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Problems at the bank could have wide-ranging political repercussions since it handles the pay for Afghan teachers, soldiers and police in this unstable, impoverished nation beset by the stubborn Taliban insurgency, widespread drug trafficking and plundering of aid money.

The Finance Ministry issued a statement assuring government employees that they would continue to be able to deposit and withdraw their salaries at Kabul Bank. The statement added that the replacement of top executives would improve management and services and was “part of the life cycle of a business.”

The bank’s woes also tie into the web of corruption and personal connections that has soured many Afghans on their government.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was asked about Kabul Bank’s woes at a round-table discussion with reporters on Thursday.

“I’m not really the guy in the financial sector here in Afghanistan, but financial issues can have security issues, and therefore we keep an eye on them,” Gen. Petraeus said. “In this case our assessment is that the governor of the central bank has taken prudent measures. He has announced what it is that he has been doing to reassure depositors… . Our sense is that he and the minister of finance have taken a very prudent course” that should reassure depositors. “I think this will be OK.”

Sherkhan Farnood, former chairman of Kabul Bank, and Khalilullah Ferozi, former chief executive officer, resigned because, under new reforms, only banking professionals can hold the top operating positions at banks. The bank is being run by Masood Ghazi, a former official at the central bank. The bank said top executives at some of Afghanistan’s other 16 private banks might have to step aside as well to conform with the reforms.

Mr. Farnood, a world-class poker player, and Mr. Ferozi each own 28 percent of the bank’s shares. Mr. Karzai’s brother, Mahmood Karzai, is the bank’s third largest shareholder, with 7 percent.

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Kabul Bank’s losses could exceed $300 million — and that the figure is more than the bank’s assets. The Washington Post reported that the central bank had ordered the newly resigned chairman to hand over $160 million in real estate holdings in Dubai purchased for relatives and friends of the political elite.

Mr. Zakhilwal challenged claims that the bank was on a shaky foundation. Kabul Bank has more than $1 billion in deposits. He said the property pledged as collateral for loans at the bank is “way more — in fact twice as much — as the loans that they have given out.”

Associated Press writers Amir Shah in Kabul and Mirwais Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.