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Karzai Aide Scandal Underscores Afghan Anticorruption Failures

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

For years, Mohammad Zia Salehi managed to keep a low profile, even while wielding significant influence in the murky world of Afghan politics.

That all changed in July, when the administrative head of President Hamid Karzai's National Security Office was arrested on the basis of a months-long investigation conducted by a U.S.-backed anticorruption task force.

Salehi was arrested by the Afghan Attorney General's Office and charged with soliciting bribes from a company allegedly involved in transferring ill-gotten Afghan wealth abroad. Due to direct intervention by President Karzai, however, Salehi was free within hours.

The arrest clearly rankled Karzai, who shortly thereafter announced plans to reduce the authority of both the anticorruption task force and a Washington-backed investigative unit.

The president's move, as well as his subsequent calls for the Afghan government to take a more prominent role in the anticorruption effort, put the Karzai administration at loggerheads with the Obama administration, which has made stamping out graft in Afghanistan a priority.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Karzai Aide Scandal Underscores Afghan Anticorruption Failures

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