e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Home 
 News 
 Articles 
 Cartoons 
 Feedback 
 Opinion  
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 08/22/2014
 Afghan minister offers tearful account

The Guardian
08/09/2012
By Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul

[Printer Friendly Version]

DIPLOMATS FILING into the conference room at Afghanistan’s finance ministry had expected a bland update on accountability targets from the finance minister.

Instead, he brought out personal financial papers and begged for support in the face of what he described as politically motivated corruption allegations, eventually breaking down in tears.

Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, a young technocrat who has been lionised as a dynamic reformer by many western diplomats, said he had “acted naively” in his handling of $2 million of campaign funds for President Hamid Karzai’s re-election campaign in 2009, but denied any wrongdoing.

He launched an impassioned 45-minute defence of his behaviour, waving bank statements and tax receipts, and said he feared for his life and his family’s safety because of his role in trying to clear up a $900 million banking scandal, according to sources who attended the meeting, or heard first-hand accounts.

One diplomat described the meeting as “more emotional than factual”. Mr Zakhilwal began weeping toward the end of the meeting and had to leave the room briefly, sources said, but he returned to finish his talk.

However, Mr Zakhilwal denied he had asked for support, or that he had admitted any mistakes in handling election funds.

“I have not asked donors for help, in fact don’t need their help. I had invited them to brief them on what was going on and about my decision to ask the attorney general to investigate both the accusation against me as well as violations of my rights,” he said in an emailed message.

Back to Top



Other Stories:


Has Afghan election fraud controversy been defused?
The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2014)

Moscow’s Afghan Endgame
The Diplomat (06/25/2014)

Apologize to people, MPs asks Abdullah
Pajhwok (06/25/2014)

The Men Who Run Afghanistan
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

After Karzai
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

IEC secretary announces resignation
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

IECC spurns Abdullah’s claim; hails UN intervention
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

Afghan election crisis: 'stuffed sheep' recordings suggest large-scale fraud
The Guardian (06/23/2014)

Foreign spies trading on poll crisis: People
Pajhwok (06/22/2014)

Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats
Khaama Press (06/22/2014)

Afghan Leader Backs U.N. Election Role
The New York Times (06/21/2014)

Tensions mount over Afghan vote, protest held in Kabul
Reuters (06/21/2014)

Hundreds protest alleged Afghan election fraud
The Associated Press (06/21/2014)

Afghan Presidential Election Takes Dangerous Turn
The Huffington Post (06/21/2014)

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan
PJ (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)


Back to Top