Karzai said to have a "fondness" for opium, heroin

Former UN envoy questions Afghan leader's mental stability

The UN’s former no. 2 official in Afghanistan says drug abuse may be to blame for Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s predilection for “tirades” and “emotional” behaviour. “Some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan’s most profitable exports,” says Peter Galbraith, in a euphemistic reference to opium or heroin. Galbraith was fired from his UN post last September after he accused his boss, Kaie Eide, of willfully ignoring evidence of election fraud in the vote that handed Karzai another term. His accusations come on the heels of a series of troubling statements by the Afghan president, who recently threatened to join the Taliban and suggested foreigners, including Galbraith, had tried to rig the last election. Galbraith said the Obama administration should impose strict limits on Karzai’s powers inside the country and questioned the value of the mission if the Karzai government doesn’t prove himself to be a more “reliable partner.”


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