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Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?

- DR. Abdul-Qayum Mohmand

Analysis of “CIA World Factbook” (1981-2012): Dimensions of anti-Pashtun Conspirac

Afghan Fury at Planned Pakistan Pact
What Happens When the U.S. Leaves Afghanistan?
Trying to leave Afghanistan proves to be as troublesome as being there: A Closer Look
Afghanistan: “It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”
Zero Dark Thirty Review-Analysis; Eleven Instances of Disinformation
Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?
 
 
 
US forces in Afghanistan nearly destroyed vital airfield
We Are Those Two Afghan Children, Killed by NATO While Tending Their Cattle
Former Islamist Warlord Vies for Afghan Presidency
Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban prisoner in effort to boost peace process
Losing the War in Afghanistan
Obama’s troop increase for Afghan war was misdirected
Afghan security vacuum feared along "gateway to Kabul"
Objections to U.S. Troops Intensify in Afghanistan
The Great Afghan corruption scam
War zone killing: Vets feel 'alone' in their guilt
Was Osama for Real? And Was He Killed in 2001?
Afghanistan withdrawal: The risks of retreat
The Real Reason the US Invaded Afghanistan
The Definition of a Quagmire
Huge Uncertainty' in Afghanistan
Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions In Afghanistan
Afghanistan: The Final Curtain Call for NATO?
Afghanistan After 9/11: A Mission Unaccomplished
Why Should Taliban and Other Insurgents Refrain from Negotiation With the US & NATO? By: Dr Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, Ph

Exclusive: Karzai family looks to extend boss rule in Afghanistan.

Intrigue in Karzai Family as an Afghan Era Closes
For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions
Double blow to west’s Afghan strategy
Does the Taliban need a diplomatic voice?
Afghanistan: Lessons in War and Peace-building for US
Afghan women opposed by former allies
Q+A - Haqqani: From White House guest to staunch U.S. enemy
Haqqanis: Growth of a militant network -BBC
Afghanistan shelves plans for ambassador accused of fraud
Afghan nominated as ambassador to Britain was accused in US of fraud
U.S. deal with Taliban breaks down
The Loneliness of the Afghan President: Karzai on His Own

NATO's Third Alternative in Afghanistan

On the Road: Interview with Commander Abdul Haq:- The Tragedy of Abdul Haq
When the Lion Roared: How Abdul Haq Almost Saved Afghanistan
AFGHAN WARRIOR: THE LIFE & DEATH OF ABDUL HAQ
Pakistan’s ISI: Undermining Afghan self-determination since 1948
Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan, Military Occupation, Corruption and the Rights of the Afghan People
M. Siddieq Noorzoy
Why Isn’t the UN Investigating and Prosecuting the U.S. and NATO for War Crimes Committed in Afghanistan?
Corruption and Warlordism:
Abdul Basir Stanikzai
In Afghanistan, U.S. contracts aren’t crystal balls, but they come close
The great Afghan carve-up
Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy
Terry Jones Actually Burns a Qur’an and No One Notices
Q+A-Are Afghan forces ready to take over security?
Guantánamo Bay files rewrite the story of Osama bin Laden's Tora Bora escape
Winning Afghan hearts, minds with explosives
Afghanistan’s Mercenaries
KABUL’S HORIZONS
Who is winning Afghanistan war? U.S. officials increasingly disagree
Afghanistan: The Trouble With The Transition
From the Archives: In Quest of a ‘Greater Tajikistan’
The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad
Afghanistan's Karzai complains about interference
Karzai, US ambassador at odds over private security

