Karzai Seeks Hikmatyar Alliance; Government’s Tie to Drug Trade President’s Brother Threatens Journalist

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government is pursuing talks with Gulbadin Hekmatyar, an old holy warrior of the 1980s and 1990s who helped destroy Afghanistan. Hekmatyar went from being the biggest recipient of CIA black money in the 1980s to being leader of an anti-American guerrilla group from fall of 2001. His Hizb-i Islami or Pary of Islam is one component of the Taliban resurgence. The deal with Kabul would require Hikmatyar to go into exile in Saudi Arabia for 3 years. Back in Afghanistan, leaders of the Hizb-i Islami would get provincial governorships and cabinet posts, essentially joining the Karzai government.

The US lists the Hizb-i Islami as a terrorist group.

Tom Lasseter examines that charges that Afghan officialdom is largely corrupt with the drug trade.

While gathering the information for the above article on the drug trade, the intrepid Lasseter was threatened by Ahmad Wali Karzai, the brother the the country’s president. If Lasseter were barking up the wrong tree, his questions should not have seemed so dangerous in Qandahar.

Sunday morning, a bomber hit a private construction company southeast of Jalalabad. Some 7 persons were killed in the blast.

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