U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral vis­its Afghanistan

holder ar­rives in Kabul as wor­ries in­crease over afghan cor­rup­tion

Austin American-Statesman - - THURSDAY BRIEFING - By Ernesto Londono

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder met with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai and other se­nior Afghan of­fi­cials in Kabul on Wed­nes­day amid ris­ing con­cerns about the toll cor­rup­tion is tak­ing on the U.S.-led war ef­fort.

Holder’s visit comes at a sen­si­tive time. U.S. law­mak­ers this week vowed to block U.S. funds for non­mil­i­tary and hu­man­i­tar­ian aid in Afghanistan in re­sponse to re­ports sug­gest­ing that Afghan of­fi­cials are do­ing lit­tle to curb wide­spread cor­rup­tion and in some in­stances have hin­dered U.S. ef­forts to bring prom­i­nent Afghan of­fi­cials to jus­tice.

On Tues­day, Afghanistan’s at­tor­ney gen­eral dis­puted that his of­fice’s anti-cor­rup­tion ef­forts are stymied by med­dling from Karzai’s of­fice. Mo­hammed Ishaq Aloko said the only of­fi­cial who has at­tempted to ex­ert un­due pres­sure on his of­fice is U.S. Am­bas­sador Karl Eiken­berry.

In brief re­marks af­ter meet­ings with Karzai, Aloko and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Habibul­lah Ghalib, Holder made no men­tion of the con­tro­ver­sies but lauded the govern­ment’s re­cent ef­forts to fight cor­rup­tion.

“We ap­plaud Pres­i­dent Karzai for his ac­tions and en­cour­age him to con­tinue his ef­forts as much work re­mains to be done,” Holder said.

Smoke rises out­side a NATO air base in Jalal­abad af­ter mil­i­tants at­tacked it Wed­nes­day with a car bomb, rock­et­pro­pelled grenades and guns. The at­tack was re­pelled, with eight of the at­tack­ers killed and two guards in­jured.

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