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Powerful Afghan Minister Survives Impeachment


Water and Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan (front) signs a document as Afghan President Hamid Karzai looks on at the presidential palace in Kabul in 2010.

Water and Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan (front) signs a document as Afghan President Hamid Karzai looks on at the presidential palace in Kabul in 2010.

Afghanistan's lower house of parliament has cleared the country's powerful minister of water and energy of wrongdoing in impeachment proceedings in the capital.

Mohammad Ismail Khan, a former guerrilla commander with enormous influence in western Afghanistan, faced allegations of budgetary irregularities and charges that he remobilized his militia.

Khan rejected accusations that he distributed arms to his supporters or failed to properly utilize his ministry's resources.

A majority of lawmakers voted in favor of keeping him in his cabinet post.

Khan emerged as a major anti-Soviet mujahedin commander in the western Herat Province in the 1980s.

He fought against the Taliban and was imprisoned by their regime in the 1990s.

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Khan became governor of Herat Province.

In 2004, he was appointed to his post in the national cabinet.

Based on reporting by BBC Pashto and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
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