The National Unity Government (NUG) has lost sight of top priorities due to the enormity of problems it has faced with. Sometimes it gets bogged down with security challenges, and sometimes concentrates on the economy to an extent that it forgets about all other priorities. Since its inception, NUG was billing the fight against corruption as one of its top priorities. In spite of the fact that no fundamental work was done, even the symbolic steps the government took in the battle against corruption, which is considered as Afghanistan’s second major challenge after war, and even branded as the driver of the war, had revived hopes that the vicious phenomenon would be eliminated. It was expected that the symbolic work would gradually lead to and stimulate fundamental steps and rational solutions to stamp out the problem that is undermining the dispensation from within, but unfortunately that did not happen. Owing to various reasons, the government leadership also turned its back on the fight against corruption and rule of law, and the symbolic steps that had at least kept hopes alive were halted.
Today, anticorruption no longer seems to be a priority in political debates. Much of the government is busy gearing up for the upcoming presidential election. The government could have made significant headway in terms of anticorruption within its ongoing term had there been a political will for reform or change. It could also make the job easy for the incumbent team to drum up public support at the coming presidential election. Now, government leaders could share with people their achievements in the fight against corruption that has affected the lives of Afghan people in all aspects, and could tell the people that the fight would intensify if they were reelected.
All the woes the government is faced with now are understandable, but the fight against corruption should be a key priority for the government. Even to put an end to the ongoing war in the country, there is need to honestly combat corruption because it is a major factor contributing to the continuation of war besides other drivers. Other problems and challenges affecting governance should not drop the fight against graft off the government’s priority list.
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