US convinced 'Kandahar strongman' Karzai's half-brother is corrupt: WikiLeaks cable

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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London, Dec 3(ANI): The United States is convinced that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother and a senior figure in Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is corrupt, according to a classified US diplomatic cable released by whistleblower website Wikileaks.

According to the Guardian, Ahmed Wali's immense power in Kandahar is well illustrated in a cable from June 2009 from the US embassy in Kabul that analyses the city's politics and describes the Karzai family's position as a "semi-modern aristocracy".

Under the heading "Kandahar politics complicate US objectives in Afghanistan", it says: "As the kingpin of Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai (AWK) dominates access to economic resources, patronage, and protection."

"Much of the real business of running Kandahar takes place out of public sight, where AWK operates, parallel to formal government structures, through a network of political clans that use state institutions to protect and enable licit and illicit enterprises," it added.

It further describes Ahmed Wali as Kandahar's "unrivaled strongman" who rules over political deal and decision-making at the provincial level.

"The overriding purpose that unifies his political roles as chairman of the Kandahar provincial council and as the president's personal representative to the south is the enrichment, extension and perpetuation of the Karzai clan, and along with it their branch of the Popalzai tribe," the cable said.

"This applies equally to his entrepreneurial and his alleged criminal activities. AWK derives authority and legitimacy from his relationship to President Karzai, from the relative discipline and elite position of the Popalzai tribe and from his access to resources," it added. (ANI)

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