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Cablegate: Khowst Dlegation Press for New

VZCZCXRO9369
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3001/01 1861311
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051311Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1187
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//JF/UNMA//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J3//
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2661
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2805
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 6114
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 1486

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 003001

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

RELEASABLE TO NATO/AUST/NZ/ISAF

STATE FOR SA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT
SA/A, S/CR, SA/PB, S/CT, EUR/RPM
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN
OSD FOR BREZINSKI
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM AF
SUBJECT: KHOWST DLEGATION PRESS FOR NEW
PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP

KABUL 00003001 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: A delegation of elders and a
parliamentarian from Khowst Province told A/DCM
and PRTOff June 19 that Governor Merajoddin
Pathan's administration is overrepresented by
former Communist government officials, leading
to weakening of GOA legitimacy in Khowst. The
group warned anti-coalition militias (ACM) are
exploiting what they described as an
unrepresentative, vengeful, and corrupt Pathan
Administration to undermine support for the GOA
and, by association, the USG. Post will
continue to evaluate all views on Khost
governor and while there may be a kernel of
truth in these views, they appear over blown.
END SUMMARY.
Pathan Administration Rife with Communist
Holdovers
--------------------------------------------
2. (SBU) A/DCM and PRTOff met with
Parliamentarian Mawlawi Hanif Shah al-Hussaini
(Khowst, Lower House/Wolesi Jirga) and the
following Khowst elders June 19: Haji Assil
Kahn, Mir Sardar Zadran, Haji Muzarak, and
Mirajan Sahiqi. Although the delegation
stopped short of accusing Khowst Governor
Merajoddin Pathan personally of Communist
sympathies, they claimed Pathan has surrounded
himself with dubious advisors, tainted by their
association with the former Communist regime.
Haji Assil Kahn claimed only four Khowst
leadership positions (i.e. sub-governors,
directors, security chiefs) are held by ex-
mujahidin, with the rest going to Communist
government holdovers. Mir Sardar Zadran
asserted no other province has such a
disproportionate number of ex-Communist
government officials. (NOTE: Delegates failed
to define what they meant by ex-Communist
"officials;" it is likely they are employing a
broad definition that includes anyone on the
government payroll. END NOTE.)
Ex-Mujahidin Targeted for Revenge; Fingered to
CF
--------------------------------------------
3. (SBU) The group asserted Communist
government leaders are now in prominent
positions in Khowst's security leadership (ANA,
ANP, and NDS) and are taking revenge on
"innocent" ex-mujahidin trying to reintegrate
into society through the GOA's Program for
Strengthening Peace (PTS). Because of a
climate of fear induced by job discrimination,
beatings, and false accusations of ACM
sympathies to coalition forces, ex-mujahidin
are forced to either stay in their homes or
flee to Pakistan. (NOTE: Delegates repeatedly
referred to reintegrated fighters as ex-
mujahidin, never ex-Taliban. END NOTE.) Kahn
also accused members of the Pathan
administration of passing information to their
old KGB allies, among others, now in the
Russian intelligence service.
4. (SBU) Zadran said Coalition Forces (CF) are
undermining their credibility by detaining
suspects falsely referred to them by GOA

KABUL 00003001 002.2 OF 003


forces. The group provided a Red Cross report
concerning an incarcerated man in Bagram Air
Force Base presumably being held unjustly for
ACM suspicions. A/DCM said he knew that some
of the accusations CF receives are based on
vendettas, which makes evaluating this
challenging. He added that Coalition Forces do
everything possible to avoid false detainments,
but are obliged to follow up on all leads.
Pathan/"Enemies of Islam" Must Go
--------------------------------------------
5. (SBU) The delegation repeatedly expressed
gratitude for USG aid and the USG's long
friendship with Afghanistan. However, they
lamented a perceived change in USG position by
supporting governor's like Pathan, who are
surrounded by "enemies of Islam." Al-Hussaini
added the GOA and USG are damaging their
reputations and "defaming the mujahidin dead"
by bringing ex-Communists back to leadership
positions. He advocated purging the entire
Khowst administration, although the rest of the
group favored retaining some officials. The
delegation agreed, however, that the USG should
support a leadership change in Khowst. The
A/DCM explained the GOA, not the USG, is
responsible for appointing GOA officials and
emphasized the necessity of old enemies working
together to move Afghanistan forward.
6. (SBU) The group also complained that
Governor's should pay more attention of local
elder opinion and be better acquainted with
local tradition, hinting, but not directly
stating that Pathan's 20-year history in the
U.S. damaged his credibility. They also
criticized Pathan's links to local tribes and
leaders, stating that a new governor should be
appointed without strong area links. The group
said they expressed these concerns to various
Karzai administration officials and to
Ambassador Khalilzad. Al-Hussaini plans to
promote measures to strengthen Provisional
Councils and require Governors to serve outside
of their home regions.
7. (SBU) Comment: Governor Pathan can't win
with this group. He's both too familiar with
the area to be impartial and simultaneously too
much of an outsider because of his years living
in the U.S. Though Post has heard most of
these complaints before, the group provided
only anecdotal evidence of corruption,
disrespect for local culture, or abuse to
reformed insurgents. A/DCM and PRTOff have no
prior contact with these sources and suspect
the reliability of their accusations. We will
continue to talk with critics of the Governor
and investigate their complaints, but given
Governor Pathan's history of support for
Coalition Forces and GOA objectives, we are
inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
However, on one occasion A/DCM heard the same
complaints voiced by Professor Sayyuf perhaps
because he heard them from the same source.
8. (U) Dushanbe minimize considered.


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NEUMANN

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