Karzai Set To Sacrifice Lambs, Not Wolves
Author: By Kim Sengupta in Helmand
Mr Karzai’s two working mates are expected to be confirmed as his
vice-presidents: Muhammed Qasim Fahim, accused of drug trafficking, and
Abdul Karim Khalili, charged in a human rights report with alleged conflict
When Mr Karzai made his victory speech earlier this month, following an
election win mired in allegations of huge fraud, he signalled his
defiance by choosing to be flanked by the 2 males. Diplomats described the
choreography as deliberately provocative towards the US and Nato powers
urgent for the removing of warlords and power-brokers who’ve been accused
of flouting the rule of law and undermining governance.
Neither Mr Fahim nor Mr Khalili are expected to lose their locations in the Men’s Cotton Hydra Avengers Short Sleeve Tops Tees brand new
cabinet. Instead, the widespread expectation is that foreign minister
Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, and defence minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, will probably be
booted out because the President seeks to consolidate his energy base for his
second time period. The two ministers do not need reputations for corruption nor
are they considered to have been particularly dangerous at their jobs. However they do
not management giant vote banks, or enjoy highly effective tribal followings.
Mr Spanta was promoted from presidential foreign coverage advisor to foreign
minister 4 years ago. A former Marxist, he has irritated Washington with
his generally caustic criticism of Western policy in his nation, however US
officials acknowledge that compared to many others in Afghan public
life, he is “relatively” clean.
Whereas Gen Wardak has constructed up a great working relationship with Western
commanders, in Kabul it’s felt that he may be moved, using the excuse that
a contemporary mind is required to revamp the Afghan safety forces.
If they do go, each men are likely to be changed by figures approved by
Abdullah Abdullah the man whose sturdy showing pressured a second round, only
for him to tug out citing unsatisfactory polling situations and
Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former president.
However Mr Karzai wouldn’t danger angering Messrs Fahim or Khalili, even when he did
feel like trying to placate the West or his former adversary. Mr Fahim
brought within the Tajik vote within the August polls and Mr Khalili pulled in the
Hazara ballots, thus ensuring that Mr Abdullah did not acquire as much of the
non-Pashtun vote as he might need hoped.
Equally, Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum, who US President Barack Obama has declared
ought to be investigated over the killings of 1000’s of Taliban prisoners,
is unlikely to face any expenses as he delivered a big portion of the Uzbek
vote to Mr Karzai. Certainly, the previous Northern Alliance commander, who once
reportedly killed opponents by crushing them with his tanks, felt confident
enough about his place to return from semi-exile in Turkey to
congratulate the Afghan president on his victory.
Critics point out that Mr Karzai might be annointed president in the same week
that a brand new report showed Afghanistan slipping down the corruption ranks to
second from backside. Based on the corruption watchdog, Transparency
International, Afghanistan is now 179th, with solely the lawless state of
Somalia below it.
With nearly a hundred and ten,000 Western troops in Afghanistan, and pleas from navy
chiefs for more to be despatched, Mr Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown are
eager to prove to voters at residence who’re seeing an rising variety of
coffins returning that the eight-year-outdated mission to defend Mr Karzai’s
authorities is worth fighting.
Kabul might be below lockdown tomorrow, with the airport closed and Afghans
given a public holiday and suggested to avoid “unnecessary movements”.
Journalists have been banned from the ceremony but 800 visitors will throng
the presidential palace. There is still speculation in some circles that Mr
Obama himself may swing by at the top of his week-long tour of Asia.
In a speech yesterday, Mr Miliband said he expected Mr Karzai’s speech to put
out a constructive agenda for the Afghan folks. “We shall be there to act
as witnesses to what needs to be a brand new contract between President Karzai and
people,” he informed delegates on the Nato Parliamentary Assembly in
Edinburgh. “In the eyes of the Afghan individuals and the wider world, this
means addressing the corrosive worry of corruption.”
Nonetheless, the feeling among Western diplomats is that whereas Mr Karzai is likely
to pledge to take a extra strong line against corruption, following on from
this week’s announcement of an anti-graft unit none of the heads of the
prime corruption suspects are likely to roll.
Deputies in disgrace
*MUHAMMED QASIM FAHIM
The West has long had trouble deciding find out how to deal with perhaps probably the most
influential of President Hamid Karzai’s supporters.
Mr Fahim labored carefully with the CIA when they toppled the Taliban in 2001,
pocketing thousands and thousands of dollars.
He was appointed defence minister in 2002, however did not curb his involvement
within the medication trade, routinely flying heroin north to Russia.
Karzai nominated the ethnic Tajik as his operating mate, to curry help among
former opponents, though US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned
him that doing so would undermine his relations with the US.
The prospect of Fahim as vice-president provoked outrage among human right
teams, who said any return to energy for Fahim can be a “terrible
step backwards for Afghanistan”. They pointed to his function within the Afshar
Massacre, during which about 800 members of the Hazara ethnic group have been
murdered in a bout of rape and killing in 1993.
Fahim is reported to have tortured Karzai quickly after the massacre and would
have had him killed had a rocket belly movie t shirt not landed, permitting him to escape. However all
that unhealthy blood appears to have been forgotten.
Ethnic Hazara warlord Karim Khalili is Mr Karzai’s second vice-presidential
During a lot of the nineteen nineties he was chief of the Hezbe Wahdat get together, working
out of his stronghold in Afghanistan’s central highlands. Human rights
activists have revealed in depth proof suggesting his militia, thought
to quantity as many as 30,000 fighters, was liable for pillaging, homicide
and abducting ethnic rivals.
Ultimately defeated and driven out of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Khalili
returned a couple of months earlier than 9/11 to take up arms against them.
In November 2001 his troops led the assault on the city of Bamiyan the place
months before the Taliban had blown up large statues of the Buddha.
Witnesses quoted in a 2003 Human Rights Watch report claimed that Mr Khalili’s
subordinates have been continuing to kidnap, rape and forcibly recruit. Khalili
turned vice president in Afghanistan’s transitional authorities and was sworn
in again after the 2004 elections. He is reportedly the one major Hazara
warlord to take a job within the transitional authorities and nonetheless be alive.
Reporting by belly movie t shirt Julius Cavendish in Kabul