News / Asia

Pakistan, Afghanistan Leaders Reject Credibility of WikiLeaks Documents

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shakes hand with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, after giving a joint press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, 04 Dec 2010
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shakes hand with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, after giving a joint press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, 04 Dec 2010
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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has rejected allegations from leaked U.S. diplomatic cables depicting Afghan President Hamid Karzai as politically weak.

Mr. Gilani, speaking to reporters alongside Mr. Karzai in Kabul Saturday, said reports that the Afghan leader has no control over law enforcement agencies is probably just the view of junior U.S. officers and should not be taken seriously.  He added that the group that revealed the documents, WikiLeaks, should not be trusted.

Mr. Karzai, meanwhile, defended his finance minister, Omar Zakhilwal, who is cited in one of the messages describing the Afghan president as a "weak man," saying he doubted the account.

Zakhilwal insisted Saturday that he never said such a thing, accusing U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry of misquoting him to further his own views.  The finance minister called the incident a breach of trust and said it can no longer be "business as usual" with the U.S. ambassador.

Other diplomatic cables published this week describe "overwhelming" corruption in Afghanistan that reaches the highest political levels, including allegations of bribery, money laundering and profiting from the drug trade.

WikiLeaks
has published thousands of classified U.S. documents that have included unflattering portrayals of world leaders, criticism of governments and other controversial material.  U.S. State Department officials have said the release of the documents have substantially hurt diplomatic efforts.

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