Afghanistan's Karzai fires 5 governors
21 September 2012, 08:07
Kabul - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sacked five provincial
governors, including a key Western ally in one of the most turbulent
battlegrounds of the south, officials said on Thursday.
insiders said the move was part of efforts to reform and fight
corruption, but the dismissal of Mohammad Gulab Mangal in Helmand
province could ruffle British and US allies who considered him an
important ally against the Taliban.
Mangal was sacked for "political reasons," according to a senior official in Karzai's office.
had lots of unnecessary relations, close relations with the foreigners
which the president didn't like. He was suspected to be involved in
corruption," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
four other sacked governors - for the provinces of Kabul, Badghis in the
west, Nimroz in the south and Wardak, south of Kabul, were dismissed
for being "incompetent," the official said.
Mangal, a Pashtun
from eastern Paktia province, served as a colonel in the Afghan army and
worked in the interior and defence ministries in the late 1970s when
the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
He served three times as a governor - of Paktia from 2004-2006, Laghman from 2006-2008, and Helmand from 2008-2012.
replacement in Helmand is General Mohammad Naeem Baloch, an army
general who was a Jihadi commander during the 1980s, who has previously
served as the province's intelligence chief.
He is currently working in the intelligence agency.
Same old, same old
Mujda, an author and political analyst, told AFP: "The areas where new
governors were appointed by President Karzai are areas the president
controls and he has an influence in those areas.
"I don't accept
that Mangal was fired because he had good relations with the West,
usually most of the governors had good relations with the West.
we have seen in the past, Karzai has always appointed former governors
in new posts and he has always brought old faces into his cabinet."
four governors were reshuffled between the provinces of Faryab and
Takhar in the north, and Laghman and Logar, adjacent to Kabul.
Munshi Abdul Majeed, the governor of Baghlan, also in the north, was made an advisor to Karzai.
government official said he had been moved because he is old. Taliban
insurgents have increased their activities in Baghlan in recent years.
July, Karzai admitted that his government was corrupt and issued a
sweeping directive for reform ahead of the withdrawal of international
troops in 2014.
The president - who has faced accusations he is
part of the problem rather than its solution - called on the Supreme
Court to "work on and finalise all the cases regarding administrative
corruption, land-grabbing... within six months".
The government official, speaking to AFP, said that further reforms would be made.