US keen to appoint `effective Afghan prime minister” to bypass Karzai

March 23rd, 2009 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Brussels/Washington, Mar.23 (ANI): The US and its European allies are preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.
The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai, the paper reports.
In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces.
A revised role for Karzai has emerged from the White House review of Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by Barack Obama when he became president. It is to be unveiled at a special conference on Afghanistan at The Hague on March 31.
As well as watering down Karzai’’s personal authority by installing a senior official at the president’’s side capable of playing a more efficient executive role, the US and Europeans are seeking to channel resources to the provinces rather than to central government in Kabul.
A diplomat with knowledge of the review said: “Karzai is not delivering. If we are going to support his government, it has to be run properly to ensure the levels of corruption decrease, not increase. The levels of corruption are frightening.”
Other recommendations include: increasing the number of Afghan troops from 65,000 to 230,000 as well as expanding the 80,000-strong police force;

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