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From waiter to 'King of Kandahar'

#1 User is offline   Khurasani Icon

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

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Eighteen years ago, as manager of a family-run Afghan restaurant on North Halsted Street in the Chicago's Wrigleyville district, Ahmed Wali Karzai spent his days serving aushak (leek dumplings) and lamb dwopiaza, tenderloin sauteed with yellow split-peas and onions.

Today, the chubby 49-year-old half-brother of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, is the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan. The "King of Kandahar" has built up a shadowy political and commercial empire that touches virtually every institution and individual of influence.

With ties to his brother's government and links to local warlords and drug kingpins, Ahmed Karzai has become patron and a powerbroker on a grand scale.

He is said to get a cut of most legal and illegal business transactions in Kandahar province, and has extensive interests in real estate, communications, security and transportation.

He has been accused of using his influence to help drug traffickers, to intimidate political opponents and to stuff ballot boxes for his brother in last fall's presidential election.

Earlier this month, a report prepared by top Afghan Army officials in Kandahar accused Ahmed Karzai of using his influence to help associates illegally seize over 3,900 hectares (9,700 acres) of government-owned land in and around Kandahar.

The defence ministry report identified 16 major properties that have been purloined, including one tract that is now occupied by 290 shops and four hotels that were built and later sold by one of Ahmed Karzai's relatives.

Although he denies it, The New York Times insists Ahmed Karzai has been on the Central Intelligence Agency's payroll for eight years, as both an informant and go-between, while U.S. special forces in Kandahar province rely on him to rent their main bases.

The family-run Asia Security Group has links to more than 10,000 members of private militias and a private paramilitary unit, the Kandahar Strike Force, that has helped the CIA and U.S. special forces hunt down suspected Taliban cells in Kandahar.

Another family-run business, Watan Risk Management, is a major supplier of guards for NATO convoys that move from Pakistan to Afghanistan and from Kabul to Kandahar, as well as providing security for the $50-million Dhala dam, Canada's flagship irrigation project in Kandahar.

Other Karzai family businesses include one of Afghanistan's largest banks, its biggest cement factory, an investment company, coal mining operations and an "exclusive sales agreement" with Toyota.

"In Kabul, as in Kandahar, state-building and family interests have become confused, such that they are equated with one another, in ways that sometimes parallel the monarchical political order of the old regime, in which the strength of the state relied on the strength of the Shah [king], his family and its personal allies," said Carl Forsberg, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who recently completed a study on politics and power in the province.

It's a criticism even Ahmed Karzai acknowledges, while he claims innocence and relative insignificance.


Read more: http://www.nationalp...7#ixzz0pMTprYid

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احساسِ سوختن، به تماشا نمي‌شود
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#2 User is offline   Parsistani Icon

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:00 PM

Weren´t all Pashtuns and their ruler originally beggers and living like Sufis? Are you now amazed about Khar-Zis brother? He just follow the tradition of his ancestors. From shoe-washer to a drug baron
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#3 User is offline   Nader Shah Icon

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 03:42 AM

Poor afghanistan ... with such corrupt leeches sucking the people's blood.
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#4 User is offline   Sohrab Icon

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:12 AM

View PostNader Shah, on 12 December 2010 - 03:42 AM, said:

Poor afghanistan ... with such corrupt leeches sucking the people's blood.


in one of the posts i told you that afghanistan might be at least 600 years away from being a proper country with a future. hope you do accept this fact now.
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