Khalilzad as Chief Executive Officer?

Former US Ambassador to Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad is likely to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, acting as Prime Minister in the new Govt. (Photo Bloomberg)

Former US Ambassador to Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad is likely to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, acting as Prime Minister in the new Govt. (Photo Bloomberg)

New York Times on Monday reported former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad may take key role in the new Government under Karzai. The report said Karzai discussed with Khailzad about his role during his visit in Washington.

NYTimes report further said the new position would work as Prime Minister, but since Premier is elected by Parliament, thus it has been named Chief Executive Officer. For media in Kabul it happened to be a breaking news, but the diplomatic circle and Presidential Palace knew it months ago, when the tensions of Karzai and new Obama Administration was at peak. Rumors were that the US seeks to install a Chief Executive Officer cum Prime Minister to counter Karzai’s over-mounting jumpings in the recent past.

Reacting to the NYTimes report, Karzai’s spokesman Hamidzada told media confirming the discussions with Khalilzad about the position, but said Karzai Administration would see possibility of such a position in the Afghan Constitution. On the other hand, Khalilzad has also rejected he seeks any role in the new Government.

Its true the new US Administration of President Obama, as promised in his inagural speech, would not turn a blind eye to the corruption in Kabul, wants to keep balance of power in the new Government. The US and other Western allies have now realized that Karzai is the likely next president due not strong rival and the split in opposition National Front. Thus they are trying to install the new position of Chief Executive to disaffect Karzai and keep balance.

I think it will be the only working option for the US as Karzai can not be trusted for another five years of corruption, nor he could be sidelined seeing his strong campaign for the presidential race.



Filed under Afghanistan Elections 2009

2 responses to “Khalilzad as Chief Executive Officer?

  1. mariamsultana

    The problem I have with this is that Khalilzad wont be formally responsible to anyone but he will be given virtually unlimited power. His safety net is the fact that taking on the “CEO” title and being unaffiliated with the Afghan gov’t allows him to retain his American citizenship.

    I don’t know how much Khalizad is a “working option” for the US either. In the NYT article, “Administration officials say that President Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Holbrooke all told Mr. Karzai that it was up to him and Mr. Khalilzad to decide whether to proceed.” It doesn’t seem like the US is any part of the decision. I’m not one for imperialism, but Afghanistan clearly needs guidance.

    I’m not comfortable with Khalilzad guiding in this manner. We can’t say it’s on behalf of the US unless the US takes responsibility for it. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    • faisal a.

      mariam do u seriously believe the US has no part in the khalilzad decision ? really no really ? ! ? maybe your just cracking a joke i understand , i guess it could be funny to some people. its bothering me so much though, thinking that u might actually believe what u are saying there.

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