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Afghan Minister Quits After Criticizing Relief Groups


An Afghan cabinet minister who accused foreign aid groups of wasting money on expensive cars and houses has resigned because of the controversy he created.

Planning Minister Ramazan Bashardost's resignation came Monday after President Hamid Karzai rejected his drive to shut down all foreign aid and other relief group offices in Afghanistan.

Several members of Mr. Karzai's government have called on donor countries to channel more of their support through Afghanistan's ministries, despite concerns about corruption.

But Mr. Bashardost in recent days had started openly accusing the relief groups of spending billions of dollars on themselves.

President Karzai had already distanced himself from an earlier outburst by the minister. He said the relief groups' alleged waste was encouraging the militant attacks that has killed more than 30 aid workers this year.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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