Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology-Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Libya/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Tunisia/Turkey/United Arab Emirates/Yemen

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology-Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Libya/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Tunisia/Turkey/United Arab Emirates/Yemen

Article excerpt

See also Iran

Oct. 17: The preliminary results of the September 18 parliamentary elections scheduled to be announced on October 17 were postponed due to suspicions of voting fraud. The Afghan Independent Election Commission expected that votes from 430 polling locations would be nullified either wholly or partially. [NYT, 10/17]

Oct. 25: President Hamid Karzai confirmed an October 24 New York Times report that revealed that he regularly received millions of dollars in cash from the Iranian government. President Karzai downplayed the transfers' importance, claiming that he used the money to pay for expenses incurred in the course of his job. However, NATO officials stated that Iran was paying for, arming, and training Taliban fighters, as well as financing political candidates in parliamentary elections. [NYT, 10/25]

Oct. 27: After intense scrutiny over the planned ban of private security firms in Afghanistan, President Karzai announced that he would briefly extend the period before enforcement. The ban was originally scheduled to take effect December 17; however, the government decided to create a committee which had two weeks to develop a timeline for shifting security to the Afghan Army and Police. Additionally, the government announced its decision to allow a 90-day grace period before the security ban took effect. [NYT, 10/27]

Oct. 30: President Karzai protested the participation of Russian counternarcotics agents in a raid on drug laboratories on October 29 in Kabul, claiming that it violated Afghan sovereignty and international law. In the raid, four opium refining laboratories and over a ton of heroin were destroyed. [NYT, 10/30]

Nov. 1: Eleven Afghan government officials were jailed for their alleged connections with the narcotics trade. As a producer of 90% of the world's opium, Afghan officials worried that profits from the drug industry were used to fuel the country's rising insurgency. [Reuters, 11/1]

Nov. 8: The Afghan government dropped all charges in the controversial corruption case against Mohammad Zia Salehi, the Chief of Administration in President Karzai's National Security Council. Salehi was allegedly "caught on a wiretap ... soliciting a bribe to intervene in an investigation." According to Salehi's attorney, however, Afghan law only allowed wiretapping to be used in drug cases, thus eliminating a key piece of evidence. [NYT, 11/8]

Nov. 13: After being kidnapped in September 2008 in Pakistan, Afghanistan's former ambassador to Pakistan, 'Abdul Khaliq Farahi, was released in the eastern Afghan city of Khost. Mr. Farahi was kidnapped from the Peshawar suburb of Hayatabad during an attack that killed his driver. President Karzai attributed Farahi's release to the hard work of both the Afghan and Pakistani governments. [NYT, 11/14]

Nov. 24: Final results from the September 18 parliamentary elections were announced. The results indicated that of the 249- seat lower house of Parliament, President Karzai could expect support from only 100 members. Concerns over election fraud eliminated at least 25% of ballots cast. Karzai vowed to challenge the outcome of the election results. [NYT, 11/24]

Nov. 25: President Karzai issued arrest warrants for several top election officials and accused a UN worker of leading a bribery ring. Charges included corruption, abuse of power, and unspecified "complaints by people." [NYT, 11/25]

Dec. 3: President Obama flew to Afghanistan for a surprise visit with US troops as the nine-year war headed into a new phase in which the US sought to transfer control of the country to Afghan forces. Due to inclement weather, President Obama could not fly to Kabul to meet with President Karzai. They did, however, speak over the phone. [NYT, 12/3]

Dec. 13: Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama Administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2009, died in Washington, DC. After doctors discovered a tear in his aorta, Holbrooke underwent surgery. …

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