Herald Tribune, July 16, 2007
Afghanistan fires governor after comments criticizing government's effectiveness
The removal comes after Murad gave an interview highly critical of the central government
KABUL, Afghanistan: Afghanistan's government fired a provincial governor days after he said Afghans are distancing themselves from President Hamid Karzai and that a "vacuum of authority" is allowing the Taliban, al-Qaida and other groups to gain power.
Abdul Sattar Murad, the governor of Kapisa province, was fired because "he sowed discord" among the people and provided U.S.-led coalition troops with wrong information about the people of the province, said a statement from the Ministry of Interior, which appoints the country's 34 governors.
Abdul Sattar Murad: "... I see that we cannot deliver what we're expected to. In remote parts of the country there is practically a vacuum of authority, a vacuum of power. Somebody will have to fill that vacuum. Either the criminals fill that vacuum or the Taliban and Al Qaeda do.
...we don't have a leadership that can unite the national leaders ... all over the country, the people are distancing themselves from the government.
Newsweek, July 12, 2007
The removal comes only days after Murad gave an interview to Newsweek magazine highly critical of the central government.
"In remote parts of the country there is practically a vacuum of authority, a vacuum of power. Somebody will have to fill that vacuum. Either the criminals fill that vacuum or the Taliban and al-Qaida do," Murad said in the interview.
"All the political parties are now drifting away from the national leadership. All over the country, the people are distancing themselves from the government," he was quoted as saying. "Many of the elders, those who have influence, feel they have been left out and are not in the same convoy with the government."
The government said the decision to sack Murad was made before the interview was published. Murad denied that allegation and believes his comments led to his removal.
"If they removed me because I have given a statement to Newsweek I welcome that," Murad said while speaking inside his private office in Kabul. "After all it is the right of the government to remove or to appoint (people)."
"However, accusing me of wrong things ... which I have never done, this is dirty politics," he said. "You want to remove somebody, remove him ... but don't play dirty politics." - AP
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