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Ismail Khan wins vote of confidence

December 4, 2012

By Tim Foxley

Summary: Former warlord and current Minister for Water and Energy Ismail Khan survives vote of no-confidence based on reported poor performance at the ministry.  It is plausible that his ambitions (and recent associated statements) to create an independent military force are part of this equation.  His success in avoiding removal may encourage him in his plans to create military alternatives to the ANSF

Ismail Khan

Ismail Khan

This is the interesting follow up to the two posts (here and here) I put up regarding the Minister/Warlord Ismail Khan and his reported desire to recreate a large militia armed force to compensate for the failings of the central government and the ANSF matters.

Ismail was put up for impeachment before Parliament on the grounds of:

mismanagement of water and energy affairs in several provinces, not properly utilizing water, alleged distribution of weapons, development budget underutilised and ministry contracts not transparent

There was apparently no mention of the militia-raising issue.  Parliament voted on it on Monday.  The no-confidence vote was defeated – no more than 30 or so MPs voted against Ismail.

Difficult to know where this leaves us – I am tempted to think that the impeachment measurement could hardly have been coincidental with Ismail’s recent sabre-rattling exercise.  Perhaps a message from Karzai to “back off” or possibly other rival power-brokers seizing an opportunity now that they sense Ismail is weakened politically?  Is this a warning shot across the bows to Ismail which he will do well to heed and drop – at least for the moment – any more re-arming talk?  Or does this vote now empower Ismail and give him a greater sense of confidence that he can at least begin to move cautiously in the militia direction?

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