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Asadullah Khalid has been replaced as Kandahar governor. ((Alexander Panetta/Canadian Press))

The controversial governor of Kandahar, who former Canadian foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier once suggested should be replaced, has been removed from his post, the Afghanistan government announced Friday.

Asadullah Khalid has been replaced by Rahmatullah Raufi, who has served for three years as the chief of the Afghan National Army forces for five southern provinces, including Kandahar.

Khalid had been considered a strong leader, but in his three years as governor he faced criticism that he wasn't effective enough against Taliban insurgents.

He was also among Afghan officials alleged to have participated in torture of detainees, but Khalid denied the reports.

Bernier caused a political stir during a three-day visit to Afghanistan in April when he suggested Khalid should be removed to help fight political corruption in the south.

Although Bernier later clarified his comments, the diplomatic gaffe prompted opposition MPs to call for Bernier's resignation.

One Afghan parliamentarian said Khalid had been on his way out until Bernier made his comments.

Bernier later stepped down as foreign affairs minister when his former girlfriend revealed he had left classified documents at her home.