US concerned over Karzai order to review West-backed anti-graft bodies

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Washington, August 6 (ANI): United States has expressed concern over Afghan President Hamid Karzai's move to have control over U.S.-backed corruption investigations.

The Washington Post quoted officials here saying that they have moved urgently to ensure that anti-corruption efforts are not derailed.

A senior administration official said to have received a message from US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss the matter with Karzai this week.

Karzai is reported to have ordered a probe of two US-backed anti-corruption units that have been involved in the recent arrest of several senior Afghan officials on graft and bribery allegations.

Karzai claimed investigators, who are aided by U.S. law enforcement advisers and wiretap technology, were acting outside the Afghan constitution.

Afghanistan's attorney general said on Thursday that Karzai plans to issue a decree outlining new regulations for the bodies, the Major Crimes Task Force and Special Investigative Unit.

"It's obviously an important component to send a message to the Afghan people that corruption is taken seriously," a senior administration official said.

American officials have accused Kabul of routinely interfering in corruption inquiries and protecting politically connected Afghans from prosecution.

Karzai's aides have accused US officials of exploiting the issue for political purposes and exerting improper influence in corruption investigations. (ANI)

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