18 August 2009

Time for the clothes pegs

Is this what our troops are fighting for?
Eight months ago, it looked as though the controversial era of General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s ethnic Uzbek warlord, had come to a brutal end. After allegedly beating up a political rival, he disappeared into exile in Turkey. Yet with only three days until Afghanistan’s presidential election, General Dostum, 55, has staged a dramatic return to his homeland as part of a deal to help President Karzai to victory. (here)

Mr Karzai, the West’s indecisive placeman in Afghanistan, eager to please everyone, has quietly signed an amended version of what has become known as the “marital rape law”, to retain popularity with clerics and his male followers. While the clause insisting that a man has the right to sex with his wife a certain number of times a week may have been removed, the Shia Personal Status Law, described as “abhorrent” in its original form by President Obama, remains abhorrent. It allows a man to deny his wife food if she denies him conjugal sex, grants guardianship of children to fathers and
grandfathers, lets rapists pay to avoid being prosecuted, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. (here)
An investigation by the BBC has found evidence of fraud and corruption in Afghanistan's presidential election. Thousands of voting cards have been offered for sale and thousands of dollars offered in bribes to buy votes. The findings come as campaigning closes ahead of Thursday's election in which incumbent President Hamid Karzai faces more than 30 challengers. (here)

TALEBAN commanders have been bribed with cash from the international community to hold off violent attacks in the run up to Thursday's Afghan elections, The Scotsman has learned. (here)

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