haji Arab area of the 2nd district of Kandahar City at around 10:30am on 20111003. Later he admitted he was 5 km away from the scene of attack, which was confirmed bei Officials from Ministry of Interior.

Khalid is an influential confidant of Karzai, who delegated to him significant power over security in southern Afghanistan after Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s brother, was assassinated 2011. Lately Khalid, who also serves as minister of tribal and border affairs, has been leading the government’s efforts to support uprisings in Ghazni Province against the Taliban.(20120829)

Human Rights Watch claimed the Afghan government should drop reported plans to appoint Assadullah Khalid who is linked to torture as head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS). Numerous and credible reports allege that Asadullah Khalid, while governor of Kandahar province and in other posts, commanded forces that committed grave human rights violations.(20120831) "There are also credible allegations that Khalid was involved in the bombing of a vehicle that killed five UN workers in Kandahar in April 2007," Amnesty International said in a statement released in September· 2012.

However a former senior government official who’s close to Karzai said that Khalid’s appointment has been confirmed.(20120831)

Asadullah Khalid suffered serious injuries on the lower part of his body when a bomb exploded on Thursday (20121206) afternoon in the intelligence chief's guest house in Taimani, Street 8, Kabul, where he was receiving a visitor. Reports suggested it was a suicide attacker posing as a peace envoy. He detonated explosives that he had hidden in his body. A spokesman for the National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Tahiri, confirmed that the attacker had hidden the bomb inside his rectum. The Afghan intelligence agency said earlier that the explosives were hidden in the bomber's underwear. Five had been killed and eight more injured in the attack among them some National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials. The house is used for private meetings that Khalid doesn't want to hold at the official compound of the National Directorate of Intelligence. Khalid had been wounded in the chest and the abdomen, and had arrived unconscious at a medical facility run by the intelligence service NDS. Khalid was expected to recover, but was airlifted by Helicopter to Baghram Airbase and from there abroad to the USA via Landstuhl US Military Hospital in Germany for further treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, USA.(20121206) Khalid had serious abdominal injuries that would require multiple operations and that it was not yet clear if or when he would be able to return to work.(20121210). In Khalid’s absence, the intelligence agency is being run by one of his deputies, Gen. Hisaamuddin Khan. (20121213)


State Department officials said Khalid was not granted a visa (because of alleged human rights violations) but rather admitted under the Department of Homeland Security’s “parole” process, which grants temporary stays for foreign nationals under emergency conditions.(20130109) For the time being Khalid can only walk with the assistance of a four-wheeled contraption. (20130214). Asadullah Khalid returned back to Afghanistan on 20130402.


When he recently left Kabul for more surgery in Washington, D.C., intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid went so quietly hardly anyone in the government knew he was gone. But a U.S. official, who declined to be further identified because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Khalid had returned to the United States for further treatment of his wounds after his condition deteriorated. (20130508).

Maj. Gen. Rahmatullah Nabil was appointed acting NDS Director General due to still highly problematic Health Condition of Assadullah Khalid. (20130831) It is rumored that Assadullah Khalid, was forced to step down for health reasons after being wounded in a failed assassination attack in December.

Asadullah Khalid returned to Kabul on Friday after receiving months of medical treatment abroad.(20140314)

A Human Right Watch (HRW) report, released March 3, 2015 profiles of "strongmen" linked to police, intelligence, and militia forces responsible for serious abuses in recent years.  Asadullah Khalid, the former head of the National Security Directorate. (20150304)

A new political movement "Omid-i-Saba" Omaid-i-Saba led by former National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Assadullah Khalid, was officially launched in Afghanistan on Thursday, August 2, 2018. 

International rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged major donors to impose sanctions on Afghanistan’s newly appointed acting defense minister Khalid over alleged war crimes and human rights abuses. Critics say Khalid’s appointment will only complicate peace efforts after 17 years of conflict. It has also fueled accusations that Ghani was trying to neutralize potential opponents by bringing them onto his side ahead of the election(20190113)

Assadullah Khalid was approved by the lawmakers as minister of defense by getting 206 votes in favor, 17 votes against, 15 invalid votes and 8 unmarked votes. (20201121)

Gen. Yasin Zia will serve as acting minister of defense until the return of Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, who is under treatment for an illness.(20210319)


Khalid speaks Pashtu, Dari and English.

Last Modified 2022-03-16
Established 2009-10-09