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Karzai Removes His Chief of Staff
Conspiracy rumors resound in wake of firing
Ajmal Shah Din (ajmal)     Print Article 
Published 2007-01-19 03:58 (KST)   
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has removed Jawed Ludin, his British-educated chief of staff. Mystery surrounds the sudden resignation of Ludin, who first served Karzai as press spokesman and then as chief of staff after graduating from a British university. However, senior Afghan officials said the cause of the shake up was due to political power struggle within Karzai's staff.

The move has shaken Western diplomats in Kabul and led to a flood of rumors amongst Afghan cabinet ministers about a possible conspiracy against Karzai, just as Afghan and NATO forces brace themselves for a major Taliban offensive in the next few weeks.

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In recent months Karzai has been on the receiving end of harsh criticism from many Afghans including members of his staff, senior Western diplomats and NATO officials for not being more decisive in curbing corruption and drugs trafficking.

Much of the blame for Karzai's poor performance has been blamed by Afghans on his staff and cabinet ministers and Ludin appears to have become a victim of the blame game, according to palace sources.

Ludin will be replaced by Omar Daudzai, who served as chief of staff to Karzai two years ago. Afghan officials said Ludin will be offered an ambassadorship in Europe.

The crisis surrounding Ludin's resignation has been going on for several days, even as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in Kabul, where he announced that additional U.S. troops will be quickly sent to Afghanistan to face the Taliban offensive. Gates has also asked for more troops from NATO countries including Britain.

©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ajmal Shah Din

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