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Report on Graft in Ministry Sent to Karzai

President Hamid Karzai

KABUL – The minister of commerce and industries on Tuesday denied corruption in his office, with his deputy revealing they had sent documents regarding alleged graft to the Presidential Palace.

Deputy Minister Mutasil Komaki requested President Hamid Karzai to order a thoroughgoing investigation into what he called brazen corruption and violations of rules in the ministry.

Pajhwok Afghan News has obtained a copy of the documents dispatched to the presidency. The papers, carrying signatures of Komaki and other officials, show contracts for purchasing fuel from Kazakhstan, Russia and Iran are marred with glaring anomalies.

Dozens of permanent and contract employees, some drawing up to 175,000 afghanis in monthly salaries, have been recruited to the ministry. Other employees, using fake documents, have also found their way to the ministry.

The documents also accuse Commerce Minister Anwarul Haq Ahady of complicity in irregularities and his relatives of committing “moral corruption”.

Meanwhile, Komaki confirmed the documents carrying his signatures had been sent to Karzai’s office. But some of the contents have been changed, he explained, refusing to own the amendments.

“This issue arose at a meeting with the minister two and half months back. We talked about corruption with Ahady and asked him to deal with the problem. But none of the participants conveyed our concern to the higher-ups,” he added.

“Since our demand for action against the corrupt remains unaddressed, we prepared a detailed document and sent it to the Presidential Palace today,” Komaki told Pajhwok.

But an official at the Presidential Palace, when contacted for comment, said they were yet to receive the document.

Meanwhile, Ahady denied the allegations as baseless. He told a news conference: “All agreements and contracts are implemented after their approval by the Council of Ministers and the president.”

He also rejected claims about recruitment of individuals to senior positions. Appointments were subject to clearance from the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Commission and approval from the president, he maintained.

Ahady sought credit for bringing transparency to the ministry, asking the Attorney General Office (AGO) to appoint a delegation to investigate the issue. (PAN)

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