BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Could a Baltimore restaurant owner be the next president of Afghanistan? The older brother of the current president, Hamid Karzai, is in the running and it ties Baltimore right to international politics.

Mary Bubala reports.

Qayum Karzai, the owner of the Helmand Restaurant on Charles Street and a Howard County resident, is one of 11 candidates vying to succeed his brother, Hamid Karzai, as the president of Afghanistan. Hamid can’t run again due to term limits.

The brothers differ in their political stance regarding the U.S. Qayum Karzai says he will sign a security pact with the U.S. if he wins the Afghan presidential election in April to repair ties with the Obama administration.

It’s something his brother Hamid has refused to do unless the U.S. publicly starts a peace process with the Taliban. Hamid has even denounced the U.S. role in his country after 13 years of war. His government just freed 65 prisoners the U.S. considers dangerous.

Qayum Karzai is currently in Afghanistan campaigning. He opened the Helmand in 1989. It remains very popular and packed with restaurant-goers. But it remains to be seen who will be in charge here if he wins the election there.

Hamid Karzai says he will not endorse his brother or any candidate, saying the president should stay above politics.

The election will be held April 5 in Afghanistan.

The Karzai family also owns two other restaurants in Baltimore.

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