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Karzai's half-brother a U.S. concern

Dec. 6, 2010 at 12:03 PM

LONDON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai operates a parallel government in the southern city of Kandahar, U.S. diplomatic cables from June 2009 reveal.

U.S. Embassy cables leaked by Internet watchdog group WikiLeaks reveal concerns over Ahmed Wali Karzai and his business dealings in Kandahar, London's Guardian newspaper reports.

"As the kingpin of Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai (AWK) dominates access to economic resources, patronage and protection," the cable reads. "Much of the real business of running Kandahar takes place out of public sight, where AWK operates, parallel to formal government structures, through a network of political clans that use state institutions to protect and enable licit and illicit enterprises."

The cable accuses the younger Karzai of controlling the trucking industry in the region as well as private security and real estate.

Last year, he claimed he brokered a deal with individual Taliban commanders to allow August presidential elections to go forward.

The Taliban agreed to pull back while Afghan national forces secure the 7,000 polling centers in the country.

Hamid Karzai secured a second term in office in the vote, though the elections were riddled with fraud.

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