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Afghanistan: Political Crisis Threatens Democratic Institutions

Karzai has his hands full. (Photo: UN/Mark Garten)

Almost lost amid an unfolding banking scandal in Afghanistan, a confrontation between President Hamid Karzai and the country’s parliament is coming to a head, threatening to paralyze the government at a crucial juncture.

Two recent developments concerning Afghanistan – the hastening of the US military drawdown and a financial scandal that has embroiled the former head of the country’s Central Bank – have helped obscure the seriousness of Karzai’s power play. And the banking scandal continues to capture local and international media attention: in the most recent twist, Afghan authorities issued an arrest warrant for the former Central Bank chief, Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, who earlier resigned his post and fled to the United States. Officials want to question Fitrat about possible malfeasance in connection with the collapse of Kabul Bank, a privately held institution.

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Aunohita Mojumdar is an Indian freelance journalist based in Kabul.

Afghanistan: Political Crisis Threatens Democratic Institutions

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