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Karzai Threatens to Step Down

May 20, 2003|From Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai threatened to resign if governors across this fractious country failed to send vital customs revenues to the central government.

In a speech broadcast on state television Sunday, Karzai said that provincial authorities had sent no money to the central government since mid-March and that scores of security troops and civil servants hadn't been paid as a result.

Warlords in border provinces are benefiting from lucrative import routes. Karzai said that if the problem is not resolved, he will convene a loya jirga, or grand council. "The whole government, including Karzai, would step down and the loya jirga would choose another," Information and Culture Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen said.

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