Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09KABUL1669
2009-06-25 14:41:00
SECRET
Embassy Kabul
Cable title:  

MAY IN GHAZNI: GOVERNOR ABSENT

Tags:  PGOV PREL KDEM EAID AF 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8950
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #1669/01 1761441
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 251441Z JUN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9719
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001669 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM EAID AF
SUBJECT: MAY IN GHAZNI: GOVERNOR ABSENT

Classified By: PRT and Sub-National Governance Director Valerie C. Fowl
er for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

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

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001669

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM EAID AF
SUBJECT: MAY IN GHAZNI: GOVERNOR ABSENT

Classified By: PRT and Sub-National Governance Director Valerie C. Fowl
er for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

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


1. (S/REL ISAF) During the month of May, the province
remained stable politically with Governor Usmani in control,
but the governor was forced to face accusers from Ghazni's
Provincial Council (PC) and their allies in Parliament in
Kabul on May 20, in a hearing presided over by President
Karzai. The governor remained in Kabul through the end of
the month, while claiming that President Karzai determined
that the corruption allegations against him were baseless.
While in Ghazni, the governor attempted to make headway in
the fight against corruption by arresting the district
administrators from Ab Band and Qarabagh, on theft and rape
charges, respectively. Election activity proceeded
relatively smoothly, with 102 PC candidates registering. One
was subsequently kidnapped in neighboring Wardak province,
while three had complaints filed against them. Highlights of
PRT activity include a 10-day mission to the distant, Hazaran
districts of Jaghori and Malistan, completion of phase one of
the PRT's "culvert deniability program," and the start of an
ongoing effort to repair IED holes on Highway One and Route
Florida.

-------------- ---
POLITICAL SITUATION REMAINS STABLE BUT NOT IDEAL
-------------- ---


2. (S/REL ISAF) The political situation in Ghazni remained
stable, with the governor ruling virtually unopposed during
the month. The members of the PC who charged him with
corruption remained in Kabul -- reportedly under the
hospitality of the Independent Directorate for Local
Governance (IDLG) -- and continued to press for the
governor's removal. On May 17, Governor Usmani was urgently
summoned to Kabul. Three days later, he was the subject of a
hearing on the charges against him that was run by President
Karzai, and which was attended by members of Ghazni's PC and
their parliamentary allies, and several government ministers.
According to the governor, he was cleared of the charges,
and President Karzai told him he was "clean." Nevertheless,

the governor remained in Kabul, reportedly at the request of
President Karzai, through the end of the month. During this
time, the governor claims he was able to restore a working
relationship with a number of the PC members in Ghazni, with
the exception of Sahib Shah Qazi and PC President
Habiburrahman.


3. (S/REL ISAF) May also saw the arrest of two of Ghazni's
district administrators. Allahdad Halimi, from Ab Band
district, was arrested and questioned by the prosecutor's
office for allegedly stealing humanitarian food assistance in

2007. Muhammad Hassan Faizi, from Qarabagh, was arrested in
early May for reportedly raping a married woman and informing
the husband, who promptly turned the wife over to the Taliban
for execution. The prosecutor's office is currently building
a case against Faizi, and the governor believes he will be
sentenced to prison for over 20 years. The governor
subsequently appointed Mohab Ullah, the district
administrator for Nawa district, to Qarabagh. One PRT
contact reported after the arrests that these two district
administrators are two of four whom Governor Usmani hopes to
replace before the elections with district administrators he
apparently feels will do a better job in getting out the vote
for Karzai.


4. (S/REL ISAF) Preparations for elections and related
activity continued relatively peacefully in Ghazni during the
month of May. The Provincial Election Officer registered 102
candidates for the 19 PC seats. Of these, one of the
candidates for Kwaja Omary district was kidnapped in Maydan
Shar district in neighboring Wardak province. Three
candidates had complaints lodged against them to the effect
that they were tied to illegally armed groups. Minister for
Tribal Affairs and former Ghazni and Kandahar Governor
Assadullah Khaled spent two days in Ghazni at the Governor's
residence, reportedly to conduct election-related business.
Early indications are that the Provincial Election Officer is
already coordinating with the ANP and NDS to arrange security
for the 405 polling centers in Ghazni. (The local ANA
commander is reportedly less focused on elections at the
present moment.) Preliminary surveys conducted by the PRT in
Malistan and Jaghori in Ghazni's west indicate that the
mostly Hazaran residents intend to vote for a Hazaran
presidential candidate from Qarabagh district, Ramazan
Bashardost, but are skeptical that their votes will count.

KABUL 00001669 002 OF 002


The PRT has been hearing from residents of Ghazni's "Pashtun
belt" that many of them have been warned by Taliban not to
vote in the upcoming elections.

--------------
PRT ACTIVITY OF NOTE
--------------


5. (S/REL ISAF) From May 12 to May 22, PRT Ghazni,
accompanied by Task Force White Eagle elements, carried out
civil affairs and engineering assessments and key leader
engagements in the distant, mostly-Hazaran districts of
Jaghori and Malistan. Specifically, the combined mission
looked at existing and proposed schools, assessed work on the
District Centers in both districts and road construction
linking the two districts to Highway One, and evaluated
potential construction projects including bridges, irrigation
and cobblestone roads. The U.S.-Polish team met with the
District Subgovernors of both districts, and also provided
medical treatment to needy residents. The mission was
important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is
the fact that for many Hazaran residents of these two
districts, this was the first time they had seen Coalition
forces. Mission personnel also conducted preliminary polling
on election attitudes to provide a better understanding of
how Ghazni's residents view the upcoming elections.


6. (S/REL ISAF) PRT Ghazni completed the first phase of its
"culvert deniability" program, facilitating the emplacement
of over 45 IED-resistant "trash rack"-style culverts along a
southern stretch of Highway One in Qarabagh district. Phases
2-4 of the program are under review now at brigade
headquarters, and will facilitate the installation of over 50
culverts along a more northerly portion of Highway One, part
of Route Florida in Andar district, and the "D-Loop" in
Qarabagh district.


7. (S/REL ISAF) Starting in May, contractors under
supervision of the PRT began to repair IED blasts on Highway
One. To date, four craters of the roughly 25 that we know of
along Highway One and Route Florida have been repaired.
EIKENBERRY