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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09KABUL212
2009-01-28 10:04:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kabul
Cable title:  

MORE GOVERNOR CHANGES

Tags:   PGOV  KDEM  AF 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6734
OO RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #0212/01 0281004
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281004Z JAN 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7071
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000212 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA
NSC FOR WOOD
OSD FOR WILKES
CG CJTF-101 POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2014
TAGS: PGOV KDEM AF
SUBJECT: MORE GOVERNOR CHANGES

KABUL 00000212 001.3 OF 002


Classified By: DCM Christopher Dell for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

Summary
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000212

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA
NSC FOR WOOD
OSD FOR WILKES
CG CJTF-101 POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2014
TAGS: PGOV KDEM AF
SUBJECT: MORE GOVERNOR CHANGES

KABUL 00000212 001.3 OF 002


Classified By: DCM Christopher Dell for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

Summary
--------------


1. (U) Since mid-December, four governors have been
replaced. Toryalai Weesa has replaced Rahmatullah Raufi in
Kandahar; Mohammad Akbar Barakz has succeeded Abdul Ghafar
Haqbin in Baghlan; Hamidullah Qalandarzai has been appointed
to fill the job of Arsala Jamal in Khost; and Ahmad Yusuf
Nuristani has just left Kabul to take over from Sayed Hosayn
Anwari in Herat. Over 80 percent of Afghanistan,s 34
governors have now been replaced over the course of the last
two years. End Summary.

Herat
--------------


2. (C) Herat province's awaited change at the top was
announced on January 14 ) Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani is the
new governor. Until about three months ago, Nuristani served
as First Deputy Minister of Defense, a position he had held
since 2005. He also worked as Minister of Irrigation, Water
and the Environment under the transitional government
following a stint as spokesman for the President. A native
of Nuristan in Afghanistan,s far northeast, the new governor
has a master,s and doctorate from the University of Arizona.
According to an IDLG source, Nuristani,s family resides in
California. The same source notes that the new governor was
chosen as the most qualified and with the hope that, with no
membership in any of the vying tribes in Herat Province, he
will be able to steer an objective course there. Nuristani
replaces Sayed Hussein Anwari, who had been serving since
June of 2005. In recent months Anwari had come in for
criticism in the face of a deterioration in the security
environment in and around the city of Herat. Since a
personnel shakeup of the police initiated by Kabul in
response to these security problems, the security situation
has improved.

Kandahar
--------------


3. (C) Nuristani is the latest in a series of recent
changes in Provincial leadership. The most significant other
change was in Kandahar, where former Governor Raufi announced

on December 4 that he had been dismissed. This came less
than four months after his appointment. A trusted inside
source in the IDLG, speaking off the record, has confirmed
suggestions that Raufi,s departure was related to conflict
with Provincial Council Chairman Ahmed Wali Karzai ) this
despite assurances from the President at the time of Raufi,s
appointment that he would receive presidential backing.
Raufi was replaced in mid-December by Toryalai Weesa, an
Afghan-Canadian. Weesa, a Pashtun (Mohammadzai), is a native
of the Arghandab district of Kandahar and served as President
of Kandahar University. He and his wife left for Canada in

1991. An agricultural expert, Weesa has been serving on the
faculty of the University of British Columbia. He has
reportedly been involved in pre-deployment training for
Canadian forces. The IDLG reports that Weesa is a friend of
the Karzai family.

Baghlan
--------------


4. (U) Baghlan province has a new governor too ) Mohammad
Akbar Barakzai. He replaced Abdul Ghafar Haqbin, who was
dismissed as ineffective. The IDLG insists it tried to
bolster Haqbin with outside resources but he simply did not
respond. Barakzai, who just took up his position, is a
former chief of staff at the Ministry of Interior. He is a
native of Baghlan and a Pashutn and is a graduate of the
province,s agricultural technical college. Upon his taking
up office, Barakzai declared that fighting narcotics and
corruption would be priorities.

Khost
--------------


5. (C) At the beginning of January Khost province finally
received a replacement for Governor Jamal, who has rejoined
his family in Canada. Former Deputy Communications Minister
Hamidullah Qalandarzai, a Pashtun from Nangarhar Province,
has now taken up his new duties. Qalanarzai is a former
lecturer at Nangarhar University and has done development
work throughout the country, though mainly in the south and

KABUL 00000212 002 OF 002


west, during his tenure with NGOs. The new governor is
reported to be a member of the Afghan Mellat Party led by
Finance Minister Ahadi.

Comment
--------------


6. (C) These most recent personnel actions increase by one
in the Pashtuns, favor the Pashtun/non-Pashtun balance among
the governors (Pashtun's hold more than half of the
governorships). This comes against the backdrop of an
overall marked increase over the last year in the number of
Pashtun governors, something that has raised hackles among
non-Pashtuns and reinforced the notion, true or not, that the
Palace is making changes with an eye to the upcoming
elections. Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that these
latest changes raise the percentage of governors changed over
the last two years to over 80 percent. On the plus side,
this reflects in part the efforts of the IDLG to improve the
quality of leadership in the provinces. On the minus side of
the ledger, however, is the cost in continuity. The frequent
changes also highlight the challenges almost all governors
face in trying to be effective in the face of central
government control and the severe under-resourcing of
governors and other institutions of sub-national governance.
End Comment.
WOOD