Tags: karzai us corruption

US Debates Karzai Role in Fighting Corruption

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 09:47 AM

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is debating whether to make Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, a more central player in efforts to root out corruption in his own government, The New York Times reports, including giving him more oversight of graft investigators and notifying him before any arrests, according to senior American officials.

Such a change would represent a significant shift in strategy for an administration that once pinned much of the blame for Afghan corruption on Mr. Karzai, but is now worried that escalating tensions between Kabul and Washington could alienate Mr. Karzai and sabotage the broader campaign to battle the Taliban.

Some administration officials, though, are concerned that such a move could undermine efforts to hold officials in Kabul accountable for a web of corruption inside the Afghan government, efforts Mr. Karzai thwarted in recent weeks by intervening to have a top aide released from jail.

In Kabul, American and Afghan officials said that new corruption prosecutions had ground to a halt as a result of a dispute within the government over the limits of American-backed anticorruption teams that have pursued Afghan officials. A Western diplomat said Tuesday that the work of Justice Department advisers helping with the corruption cases had “paused.”

The corruption issue was at the center of a two-hour White House meeting on Monday, with President Obama and senior aides agreeing that efforts to tackle corruption should be balanced against the need to maintain ties with the Afghan government.

“The discussion on corruption, in essence, is really a discussion about our relationship with Karzai,” said one senior Obama administration official, who like several others interviewed for this article spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, 15 September 2010 09:47 AM
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