The unending practice of caretaking

Monday, 03 July 2017 03:34 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 214 times

While leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG) mostly lay the blame of their failures on former administration, some of their flaws are on no account justifiable. The continued work of caretakers in the current government is one of such flaws. The government has not been able to complete its cabinet even in half of its five-year term. Almost half of the ministries and independent institutions are still run by caretakers. Among these entities are the very key ministries of Defense, Mines and Petroleum, Foreign Affairs, and Higher Education. 

 

These important and some other ministries are managed by caretakers at a critical juncture as Afghanistan faces major challenges and problems because of issues handled by these ministries. Insecurity is growing day by day; no one can hide problems in Afghan foreign policy; and the continued illegal extraction of mines dashes the hopes of Afghan people for having an economically self-reliant country. 

Despite repeated promises, the government has not yet introduced new minister-designates to Wolesi Jirga for trust vote. This comes as Wolesi Jirga is due to go on summer recess in just a few days. That way, the lawmakers will be on recess, and a major part of the government will still be run by caretakers who don’t hold themselves accountable.

The continuity of the work of caretakers in the country’s current critical situation is a big failure of the government, and a betrayal of Afghan people. Government leaders should pave the way for normalization of governance by giving up internal disagreements. They should introduce new nominees to Wolesi Jirga to replace the acting ministers as soon as possible, thereby putting an end to the unfavorable practice of work of caretakers, which has paralyzed governance. The continuation of the trend increases concerns and questions about the legitimacy and intention of the government, and undermines the state. Before the system completely collapses, both leaders should take immediate steps to put an end to the caretaking system. Ministers feel more responsibility than caretakers, and Wolesi Jirga can also question them about their performance.