Realities at odds with government claims

Monday, 12 December 2016 04:04 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 241 times

Administrative corruption has reportedly reached an unprecedented high level in the country. Findings of the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) indicate Afghans paid $3 billion in bribes last year, registering almost a 50 percent upsurge compared to 2014. IWA’s report and figures on corruption are alarming, and paying $3 billion in kickbacks annually by people in an impoverished country like Afghanistan whose 46 percent of population lives below the poverty line is astonishing. 

 

The vicious phenomena of corruption turned into a national shame for Afghanistan is currently the country’s second major ill after war, leading to waste of billions of dollar of foreign aid and numerous economic opportunities. It has undermined the dispensation, pushed governance to the brink of collapse, and somehow paved the way for the ongoing violence in the country. 

Although there are many anti-corruption institutions operating within and outside the government, the plight is on an upward trajectory. The bitter reality thereof is that the majority of institutions active in the fight against graft are more corrupt than other government institutions. Many surveys have found out that the legal and judicial institutions are more corrupt than others though their key responsibility is to counter corruption and ensure justice. 

While it is right that the National Unity Government (NUG) inherited corruption from the former administration, the NUG not only has failed to contain it, but disagreements between its leaders and lack of political will have also allowed it to grow. Despite the fact that the government established the National Procurement Committee (NPC) and the specialized Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC) as part of its deceitful anti-corruption drive, the outcomes are against the claims. The government claimed that the ACJC was designed to try senior government officials, whereas it was also used as a tool to deceive people and the international community, and has no tangible achievement like the NPC. 

Instead of playing with public perception, the government leaders have to combat corruption faithfully as the nation cannot be deceived forever, and will no longer believe in the sham slogans of a government which is yet to honor even one of its major promises.