Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai made a powerful enemy for himself

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai adjured at the session of Loya Jirga on Wednesday. The council of Afghan elders approved the staff of the new government.

Afghan Defense Minister General Mohammad Qasim Fahim remained on his position, the head of the Foreign Ministry of the country is Abdullah Abdullah. Taj Mohammad Vardak is appointed for the position of the Home Minister, the Finance Ministry will be headed by Hamid Karzai’s aide Ashraf Ghani. There have been only 14 ministers determined, whereas their total number is 19. As Karzai said, he was going to announce the names of other ministers soon.

A lot of Loya Jirga members expressed their regret in connection with the fact that they failed to reduce the influence of Afghan commanders. Not all members were happy about certain ministerial positions either: the position of the defense minister is taken by ethnic Tajik, not a Pashtun, as the majority of the council would like to see. At the same time, Vardak’s appointment (he is a Pashtun) on one of the central positions in the government (the head of the home ministry) smoothed the situation out to a certain extent.

Karzai’s combination turned out to be really good: he improved his positions, having substituted a Tajik for a Pashtun on the one hand, and on the other hand, he made another step forward to the consolidation within the society as well. Tajiks were predominant in the structure of the previous government, which was something that Pashtuns surely disliked, since they are the majority amid Afghanistan's tribes. Such a disproportional representation is like a delayed-action mine. Karzai realized that, and when former Home Minister of Afghanistan, Yunus Qanuni sent in his resignation, Karzai accepted it with thanks.

Yunus Qanuni enjoys wide popularity in the country. His rating is a little bit lower than Karzai’s. That is why it would be reasonable to offer that position to him – the post that would come together with his position and influence in Afghanistan. However, Karzai did not make such an offer, and here is the result of it.

It was reported from Afghanistan today that the Afghan police blocked all roads that leaded to the building of the Home Ministry in Kabul. This was their expression of discontent with the appointment of the new Home Minister Taj Mohammad Vardak. The majority of the Afghan police are ethnic Tajiks, and former minister Yunus Qanuni was a Tajik too. Karzai shifted him on the position of the minister for education, the BBC reported that Qanuni was not happy about it at all.

The police unblocked the roads to the Home Ministry, and Hamid Karzai addressed to law-enforcement officers and other military departments with a serious warning. Karzai claimed that neither police, nor the army could dispute any appointment. He claimed that they should obey the orders. Karzai paid special attention to the issue of local field commanders as well: “The whole army is subordinated to the defense minister, and if there is some armed group, which says that it is independent, then they are traitors.” He declared his intention to put an end to the absolute power of those commanders, claiming that there would be all methods used for achieving that goal.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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