Monday, April 14, 2008

Bernier suggests need for new Kandahar governor

This is from the CBC.
Why Bernier would come out in public and say this is beyond me. He is either completely clueless or supremely arrogant. He could easily have made his criticisms in private and kept his mouth shut in public. Perhaps he just doesn't care and is playing to the crowd at home. Most people here probably think his criticism in public is fine because it is probably correct and do not worry about the political effect in Afghanistan of foreign occupiers lecturing Afghans on corruption.
Bernier should check with Rick Hillier before he starts badmouthing the governor of Kandahar. Here is what Hillier had to say about him:
"Governor Asadullah has been doing some phenomenal work in Kandahar province ... Obviously we have worked with him because he is the governor there, and we have seen some incredible changes in the province and if there's an issue of any kind of impropriety whatsoever, that's an issue for the Afghanistan government."

Bernier suggests need for new Kandahar governor
Last Updated: Monday, April 14, 2008 | 7:34 AM ET Comments10Recommend5CBC News
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier says it may be necessary for the Afghan president to replace Kandahar's governor to provide the province with more effective and less corrupt government.

"I think [President Hamid Karzai] can work with us to be sure that the governor will be more powerful, the governor will do what he has to do to help us, and there's the question to maybe have a new governor," Bernier, who is wrapping up a thee-day visit to Afghanistan, told reporters when asked what Karzai needs to do about political corruption in the south.

Asadullah Khalid, the governor of Kandahar, was among Afghan officials alleged to have participated in torture of detainees. But Khalid has denied the reports.

"They're a sovereign state, they're going to have to decide, it's a decision that the president will have to take in the near future, about the future of the government we're having here," Bernier said.

"Is it the right person at the right place at the right time? President Karzai will have to answer these questions as soon as possible."

Bernier spent his time in Kabul and Kandahar meeting with military and diplomatic leaders.

So far, there has been no response from the offices of Karzai and Khalid on Bernier's remarks.

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