"Like Shakaar? It amazes me that a woman as intelligent and sophisticated as you could be attracted to such a lumbering, simplistic field hand. I mean, what could the two of you possibly talk about?"
"That lumbering field hand is the first minister of Bajor. And he knows more about how to talk to me than you ever will."
Shakaar Edon was a member of the Bajoran Resistance and leader of the eponymous Shakaar cell during the Cardassian Occupation. After twenty-five years of fighting the Cardassian occupiers, the Occupation ended, and he became a farmer. Later, he became first minister of Bajor.
During the Occupation of Bajor, Shakaar led his resistance cell for over twelve years in the Dahkur Province area. In that time, he fought the Cardassians including sabotaging buildings and liberating the Gallitep labor camp. (DS9: "Duet") He knew the terrain extremely well and therefore able to evade Cardassian forces. (DS9: "Shakaar") Shakaar recruited other Bajorans into the cell, including Kira Nerys, who he sent on her first raid, when she was age thirteen. (DS9: "The Darkness and the Light")
After the Occupation ended, Shakaar and some of his cell including Lupaza and Furel, became farmers in Dahkur Province. It was a daunting task considering the effect the Occupation had on the environment, so he asked for soil reclamators in 2369 from the provisional government. He waited three years to receive them in 2371, when he was promised the use of the machinery for one year. However, Kai Winn, who had become acting first minister of Bajor, reversed this and demanded them back. Shakaar refused, and so Winn first sent Major Kira, now first officer on Deep Space 9, to reason with him, but, when that failed, sent the militia to arrest him under the command of Colonel Lenaris Holem. Shakaar and Kira were pursued with the rest of the farmers to the Dahkur Hills. Shakaar and Lenaris agreed that they must prevent civil war, so Lenaris joined Shakaar in refusing Winn's objective.
Instead, Kira encouraged Shakaar to enter the race to become the new Bajoran first minister in late 2371 to oppose Kai Winn. With his popularity not only from his past as a resistance leader, but also for his stance against the unjust actions of the government, Kai Winn withdrew from the race (also after he and Kira threatened to reveal that she was willing to start a civil war over farm equipment if she continued to stand). Shakaar quickly gained support from Lenaris and other army groups, and won the election easily. (DS9: "Shakaar")
In 2372, Shakaar arrived at Deep Space 9 to negotiate Bajor's admittance into the Federation. Shakaar had pushed to cut in half the time Bajor had to wait to join the Federation. He was threatened by a Cardassian terrorist movement called the True Way. A True Way operative nearly killed him twice, during the conference, by sabotaging his turbolift car and depressurizing his quarters. He was saved, both times, by the crew of Deep Space 9. It was at this time that he realized he had fallen in love with Kira and he began a romance with her. (DS9: "Crossfire")
A short time later, he convinced Kira to attend a conference with the Cardassians on Korma by taking her to her favorite restaurant in Jalanda City, filling her with springwine, and massaging her with Kolaish spice oil. (DS9: "Return to Grace")
Kira again visited him in the capital in 2373. (DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places") He was at Kira's bedside when she gave birth to Miles O'Brien and Keiko O'Brien's baby Kirayoshi, later that year. (DS9: "The Begotten") Kira and Shakaar ended their relationship sometime after, as a visit to the Kenda Shrine on Bajor revealed that they were not meant to walk the same path, although the pair remained friends. (DS9: "Children of Time")
An hallucination of Damar told Dukat, in 2374, that if he'd killed Captain Benjamin Sisko and brought his corpse to Bajor, the Bajorans would have interpreted it as the Prophets having abandoned them, resulting in the toppling of Shakaar's government. (DS9: "Waltz")
Later that year, Kira spent several days on Bajor briefing Shakaar on the Dominion War. This visit made some on the station think the two would resume their relationship, but that was not the case. (DS9: "His Way")
According to the script for "The Assignment", his family name was pronounced as "sha-KAR". 
