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Dr. Omar Zakhilwal tipped as new Afghan ambassador to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, NOV 28 (DNA) – Dr. Hazr Omar Zakhilwal has been tipped as the new Afghan ambassador to Pakistan. Zakhilwal was born in 1968 in the Nangarhar or Jalalabad of Afghanistan. He is believed to be an ethnic Pashtun. He is currently serving as the Chief Adviser of the Afghan government on economic affairs. In 1984, at the age of 17, Zakhilwal along with his family fled his country among the Afghan refugees and settled in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1991, he along with the family immigrated to Canada.

Zakhilwal obtained his Bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.
He then moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he earned a Master’s degree in economics at Queen’s University. Soon after that he found a job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa, where he completed a doctorate in economics at Carleton University. He graduated in 2001.
Zakhilwal published numerous articles and research papers on political, economic and social issues related to Afghanistan for newspapers, magazines and journals such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Wahdat, Forum of Federation Quarterly, Human Rights Tribune, Al-Ehram, Afghan Post, Heela, Dawat, Mujahid Wolus, Afghan Mosaic, and Afghan Mirror.[5] His work is in English, Pashto and Dari, and some of his articles are available on the internet.
Over the course of his stay in Afghanistan, Zakhilwal has been part of the 2002 and 2003 loya jirgas. He served as an author of Afghanistan’s First National Human Development Report, which was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in February 2007 and won the UN special award for best analysis in June 2007.
He also worked as an Afghan counterpart to the North-South Institute-led “What Kind of Peace is Possible?” research project, examining the role of community led development in sustainable peace building, as well as working on a strategy for Counter-Narcotics Alternative Livelihood in Afghanistan. He has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, CIDA and other organizations.
Zakhilwal served as the President of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), a member of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, Acting Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan. He became the Chief Economic Advisor to President Hamid Karzai in July 2008, and in March 2009 he was chosen as the new Minister of Finance.=DNA
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