Karzai Tells Washington Post U.S. Should Reduce Afghan Operation Intensity

Excerpts from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Washington Post
What the Afghans Want
New US approach to Afghanistan insurgency: Vindication for Pakistan?
Putting Some Fight Into Our Friends
Afghans 'abused at secret prison
Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq
Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan
Canada’s elite commandos and the invasion of Afghanistan
U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder
Five myths about the war in Afghanistan
Marine who resigned over ‘conscience’ speaks at MU
The Afghan media may have grown since Taliban rule ended, but not so press freedoms
Mystery holes and angry ants: another Afghan day
Kabul Bank's Sherkhan Farnood feeds crony capitalism in Afghanistan
Marjah War
Operation Moshtarak: Which way the war in Afghanistan?
Q&A: Why Marjah, why now?
In Jalalabad, hope is fading
Seeking reconciliation, US units meet remote Afghanistan tribes
Once Again, Get the Hell Out! "Ending the War in Afghanistan"
Blackwater Kept a Prostitute on the Payroll in Afghanistan; Fraudulently Billed American Tax Payers
Wild West Motif Lightens US Mood at Afghan Bas
In southern Afghanistan, even the small gains get noticed
 Afghanistan war: US tries to undercut Taliban at tribal level
 Soviet lessons from Afghanistan
Are actions of 'super-tribe' an Afghan tipping point
Taliban: Terrorist or not? Not always easy to say
Q&A: Who else could help in Afghanistan?
Vietnam Replay on Afghan 'Defectors'
Washington's Refusal to Talk about Drone Strikes in Pakistan Meets Growing Opposition
Afghanistan summit: Why is the US backing talks with the Taliban?
Taliban's leadership council runs Afghan war from Pakistan
Why buy the Taliban?
2 Afghanistan conferences: No solutions
An Alternative to Endless War - Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?
Do the Taliban represent the Pashtuns?
Afghanistan asks ex-presidential contender to tackle corruption

Tehran Sets Conditions For Attending London Conference On Afghanista

Pakistan says reaches out to Afghan Taliban
Taking It to the Taliban
The Afghan Taliban's top leaders
How significant is Mullah Baradar's arrest?
Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
What's the Quetta Shura Taliban and why does it matter?
What's behind latest Taliban attack on Kabul? See Images of the Attack By WSJ

Pakistan Version of Islam and Taliban ?????
Lahore fashion week takes on Talibanization in Pakistan

Loyalties of Those Killed in Afghan Raid Remain Unclear

After Attack, Afghans Question Motives or See Conspiracies
Gates: Taliban part of Afghan ‘political fabric’

IG: Afghan power-plant project ill-conceived, mismanaged

Taliban intensifies Afghan PR campaign

Taliban Overhaul Their Image in Bid to Win Allies
Karzai plans to woo Taliban with 'land, work and pensions'
Peace scheme mooted for Taliban
Bombs and baksheesh
But By All Means, Continue the Happy Talk on the Afghanistan War
Karzai Closing in on Taliban Reconciliation Plan
Last Exit Kabul
How To Get Out Without Forsaking Afghanistan's Stability
Afghan Recovery Report: Taleban Buying Guns From Former Warlords

'Jesus Guns': Two More Countries Rethink Using Weapons with Secret Bible References

Gun bible quotes 'inappropriate'
Text of Joint declaration of Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral meeting
Garmsir Protest Shows Taleban Reach
Rugged North Waziristan harbors US enemies
The Arrogance of Empire, Detailed ( The Untold Story of Afghanistan )
Appointment of Afghan counter narcotics chief dismays British officials
In Afghanistan attack, CIA fell victim to series of miscalculations about informant
Rebuilding Afghanistan: Will government take hold in this post-Taliban town?
Rare bird discovered in Afghan mountains
Blackwater, now called Xe, in running for work in Afghanistan despite legal woes
How Soviet troops stormed Kabul palace
Afghan children 'die in fighting'
Afghanistan war: Russian vets look back on their experience
U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai 
Learning From the Soviets
U.S. faults Afghan corruption body's independence
Intensify fight against corruption, says Afghan meeting
Afghan ministers cleared of charges
Drone aircraft in a stepped-up war in Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Air Force Confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' Secret Stealth Drone Plane
Kissinger's fantasy is Obama's realit
Taliban shadow officials offer concrete alternative
Talking with the Taliban
20. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart
'Yes, there was torture and people were certainly beaten': Afghan warden
Why we should leave Afghanistan
US pours millions into anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan
Pakistan to US: Don't surge in Afghanistan, talk to Taliban
A Plan C for Afghanistan
Finding decent cabinet is Karzai's big challenge
A way to get around Karzai in Afghanistan
Corruption fight boosted by 'Afghan FBI'
US demands Afghan 'bribery court'
Afghanistan plans court for corrupt ministers
The man leading Afghanistan's anti-corruption fight
Win hearts and minds in Afghanistan to win the war
Gates blocks abuse photos release
New U.S. Afghan prison unveiled, rights groups wary
War in Afghanistan: Not in our name
How the US Funds the Taliban
Afghan gov't says UN representative out of line
Cabinet of Warlords
Afghanistan and the lessons of history
Clinton says Karzai ‘must do better’
Recognizing the Limits of American Power in Afghanistan
After Afghanistan election, governors seek distance from 'illegal' Karzai
Karzai was hellbent on victory. Afghans will pay the price
Matthew Hoh: Please refute what I'm saying, we are stuck in the Afghan civil war
As US looks for exit in Afghanistan, China digs in
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistani
The Afghan '80s are back
Pashtun peace prophet goes global
Afghan Road Builder's Dream Thwarted by Violence
A white elephant in Kabul
The Afghan Runoff: Will It Be a No-Show Election?

