Heads up Embassy 2 November 2007
Afghanistan Out of exile
Dr Rahim Sherzoy has been a diplomat-in-exile for much of his career.
Afghanistan's new Ambassador to London was serving as Ambassador in Czechoslovakia when Russian tanks invaded his country, turning him into a refugee overnight.
For Sherzoy, one of Afghanistan's most able diplomats, who had also served as Ambassador to Pakistan, the writing was on the wall. Opting not to return to his war-torn country, he and his family boarded a train bound for Frankfurt, on to London and then to the US.
He hoped their stay would be short but Sherzoy had to wait 23 years in exile, during which he served as the political adviser to the deposed King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan.
After the defeat of the Taliban, he was invited to serve as Deputy Foreign Minister (2001-04). Sherzoy and his dynamic daughter Mina worked tirelessly to rally Afghan exiles to return to rebuild the country.
From 2002-2004 he served as a Senior Member of the Afghanistan Constitution Commission. A doctor of international law he used his legal expertise to help hammer out a draft constitution acceptable to Afghanistan's multifaceted population.
Now in Britain he faces another crucial task: ensuring Britain's long-term support in rebuilding his country. With British forces fighting a determined enemy in the Taliban in the Helmand province and opium production up, the future is by no means secured. The stakes are high but Ambassador Sherzoy is not about to go into exile again.