RealNews

Afghan Leader Lays Down Gauntlet with Minister Snub

By shunning his powerful defense minister as a running mate in October elections, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has signaled to renegade commanders and strongmen that they cannot resist efforts to disarm them forever. The surprise exclusion of Mohammad Qasim Fahim had deepened a rift within the government between technocrats from Karzai’s Pashtun ethnic group and minority leaders molded by the country’s violent past, diplomats and analysts said on Wednesday. Fahim, an ethnic Tajik, has long been cast as an obstacle to disarming regional militias like his own which are run by commanders mostly belonging to the Northern Alliance.Full Story

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