Ashraf Ghani- Afghanistan's Disputed Election Complicates U.S. Strategy

On Assignment: Into the Maw at Marja

Patrick Witty & Tyler Hicks
The New York Times


Afghanistan Cross Road CNN


The last frontier


Bruce Richardson
 

Articles

CIA: Buying peace in Afghanistan?

With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
CIA Ghost Money: Karzai Confirms U.S. Gives Funds To Afghan National Security Team
What the CIA’s cash has bought for Afghanistan

Khalilzad: A Satan Whispering in the Hearts of Men
The Afghan trust deficitt
Will We Learn Anything from Afghanistan? Part 1
Getting Out of Afghanistan: Part 2
William R. Polk
General’s Defense on Afghan Scandal Ducks Key Evidence
Afghans want Taliban peace talks
Bombing Weddings in Afghanistan: It Couldn't Happen Here, It Does Happen There
Hekmatyar's never-ending Afghan war
Covert American Aid to the Afghan Resistance; A Top-Secret U.S. Foreign Policy Plot to Induce and Effect Soviet Military Intervention
Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

US considers launching joint US-Afghan raids in Pakistan to hunt down militant groups

Real security in Afghanistan depends on people's basic needs being met
Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy
Former Taliban Officials Say U.S. Talks Started
Taliban ready for talks with US, not Karzai government
Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image
Leaked NATO Report Shows Pakistan Support For Taliban
Insight: Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre
Presenter: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Daoud Sultanzoy, Tolo Television
NATO’s measured exit plan in Afghanistan faces new obstacles
BFP Exclusive: Karzai Clan Attorney Threatens US Journalist, Uses Intimidation Tactics
Afghanistan Chronicles
Arduous path to Afghan 'end-game'
Fear in the classrooms: is the Taliban poisoning Afghanistan's schoolgirls?
A comment on the recent events of student poisoning in Afghanistan
Rape Case, in Public, Cites Abuse by Armed Groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Hit Brick Wall
THE ANATOMY OF US’S DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN
VOICES OF EMPIRE: FROM CIA’s CULTURAL GREAT GAME TO GLOBAL GREAT GAME TODAY
WHITE PAPER FOR THE PERMANENT PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
King Karzai
A Federal System of Government is Not Suitable for Afghanistan
CHINA AMO DARYA OIL DEAL
Analysis: Where Afghan humanitarianism ends and development begins
U.S. Envoy: Kabulbank Was 'Vast Looting Scheme'
Speaking with the enemy: how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night
Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Musery
How to Win Peace in Afghanistan
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain
Troops 'fighting for UK's future'
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Afghans still skeptical about Obama
US Defence Department struggling with public release of report on bombing in Afghanistan
Afghanistan on the Edge
Q+A: Who are the Pakistani Taliban insurgents?
Afghanistan Past & Present
Bombs for Pashtoons and Dollars for Punjab
Help! I'm being outgunned on K Street!
ANGELS CHASING DEMONS: “Jesus Killed Mohammad”!
U.S. tested 2 Afghan scenarios in war game
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama hearing range of views on Afghanistan
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Afghans tricked into U.S. trip, detained
In the Afghan War, Aim for the Middle
Obama pulled two ways in Afghanistan
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Gates: Mistake to set time line for Afghan withdrawal
Afghans question what democracy has done for them
High stakes in Afghan vote recount
Two Perspectives On Resolving The Afghan Postelection Crisis
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistanis
The Afghan '80s are back
How to Lose in Afghanistan
US in Afghanistan proposes revamped strategy
US 'needs fresh Afghan strategy'
US looks to Vietnam for Afghan tips
Lessons from Vietnam on Afghanistan
Afghan Pres. Skips Country's 1st TV Debate
A proud moment for Afghanistan
Rival to Karzai Gains Strength in Afghan Presidential Election
Afghan presidential candidate withdraws in Karzai's favor
America and international law
Hamid Karzai pulls out of historic TV debate just hours before broadcast
Karzai says no to first Afghanpresidential debate
Afghan election: Can Karzai's rivals close the gap?
Karzai opponents hope to beat him in second round
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Karzai’s gimmick
Well-known traffickers set free ahead of election
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Why the Pentagon Axed Its Afghanistan Warlord
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
The Irresistible Illusion
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit
We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Echoes of Vietnam
A Response To General Dostum
Obama orders probe of killings in Afghanistan
Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
The Irresistible Illusion
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit

We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan

The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Stakes High in Afghanistan Ahead of August Elections
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse
Petraeus Is a Failure -- Why Do We Pretend He's Been a Success?
Fierce Battles and High Casualties on the Frontlines of Afghanistan
End the Illegal, Immoral and Wasted War in Afghanistan, says BNP Defence Spokesman
Outside View: Four revolutions
Pakistan's Plans for New Fight Stir Concern
France: liberty, equality, and fraternity – but no burqas
 

 

 

 

 

Echoes of Vietnam

Even the Coalition commanders in Afghanistan wonder if they can win the war
Will history repeat itself in Afghanistan?

British military intervention in Afghanistan has a chequered history, making it easy to conclude that British forces will fail again


 


Afghanistan shelves plans for ambassador accused of fraud  
Source: Guardian By: Luke Harding and Emma Graham-Harrison

Mohammad Daud Yaar, accused by Afghan family in US of defrauding them, had been chosen as ambassador in London

Afghan nominated for UK ambassadorship tells of links to Karzai family in fraud case interview – videoMohammad Daud Yaar, who has been nominated as the new Afghan ambassador to Britain, is interviewed during a US civil fraud case he was involved in by lawyers for the plaintiffs. In the 2008 video, Yaar talks about his friendship with Khodaidad Karzai, the uncle of the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai

Afghanistan has quietly shelved plans to send a man accused of fraud in the US to head its embassy in Britain.

Mohammad Daud Yaar, director of economic affairs at the foreign ministry in Kabul, had been chosen for the high-profile job, with confirmation expected to be little more than a formality. But last week the Guardian reported that an Afghan immigrant family in California had accused Yaar of defrauding them. In 2010 they obtained a civil court judgment against him. Yaar admits to owing the family $100,000 but says he intends to pay them back.

In the wake of the fraud claims, a government spokesman in Kabul had said his nomination was "proceeding as normal". But sources now say that, although Daud's contacts may protect his longer-term hopes of an ambassadorial posting, his candidacy for London is on hold.

Yaar is a long-standing and close friend of Mahmoud Karzai, the influential brother of Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai. Yaar lived with another Karzai brother, Ahmed Wali, in Chicago in the late 1980s and 90s. He had been expected to arrive in London shortly.

It is understood the decision to pull the plug on his nomination came last Friday after Karzai and several senior ministers returned from a summit of regional leaders in Beijing.

The British embassy in Kabul said it did not comment on ambassadorial appointments until they were confirmed.

UK foreign secretary William Hague, visiting Kabul for an international conference on Afghanistan's future, also declined to comment, but said on Wednesday he was not concerned that Kabul had gone months without appointing an ambassador.

Yaar's imminent appointment had followed a year in which London lay vacant as Kabul struggled to find a consensus candidate for what is considered one of the most prestigious diplomatic posts. There are now likely to be further delays. "Embassies do continue to operate without ambassadors for extended periods of time, but obviously we will welcome an Afghan ambassador in due course," Hague told a news conference.

Sources outside Afghanistan say Yaar secured the UK job after intense behind-the-scenes lobbying by Mahmoud Karzai, whose business activities in the US are also being investigated. Yaar spent about 20 years in the US, where he worked as a part-time professor and also built up an extensive property portfolio.

He returned to Kabul in 2009 after the civil action. The plaintiffs, two Afghan-born brothers, Jamal and Ajmal Staneckzai, claim Yaar "tricked, defrauded and deceived" them over the 2001 purchase of a house in Fresno, California. Yaar insisted the case, from California's superior court in Contra Costa, was a business deal gone wrong. He vehemently denied fraud.

