(Ruhullah at his Kandahar compound)
Is President Karzai poised to sign off on a lucrative new business deal that could boost the power of his controversial half-brother's in Kandahar?
Karzai is weighing approval of an expansive new business deal that could give Ahmed Wali Karzai increased influence over the lucrative security business that protects supply convoys for U.S.-led forces in southern Afghanistan.
Kandahar leaders and the Afghan Interior Ministry are pushing the plan as a way to unite rival security companies and bring some measure of control to the volatile convoy security business in the region.
But critics say the deal will only solidify Ahmed Wali Karzai's hold on power by elevating one of his allies to head the new company.
Under the plan, the new security firm will be run by Ruhullah, a Kandahar strongman who already controls long stretches of the supply route.
Ruhullah, who got his start in the field by offering protection to CNN and CBS crews back in 2001/02, says the deal will allow him to create a formidable force of about 2,500 people.
Interior Ministry regulators said Ruhullah will only be able to start with 500.
Either way, the deal would give Ruhullah expansive new clout in Kandahar.
Ahmed Wali Karzai said he would help the company, but would have no direct role in running the business.
But the close links between Ruhullah and Ahmed Wali Karzai were evident last week when we went to speak to the two in back-to-back interviews.
After meeting Ruhullah at his dusty compound on the outskirts of Kandahar, we drove into the city center 15 minutes away for an interview with Ahmed Wali Karzai at his fortified compound.
When we emerged from the interview an hour later, Ruhullah was standing there in the anteroom, waiting to meet with Ahmed Wali Karzai.
You can get details on the deal here.