President Hamid Karzai’s expected cabinet reshuffle signals a growing confrontation with Pakistan after the appointment of a hardline confidante as head of Afghan intelligence. Through a variety of Taliban proxies, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been involved in intense skirmishing on their border.
The startling change is the appointment of Asadullah Khalid as head of the powerful National Directorate of Security. As a fiercely anti-Taliban former governor, Mr Khalid faced several assassination attempts from the radical Islamist movement. He always blamed the attempts on Pakistan’s military Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Mr Khalid and the ISI hate each other with a vengeance.