Hamid Karzai may have retired, but he is still keeping a close eye on political affairs in Afghanistan and building ties with different groups in the country.

Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai may have retired, but he definitely hasn’t left the building. The Afghan monarch, who served as president for two terms after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, handed over the reigns to the war-torn country to his democratically-elected, albeit disputed, successors in 2014.

A new president (and chief executive), however, in no uncertain terms meant that Karzai had given up all control. On the contrary, much like during his presidency, Karzai has been keeping a close eye on the extremely sensitive and dynamic political landscape of Afghanistan.

Relations are important to Karzai and building them with those who disagree with him, is even more important. This was evident in an hour-long session the former president held last Sunday with political activists, a common sight at his office situated close to Afghanistan’s presidential palace, an establishment he once controlled and continues to exert considerable influence over.

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