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Karzai names choices to replace ministers

Last modified: 2 Sep 2012 18:54

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has named his replacements for two high-ranking positions today in Kabul.

Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, the former interior minister, has been named as the new defence minister.

Mohammadi will replace Abdul Rahim Wardak.

Both Mohammadi and Wardak were dismissed of their previous positions through a "no-confidence" vote by the parliament in August.

Along with Mohammadi, Asadullah Khalid, the minister of border and tribal affairs, will also be named to head the nation's intelligence agency.

Talk of Khalid's name being considered to head the National Directorate of Security, NDS, earned the ire of rights groups

Khalid was removed from the governorship of southern Kandahar province in 2008 after being accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

Of Khalid, Human Rights Watch said:

President Karzai should use the appointment of a new NDS chief to demonstrate his commitment to ending torture by choosing someone whose integrity and commitment to human rights is above reproach.

Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, a former police official, has also been named to lead the Ministry of Interior, the post once held by Mohammadi.