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Cablegate: Atiqullah Ludin Appointed Governor of Logar

VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #2980 3171103
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121103Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6122
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 002980

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA
NSC FOR WOOD
OSD FOR WILKES
CENTCOM FOR CG CSTC-A, CG CJTF-101 POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AF
SUBJECT: ATIQULLAH LUDIN APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF LOGAR
PROVINCE

1. (U) On October 23 former Mujahedin commander LTG
Atiqullah Ludin took up his duties as the new governor of
Logar Province just south of Kabul. He replaced Abdullah
Wardak, who was killed in an insurgent attack on September
13. In his initial address to Logar residents and officials,
Ludin stressed that his top priorities will be improving
security and bringing more reconstruction to the province.
He pledged to consult with local elders on the establishment
of a special police unit to prevent attacks, smuggling and
kidnappings.

2. (U) Ludin, a Pashtun from Logar,s Mohammad Agha district
that borders Kabul province, has been largely out of
circulation for the last 3-4 years. His principal
qualifications to be Governor in increasingly strife-torn
Logar appear to be his personal connection to the province
and his military service. In the early 1970s Ludin
reportedly attended a military course and served in the
Afghan army during the rule of Daoud Khan. After the
Soviet invasion, he moved to Pakistan. Accounts vary
concerning the degree of his possible involvement in fighting
the Soviets, but after the fall of the Taliban, Ludin was
active in southeastern Afghanistan as commander of the former
Afghan 3rd corps (which predated the Afghan National Army).
He worked closely with U.S. forces stationed at Gardez in
Paktia Province. After some initial hesitation by Commander
Ludin, most of his forces entered the disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration program in 2003. He was
unsuccessful in his bid for a seat to the Lower House of
Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) in the 2005 elections.

3. (SBU) Ludin is directly related to President Karzai,s
former Chief of Staff, Jawed Ludin (current Afghan Ambassador
to Norway). Jawed Ludin,s sister is reportedly married to
the new Governor,s son. UNAMA reports that three candidates
were considered for the Logar governor slot and, because of
his lack of managerial experience, he would not have been
UNAMA,s first choice. Ludin,s selection was submitted to
and approved by the Senior Appointments Panel. Unconfirmed
reports suggest Ludin might have been involved at one time in
antiques smuggling.
WOOD

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