Afghanistan will continue to be a lost cause and not worth dithering over unless the unbelievably corrupt thing everyone is calling a government is brought down. I will continue to blame the Bush administration for this. Afghanistan was abandoned in favour of the Bushco adventure in Iraq leaving the war-lords and drug marketers far too much power.
President Karzai of Afghanistan has fired the Governor of Helmand province, a severe setback to Britain’s strategy in the lawless region at the heart of the Taleban resurgence.
Mohammed Daud was appointed in January, at Britain’s behest, to replace Sher Muhammad Akhunzada, who was widely believed to have links to Helmand’s vast and expanding drugs trade.
British officials regarded Mr Daud as the cleanest governor in Afghanistan and hoped that his extensive experience in development would help to win over Helmand’s population.
President Karzai called Mr Daud back to the Afghan capital, Kabul, and dismissed him on Thursday.
British officials fear that Mr Daud will be replaced by his deputy, Amir Muhammad Akhunzada, the brother of Sher Muhammad Akhunzada. He is thought to have links to the drugs trade and has been banned from running in elections because he refuses to disband his personal militia. British officials have also refused to work with him.
According to diplomatic sources, Tony Blair had asked President Karzai to back Mr Daud, who had struggled to overcome the Akhunzadas’ influence, and dismiss Amir Muhammad Akhunzada. Another source said: “For the moment and before a new governor is named, the governor of Helmand is a drug-dealing warlord who was banned from the elections by the UN for keeping a militia and his connection to narcotics, and with whom the British have said they cannot work. Nice.”
Sher Muhammad Akhunzada, who now holds a seat in the Senate, said that he had heard that General Muhammad Nabi Molakhel, the newly appointed chief of police of Helmand, had been dismissed too. Nafaz Khan, a former militia commander and police chief in Musa Qala, in Helmand, made the same claim, but the news could not immediately be confirmed. General Molakhel was brought in to replace the previous chief of police, who was thought to have links to the drugs trade. It would take a complete idiot not to make the connection.
So, now the question: How dirty is Karzai?