April 14, 2009
Washington is using its political clout to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan, a report says.
[efoods]The US embassy in Kabul has urged Afghanistan’s leading presidential hopefuls to withdraw from the race in favor of Ali Ahmad Jalali — a candidate that is more preferred by Washington, reported Pakistan’s Ummat daily.
In return, US official have promised to guarantee key positions for the three candidates — which include finance minister Ashraf Ghani, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and political activist Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi — in the next Afghan government.
The move received instant condemnation as flagrant US interference in Afghan politics and internal affairs.
Jalali — who is viewed as the main rival of President Hamed Karzai in the August presidential elections — is a US citizen and former Afghan minister of the interior.