Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Investigations: Karzai Brother at Centre of Afghan Land Grabs
More controversy is swirling around Afghan President Hamid Karzai's controversial brother Ahmed Wali. You'll remember that Ahmed Wali is considered the most powerful figure in Kandahar and that U.S. officials have linked him to the drug trade, as I wrote in this Montreal Gazette feature last August. (Both Karzai brothers deny the accusation.)
Now, NPR reports that Ahmed Wali is at the centre of land grabs that are said to be fueling widespread public resentment in the country. (Ahmed Wali didn't respond to NPR's request for comment.)
The problem is growing fast across Afghanistan, where powerful warlords are evicting Afghan residents and seizing their land with little or no compensation. Even public land is being seized. Half-hearted efforts in Kabul to rein in the warlords haven't worked.