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Making Accusation Exposes the Inward of Afghan Politics

Omar Zakhilwal finance minister of afghanistan

By: Mohammad Yasin Sultani

Last month the Finance Minister, Hazrat Omar ZakhilWal, following the Interior Minister, Mujtaba Patang, in an unprecedented move accused six MPs of smuggling, making illegal demands and involvement in corruption. In a summoning session, before the parliamentarians, the Minister named the MPs involved in smuggling and illegal activities. The move further escalated the strained relations between the Government and the Parliament. Due to the disclosure of the names, the lawmakers widely welcomed the Finance minister. The lawmakers considered the move as a demeanor that would decrease the level of deals and corruption within the parliament. Some MPs in the complaint commission of parliament while appreciating the Finance Minister said; his move was for national interest. The Finance Minister remained in his position with majority of votes of confidence at the end of the impeachment session.

Two days later, the six accused lawmakers while refusing the allegations as baseless claims, asked the parliament to set up a special commission to investigate the accusations had been raised by the Finance Minister. In the mean time the accused MPs counter accused the Finance Minister of corruption. Earlier the high office of oversight and anti-corruption had accused the Finance Minister of making a great amount of illegal asset in banks. Following the counter-accusations between the cabinet minister and the alleged parliamentarians, the parliament through a special commission continued investigating the allegations. At the same time, after getting permission from the Parliamentarian Ministry, the attorney general also began investigating the accusations.

The attorney general on last Tuesday banned five of the six accused lawmakers from leaving the country. The move came after the MPs declined appearing before the office for interrogations. In the mean time, the parliamentarian commission investigating the case of six accused lawmakers, after conducting investigations almost for over a month called the allegations made by the Finance Minister as baseless and unconstitutional blames. According to the commission, the finance Minister has failed to provide evidence for the claims he had made against the legislators. At the session the report was declared, the lower house with majority votes approved the report of the commission and called all the Minister’s accusations unjustifiable and a political conspiracy against the parliament. The MPs also noted that none of the government departments has the right to ban lawmakers from leaving the country or suspend them from duty for some baseless claims.

Looking into the trend of above incidents, there seems the absence of a sincere commitment to fight against corruption and the use of accusation as a tool, are coincidentally, the two main pillars of the notorious disarrays in the country. The parliament, within a time period of almost a month has adopted two tough contradicting stances on the accusations made by the Finance Minister. On the day, the Finance Minister accused the six MPs; the parliament widely welcomed the move without considering the fact that no evidence was provided by the Minister to prove the accusations. And the Minister remained in his position with majority of votes of confidence by MPs. But over less than a month after that vote of confidence, the parliament has called the accusations as baseless and political conspiracy against the parliament.

The Finance Minister, Hazrat Omer ZakhilWal, on his part also didn’t fulfill his part. He made accusations but never provided credible evidences to prove them. According to the parliamentary commission investigating the allegations made against the six MPs and also according to the attorney general, since the MPs have been named for making illegal demands and involvement in corruption, the Finance Minister hasn’t provided acceptable evidences for the allegations he had made in the parliament. Apart from the above incident, the Finance Minister still hasn’t provided an acceptable clarification about his accusation by the office of oversight and anti-corruption as well. Over the past months the office of oversight and anti-corruption had accused Omer Zakhilwal of making a big amount of illegal money. The case caused a tough rhetoric in domestic media but the Minister still hasn’t made any credible clarification to satisfy the public opinion.

The growing trend of the counter-blames along with the absence of a sincere commitment for anti-corruption efforts has revealed the real face of politics to the people in Afghanistan. The afghan politicians usually pretend themselves patriotic and devoted to the national interests. Over the past ten to twelve years of the new regime’s dominance over the country, they consistently tried to keep their errors hidden and their intents secret. But the occurrence of the incidents several times have happened in the country, have largely exposed the purpose and certain personality of the afghan politicians including both warlords and the technocrats repatriated from abroad.  In the recent years, the politicians haven’t been in luck, they have been much lightened among the people due to widespread misdemeanors they have repeatedly committed. The wrongdoings also have produced a wide gap between the politicians and the people. The gap is not only perceivable in cities but also it can be strongly seen in rural areas as well.

Recently, there seems among the elite circle, making accusation against the opponents has become a simple act. Sometimes it is also used as a tool to destroy the rivals or to evade responsibility. During the last years, the behavior has traversed a rocking pace, particularly, in the circle of elites. At present, it has become an overgrowing disease among the afghan elite community. In the recent months, there seems making accusation and sometimes also false ones as a tool against the rivals, is gradually becoming part of the political culture in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Yasin Sultani is a permanent writer of the Afghanistan Express Daily. He can be reached through yaasin.sultani@gmail.com

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