(AFP) – Oct 28, 2009
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama's administration should brief Congress on any "entanglements" between Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother and the CIA or drug traffickers, Senator John Kerry said Wednesday.
"The appropriate congressional committees must be immediately provided with the most comprehensive and untainted information about his alleged entanglements," said Democratic Senator John Kerry, a key Obama ally.
Kerry's comments came after Ahmed Wali Karzai, who is said to have ties to Afghanistan's lucrative illegal opium trade, denied a New York Times report that he has been on the CIA payroll for most of the past eight years.
Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said top US officials had "repeatedly" assured him that "there is no hard evidence" to substantiate the narcotics allegation.
"However, after reading press accounts which allege that Mr. Karzai has been on the payroll of the CIA, one of the agencies gathering intelligence about narcotics trafficking in Afghanistan, I have serious questions about the information that Congress is receiving," said Kerry.
"On questions this serious, it is imperative that we receive reliable, current and accurate information," said the Massachusetts Democrat, who helped broker a November 7 run-off election in Afghanistan.
"We should not condemn Ahmed Wali Karzai or damage our critical relations with his brother, President Karzai, on the basis of newspaper articles or rumors," said Kerry.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »