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Cablegate: Biographic Background Info On Governor Usmani

VZCZCXRO6568
OO RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #3333 3650659
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 300659Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 650
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 003333

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR AF
SUBJECT: BIOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND INFO ON GOVERNOR USMANI

1. Dr. Mohammad Usman Usmani was sworn in as Governor of
Ghazni on May 31, 2008. A Durrani Pashtun of the Alokozai
sub-tribe, he was born in Daman District of Kandahar province
in 1968. Usmani is a medical doctor and a 1999 graduate of
Kandahar University. He joined Mir Wais Hospital in 2000
where he served as senior surgeon, trainer surgeon, and
medical superintendent. During his medical career, he
performed over 4,000 operations. Usmani likes to describe
problems and issues in medical terms. In a recent
description of Ghazni proince, he referred to Ghazni City as
the heart, and the ring road as a main artery. Usmani likes
to say with a wink, "I'm not a politician. I'm just a stupid
doctor."

2. Usmani has two wives and ten children -- five boys and
five girls. Usmani jokes that none of the children can be
certain of which wife is their birth mother. The family
resides in Kabul, and the children attend private schools
there. Usmani and his family rely in part on a businessman
brother in Kabul for financial support. Usmani says he also
receives financial support from his tribe in Kandahar.

3. Active in Kandahar's civil society, Usmani was involved
in the Islahia (reformative) Jirga of Kandahar. At the time
of his appointment to Ghazni, he was a member of the
intellectuals' and doctors' associations; the municipal
shura; and the "Advisory and Reformative Jirga" of Kandahar.
According to UNAMA, Usmani had good relations with
development partners while in Kandahar, and there were no
reports of his involvement in illegal activities or human
rights violations. Usmani likes to talk about the
need to transfrm Afghanistan into a civilized nation. He
cutions, however, that progress must be carried ut in
millimeters, not in meters.

4. Usmai is reportedly an associate of Ahmad Wali Karzi.
He claims to have close and enduring ties to the entire
Karzai family, including the President, whom he has known
since childhood and sometimes refers to as "my father."
Usmani appears to have taken on a leadership role among
Kandahar Alokozais after the assassinations of traditional
leaders like Mullah Naqibullah and the Khakrezwalls. He and
his tribe lobbied the Presidential Palace and PRT Kandahar
for his appointment as Governor of that province. His
appointment to Ghazni may have been a sop to the Alokozais,
who often complain of scant patronage from the Karzai
Government. Alokozai elders told PRT Kandahar that Usmani's
appointment to Ghazni was intended to test his administrative
and leadership abilities, and that he would likely receive a
more prominent post in the future. Usmani told PRT Ghazni
more than once that he would prefer not to be the governor of
Ghazni, viewing it as "too complicated" ethnically and
religiously. In October 2008, he claimed that at least 30
members of the Wolesi Jirga had petitioned President Karzai
to request that Usmani be appointed the Governor of Herat.
If offered that position, Usmani said he would accept it.

USMANI'S MAIN MISSION: TO DELIVER GHAZNI TO KARZAI
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. Usmani has demonstrated unswerving loyalty to the Karzai
administration and has repeatedly stated that his top
priority is to deliver Ghazni to President Karzai in the 2009
election. He is already sounding out Hazaras, and attempting
to steer them away from their candidates -- Khallili and
Muhakik -- toward the President. (In early November, Usmani
replaced the Nawur district administrator with Khadad Alimi,
a Hazaran whom he trusts. Usmani told the PRT that it took
him several months to counter
efforts by Hazaran MP Qasimi to frustrate the appointment.
Usmani said the people of Moqur requested a new district
administrator, and that he prevailed with the help of tribal
leaders in Ghazni City.)
WOOD

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