iewing cable 10KABUL693, AHMED WALI KARZAI: SEEKING TO DEFINE HIMSELF AS
Every cable message consists of three parts:
- The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
- The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
- The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #10KABUL693.
|10KABUL693||2010-02-25 04:04||2010-11-28 18:06||SECRET||Embassy Kabul|
VZCZCXRO2601 OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL DE RUEHBUL #0693/01 0560405 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 250405Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY KABUL TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5873 INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 000693 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM, INR/B STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA USFOR-A FOR POLAD E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020 TAGS: PGOV KCOR KCRM PREL AF SUBJECT: AHMED WALI KARZAI: SEEKING TO DEFINE HIMSELF AS U.S. PARTNER? REF: A. (A) KABUL 673 ¶B. (B) 09 KABUL 3068 Classified By: Interagency Provincial Affairs Deputy Director Hoyt Yee for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d) ¶1. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) Begin Summary. Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) Frank Ruggiero met one-on-one with Ahmed Wali Karzai (AWK) on February 23. SCR informed AWK that coalition attention will turn to Kandahar in the next phase of Operation Moshtarak (Together) and the United States will play a far greater role in Kandahar on the military and civilian sides. SCR outlined the coalition governance strategy for Kandahar and cautioned ISAF will seek non-interference by powerbrokers in police matters. AWK discussed the recent capture of Taliban leader Mullah Baradar in Kandahar, district and provincial-level politics, Kandahar economics and security, the role of Abdul Rahman Jan (ARJ) in Helmand, narcotics, a southern Pashtoon political party, competition with Nangarhar Governor Gulaga Sherzai, and AWK's life in Chicago from 1983-1992. AWK appeared nervous, but eager to engage with a U.S. official. End Summary. Focus on Kandahar ----------------- ¶2. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) SCR told AWK the attention of the Afghan government, with ISAF support, would turn to Kandahar in the months ahead and it was likely this would be predominantly a political contest that would require the leadership from the highest level of the Afghan government. SCR discussed the governance strategy for Kandahar City and surrounding districts. AWK understood the next phase of operation Moshtarak would be on Kandahar and offered his support. SCR responded this would be an Afghan Government-led effort and the coalition would be focusing its resources on building up that capacity. SCR was clear the coalition would not tolerate individuals working at odds to ISAF campaign aims. AWK stated "nobody is that stupid." Better Security and Economy in Kandahar --------------------------------------- ¶3. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) AWK told the SCR that security has improved in Kandahar over the past year. Freedom of movement had increased across the province, he said, citing his driving to the meeting at Kandahar Airfield with minimum security. AWK said insurgents no longer have the capability to launch large scale attacks; for example, AWK does not fear an insurgent attack on his home. AWK expressed concern about a series of assassinations aimed at Afghan officials and Afghan citizens who work for the coalition in the city, noting this could only be solved by intelligence assets. AWK said economic activity had increased in the Kandahar City area, but noted his belief that President Karzai is largely unaware of these gains. AWK told the President about increased economic activity in Arghandab related to AVIPA Plus and the President was very surprised, he said. AWK said the President did not understand the changing circumstances in the province. Kandahar Politics Are Local --------------------------- ¶4. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) AWK said that it was important to get district-level tribal dynamics right to bring stability to Kandahar City and its environs. AWK specifically stated the need to rely on local, village elders to choose representatives to district shuras. This would ensure a representative shura for district level officials, said AWK and pointed to the succession of Arghandab-based Alikozai leader Mullah Naqib. AWK said the Alikozais chose Mullah Naqib's son, Karimullah, to lead the Alikozai. SCR pointed out coalition conventional wisdom that President Karzai had interfered in that process to appoint Karimullah, which led to certain Alikozai elements to support the Taliban in Arghandab. AWK said, unconvincingly, this was not the case. AWK then contradicted himself and said Karimullah, in fact, did not lead the Alikozai, but AWK's deputy at the provincial council Dastegeeri, was the most influential Alikozai in Kandahar. Police in the South and Abdul Rahman Jan ---------------------------------------- ¶5. