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Arg silent over corruption of ex-minister

Arg Silent on Corruption Case of Ex-Minister

KABUL – The office of the Attorney General (AGO) claims that it sent its findings about Mohammad Jawad Paikar, a former minister accused of corruption, to the Presidential Palace (Arg). But officials at the Administrative Office of the Arg will not make an official comment on the progress on the case.
Paikar, the former minister of urban development and land, has been accused of misusing his authority and illegally purchasing assets in Turkey.
Meanwhile, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) has said that the lack of political will within the Afghan government to combat corruption and address the corruption cases against ex-government officials–as well as the absence of freedom within the legal and judicial institutions to tackle corruption cases–has established impunity for corrupt government officials.
Paikar was dismissed from his post last year following reports of misuse of authority, including purchasing land in Turkey without authorization.
“The people have the right to know about how much money Mr. Paikar had and his financial status now,” said Ainuddin Bahaduri, the head of the Access to Information Commission.
“The political leadership within the Arg has no will to address the major corruption cases. The legal and judicial institutions are also not acting in accordance with the law because of their weakness,” said Naser Taimoori, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
“Many people in the government who were involved in major cases of corruption are currently overseas and some of them have appeared in the team of president Ashraf Ghani,” said Tawfiq Wahdat, a member of parliament.
This comes days after John Sopko, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) strongly criticized a move by the Afghan government to appoint one of the key masterminds behind the collapse of the old Kabul Bank to take charge of a government agency.
SIGAR also criticized the Afghan government for not taking practical action on 6,500 cases of corruption that have not been assessed.“We hope we will see that the arrest, trial and imprisonment of powerful individuals engaging in corruption occurs on a regular basis,” Sopko said.
(Sahar News)

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