Fahim vows to oppose Karzai election
KABUL: Afghan Defence Minister Mohammed Qasim Fahim vowed on Wednesday that he and several key ministers would oppose President Hamid Karzai in the October 9 presidential elections.
Fahim, a powerful warlord who is also the first vice president in Karzai’s interim government formed after the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001, said he would back rival candidate Yunus Qanooni. “I told the president that if he plans to go to elections on his own, he would make a mistake, but he did it,” Fahim told a news conference. “I, the Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, and most ministers support Mr. Qanooni’s candidacy for the presidential post.”
Fahim’s relations with Karzai were strained after the president denied him the ticket to stand for the post of vice president. “He made us decide and have our own candidate,” Fahim said, claiming that a large number of mujahideen, members of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and most of the ministers, would back Qanooni. Fahim inherited the military arm of the Northern Alliance which helped US-led coalition forces to oust the hardline Taliban regime.
Meanwhile, two Afghan men working for a German non-governmental organisation, the Maltese Order, have been shot dead in southeast Afghanistan, the group said on Wednesday. The two were shot Tuesday by gunmen in a passing car as they drove near Neak Nam in the area around Surmat. afp