Friday, June 21, 2024

Corruption is the root for insecurity & unemployment in Afghanistan

Immigration News

Khaama Press
Khaama Press
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.


Op-Ed by Asad Ziar

A few days ago one of my friends was telling me the story of public officer who was arrested in a bribery case and the funny part of the story was that the accused paid a huge amount as bribe to wipe out his case in the court and cleared himself.

In fact this incident really is not funny story but it shows that we in Afghanistan do not have any public administration sectors cleaned from the corruption and of course not all sectors of the public administration are affected by corruption to the same extent.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority. Afghanistan ranks 175 from 175 in Transparency International‘s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index. ( Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were ranked as equally corrupt ). I am sure that it will not amused any Afghans since if we are not directly involved in corruption but in most cases we hear and witness the dealings.

The six months of uncertainty over the result of the presidential election had a very negative impact on an already weaken economy & security has really paved the way for corruption in all sectors. As a result of US-brokered deal to form a national unity government Afghanistan now has a new president. Dr.Mohahmmad Ashraf Ghani who became a leading scholar of Political Science and Anthropology and Economist then worked at the World Bank where he learned the tools of international development assistance.

The integrity watch Afghanistan has already stated in a report that in the last 12 months US$ billion have been paid as bribe by Afghans and that the most corrupt institutions is the judiciary. Unfortunately these are the facts and figures which keep Afghanistan on the top of the most corrupted countries.

Corruption usually occurs because some individuals are willing to use illegitimate means to maximize personal profit. However, in order for these individuals to become involved in corrupt activity, circumstances must exist which do not prevent or discourage them from doing so. Afghans still consider insecurity, corruption and unemployment the top three issues for their country and these three issues seems somehow related and interconnected. Corruption work like booster in insecurity and unemployment and it is true that corruption has deep roots in Afghanistan and need proper and noticeable reforms in government system.

The Impact of Corruption on Insecurity

Corruption encourages the corrupts to buy positions and posts amongst our security forces and it will make it harder for those who cannot provide a ransom for buying a position thus the corrupt people as we stated above they always look for their own personal interest and do not care for the interest of the state or its people, hence it cannot be assured that they work sincerely and honestly.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction ( SIGAR) has revealed that hundreds of thousands of U.S supplied weapons have gone missing, as many as 43% of all small arms supplied to the Afghan National Security Forces remain unaccounted for, it means that 203,888 guns including M2s, M16s and M48s are gone missing, the report by SIGAR warns that these weapons could easily find their way into the hands of hostile groups and insurgents and it is very clear that these weapons are not disappeared for the interest of the country but for the personal interest and it certainly further worsen the security situation in the country.

In fact there is no limit to the extent to which corruption, once it is set free, can destabilize the stability of the state and organized society. Tax inspectors will extort businesses; the police will kidnap innocent businessmen and demand ransom; the ministers, governors and other high ranking officials will demand for money for approvals, hire and fire etc  In countries where corruption becomes intertwined with domestic politics, separate centers of power will emerge to rival the power of the state. At that point, the chances that the government will actually be able to do anything to control corruption will disappear. Corruption breeds corruption, it tends soon enough to lead to the creation of mafias and organized criminal groups who use their financial power to infiltrate legal businesses, to intimidate, to create protection rackets and a climate of fear and uncertainty

The Impact of Corruption on Unemployment

Aid money will disappear into the personal offshore bank accounts of senior government officials, Not surprisingly, studies have shown that corruption also undermines foreign direct investment since it acts in ways that are indistinguishable from a tax; other things being equal, investors will always prefer to invest in less corrupt countries.

Corruption discourages private-sector development and innovation and encourages inefficiency and that is a major reason today most of the Afghan businessmen prefer not to invest in Afghanistan and alternatively they invest in UAE, Turkey, India, Tajikistan , Uzbekistan and other countries. If private sector is discouraged to invest in the country and they are behaved and insulted in very bad and inhuman manner. Sometimes when we asked the Afghan businessmen in Dubai and Istanbul they have too much to state and even say that they love their country but the current system will not allow them to take part in building the country’s economy and provide employment opportunities to its people.

Most of the Afghans are optimistic about a prosperous Afghanistan, they count on Dr. Ashar Ghani and they think that he is able to tackle the corrupt officials from the public administrations in Afghanistan and will replace them with sincere, honest and well qualified public servants in all sectors.  Dr. Ghani in many occasions has said that he will not tolerate corruption, and he has already started working on some cases which are pending from the last four years without any outcome, any success he gains in these pending cases will assure each and every Afghans that their president is committed to bring positive reforms and will lead them towards prosperity. There is solid experimental evidence that the higher the level of corruption in a country, the larger the share of its economic activity that will go underground, beyond the reach of the tax authorities, there is no doubt in the credibility  of Dr.Mohammad Ashraf Ghani that he will do whatever necessary to tackle corruption and of course once he succeeded the insecurity and unemployment rate will automatically fall down.

“We are awaiting a positive response from President Dr.Mohammad Ashraf Ghani that soon he will invite Afghan businessmen who are residing in UAE and Turkey and will provide them the opportunity and facilitate them to invest in Afghanistan and establish themselves in their homeland “  Said; Haji Mohammad Khalid Majid” a prominent Afghan businessman in Dubai, UAE.

Likewise Mr.Khalid there are hundreds of Afghans anticipating to come and establish their businesses in Afghanistan, they are awaiting how our newly established government cure the cancer of corruption in country.

During the era of Mr.Karzai criminal investigation into corrupt officials and businessmen never lead to the arrest of any senior government officials in fact there were always interventions by the MPs, Ministers and in some cases directly by the presidential palace.

As President Dr. Ashraf Ghani has already emphasized on investigative journalism and for sure it is one of the best way to tackle corruption but as Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reports deeply investigate a single topic of interest such as serious crimes, political corruption or corporate wrongdoing and it may risk the life of journalist who are keen to go deeply into some corruption roots. If the Afghan government is willing to support the process of investigative journalism they need to bring some reforms and changes and that there should be punishment & penalties for those harassing journalists. Still the Afghan Government has many things in hands to start wiping out the corrupt officials a good example is that some officials who frequently travel out of country on regular basis and if you ask him for his / her monthly salaries the amount will not be enough for a one way ticket but they used to travel very frequently and sometimes for a single night and return back the second day, it is clear that some of these people may say that they have side businesses but some of them maybe corrupt if investigated properly, those who are running their part time businesses should not be given the chance to occupy a government seat because we have many patriotic Afghans in the waiting list to serve the country and those who are busy in their own businesses should proceed with their businesses and help provide more job opportunities to Afghans. In most cases if we follow deeply there are ministers, governors and directors in public administration who are to be at their offices to serve Afghans waiting for their single signatures instead they enjoy hospitalities abroad.

There is no doubt that Dr.Ashraf Ghani is very committed to tackle corruption but corruption can only be rooted out in Afghanistan if Afghans join hands together against a corrupt system and raise their voices against corruption to reach the president.

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