The character of Shakaar initially took inspiration from the real-life historical figure Emiliano Zapata. "[He] rose up to overthrow the unjust government of Mexico and then put in a government that he rose up to overthrow as well. He kept fighting well after the war was won," explained Robert Hewitt Wolfe. "I think that was the idea here, just to see Kira's mentor." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 97) The character was also initially envisioned as if it was played by Clint Eastwood or someone similar. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 243) Regarding the character's first appearance, Ronald D. Moore remembered the writers thinking, "Shakaar has done something that was questionable. Yes, he has a legitimate grievance, but you could see Kira's point as well." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 98) There was also the potential of Shakaar, however, turning into a romantic interest for Kira, so the script incorporated "a couple little subtle beats to play, just to see if we could gain some chemistry between the actors," stated Moore. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 244)
"Lots of people," as worded by Ira Steven Behr, tried out for the role of Shakaar Edon. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 243) In need of an actor to play the part, the producers thought of Duncan Regehr. ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11) The part was eventually given to him. Regehr needed to convey the qualities that would make Shakaar both "a good leader and a good killer; we had to give him that edge," stated Jonathan West, who oversaw the portrayal of Shakaar by directing his first appearance in DS9 Season 3 outing "Shakaar". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 243) Although Regehr had previously portrayed Ronin in TNG: "Sub Rosa", the actor regarded Shakaar sufficiently different from his previous role. Shakaar was extremely different from the kinds of roles Regehr usually played, and was the first recurring character he had ever portrayed. ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11)
Ultimately, the DS9 producers were pleased with the depiction of Shakaar in the episode sharing his name. René Echevarria commented, "Duncan Regehr [...] did a nice job." Ira Behr remarked, "I do [...] think that Duncan Regehr is a much worthier love interest for Kira than Bareil was." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 97 & 98) Not to say Behr believed Shakaar became any less masculine than originally conceived. "The first time we saw him," said Behr, "he was Clint Eastwood, the foreigner, the man of few words, the terrorist." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 306) Ron Moore concurred that Regehr's on-screen chemistry with Kira actress Nana Visitor "seemed to work." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 244)
Shakaar was used in an effort to fill a void left by the demise of Li Nalas, another heroic figure who may have united and led the Bajorans, in the second season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. "We were still looking for that character, oddly enough, in the fourth season," noted Ira Behr. Thus, the writers decided to find out if Shakaar, having been introduced in the third season, could be used in such a way. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 83)
The writers were very eager to bring Shakaar back in DS9 Season 4 outing "Crossfire". "We really needed to get Shakaar going again after last season," reflected Ron Moore. "We wanted to get a relationship between him and Kira, and we wanted to keep that story." Another motivation for returning Shakaar to DS9 was that the writers hoped to use him as a method of continuing the development of Bajorans and their homeworld, which the writers hadn't done in quite a while. "So it was important to get him back on the show," Moore concluded. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 113)
During development of "Crossfire", episode writer René Echevarria envisioned Shakaar, in an unused climax to the episode, becoming endangered by an approaching fireball, which also jeopardized Kira. Though Odo was faced with the decision of whom to save, Shakaar was Odo's choice, dictated by Odo's job, and was duly enveloped by the shapeshifter until the danger had passed, the fireball nearly killing Kira. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 304-305)
Nana Visitor was keen to see how the relationship between Shakaar and Kira would develop. "He has seen Kira at her worst and still finds her attractive, which I find interesting," the actress commented. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 45)
Duncan Regehr's second appearance as Shakaar, in "Crossfire", disappointed Ira Steven Behr, who complained, "I think we mishandled his character in the episode, and he never recovered after that [....] He became way too sensitive here. It just wasn't [the same] Shakaar." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 306) According to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 306), Behr's unhappiness over the depiction of the character didn't have anything to do with the actor's performance. However, Behr himself considered, "Maybe it was in the dialogue or the way it was played, but the intent was he was supposed to be a gruffer, much more plain-speaking guy, more of the bull in the china shop." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 113)
Following Shakaar's return in "Crossfire", it was inevitable that the writers would begin devising ways to break up his relationship with Kira. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 306) Shakaar and this romance were featured in an early version of fourth season installment "The Muse", though not in that episode's final version. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 60) When attempting to come up with a reasonable in-universe explanation for Kira Nerys to become pregnant in penultimate season four episode "Body Parts", the obvious possibility that it be Shakaar's offspring was dismissed by Ira Behr and Rick Berman, simply because they didn't like the idea. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 351-352)
However, Shakaar was written into the first draft of the script for "Body Parts", which described him thus; "Although he is a politician, at heart, he is a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase kind of guy." In the story, Shakaar arrived at DS9 on a transport ship, a day after having been in contact with Kira Nerys; though he had been busy campaigning in a Bajoran village, he met with Kira in her quarters and reluctantly gave her advice about whether she should continue with the pregnancy of the O'Briens' baby, suggesting that she not go through with it because it would result in her being physically unable to have any children of her own. In reply to Kira asking about whether that was because he himself actually wanted children, Shakaar tried to avoid the question and asked her if she wanted offspring of her own. Since Kira was uncertain, he put an arm around her and said he could stay as long as she wanted him to, as he was First Minister of Bajor. Later, in Quark's, Shakaar met and socialized with Miles O'Brien, drinking scotch together when Keiko O'Brien and Kira arrived. In response to Kira announcing she had decided to have the baby, Shakaar admitted he was pleased she was happy with that decision. However, he also asked her why she had chosen it, to which Kira replied it was feeling the baby kicking and sensing its life within her. Shakaar commented that he understood what she meant but Kira disagreed. Shakaar also reckoned all four of them should get used to socializing with each other, as they would get to know each other fairly well over the following few months.
