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corruption in Afghanistan

President Ghani’s Selective Approach Against Corruption

The new Afghanistan, after the fall of the Islamic Emirate, has been plagued by all kinds of financial, administrative and moral corruption. Over the past two decades, the sheer scale of corruption has taken its toll on Afghanistan’s institutions, bureaucracy, and national budgets and resources, and Afghanistan is now a country steeped in corruption. Corruption has practically become a driving force in Afghanistan’s bureaucracy and administrative mechanism. Often, our understanding of corruption in the Afghan government is a narrative that the media pumps into public opinion. The media narrative of corruption in the Afghan government is a minimal, concise narrative focused on exposing large-scale corruption by high-ranking officials in large institutions, but the reality and scope of corruption in the Afghan government is much larger than that.
Corruption in all Afghan government departments is an undeniable fact; but the way it is fought differs from one administration to another for political, ethnic, and even ideological reasons.
However, no one can question the removal and appointment of ministers as the legal competence of the president, and in the meantime, it does not matter whether this is done through the imposition of a resignation or direct removal; an issue that is still not easily possible and what happened in the Ministry of Public Health is one of the latest examples.
Following the publication of the news of the dismissal of Ahmad Javad Osmani; Minister of Health, Ashraf Ghani; the president went to the ministry building and met with its staff.
Earlier, Ahmad Javad Osmani had announced in a short video that Ashraf Ghani had asked him to resign; but he refused and was fired.
“The situation at the Ministry of Public Health is really sad and an insult to everyone,” President Ghani said at the Ministry of Health. “The law must be respected and all issues must be implemented through the legal authorities.”
Four days ago, Osmani’s brother and several senior ministry officials were arrested by the Control and Surveillance Prosecutor’s Office in coordination with the National Security Directorate on charges of “soliciting bribes” from ministry staff.
Ata Mohammad Noor; the former governor of Balkh, who supported Ghani’s election and whose share in Ghani’s cabinet is the Ministry of Public Health, called Osmani’s ouster “sensitive, insulting and dictatorial” and warned that “we are paying a heavy price”.
Mr. Noor’s warning alone shows how difficult it is for Ghani to run the government and determine his cabinet, and is deeply influenced by different power centers.
In this warning, the former governor of Balkh, without paying attention to the law, implicitly threatens the presidency that he has no right to dismiss his minister; because this ministry is part of the privilege that Ghani has given to Noor for his political support during the election season.
The whole of Ghani’s current government is based on these struggles, and for this reason, neither reform nor improvement of governance is easily possible, nor is a serious and effective fight against corruption; because the organization of the established government is based on corrupt foundations, in which the positions of the ministry and the presidency are all political and based on lobbying and electoral, ethnic, partisan, religious and diplomatic influences, and the fight against corruption and lawlessness in each of them is very difficult. These offices need to use force; the force that emerged last night with the siege of the Ministry of Public Health building by the armed forces under the command of Arg and the significant presence of Ashraf Ghani in that ministry in order to show its power against the influence of authoritarian figures like Atta Mohammad Noor.
Although according to the law, the president is responsible and has the authority to deal legally with cases that have been opened and opened before his rule, but he ignores these cases. During the nearly six years of Ashraf Ghani’s rule, since he went to the Presidential Palace in the summer of 2014 for the second time and, of course, based on a political agreement of the President, there have been major allegations of financial, administrative and moral corruption. It has reached high-ranking government officials, most of whom are also supporters and political allies of the president.
Leaving aside the long list of these charges, we will suffice to mention a few prominent and controversial cases. One of the biggest defendants, who is allegedly accused of more than half a billion dollars in corruption in the budget of the Ministry of Education, school construction and teacher recruitment, is Farooq Wardak, a political ally of the president and a parliamentary minister. Even if this is just an accusation and Wardak is acquitted, given the amount of money he was accused of corruption, the credibility of the institutions that reported corruption, and the importance of protecting the credibility and legitimacy of the government and the political system as a whole. The country, at least, should have had an initial investigation into the allegations against Wardak.
Homayoun Qayyumi, Advisor to the President and then Acting Minister of Finance during the period of the National Unity Government, and Eklil Hakimi, Minister/Acting Minister of the Ministry of Finance during the National Unity Government, both of whom were key allies and advisers and close associates of Ghani. The two men were charged with several counts of corruption, including administrative and financial corruption in the sound collection of tax credits from citizens’ SIM cards, and mismanagement in the construction and operation of the real-time system, but president has never taken steps against them. This shows how biased he is in his fight for corruption.
(Sahar News)

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