A Brief History of the Embassy and Ambassadors of Afghanistan in London
The embassy of Afghanistan in London became operational in March 1922 following the arrival of Afghanistan’s first Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom, Mr. Abdul Hadi Dawi (1894-1982). Mr. Dawi was a well-known Afghan intellectual and a close friend and ally of the famed Mamood Tarzai, the first foreign minister of independent Afghanistan and the founder of modern journalism in the country. (Tarzi was the father-in-law of King Amanullah who ruled Afghanistan from 1919 to1929.) Mr. Dawi served as Minister Plenipotentiary in London until 1924. Years later, Mr. Dawi served as Speaker of the Lower House of Afghanistan’s parliament (1950-52).
The building, in which the Afghan embassy is housed today was built in 1846-48 and purchased by the Royal State of Afghanistan in 1925. The building, located across London’s famous Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall, counts among the jewels of the city’s historic structures. The embassy’s annex-building was built in 1955 and currently houses its consulate section.
Ever since its establishment in 1922, the embassy of Afghanistan in London has been considered within the leadership and foreign-policy establishment of Afghanistan as one of the most important foreign liaison offices of the country.
Until the communist takeover of 1978, the majority of the personalities appointed to the post of ambassadorship in London were people of fame and rank, many of whom belonged to the elite ruling class. The names and approximate posting dates of the well-known Afghans who severed as ambassador in London are as follows:
- Abdul Hadi Dawi (Minister Plenipotentiary, June 1922-1923)
- Said Qasem Khan (Acting Head of Mission, June 1923-1925)
- Shuja ud Dawla (Minister Plenipotentiary, April 1925-1929)
- Marshall Shah Wali Khan (June 1930-1931, uncle of King Zaher Shah)
- Ahmad Ali Sulaiman (1931-1932, member of the royal family)
- Ali Mohammad Khan (1933-37, member of the royal family)
- Ahmad Ali Sulaiman (1938-1945, member of the royal family)
- Sardar Mohammad Naim Khan (1945-48, Cousin of King Zaher Shah)
- Sardar Faiz Mohammad Zakria (, 1949-1950, member of the royal family)
- Marshall Shah Wali Khan (June 1950-1952, uncle of King Zaher Shah)
- Dr. Najibullah Torwayana (1952-1954, well-known intellectual)
- Mohammad Hashem Maiwandwal (1954-1957; later prime minister (1965-67)
- Mohammad Kabir Ludin (1957-1960)
- Faiz Mohammad Zakria (1960-1961, member of the royal family)
- Mohammad Kabir Ludin (1961-1962)
- Abdulllah Malikyar (1962-1964)
- Dr. Abdul Majid (March 1967-1971)
- Prince Zalmai Mahmood Ghazi (1971-1973; cousin of King Zaher Shah)
- Hamidullah Enayat Seraj (1974, nephew and son-in-law of King Amanullah)
- Abdur-Rahman Pajhwak(March 1973-1977)
- Abdul Wakil (1978-1979)
- From 1981 – 2001 there are no accredited Ambassador
- Ahmad Wali Massoud (2002-2006)
- Dr. Rahim Sherzoy (2006-2009)
- Humayon Tandar (2009-2011)
- Dr. Hameed Haami (Charge d’Affair 2011-2012)
- Dr. Mohammad Daud Yaar (2012 – 2015)
- Ahmad Zia Siamak (Charge d’Affair March 2015- March 2016)
- Liaquet Ali Ameri (Charge d’Affair March 2016- Present)
Following the communist coup of April 1978, the Afghan embassy in London lost its valued status within the foreign policy establishment of the country. This was due to the new regime’s anti-West bias and intimate relations with the former Soviet Union. Another factor that might have contributed to the reduced status of the Afghan embassy in London was the reorientation of Afghanistan’s foreign trade and finance from the UK towards the US (in 1960s and 1970s), and eventually towards the Soviet Block (in 1980s).
Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1992, Mr. Ahmad Wali Massoud, the younger brother of the legendary Afghan National Hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was appointed as Afghanistan’s Minister Counsellor and Charge de Affaire in London. After the fall of the Taliban, and following the establishment of the new administration under the Bonn Agreement, Mr. Ahmad Wali Massoud was appointed as ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2003. Mr. Massoud’s appointment, once again elevated the position of the Afghan ambassador in the United Kingdom. Mr. Wali Massoud, a London-based political activist during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, has a Masters Degree in political science.
In 2007, Mr. Wali Massoud was replaced by Dr. Mohammad Rahim Sherzoy, a career diplomat, who had served as Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan during President Mohammad Daud’s rule. Before his ambassadorship in the UK, Dr. Sherzoy was Afghanistan’s ambassador in Egypt, a position to which he was appointed after serving as Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs. Dr. Sherzoy has a Ph.D. in political science and served in 1980’s as head of the office of Afghanistan’s former King, Zaher Shah (Father of the Nation), in Rome, Italy. In 2009, Mr. Homayun Tandar, presently (2013) Afghanistan’s ambassador to Belgium, was appointed as ambassador to London. Mr. Tandar, an ardent archaeologist, is a career diplomat and has studied in France.
From March 2011 until 4 August 2012, the Afghan embassy in London was under the supervision of Dr. Hameed Haami, the embassy’s Minister Counsellor, serving as Chargé d’Affaires. Dr. Haami is a physician by profession and has a Masters degree in Diplomatic Studies & International Security from Westminster University.
Dr. Mohammad Daud Yaar, former Ambassador who is a professional economist and has taught economics at California State University at East Bay, California, served as Director of Policy and Oversight at the President’s Office of National Security Council before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director General of Economic Affairs in January 2011. While coming from an academic teaching/research background, Dr. Yaar has a deep interest in politics and regional and global affairs. Dr. Yaar was appointed as ambassador to the United Kingdom by His Excellency Hamid Karzai, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in June 2012. Dr. Yaar arrived in London in early August 2012 and served as ambassador until March 2015.
Ahmad Zia Siamak served as Minister Counsellor from March 2013 later he was appointed as Chargé d’Affaires. Ahamd Zia Siamak served and supervised the embassy till March 2016.
Liaquet Ali Ameri is currently serves as Chargé d’Affaires…….
Afghan Ambassadors in the UK