Search

 

Cablegate: Prt Farah: A New Governor Takes Office

VZCZCXRO4492
RR RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0723/01 0631413
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041413Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6564
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3714
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000723

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SA/FO GASTRIGHT, SCA/A, S/CRS, S/CT, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR KIMMIT
CENTCOM FOR CFC-A, CG CJTF-76,POLAD, JICCENT
REL TO NATO/AUS/NZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR IR AF
SUBJECT: PRT FARAH: A NEW GOVERNOR TAKES OFFICE

1. (U) SUMMARY: Farah Province welcomed its third governor
in six months as Mawlawi Mohideen Baluch took up office
January 31. In a public speech, Baluch outlined his
priorities to build a madrassa and university, improve the
economy, maintain existing Iran-Afghan relations, reach out
to anti-government and criminal elements, improve security,
and travel to all districts and assess local officials. A
key goal will be to promote coordination and cooperation
among local officials, donors, and the PRT. He welcomes
Iranian assistance but does not want to become dependent on
Iran. END SUMMARY

2. (U) Mawlawi Mohideen Baluch, Farah's third governor in six
months, arrived January 31 to a welcoming crowd of local
officials, ANP, ANA, and children bearing flowers. He
delivered his first public speech on February 1, highlighting
the importance of building a madrassa and university in
Farah. The new Governor called on Farah,s economy to be
self-supporting and assured citizens he would focus on their
needs and problems. Baluch plans to meet with religious and
tribal leaders and elders, both in Farah City and throughout
the province, to engage on development and security concerns.
He also hopes to reach out to anti-government and criminal
elements through open discussion. Baluch expressed his hope
for a dam in the province and noted the current dam survey
underway in Bakhshabad, Bala Baluk District.

3. (SBU) A key goal will be to promote coordination among
local officials, donors, and the PRT. The new Governor
understands the need for a comprehensive Provincial
Development Plan and that province-wide surveys are
necessary. While he is willing, he says, to accept
assistance from Iran, he does not want to foster dependence
on Iran, e.g., he will allow Iran to provide electricity to
Farah but only until the Bakhshabad Dam is built and Farah
can provide for itself. Baluch added that although he lived
in Iran for seven years, he has no desire to build up
relations and has no political interests in Iran. He will
accept Iran's planned assistance program as it was approved
by the GOA.

4. (U) Baluch will soon make his choice for Deputy Governor,
a position vacant since July 2006. Former Governor Stanikzai
was set to name someone just before he left, but Baluch will
now make the choice. Baluch mentioned his concerns about
some district administrators, police chiefs, and other
officials and plans to review personnel performance as he
travels around the province.

5. (SBU) Bio Information:

Mawlawi (Mullah) Mohideen Baluch is a member of the Baluch
tribe and was born in Farah Province in 1949. His parents
were from Nimroz Province. He attended primary school in
Farah and graduated in 1972 from a religious high school in
Kandahar. A Sunni Hanifi, both he and his father served as
mullahs in Farah. Baluch was a mullah and religious teacher
in Bakwa District for seven years.
In 1979-80 Baluch openly criticized the Communist government
and in 1980 fled to Iran, speaking out against the miserable
conditions of Afghans in Iranian refugee camps. Baluch
opened a political office in Iran for the
Hezb-Islami-Maulawi-Khales party. After seven years he
decided to leave Iran and spent the next several years in and
out of Quetta, Pakistan. Four of his years were in a refugee
camp, while his family remained there 14 years, from
1989-2003. Baluch left in 1993 for Nimroz Province. He
served from 1993-98 as Nimroz Deputy Governor.

Baluch then returned to Quetta to join Karzai. He did not
physically fight against the Taliban but participated in
peace discussions, accompanying Karzai to Frankfurt,
Islamabad, Istanbul, and Bonn. In 1999 Baluch attended a
25-day peace-building workshop in Omaha, Nebraska. The

KABUL 00000723 002 OF 002


program included additional days to tour the U.S. He will
continue informally as one of President Karzai,s religious
advisors.

Governor Baluch has two wives and 14 children -- ten
daughters (four married) and five sons (two married), one of
whom the Taliban killed. The family resides in Kabul.

Languages include Dari/Farsi, Arabic, Pashto, and Baluchi.
He speaks no English.
NEUMANN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO: