Diplomatic circles are abuzz about a US envoy who reportedly wants to rule Afghanistan next year. Zalmay Khalilzad, ex-US diplomat to Afghanistan and Iraq, hasn't squelched the gossip about his presidential aspirations either. He even joked at Columbia University recently that “I didn’t come here to collect contributions for my campaign.”
Afghan-born “Zal,” now US envoy to the UN, has further fueled rumors by lunching with Afghan funder George Soros and skipping meetings on Israel—both potential keys to ruling in Afghanistan, the New Republic reports. Neocon Khalilzad is also emerging politically unscathed by the 43rd presidency. Insiders say he is likely waiting to judge his strength against potential Kabul rivals.