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    Karzai names picks to replace ousted ministers, spy chief

    KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has picked his nominees to replace two ousted ministers and the spy chief for an introduction to lower house of parliament for a vote of confidence, an official privy to the development said on Sunday.

    Through a decree issued late on Sunday, Karzai introduced Bismillah Mohammadi, the former interior minister, as defence minister to replace Abdul Rahim Wardak.

    Both Mohammadi and Wardak have been ousted by parliament for failing to prevent cross-border attacks from Pakistan into eastern Afghan provinces.

    The source at the Presidential Palace said Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, deputy interior minister, has been nominated to head the ministry, and Asadullah Khalid replaces the National Directorate of Security chief, Rahmatullah Nabil.

    The official said Karzai introduced Haji Azizullah Din Mohammad, as his nominee for acting borders and tribal affairs minister.

    After their disqualification, Mohammadi continued to work as acting interior minister, but Wardak resigned.

    Karzai a few days ago sacked Nabil as NDS chief, but later announced he would be appointed as an ambassador to a foreign country. Karzai’s move to sack Nabil drew strong condemnation from Wolesi Jirga members, who called it a plot.

    Haji Din Mohammad was a campaigner for President Karzai during last presidential election in eastern Nangarhar province and had served as governor for Kabul and Nangarhar.

    Karzai’s move to replace intelligence chief and ministers of defence and interior is seen the first step aimed at solidifying his power before elections and the drawdown of foreign forces.