What kind of fight against corruption is needed?

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 04:00 Written by  Heart of asia Read 181 times

Corruption, as a second biggest challenge for Afghanistan after war, is a major barrier to the welfare and tranquility of Afghans. A lion’s share of the foreign aid to Afghanistan over the past decade and a half was wasted because of this very headache. Billions of dollars in development and reconstruction assistance were poured into the country, but they did not transform the lives of Afghans as much as expected. Over 40 percent of Afghans still live below the poverty line, and Afghanistan remains to be among the world’s underdeveloped countries. Unemployment has reached an unprecedented level, forcing many young Afghans to flee the country every year.


Both the current and former governments have only sufficed to shouting slogans in the fight against corruption which has become a national shame for Afghans. No action has been taken so far to cultivate hope and faith in Afghans towards the future of battle against the vicious phenomenon. While President Ghani promises a clampdown on corruption almost in any single event, no actions are on the horizon, and many individuals accused of corruption continue to hold senior government slots.
In his recent statements, President Ghani has asserted that effective measures had been taken as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive. However, his actions will be considered efficacious when they indeed bring about positive changes, a sign that will demonstrate if the level of corruption in the government has really dwindled. The reality is unfortunately otherwise, and most of the anti-corruption watchdogs confirm that plight has been on an upward trajectory.
Experience has shown that anti-corruption campaign will come to fruition when the top-bottom approach is adopted, meaning that the upper reaches of the government should be targeted first, but it is very sad to say that the contrary is true in Afghanistan. As part of its symbolic efforts, the government has tried some of its low-level, unaffiliated personnel on corruption charges, while those behind major corruption cases are senior government officials.
Corruption cannot be stamped out by arresting and putting on trial the ordinary government staff, because the existence of corrupt functionaries in the government itself contributes to the expansion of the phenomenon among low-ranking staffers. When the leaders and managers are scrupulous, the lower reaches of institutions don’t dare to commit corruption; therefore, if the government really has a will, it should first start the fight from ARG and the Spidar Palace, then the ministers, deputy ministers, directors, and to the bottom.