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Ismail Khan

Ismail Khan, Dubbed 'The Worst' By US, Won't Be Replaced, Karzai Says

Ismail Khan 25%

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WASHINGTON — Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to remove a former warlord from atop the energy and water ministry despite U.S. pressure to oust the minister because Washington considered him corrupt and ineffective.

 

Secret diplomatic records showed the minister – privately termed "the worst" by U.S. officials – kept his perch at an agency that controls $2 billion in U.S. and allied projects.

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But U.S. aid to Afghanistan has continued despite the dispute over the former warlord, Ismail Khan.

 

U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry pressured Karzai to remove Khan, a once powerful mujahedeen commander, from the top of the energy and water ministry, according to two State Department reports written at the time by U.S. Embassy officials in Kabul. They were disclosed last month by WikiLeaks.

 

A Dec. 19, 2009, memorandum distributed internally under Eikenberry's name described Khan as "the worst of Karzai's choices" for Cabinet members. "This former warlord is known for his corruption and ineffectiveness at the energy ministry," the memo said.

 

Even with U.S. threats to withhold aid, Karzai rejected requests to replace Khan. "Our repeated interventions directly with Karzai ... did not overcome Karzai's deeply personal bonds with Khan," one of the reports said.

 

Asked earlier in 2010 about the corruption allegations, Khan, during a brief interview with The Associated Press, did not respond directly to a question asking whether he was profiting personally from the ministry. He denied any widespread problems of corruption or mismanag. ment.

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Brett J. Blackledge

Richard Lardner

01/01/11

Read full article: www.huffingtonpost.com

2012-08-17

 


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