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AFGHANISTAN - Aug. 4 - Warlord Told To Halt Protests.

The Kabul government warns local warlord Padshah Khan Zadran, who opposes Pres. Hamid Karzai's rule, to halt anti-government protests in his power base in the eastern city of Khost. Kabul tells Zadran and his supporters to stop their "subversive activities". Kabul Radio said: "The state warns these criminal elements to stop their subversive activities, otherwise it would be forced to take action under the authority given to it by the loya jirga". The radio station also broadcast a statement by former king Zahir Shah saying Zadran, who was sacked as governor of Paktia by Karzai earlier this year amidst local opposition, does not enjoy his support. (The Pashto-speaking supporters of Zadran accuse Karzai, himself a Pashtun, of leaning towards the Tadjik-dominated Northern Alliance and are demanding his removal. Zadran's followers have been holding anti-government protests since July 31, demanding the removal of men Karzai appointed as governors of the eastern Paktia and Khost provinces - Raz Mohammad Dalili and Mohammad Hakim Taniwal. Zadran, who claims a fighting force of 3,000 men, also complains about changes made by the central government in the army's 25th Division, the command of which was taken away from his brother Kamal Khan. Zadran, a strong local ally of the US in its war against Taliban remnants and Al Qaida fugitives, is wanted by Karzai for the killing of the residents of Gardez, the capital of Paktia. After his removal as governor, soldiers loyal to Zadran fired dozens of rockets at Gardez killing several civilians).
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Aug 10, 2002
Words:249
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