According to a report in AKI (Adnkronos International) Kazai’s erstwhile election rival Abdullah was obliged to withdraw from the race when the U.S. swung its full support behind Karzai. That sounds odd given the media publicity at the time over outrageously fraudulent pro-Karzai election officials (some polling booths reporting 100% votes for Karzai, many yielding results in nice round figures, and ghost polling booths etc) — but then one does have to find an explanation for Obama’s quickness to congratulate Karzai on his “win”. But it looks like Abdullah was not the right man to please the Pakistanis or be a useful addition to a scenario where Pakistan needs to find creative ways to remove its internal Taliban threats. So Karzai it was — the AKI report can be read here — Karzai Rival Withdrew Under U.S. Pressure.
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