With Ahmad Wali Karzai in the news, let’s spare a moment of thought for the other Karzai brother, Mahmoud. As the CAP warlord cheat sheet explains:
Mahmoud Karzai retains a residence in Maryland and managed the family’s string of Afghan restaurants in the United States prior to the fall of Taliban. He currently heads the Afghan Chamber of Commerce. He has been accused of profiting through this position and his family connections, and holds interests in mining, a cement factory, the country’s dominant bank, and its only Toyota distributorship. Hamid Karzai has refused to take action against either brother, saying he has received no evidence, only allegations, against his family members.
It’s been years since I’ve visited either the Cambridge or the Baltimore branch of the Helmand franchise, but it’s worth noting that these are—or at least were—darn good restaurants. It has, however, long been my feeling that the rather extensive wine list tends to undermine the Karzai family’s Islamic cred.
Also note that when you hear about corruption in Afghanistan, we’re not talking about small stuff. The president’s brother heads the country’s chamber of commerce, dominant bank, and main car distributorship and he’s the less corrupt brother!