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Cablegate: Prt Ghazni: Security, Political, Economic And

VZCZCXRO0616
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #2244/01 1931314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121314Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9093
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 002244

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-82 POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MCAP MOPS PREL PGOV PTER PHUM AF
SUBJECT: PRT GHAZNI: SECURITY, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND
CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Ghazni province is split between
the "have's" (Hazara districts in the north/west) and
the "have-not's" (Pashtun districts in the
south/east). In April 2007 a serious insurgent threat
in the Pashtun districts brought reconstruction to a
standstill in both areas, heightening anxieties that
progress in governance, education and health care
would similarly grind to a halt. Governor Patan,
well-intentioned and pro-American, often seems
overwhelmed by the challenge of governing such a
diverse province. He is reluctant to travel except in
the company of the PRT, leading to a widespread belief
that he is out-of-touch with the local population.
Accusations of corruption in the provincial government
are troubling and damaging. END SUMMARY.

Provincial Overview
-------------------

2. (U) There are 18 districts plus the city of Ghazni
in the province. The population is estimated at 1.7
million people, with 250,000 in Ghazni city. The Ring
Road bisects the province. West of the Ring Road is
predominantly Hazara and water-rich; east of the Ring
Road is ethnically Pashtun and arid. The Hazara
districts of Jaghuri and Kwaja Omari are generally
more peaceful and prosperous, with active district
administrators and large school enrollments (boys and
girls). The Pashtun districts of Andar, Giro,
Qarabagh, Moqur, Gelan and Ab Band are volatile, with
absentee administrators, subsistence farmers and few
children (and no girls) in school.

Security Situation
------------------

3. (SBU) Following the reported capture of Giro
district by the Taliban in April 2007 and in order to
address a potent insurgent threat across the Pashtun
districts of Ghazni, the ANA (supported by the ANP and
ISAF) planned and executed Operation MAIWAND - the
first ANA-led military operation in the country. This
operation, which began June 2 and was centered on
Andar district, was designed to separate the
insurgents from the local population, regain control
of Highway 1, and create space for GOA officials to
offer an alternative to the Taliban. Throughout the
month of June, there was little direct contact between
the ANA/ANP/ISAF coalition and the insurgents,
although there was a sharp increase in rocket attacks
and IEDs. Several key Taliban commanders were
captured, including the man believed responsible for
beheading the district administrator of Giro in April.
While Andar will now have a chance to experience GOA
assistance, it is widely believed that the insurgents
have simply moved to neighboring districts (Giro,
Waghez, Ab Band and Nawa)until the ANA and the ANP
have given up. An important piece of Operation
MAIWAND, therefore, is the establishment of a
reinforced ANA and ANP presence in Ghazni.

4. (SBU) The insurgent threat was able to grow in
Ghazni as a result of a lack of GOA presence in key
districts, and especially by the lack of effective
police. The most urgent and most crucial requirement
to improving security in Ghazni is an honest,
effective police force. The Chief of Police gets low
marks from ISAF. Ghazni has had few problems
recruiting for the auxiliary police (of the 980
authorized, approximately 700 have been trained), but
quality has been an issue, as has equipment. The
Chief of Police has allegedly taken away weapons (AKs)
meant for the ANAP and vehicles are "missing" from the
inventory. The ANP office in charge of recruiting
recently reported multiple cases of men re-enrolling
in the ANAP (having either sold or stockpiled the
weapon from the first class they attended). ANP/ANAP
escorts provided to the PRT for trips outside the city

KABUL 00002244 002 OF 003


regularly show up at the PRT for the mission without
ammo, without food and without enough diesel to get to
the destination and back.

Political Situation
-------------------
5. (SBU) Governor Patan, while well-intentioned and
pro-American, has a hard time setting priorities and
plans. He has surrounded himself with "advisors" who
have no official status in the province, and for the
most part, are not natives of Ghazni. Patan cannot
resist dabbling in security matters (in part because
he distrusts the Chief of Police, and in part because
he likes to portray himself as a militant opponent of
the Taliban). Patan also cannot resist introducing
potential contractors to the PRT -- whom we later
learn are close relatives. This practice calls into
question Patan's much-touted incorruptibility.

6. (SBU) Line directors for the various ministries are
rarely included in the Governor's deliberations (the
Director of Education - a superior performer - is a
notable exception). The Director of Agriculture is
under investigation by the Attorney General for
pocketing 200,000 USD of the PRT's money. Patan's
unofficial inner circle and the exclusion of ministry
representatives in the province from decision-making
have isolated Patan from the people he claims to
govern.

7. (SBU) At the district level, Ghazni employs (at
most) four effective district administrators. For the
rest of the province (14 districts), administrators
are either absent altogether (Ab Band and Nawa) or
corrupt (Andar and Qarabagh). A recent reshuffling of
district administrators in several Pashtun districts
may lead to some improvements.

8. (SBU) Governor Patan, who loudly promotes his love
of "the people" and his willingness to confront
things, will only travel outside Ghazni City with
ISAF, and he prefers to travel by helicopter.
Provincial Council members, for the most part, do not
leave the capital city and are largely unknown in
their districts. The same is true of line directors.
The PRT has made a point of inviting members of the
provincial government to travel with them and to urge
them to travel on their own to keep in touch with the
districts. This remains the exception rather than the
rule.

Economic Situation
------------------
9. (SBU) Across Ghazni, the demands for infrastructure
development are consistent - water and roads. In
terms of capacity building, Ghazni residents want
teachers and doctors.

10. (SBU) The Provincial Development Council (PDC)
meets monthly, but has not developed a Provincial
Development Plan (PDP) and, despite the PRT's best
efforts, is not focused on the upcoming ANDS sub-
national consultations (scheduled in Ghazni for the
last two weeks of July). The provincial director for
MRRD is believed to be corrupt, and is at best
incompetent. He could not tell the PRT how many
projects MRRD was running or the dollar amount of
funds committed last year. His own list of demands
starts with a new office building for himself, and
fails to mention the urgently needed refurbishment of
the two largest irrigation canals in the province.

Cultural/Societal Trends
------------------------
11. (SBU) Ghazni residents of the more peaceful
districts list education and health care as
priorities. While schools are open in many parts of
Ghazni, there is often no money to pay the teachers,

KABUL 00002244 003 OF 003


no books and no desks. In some districts (such as
Kwaja Omari) locals donate land for tent schools and
supplement teachers' pay. Whereas in Kwaja Omari the
teachers also provide some adult literacy classes, in
the Pashtun district of Nawa (at the opposite end of
the province in every respect), no one is in school
because there are no teachers at all. In the Hazara
areas, most girls attend school, up to and including
high school. In Pashtun areas, security concerns are
cited as the reason for keeping girls out of school,
but in fact, the priority in these areas is to educate
only the boys.

12. (SBU) The Director for the Ministry of Health has
estimated that at least half of the men in Ghazni
suffer from anxiety and half of the women from
depression. Children, widely, suffer from
malnutrition, something the Health Ministry and the
PRT are working actively to address. Most districts
have clinics; the principal problem appears to be the
lack of staff, especially female doctors, and medical
supplies.
WOOD

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