"If I had committed fraud, why did they settle?" he told the Guardian last week in his office in a low-rise building inside the sprawling grounds of the Afghan foreign ministry. "It was a business agreement and the other side backed off [from their side of the deal] and went to the courts. They couldn't prove anything."

Yaar said he was planning to pay off the remainder of the money he owed as soon as he could afford it, but his home in California was in negative equity and his small government salary in Kabul did not leave room for savings. He stressed: "My intention was to help these guys to solve their housing problem."

But one of his alleged victims told the Guardian Yaar was not a fit person to become UK ambassador, let alone hold responsibility in Kabul for big financial issues. Jamal Staneckzai said he had wanted to buy a home for his elderly parents, Ghani and Amani, who fled Afghanistan in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation.

Unable to get a mortgage, he and four other families from the close-knit Afghan community in California turned to Yaar for help. Yaar bought a property in 2001 on their behalf, but registered it in his own name. The Staneckzais made regular mortgage payments, with several family friends providing the initial deposit as a loan, he said.

In 2005 the Staneckzais were finally able to get a mortgage. When they asked Yaar to transfer the property to them he refused and sold it to them for $358,900, promising to refund the net proceeds.

Yaar never refunded the money, Staneckzai alleges. "I was a part-time student at university back in 2001, which is why I couldn't get a loan. We regarded Yaar as a close and respected uncle. He told us, 'You guys will pay the mortgage costs and I will transfer everything back to you". Instead he took every dollar from us. He took our equity."


Afghan nominated as ambassador to Britain was accused in US of fraud  
Source: Guardian By:  

Mohammad Daud Yaar, one of President Karzai's inner circle, rated unfit for top UK post by 'victims' who brought civil case

The man who has been nominated as Afghanistan's new ambassador to the UK has been accused in the US of fraud and appears to have landed the job thanks to his contacts with Hamid Karzai's powerful family.

Mohammad Daud Yaar is at present director of economic affairs at the foreign ministry in Kabul, and a key conduit between the Afghan government and donor agencies and embassies.

In 2010 a family of Afghan immigrants accused Yaar, in a civil court in California, of defrauding them. He admits to owing them $100,000.

Officials in Kabul have confirmed that Yaar has been nominated as the ambassador to London. He has yet to take up his post. The Foreign Office says it is unclear when he will arrive and adds that he is not ambassador yet. Yaar denies fraud and says he intends to repay the money.

Afghan sources said Yaar secured the UK job following intense behind-the-scenes lobbying by Mahmoud Karzai, the president's influential brother, whose business activities in Afghanistan are also being investigated in the US.

Yaar spent about 20 years in the US. He lived with Ahmed Wali Karzai (a brother who was killed) in the late 1980s and 90s, when the family ran a restaurant in Chicago. Ahmed Wali shared the business with Mahmoud and another Karzai brother, Qayum.

Yaar's appointment to the high-profile London post is likely to raise questions about alleged rampant corruption and nepotism at the heart of the Karzai administration.

Ahead of the Afghan president's departure from office in 2014, family members have been fighting among themselves for control of the fortune they have amassed over the past decade, the New York Times reported this week.

The feuding within the Afghan elite has intensified as the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of US, British and Nato troops draws nearer. There are fears in Kabul that once the soldiers are gone, and if the west's financial and military support drops off, the country could slip back into civil war.

Many people who have grown rich in Afghanistan are looking for a safe haven abroad for their assets, and often for their families as well.

Yaar returned to the country in 2009. He left the US following the settlement of a civil action against him. The plaintiffs, two Afghan-born brothers, Jamal and Ajmal Staneckzai, claim he "tricked, defrauded and deceived" them over the 2001 purchase of a house in Fresno, California.

Yaar insisted the case, from California's superior court in Contra Costa, was a business deal gone wrong. He vehemently denied fraud.

"If I had committed fraud, why did they settle?" he told the Guardian in his office in a low-rise building inside the sprawling grounds of the Afghan foreign ministry. He added: "It was a business agreement and the other side backed off [from their side of the deal] and went to the courts. They couldn't prove anything."

