Obama tells Karzai to end corruption, drug trade for semblance of legitimacy of government

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Washington, Nov. 3 (ANI): President Barack Obama has told Hamid Karzai to get rid of widespread corruption and the drug trade during his new term as the Afghanistan president.

Obama's admonishment for starting the "new chapter" in the legitimacy of the Afghan government came during his congratulatory call to Karzai on Monday after he was officially declared the winner of the much-disputed presidential election.

Afterwards, Obama told reporters that he is seeking "a sense on the part of President Karzai that, after some difficult years in which there has been some drift, that in fact he's going to move boldly and forcefully forward and take advantage of the international community's interest in his country to initiate reforms internally. That has to be one of our highest priorities."

The New York Times quoted sources in the Obama administration, as saying that the US wants Karzai to set-up an anticorruption commission to establish strict accountability for government officials at the national and provincial levels.

Also, some western officials would like at least a few "blatantly corrupt" people arrested in the Afghan government.

On the international community's wish list are-Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a suspected player Afghanistan's illegal opium trade, Gen.

Abdul Rashid Dostum, accused of involvement in the killings of thousands of Taliban prisoners of war; and Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, a former defense minister who is also suspected of drug trafficking.

"A couple of high-profile heads on a platter would be nice," said one European diplomat. This summer, Obama even called for an investigation of General Dostum.

However, Karzai allowed the general to return from exile and reinstated him to his government position. (ANI)

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