Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Karzai family feuds as it tries to retain power in Afghanistan
There is a long article here in the NY Times. Hamid Karzai steps down from the presidency in 2014. A brother Qayum is considering a run for the office. Other brothers are busy battling over control of the largest private residential project in Afghanistan.
The project call Aino Mena. Relatives accuse each other of theft and extortion even of an assassination plot. Qayum Karzai said:“It’s family,” “They get upset, and over time they get over it. I hope they get over it.”
Ahmed Wali Karzai the big boss in the Kandahar area was assassinated last year was thought to have hidden his fortune somewhere. All the relatives are fighting to find out where it is. Ahmed was thought to have profited from drug deals and corrupt practices.
The Karzai's along with other members of the Afghan elite have profited greatly from the NATO mostly U.S. military presence and have enriched themselves at U.S. (and others) taxpayers expense. Much money has been exported from Afghanistan to the UAE particularly Dubai where some have estates.
Seth Jones an analyst at the RAND corporation said:“If you are one of the Afghan oligarchs, where you put your money and where you live is an open question now,” “That means you are thinking about moving your money and finding a backup option about where to live.”
Hamid Karzai's family includes many who are U.S. citizens who returned to Afghanistan after the Taliban government was toppled by as U.S. led coalition. Many of them have prospered under the U.S. occupation according to many Afghan businessmen. Observers say that Qayum's bid for president would probably fail as there is widespread disenchantment with Hamid Karzai's government that has been rife with corruption. For much more detail see the full article.