Yaar said he was planning to pay off the remainder of the money he owed as soon as he could afford it, but his home in California was in negative equity and his small government salary in Kabul did not leave room for savings. He stressed: "My intention was to help these guys to solve their housing problem."

But one of his alleged victims said that Yaar was not a fit person to become ambassador to the UK, let alone hold responsibility in Kabul for big financial issues.

Speaking by phone, Jamal Staneckzai told the Guardian he had wanted to buy a home for his elderly parents, Ghani and Amani, who fled Afghanistan in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation.

Unable to get a mortgage, he and four other families from the close-knit Afghan community in California turned to Yaar for help. Yaar bought a property in 2001 on their behalf, but registered it in his own name. The Staneckzais made regular mortgage payments, with several family friends providing the initial deposit as a loan, he said.

In 2005 the Staneckzais were finally able to get a mortgage. When they asked Yaar to transfer the property to them he refused and sold it to them for $358,900, promising to refund the net proceeds.

Instead, Yaar pocketed the cash, Staneckzai alleges "I was a part-time student at university back in 2001, which is why I couldn't get a loan. We regarded Yaar as a close and respected uncle. He told us, "you guys will pay the mortgage costs and I will transfer everything back to you". Instead he took every dollar from us. He took our equity."

In January 2009 the family's lawyer, Bashir Ghazialam, filed court papers alleging "breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud". In August 2010 he obtained a judgment against Yaar and his wife, Sadia, for $120,000, after the Yaars paid only $10,000 of agreed damages. Asked about the case Ghazialam said caustically: "If this guy becomes ambassador to the UK I might as well give up my law licence."

In Kabul, Yaar denied that the Staneckzais had provided money for the deposit, even though the court claims give details of family friends who say they provided the cash. One friend is Khodaidad Karzai, one of the president's uncles, whom, the Staneckzais say, lent them $5000. Yaar, however, insisted he paid the deposit himself.

Educated, clever, and a fluent English speaker, Yaar has a colourful biography. After graduating he taught economics in Kabul for several years. He fled the country in 1978 after the Soviet-backed government broke up an underground opposition group that he belonged to and which was centred on the university.

The group's members agreed to write letters to foreign newspapers under fake names exposing the atrocities of the Afghan communist regime and its Soviet backers in Moscow.

Surviving members of the group said Yaar was the only one to escape. They suspect they might have been betrayed by a mysterious relative whom Yaar brought to a meeting the day before the arrests began.

"We were holding a meeting in July, and Daud Yaar came and brought a strange man we didn't know. That evening we went to jail," said one surviving member of the group, who asked not to be named. "My view is that [the man] was a spy for the communist government. I was a prisoner for a year and a half. They tortured us and we came close to being hanged."

Yaar said his relative was also later arrested and badly tortured, adding: "I don't believe that he would give me or the others to the military."

Yaar spent 10 years in Germany before moving in 1987 to the US, where he shared a house with the Karzais.

Some sources said he worked before 9/11 as an informal PR adviser to the Taliban's New York representative, Hakim Mujahid. Yaar dismisses this. Of the Taliban, he said: "I think they deceived everybody – they deceived the king, Professor Rabbani. They said they were going to disarm the country but it turned out they were just a bunch of crooks and terrorists."

In California he worked as a part-time economics professor while amassing a property empire that included at least six houses.

Back in Kabul his connections got him a post on the Afghan National Security Council, chaired by Hamid Karzai. He was a key liaison between the council and a UK-funded agency, Adam Smith International.

In 2010 Yaar became the director of economic affairs at the Kabul foreign ministry, a plum job. He now liaises between the Afghan government and western donors on financial issues. British diplomats in Kabul appear unaware of the fraud allegations and have declined to comment.

The appointment follows a year in which the key London post lay vacant as the Afghan government struggled to find a consensus candidate for what is considered one of the most senior and prestigious diplomatic posts.

At one point Yaar was in the frame to become ambassador in Washington. The job eventually went to the deputy foreign minister Eklil Hakimi. Yaar then got London as a consolation prize, one source suggested.

His predecessor in the UK, Homayoun Tanda, struggled to make his mark. US diplomats who met him in 2009 noted that Tanda knew French fluently but could speak only "broken, heavily accented English" and that he "struggled" to communicate. This made it difficult for the Afghan government get its message across to British officials and the media, the US mission in London noted.

 

 

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