The fact Shakaar made only one fifth season appearance was primarily caused by budgetary considerations and already crowded stories. (AOL chat, 1997) Specifically, he was written into DS9: "The Darkness and the Light" and "Rapture", but budget dictated his removal from both. (AOL chat, 1997)
Duncan Regehr was very enthusiastic about the prospect of returning as Shakaar, if the DS9 production office requested him to reprise the character. Shortly after appearing as Shakaar in "The Begotten", Regehr commented, "It's funny. I think every time I come to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine sets to play Shakaar that it's going to be the last time. But maybe that's just the insecure actor in me talking [....] The character is really very different [than before]; I like the transformation he's gone through since he was introduced. He's gone from rebel leader to a more conservative character. What the writers have done with Shakaar that's intriguing to me is that this conservative character still has to hold onto the old aspects of his rebelliousness and his crustiness, if you will. Shakaar is often still back in the Bajoran bush at times, and he doesn't go too much for the fineries in life, but I think Shakaar has softened a bit and learned to behave a little bit better in his new surroundings [....] [Playing him has] always been an enjoyable experience. And, if nothing else, it's a surprise every time I come in here to see what will be going on and what Shakaar will be doing in a given show [....] I've heard a few rumours about what's going to happen with Shakaar, both good and bad. I don't know what to believe. I assume we'll know at some point what the reality is. It's been a lot of fun." ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11)
Duncan Regehr thought Shakaar's relationship with Kira was "very natural." The actor also felt there was more to explore in their romantic connection, even after "The Begotten" was produced, and that the relationship was highly popular with viewers. ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11)
In a story entitled "Patriots", Jake Sisko investigated a scandalous political secret Shakaar was withholding, which would cause the Bajoran government to collapse if it was discovered. Noted Ron Moore, "It's Shakaar in the scandal," meaning the secret involved something he had done. Since the writers were dissatisfied with the plot, Shakaar was eliminated from the story, which was subsequently rewritten as DS9 Season 6 episode "In the Pale Moonlight". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 556; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 60)
Shakaar was eventually written out of the series when, amid the Dominion War, there appeared to be little requirement for a person to unite and lead the Bajorans toward a common goal. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 83)
Duncan Regehr received positive reactions Shakaar, stating, "I've gotten wonderful letters from the Star Trek fans. It's amazing, just tremendous how supportive they've been of what I've done [....] People have been so supportive of my work as an actor, of Shakaar as a character, and of the relationship between Shakaar and Nerys. I think people want to see more." The popularity of the character was one motivating factor in Regehr wanting to return as Shakaar, following "The Begotten". ("Warrior Without a War", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 11)
Reflecting the character in 2020, Regehr commented: "The potential to return for other episodes was informally discussed at the beginning, as these types of guest roles often are. I was surprised to learn that subsequent episodes were part of the agenda... I was never sure of what the intentions were for the character. As a rebel leader, Shakaar’s mandate was focused and he was full of vitality—a strong, selfless man of action. I understood him, and the character was fulfilling to portray. In hindsight, I believe I would’ve been content to leave him like that after one episode. He was transformed into another less colorful character as the Prime Minister, and with that his destiny became vague. In a way he was almost benign; his activities were reported on rather than shown. His purpose gradually devolved along with the importance of the character to the series". 
In the Deep Space Nine relaunch novels, Shakaar was assassinated during the ceremony for Bajor's entry into the Federation. It was also revealed that he had been taken over by a parasitic being, the creatures from TNG: "Conspiracy".