U.S. attorney general visits Afghanistan
holder arrives in Kabul as worries increase over afghan corruption
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.