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Corruption as pitfall

Those at the power corridor had assured public time to time that they would fight corruption. However, the pledges are no more of value for the nation because there is no considerable change on the ground that they could count or give credit to the government for. The issue is not only disturbing Afghans but the international partners as well. Corruption is not only rampant in public institutions but in private organizations too. It has become a complex phenomenon now.  However, it is more worrying to know that corruption in the ministries of defense and interior had also made headlines.

Gen. Anoyled, the head of the transparency unit for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in the war-hit country, on Wednesday termed the culture of graft a serious concern for the Afghan leadership. Expressing serious concerns over corruption in Ministry of Interior, the general warned of slash in the foreign aid if the government failed to fight corruption and show progress. On the same day the Complaints Committee of the Meshrano Jirga or Senate lambasted President Ashraf Ghani’s legal adviser for his alleged involvement in signing of the Smart City Township project with a defaulter of the Kabul Bank who was also sentenced by a court to 10 years in jail.

The president’s adviser Abdul Ali Muhammadi was shown by the local news channels thanking the Kabul Bank defaulter for signing the contract which has sparked serious criticism. Anti-corruption campaigners have questioned the government’s sincerity pointing out that how the leaders could fight corruption if their advisers are involved in it. Earlier, corruption was found in the contracts of the ministry of defense.

In September this year, the president declared war against corruption in the country saying the phenomenon is threatening survival of the country. Corruption in the government contracts was one of the major problems that he highlighted. According to the president, Afgs8.5 billion was saved after assessment of 350 projects.

It is perturbing to see that when the government had been taking steps to fight corruption some of the figures who are part of the administration are promoting it. The government deserves appreciations for the steps that have been taken for betterment of the country and criticism for the ignorance. Without fighting those who are near and dear but involved in corruption, we cannot end the culture of graft. The international community is gradually forgetting Afghanistan. International partners are not ready to trust the Afghan leaders and provide support that is essential for infrastructure rebuilding. Hence, the government should expend the anti-corruption campaign to every department and ministry without showing any leniency; otherwise we will lose the remaining support.