Kandaharis protest US action against Afghan businessman
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Hundreds of residents of southern Kandahar province on Tuesday rallied for leading Afghan businessman Hikmatullah Shadman.
A US court has charged Hikmatullah Shadman with giving bundles of $100 notes to at least two American soldiers in order to receive inflated supply contracts.
The Justice Department had earlier frozen more than $63m in bank accounts owned by Shadman, a logistics and construction company owner.The court has ordered the detention of Shadman and freezing of his account of $77 million.
A resident of Kandahar province, Janan Momin, said Shadman was a kind man who always helped his needy compatriots. Shadman’s support was not confined to a particular area, he added.
For example, he said, Shadman sent relief to war-affected families of Kunduz province a few months ago. Foreigners wanted to defame the businessman by levelling false charges against him, the resident alleged.
Niamatullah Wafa, a provincial council member who also participated in the protest, said Shadman had helped many primary and high school students in different provinces of the country.
He asked the US government to avoid the character assassination of Afghan personalities and withdraw the case against Shadman. If traders committed any crime, they should be prosecuted inside the country, he suggested.
Residents of Uruzgan, Helmand and Zabul provinces, who also participated in the protest meeting, blamed foreigners for defaming philanthropic Afghans.
A resolution letter read out by civil society activist Mohammad Naser Mubarez asked the president to defend Shadman.
It said accusations against Shadman by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was against human rights, democracy and Afghanistan’s sovereignty.
Shadman had also been detained in 2013 by US forces on similar charges. But he was freed after spending 77 days in jail.
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