The need for rigorous scrutiny of Kabul Intercontinental hotel attack

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 03:37 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 226 times

It cannot be ignored that if corruption is not as big problem as war, it is no less than that either. These two phenomena have a direct link, one contributing to the other, and the bottom line is the protraction of Afghan tragedy. Continued conflict breeds corruption, and then that precipitates major tragedies in the conflict, one of which is the Kabul Intercontinental hotel attack that left behind dozens of people dead and wounded, including foreigners. All developments unfolded in the aftermath of the incident trace back to corruption in one way or another. The nature and form of over 15-hour long siege show that some attackers had been stationed inside the hotel. There are even reports that weapons had been smuggled into the hotel before the attack. Speaking to a western media at that time, a waiter who had been wounded in the onslaught claimed that he saw gorilla boxes being taken to the hotel, and when he asked the hotel officials about the boxes, he was told that it was none of his business. 


The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has recently barred four officials from leaving the country in connection with the attack. It is a positive step, but it is not enough. Taking into account its nature and timing, the tragedy’s dark sides should not be ignored by just putting the blame on four people. The unnecessary handover of responsibility for the security of the hotel to a private security firm just three weeks before the attack raises many questions, and increases suspicions of involvement of other people in the attack.

Such attacks have dealt a major blow to government’s credibility, and the only way to make up for it is transparent investigation, one that brings to justice all people either involved in the attack or found to have committed negligence. It relatively restores faith in the government on the one hand, and discourages other people from aiding militants on the other hand. Moreover, private security companies currently considered part of the problem in many instances will eschew “illegal deals” for fear of being held accountable. If government fails to curb corruption in such sensitive cases, no one will buy into its anti-corruption slogan. The investigation of attack on Intercontinental Hotel is a major challenge for the National Unity Government, and an issue tied to its credibility, which can only be overcome by being transparent and serious.


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