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Afghan ambassador to U.S. ordered to leave post

After serving as Afghanistan's top diplomat in Washington for seven years, Ambassador Said Jawad said Tuesday that his government has ordered him to vacate his post in September.

Jawad, a dapper and eloquent advocate for his war-torn nation, has been the subject of what he called a "smear campaign" in Afghanistan over the past few weeks. Several Afghan Web sites published photographs that purported to show people consuming alcohol and women dancing in sleeveless dresses at an embassy party to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The images were subsequently printed by a few Kabul newspapers. Their release promptly caused a scandal in Afghanistan -- where mixed-sex dancing is highly unusual and where Muslims are forbidden from consuming alcohol. Some members of parliament called on President Hamid Karzai to fire Jawad.

Embassy officials insisted there was no Ramadan party and that Jawad was on a trip to South America when the bash is alleged to have occurred. They said the pictures appear to have been taken at an Afghan independence day party a year ago. In a statement, the embassy called the claim that the photos were taken at a Ramadan party "slanderous and libelous false accusations."

Karzai's government did not immediately provide a reason for Jawad's removal. A successor has not been named.

In an interview, Jawad said the party photos "had nothing to do with" the end of his ambassadorship.

"These things happen in Afghanistan," he said.

"Everything has a beginning and an end, and I look forward to continuing to serve my country," he added.

Jawad said he was asked to return to Kabul to work in the Foreign Ministry, but he said he has not decided what he plans to do. He said he and his family plan to stay in the Washington area, which is where they had been living before the Taliban regime was toppled in 2001, as they work out transition plans.

Jawad had served an an adviser to Karzai before the Afghan leader asked him to return to Washington as ambassador in 2003. Although his dismissal was conveyed by his superiors at the Foreign Ministry, such decisions are typically made with Karzai's approval.

Karzai has made a series of hasty firings over the past few months. Last week, he dismissed a deputy attorney general who had been involved in corruption investigations of government officials. In June, Karzai abruptly fired Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh.

In a farewell e-mail message on Tuesday, Jawad called his tenure as ambassador "a most rewarding experience."

"We secured the generous financial and moral support of the private sector, civil society, foundations, and universities, to address our national priorities, build human capital and promote investment in Afghanistan," he wrote. "Our hopes are still high and I am committed to continuing to contribute to Afghanistan's future in my private capacity."

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran  | August 31, 2010; 2:34 PM ET
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Probably some lady will have to be stoned because Jawad had sleeveless mixed-sex dancing. Which is funny, because daily homocides and suicides with swords and suicide belts are no problem, but have a lady underdressed having a high-ball and heads must roll, or be stoned. Love that old time religion!

Posted by: pamschuh9 | August 31, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

They probably found him stealing money from the Too Big To Fail banks on Wall Street that should be trust busted and broken up into regional banks and by line of business.

That's my guess.

Why don't we send him home with a note to Karzai saying "ALL US TROOPS ARE COMING HOME NEXT MONTH."

Cause keeping them in the foreign civil wars of Republican adventure is only wasting American blood, tears, and taxes to prop up cheap resources for Red China and Russia, at America's expense.

Psst. al-Qaeda is still in Saudi Arabia - their primary source of funding and volunteers and where they get their Wahhabi fanatic madrassas paid for - and to a lesser extent in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 31, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Why does this remind me of Michael Steele and Club Voyeur?

Posted by: mikey999 | August 31, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

oh right the GOP, the Taliban, and Karzai are all ruled by religous fundamentalists.

Posted by: mikey999 | August 31, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Very true, mikey.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 31, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, will seattle - you sure covered just about everyone non-catholis or non-protestant. Hit every arabis/muslim group right smack in the face. What a sad, bittr life you must lead.

Posted by: tlar1000a | August 31, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This story has no merits to get published. I think President Karzai was right to fire this man. He occupied this post for seven years that is more than any communist ambassador's tour of duty. If Said was a real patriot and cared for his country he would have returned home after 3 to 4 years.

The ambassador from Afghanistan, Said T. Jawad: "We are very grateful for your sons and daughters to go to Afghanistan, to fight for Afghanistan." But he will not return to help his own country in dire need of capacity. Evidently, Afghanistan was one of his subordinates to have a one night-stand with, but it is not his fault; he is in league with other morons, whom milk Afghanistan and use it to advance their agenda. Thank god Afghanistan does not need lame feminine alcoholic characters to survive. He can continue chasing married women in DC; he has excelled in his pathetic world.

Posted by: Avenger2 | September 1, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

People make mistakes individually and when they are in the political field. Almost everyday a US official makes a mistake. Why do you guys take everything back to the religion -- thats not only the religion but also the AFGHAN CULTURE that abandons under-dressing and consuming alcohol!

Posted by: Aryana1 | September 1, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

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