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Cablegate: Prt Bamyan: Governor's Political Foes Initiate New

VZCZCXRO4951
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0975 0850459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260459Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7037
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 3821

UNCLAS KABUL 000975

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOD FOR USDP EDELMAN
STATE FOR SCA/FO A/S BOUCHER AND SAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A,
S/CRS, SCA/PB, S/CT, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC PASS TO AHARRIMAN
OSD FOR KIMMITT
CENTCOM FOR CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC MARR AF
SUBJECT: PRT BAMYAN: GOVERNOR'S POLITICAL FOES INITIATE NEW
INVESTIGATION

REF: 06 KABUL 5654

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Bamyan provincial governor Harabi Sarabi
publicly disclosed that she is being investigated by the
Attorney General,s office. Sarabi does not appear concerned
about this investigation, which may have been initiated by
her political opponents. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) At a March 12 meeting of the Bamyan Provincial
Development Council, Governor Harabai Sarabi told the council
that a group of 12 opponents has been spreading "negative
propaganda" about her in Kabul with members of Parliament and
at the Ministry of Interior. According to Sarabi, this group
has alleged that she permitted the unlawful occupancy of
privately owned land in Bamyan province, that she is allowing
the promotion of Christianity, and that she improperly gave a
sermon on the eve of the last Eid. Sarabi did not respond to
these allegations in detail, except to say that she only
offered her congratulations to the people of Bamyan on the
occasion of Eid.

3. (SBU) When PRT commander and PRT officer went to the
governor,s office later on March 12, Sarabi was meeting with
two representatives of the Attorney General,s office from
Kabul. Sarabi told us they had been interviewing her in
connection with the allegations she had mentioned at the PDC
meeting. Sarabi referred to the investigation in a light
manner as "my persecution."

4. (SBU) Provincial Council director Haji Etemadi said during
the March 12 meeting that he did not understand why people
were making a big deal about Sarabi,s Eid remarks. (NOTE:
While PC director Etemadi has a cordial relationship with
Sarabi, he is not considered a political ally. END NOTE.)
Sarabi responded that the people making accusations against
her had decided to pursue their political agenda "on a
religious front." At a March 14 meeting, PC member Mohammad
Poya called the allegation "baseless," and said that those
making such allegations should be investigated themselves.
Poya said that while there may be differences of opinion with
Sarabi over development plans, it is not right for those who
disagree with the governor to attack her personally.

5. (SBU) COMMENT. Last fall, two presidential advisors and a
delegation from the Ministry of Interior investigated a
series of complaints about Sarabi's performance raised by the
governor's political opponents (reftel). As noted at that
time, these complaints seemed to represent the opinion of a
small group of the political "old guard" in Bamyan. Sarabi's
reference to the initiators of the current investigation
suggests that the same political opponents continue their
efforts to undermine the governor, now using religion as a
tool. Sarabi did not appear concerned about the
investigation and members of the Provincial Council publicly
downplayed the accusations against her. END COMMENT.
NEUMANN

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