Scores of Karzai administration officials on CIA's pay roll: US official

Washington, Aug.27 (ANI): A day after it was revealed that a close aide of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzazi, Mohammed Zia Salehi, is on the pay roll of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a US official has claimed that several members of the Karzai administration are actually being paid by the intelligence agency to maintain a source of information.

The U.S. official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said a significant number of officials in the Karzai administration are on the payroll of the CIA.

"They'll pay whoever they think can help them. That has been the CIA attitude since 2001," The Washington Post quoted the American official, as saying.

A former CIA official, while supporting the agency's move of bribing Afghan officials, said it was necessary because "the head of state is not going to tell you everything".

He also underlined the fact that Karzai often seems unaware of moves that members of his own government make.

However, the CIA has strongly rebutted the claims of offering money to Afghan officials describing such remarks as an attempt to malign its image.

"This anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both," Paul Gimigliano, the CIA spokesman said.

"This agency plays an essential role in promoting American goals in Afghanistan, including security and stability. Speculation about who may help us achieve that is both dangerous and counterproductive," Gimigliano added.

According to reports, prominent Afghans who American officials disclosed are on the CIA's payroll include Karzai's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, suspected by investigators of playing a role in the country's booming opium trade.

The revelation has raised new questions about how the US can root out corruption in the Afghan government when US operations in the country require support from some of the same politicians and leaders accused of graft. (ANI)

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