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Corruption probe ruffles U.S.-Afghan relations
Mr. Faqiryar, who disputed the length of his government service, said he wanted to continue to work.
He told the AP that cases against three or four former Cabinet ministers had been completed but were put on hold and had not been sent to the courts. He said five provincial governors have been accused of corruption, with two of the cases sent to court and three remaining under investigation. Mr. Faqiryar also said several Afghan ambassadors to other nations had been accused of corruption.
Meanwhile, there has been no change in the Salehi case, according to Ahmad Beg Qadiry, who was named to replace Mr. Faqiryar. The attorney general’s office sent letters to Mr. Salehi asking that he or his defense attorney submit to questioning, and “so far he has not appeared and there is no other development in that case,” Mr. Qadiry said.
Gen. Petraeus said Mr. Karzai has stated publicly that corruption undermines the legitimacy of his government in the eyes of the Afghan people. The general said, however, that hundreds of judicial officials have been removed and numerous government and security officials have been fired or thrown in jail — most recently an Afghan brigadier general who commanded border forces in western Afghanistan.
“There are numerous other cases that are pending. Some of those have been reported on in the press,” Gen. Petraeus said, adding that Mr. Karzai has promised President Obama and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that he wants to bolster anti-corruption efforts.
“In the months ahead, obviously we look forward to seeing the actions that are taken,” he said.
“I think the patience of the American people is almost done,” he said.
In recent days, Mr. Karzai has hinted at his own indignation. In statements laced with nationalist rhetoric, he has said there is a “serious need” to alter strategy against extremists — that the fight is not in Afghan villages, but across the border in Pakistan.
“The experience of the last eight years showed that the fight in the villages of Afghanistan has been ineffective apart from causing civilian casualties,” Mr. Karzai said in a statement Monday after meeting with German Parliament Speaker Norbert Lammert.
Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta accused Pakistan of nurturing and mentoring militants while the U.S. continues to provide billions of dollars in aid and assistance. The Afghan people are no longer “ready to pay the price for the international community’s miscalculation and naivete,” he said in an Op-Ed article published Aug. 23 in The Washington Post.
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