Pakhtoons warn Karzai of revolt

Published July 27, 2002

CHAMAN, July 26: Pakhtoon leaders in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat on Friday told President Hamid Karzai to remove the ethnic Tajik governor or risk an armed revolt.

“We have decided that if (Tajik) governor Ismail Khan is not removed we will launch an armed struggle to oust him,” Pakhtoon leader Abdul Karim Khan Achakzai told reporters in Chaman after a meeting in Herat.

The area has seen intense fighting between rival ethnic groups in the key Shindand district and in the neighbouring Farah district.

At least 12 people — seven Tajiks and five Pakhtoons — have been killed in fighting which erupted early this week over control over the district, home to Afghanistan’s second largest airbase.

Achakzai said the meeting of Pashtun leaders in Herat asked Karzai, himself a Pashtun, to order an inquiry into the “looting of Pakhtoons by Tajik forces”.—AFP

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