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Pakistan president appoints new northwest governor

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed a new governor of the Taliban-hit northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, an official statement said Saturday.

Shaukat Ullah, who was minister for states and frontier regions before the new appointment, replaces Masood Kausar, 84, who served for two years as governor of the militancy-affected province.

The statement did not cite any reasons for the new appointment just months ahead of parliamentary elections but a senior provincial government official said, "Kausar's old age might be one of the main reasons."

The official, who did not want to be identified, said the new governor, who hails from a prominent political family in Bajaur tribal region, was young and energetic and should be acceptable to everyone including the military.

Bajaur is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal districts on the Afghan-Pakistan border where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds to plot attacks on Pakistani, Afghan and Western targets.

The newly appointed governor is expected to assume office on Sunday.

jaf-shk/mtp

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130209/pakistan-president-appoints-new-northwest-governor