NEW YORK - The feuding brothers of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have patched up their dispute over a huge property development in the southern city of Kandahar, according to a media report.
The move allows the powerful Afghan family to present a more united front in the April elections that will pick the country’s next leader, The Wall Street Journal said in a report from Kabul. Mahmood Karzai, one of the owners of the Aynomeena development in Kandahar, battled for more than a year with Shah Wali Karzai, the 10,000-acre project’s former manager who has since become the tribal leader in the southern metropolis, according to the report. At stake were more than $50 million in Aynomeena funds that had been transferred to accounts controlled by Shah Wali, leaving the developers without cash to pay workers and suppliers.
The clash between the two Karzai brothers had poisoned Kandahar politics and risked to undermine the presidential aspirations of another brother, Qayum Karzai, who is planning to contest the April elections. President Karzai is forbidden by the constitution to seek a third term, and he hasn’t named a preferred successor.
Last year, Qayum tried to mediate between Shah Wali and Mahmood. Having failed, he chose to stay away from Kandahar-the Karzai family’s traditional power base that is also the Taliban movement’s cradle-until the dispute was resolved.
Under a recent compromise imposed by Karzai, Shah Wali already transferred $42m to a new account for Aynomeena, Mahmood Karzai said in an interview Friday. Payments from this account, however, can be made only with the joint permissions of Mahmood Karzai and a representative of Aynomeena home purchasers who is trusted by Shah Wali, according to Mahmood.
While Shah Wali couldn’t be reached for comment, his close associate Syed Jaan Khakrezwal, the Kandahar provincial council chairman, Friday confirmed that the dispute has been resolved; he declined to discuss details, the report said.