Top Afghan Officials’ Illegalities Abet More Irregularities
As an endemic disease, corruption in the Afghan public institutions makes a share in Afghanistan’s troubled history. The past regimes, including both monarchies and constitutionals, have consistently played a disastrous role in the amplification of corruption across the country. Designation of senior military ranks, also non-military officials on the basis of family relations or ethnic matters, is not something new but a historical issue. This abuse of public property reminds us the shameful scandals in the past regimes. Moreover, Afghan officials’ illegal ties abroad or links with foreign spies is usual in the Afghanistan’s politics according to history. Distribution of opportunities based on ethnic matters and negligence about parts of the country due to some differences is something inherited from the past. The current Afghan government is not an exception. The ruling government run under president Karzai, in terms of corruption has troubled much the country.
Recently, the New York Times revealed that for more than a decade, CIA agents have delivered tens of millions of US dollars in backpacks or plastic shopping bags to the Afghan presidential palace to maintain access to president Karzai and his top aides or to access intelligence in the palace. MI6 of United Kingdom has done the same thing but with less amount according to the Guardian. When asked, President Karzai acknowledged the case and thanked for the payment,” The National Security Council (NSC) has received support from the US government over the past ten years, not in large amounts but in small amounts. The money has been used for different purposes such as in operations, assisting wounded Afghan soldiers and paying rents. The assistance has been very useful and we are thankful to them.” Hence, it indicates that in the presidential palace, even in the president’s inner circle, there is no political will or commitments regarding counter-corruption struggle. Secret deals in the presidential palace are illegal according to the law. Vague links with abroad specifically by top officials indicates that corruption begins from the palace. So it reveals the dishonesty of the government, at the top, president. Abuse of the public facilities or official portfolios certainly worsens the fledgling unstable situation all over the country.
Corruption in the public bureaus since the establishment of the current regime has hampered the process of both nation building and state building in Afghanistan. Many times voices have been on the streets asking for efforts to counter the corruption. International pressures have been put on the Afghan government to get rid of corruption in the government. Despite international aids and pressures and a nationwide demand for efforts against corruption in the government offices, the Afghan government has done very little or something with no outcome. Presently it has resulted in a gap between people and the government based on mistrust due to weak reacts of officials against the dominant widespread corruption in the country. Surely, when the notorious bureaucratic corruption needs to be met with strong counter struggle, any wrongdoings by the officials can deteriorate the case, as it is already widely visible.
During recent years, the widespread involvement of officials in corruption has badly weakened the legitimacy of the ruling team over the country. Bureaucratic corruption and engagement of some senior officials in the opium trade as voiced by the vice president last year, surely intensified doubts about the honesty of the officials. Moreover, consistent insecurity in some parts of the country has doubled the doubts regarding government’s competency and honesty. Therefore, during the last years the incumbent government faced a growing mistrust. Gradually a gap based on distrust amidst the government and the people was created. So as the insurgents challenge the government to win public support, filled the gap. It could help the insurgents to acquire supports among the masses especially in the south. The current revelation of scandal in the presidential palace may help the insurgents win the support of the masses that have been disappointed by wrong doings in the government. So consequently it causes the government to appear feeble and unstable against the rebel groups.
On the other part, Afghanistan bears very unpleasant experiences regarding foreign interferences. Regional rival states along with some super powers consistently have had hands in Afghanistan’s domestic matters in the past. At the present time, it is also very possible for neighbor states to intervene in the affairs through their Afghan puppets. So illegal deals in the president’s inner circle to abroad can possibly result at least in an enhancement or establishment of secret links between the opposition leaders and aboard which is dangerous to the country at all. While the president creates very notorious ties abroad, it is so logical to other group leaders to simply justify links abroad. Surely, any secret links abroad either by government officials or by opposition leader possibly end in deterioration of the current unstable situation in the country. It is important to Afghans to enhance national unity in the country. Afghanistan due to national disunity based on ethnic or religious disputes has much suffered throughout its history. The current woeful condition in Afghanistan, on some parts is the direct outcome of disunity and national disharmony in the past. In Afghanistan due to very potential social differences and non-common values, domestic conflicts at the absence of a just government seem very predictable. Therefore, any foreign secret interference possibly can end in domestic disputes. So the act by top Afghan officials as illegitimate deals to some foreign intelligence networks specifically in the presidential palace is remarkably troublesome for the country. It can greatly degrade the country’s unstable situation particularly in the phase of transition.
Legally, the government is authorized by the people to administer public affairs through a just and honest leadership; therefore Officials are expected honest deeds. Acts by the government meet with public feedbacks. Steps taken by the government, with no doubts influence the people. So any error specifically by the top incumbents can surely degrade the state’s prestige inside and abroad. It surely demoralizes the whole population with huge hopelessness. Afghanistan is in struggle with many challenges, at the top insurgency threatens not only the government but also the whole achievements are made during a time of more than a decade. At such a circumstance, increase in expectations from the government seems so natural. Hereby it requires the officials to act according to public will. Misdeeds, specifically by top officials aren’t only unlawful but also may endanger the country with more unmanageable challenges.
Mohammad Yasin Sultani is a permanent Writer of The Daily Afghanistan Express