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Hamid KarzaiHamid Karzai (Pashtun)

Who he is: Hamid Karzai is the leader of Afghanistan's transitional administration. He was elected to the post at the loya jirga, and will run the country for 18 months until elections are held.

As chief of southern Afghanistan's Popolzai tribe, Mr Karzai is held with reverence by Pashtun communities.

Despite this, he maintains a largely neutral image in Afghanistan because of his lack of participation the country's bloody conflict. He was deputy foreign minister in Afghanistan's mujahideen government, but left for Pakistan after continuing civil war.

He has been credited with overseeing the largely successful first stage of the interim administration.

Well educated and stylish, Mr Karzai has made a substantial impact on the world stage. At an international donor's conference in Tokyo he suceeded in persuading donors to pledge more than $4bn in aid.

What he believes: Mr Karzai describes himself as a moderate Muslim. He says his objective is "to take Afghanistan out of the quagmire in which it was."

Profile: Hamid Karzai

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