Hamid Karzai will stand for re-election as President of Afghanistan but his choice of running mate has dismayed many western diplomats.
One of the two vice-presidential candidates on Karzai’s ticket is Mohammad Fahim, a Tajik warlord who has defied western efforts to disband the country’s private militia. Karzai’s own popularity has been eroded during his five-year term by worsening violence in the country. On Monday alone at least 40 people were killed in three separate attacks, one carried out by a 14-year old suicide bomber in Laghman Province. After registering his candidacy for August’s presidential election, Karzai flew to Washington to discuss strategy in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda with the American and Pakistani presidents.