Karzai, brothers do not own security firms, official says
December 21st, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Karzai, brothers do not own security firms, official says

Following allegations earlier in the year that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his brothers owned private security companies, Interior Ministry adviser Abdul Manan Farahi said an investigation by the ministry concluded they did not.

"During the investigation we found out that President Karzai and his brothers do not have any private security companies and no private security companies have any links to them," Farahi said.

He added that 57 private security companies were dissolved over the last four months, including unregistered and illegal companies which were violating the Afghan laws - all of them Afghan companies.

The government has a three-phase plan to eventually eliminate private security companies. The only ones allowed to operate in country will be those that service diplomats and associated organizations, but with strict restrictions.

"The private security companies which are responsible for security of the diplomats and diplomatic organizations will work under Ministry of Interior framework and they will be only responsible for securing the interior perimeters of the compounds of diplomatic organizations," said Farahi.

He also added that the ministry was running a test that would be a framework for the future.

"Fifty policemen hired in seven private security companies are working on managing and maintaining security of the convoys," he said.

In the future, Farahi said, "The security companies which are escorting convoys will be disbanded as soon as the Interior Ministry policemen replace them."

Abdul Ghafar Saidzada, chief of the Counterterrorism Department, told CNN that in total there had been 109 security companies. Of them, 52 which are registered remain in operation.

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