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Cablegate: Nuristan: District Administrator Discusses New Governor

VZCZCXRO3298
RR RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #2634 2720820
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280820Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5650
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 002634

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

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AF

SUBJECT: NURISTAN: DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR DISCUSSES NEW GOVERNOR
SELECTION PROCESS

REF: A)2628

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. On September 7, Dow Ab District Administrator Qari Daud expressed
his frustration to the PRT's Integrated Command Team (PICG) about
Kabul's lack of inclusion of Nuristan voices in the provincial
gubernatorial selection process. He described the security
situation in the district as stable, but stressed that the area
remains vulnerable to infiltration by insurgents. Daud pleaded for
additional development projects that will demonstrate the
government's ability to provide economic benefits to the people,
including U.S. assistance in pressuring the UN to take a more active
role in Dow Ab. Finally, Daud promised Nuristan will remain
poppy-free in the next year--hoping this will lead to more
international assistance.

--------------------------------------------- -------
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR HOPEFUL IN GOVERNANCE, SECURITY AND
DEVELOPMENT
--------------------------------------------- -------

2. Dow Ab District Administrator Qari Daud told the PICG during a
September 7 meeting at PRT Nuristan (Kala Gush) that he does not
expect the GIRoA's Independent Directorate for Local Governance
(IDLG) to consult Nuristani district administrator's in selecting a
replacement for the late governor, Hazrat Din. (Hazrat Din was
killed in a car accident on September 5, reftel). "Kabul will select
a governor who is good for Kabul, and will not discuss it with the
people of Nuristan," he said. Daud agreed with the IDLG, that the
position should be filled quickly but his frustration with the
gubernatorial selection process was evident during our discussion.
He noted that he is a supporter of direct provincial elections, but
realizes this is not constitutional. Despite this, he appears
prepared to work with Kabul's decisions.

3. Doud explained that the current security situation in Dow Ab is
stable, but stressed that the district remains vulnerable to
infiltration by insurgents. The district administrator's described
the one-hundred fifty man strong district police presence as
"somewhat effective," but added that many of the police seem to
think their job is to "sit and drink tea at the district center," as
opposed to appropriately manning the various checkpoints. Daud
promised the PICG that Dow Ab will remain poppy-free next year and
said that he hoped that we could encourage the UN and other
international donors to take a more active development role in the
area. The PICG explained that Nuristan was already benefiting from
its poppy-free status through the "Good Performers Initiative
(GPI)," and noted our understanding that UNAMA intends to create a
more permanent presence in Parun, Nuristan - but will do so only
after the PRT also relocates to the capital.

4. Daud said the people's support for the government may not be
sustainable without further development in Dow Ab that effectively
demonstrates the GIRoA's ability to deliver economic benefits. He
argued for make-work projects, roads, animal husbandry programs, and
"any other PRT programs" that can assist district development. The
PICG explained that the PRT is committed to increasing assistance
(CERP AND USAID) to the district but added that current U.S.-funded
road construction in the area is critical to bringing in supplies
for additional projects.

-------
COMMENT
-------

5. Daud is a weekly visitor to the PRT, always armed with requests
for additional development projects in Dow Ab (and for local
government supplies - including a recent request for a vehicle). He
appears very concerned with demonstrating to the population that he
can deliver development; however, it is unclear if his commitment is
to extending the legitimacy of the GIRoA and its institutions or to
increasing his own personal standing.

DELL

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