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) SCR told AWK the coalition would not accept powerbroker interference with the police and used the example of citizens in Marjah telling Marines they would not KABUL 00000693 002 OF 003 support GIRoA due to past Abdul Rahman Jan (ARJ) abuses when he was the Helmand police chief between 2003 and 2006. AWK concurred ARJ was problematic. SCR reiterated coalition would seek to make certain ARJ did not re-establish links to police officials in Marjah (Note: SCR brought this discussion up so that AWK would report it to Kabul. End Note.). AWK said the Noorzais in Marjah would support ARJ, but other tribes would resist. Kandahar does not have similar issues of interference with the police, he said, but SCR pressed saying we are aware of a recent incident when the Kandahar governor sought to remove the Panjwa'i chief of police, but someone had intervened to halt that removal. AWK, who is believed to have prevented Governor Weesa from firing the police chief, said the governor had the power to remove police officials and should exercise that authority in Panjwa'i. AWK characterized Governor Weesa as honest and a powerful figure in Kandahar, but he needed to be more aggressive. In the same breath, AWK said he was the most powerful official in Kandahar and could deliver whatever is needed. Capture of Mullah Baradar ------------------------- ¶6. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) SCR asked AWK his views on the recent capture in Pakistan of Taliban leader Mullah Baradar. AWK said Pakistan detained Baradar and other Taliban leaders because they were prepared to discuss reintegration with the Karzai government. Senior Taliban fighters in Pakistan may be prepared to reintegrate, he said, but are forced by the Pakistan Government to continue to fight. AWK said some Afghan Taliban commanders cannot return to Afghanistan because they are on the Joint Priority Effects List (JPEL) and are told by the Pakistanis they must continue to fight or will be turned over to the coalition. It is important to remove such fighters from the JPEL for reintegration to work, he argued, adding that he has been working on the reconciliation issue with the Saudis for two-three years. AWK offered a meeting with SCR and his older brother and former Member of Parliament for Kandahar Kayyum Karzai in the next few weeks to discuss ongoing reintegration discussions with the Saudis. Drug Trafficker: Where is the Polygraph? ---------------------------------------- ¶7. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) Unprompted, AWK raised allegations of his involvement in narcotics, telling the SCR that he is willing to take a polygraph anytime, anywhere to prove his innocence and that he has hired an attorney in New York to clear his name. He suggested that the coalition pay mullahs to preach against heroin, which would reduce demand for poppy cultivation. AWK dismissed the narcotics allegations as part of a campaign to discredit him, particularly by the media, saying the allegations are "like a spice added to a dish to make it more enticing to eat." A Political Party for Southern Pashtuns? ----------------------------------------- ¶8. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) SCR asked AWK if there are discussions to create a Pashtun-oriented political party in the South. AWK said such a party would be announced shortly and it would encompass southern Pashtuns from Herat to Kandahar; Tajiks also would be represented. AWK said Afghans are reluctant to join political parties because they are associated with the communist party and Islamic fundamentalist movements, like the Taliban. He added that he could not be part of another election because he had to personally manage promises to hundreds of thousands of voters in the last election. Gulaga Sherzai: Competitor -------------------------- ¶9. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) SCR raised the recent 1,500 person shura co-hosted by AWK and Sherzai in Kandahar City (Reftel B). AWK said Sherzai was not to be trusted, but he was willing to work with him on a peace jirga to deliver peace to the south. AWK passionately presented his history of working with the United States since 2001 and told the SCR that he could deliver anything needed. Missing Wrigley --------------- ¶10. (SBU//Rel NATO, ISAF) Further emphasizing his links to the United States, AWK fondly recalled his days in Chicago as a restaurant owner close to Chicago's Wrigley Field. His KABUL 00000693 003 OF 003 restaurant was a hub for American in the Midwest who had worked or lived in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion, he said. Comment ------- ¶11. (S//Rel NATO, ISAF) AWK was eager to engage and rarely stopped talking in the two hour meeting. While he presented himself as a partner to the United States and is eager to be seen as helping the coalition, he also demonstrated that he will dissemble when it suits his needs. He appears not to understand the level of our knowledge of his activities, and that the coalition views many of his activities as malign, particularly relating to his influence over the police. We will need to monitor his activity closely, and deliver a recurring, transparent message to him of where are redlines are and what we expect of him in the months ahead. RICCIARDONE