Zalmay Khalilzad, Afghanistan’s possible Chief Executive?
Al Jazeera’s James Bays blogs that Zalmay Khalilzad could be back in the power game:
..Some media reports suggest Karzai talked to the former ambassador about the proposed role of Chief Executive. This post is a suggestion by western governments, concerned about the way the country is being run on a day-to-day basis.
Karzai is not believed to favour the idea, but if he is forced to have a Chief Executive, he may prefer someone he has worked well with in the past.
The next few days are likely be crucial, and – guess what – Zalmay Khalilzad, the man they used to call “the Kingmaker” has just arrived back in Kabul “on a personal visit”.
Ahmed Rashid on Zalmay Khalilzad, in his book Descent into Chaos:
…Tall and imposing, with a jutting jawline, he looked every bit the Afghan warrior, albeit one with a penchant for sharp Italian suits. Zal, as everyone called him, became the most powerful man in Afghanistan and made no attempt to hide it. He was not in the least embarrassed when reporters described how Karzai did not make a move without first consulting him. Khalilzad was a complicated personality: a Westernized scholar and neoconservative but an Afghan Muslim who had the taste for intrigue that is the hallmark of political culture in both Washington and Kabul. He was disliked by traditional diplomats but appreciated by the CIA and the U.S. military because of his can-do attitude.
Yet another attempt to give a legitimate face to a flawed democratic process?