This weekend was supposed to be a major reshuffle at the Afghan Foreign Ministry, where 105 diplomats deployed abroad were supposed to return from foreign postings to receive new assignments. Only five came back.
Though exact splits on the other 100 aren’t clear yet, many of them are reportedly planning to formally defect and apply for asylum in whatever countries they are deployed to, while others are just calling their stays an unscheduled “extension.”
For some the fear is what will happen to them after the inevitable NATO drawdown in 2015. For many though, the fear is more immediate, that the spring presidential election will replace Karzai with one of his rivals and leave them on the outs with the new government. In Afghanistan that’s a deadly risk.
The diplomats are mostly the relatives highly positioned Karzai government figures, and when his term comes to an end, so may their usefulness. A lot of the relatives of the Karzai government’s leadership are looking to head abroad before the vote, and the diplomats are just the first stage of that exodus.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Report: Saudis Dismembered Journalist While He Was Still Alive, Audio Recording Shows - October 17th, 2018
- Israeli Ambassador to France Slammed for Attempt to Censor News - October 16th, 2018
- Suspects in Journalist's Disappearance Linked to Saudi Crown Prince - October 16th, 2018
- Erdogan: Turkey to Expand Military Operations Against Syrian Kurds - October 16th, 2018
- Koreas Agree to Reconnect Rail, Road Links - October 16th, 2018