Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Afghanistan – The Third Most Corrupt Country

It is not only terrorism and instability that have been influencing Afghan society; endemic corruption is also one of the menaces that have been eating the society like termites. As, there has not been decisive victory against terrorism, in similar fashion, the fight against corruption has also been unsuccessful and this evil persists and haunts all the fields of life.
With the change in government, there were some hopes that the situation would get better as National Unity Government (NUG), in its early days promised to handle corruption with iron fists; however, that does not seem to be happening even after more then a year. Afghanistan still stands among the most corrupt countries in the world.
An annual study of Transparency International has revealed that Afghanistan is ranked the third most corrupt countries among 176 in the world. This is really tragic and shows that no considerable work has been done against corruption though it has been highlighted as a major problem throughout the last decade. And, it has had negative influences as well; particularly in the top governmental institutions. Corruption not only dominated the elections but also haunted the Kabul Bank and brought bad name to the nation and at the same time financial loss; however, it has been left to dominate with vigor and strength.
It has victimized our society more than terrorism and insecurity and today if Afghanistan is not able to stand on its own, it is also because of the corruption. Most of the financial support and the projects that were aimed to bring development and prosperity were devoured by corruption and never reached to the needy people. 
Our indifference towards this menace is really unfortunate and would cost us a great deal. Unfortunately, the present government and the relevant authorities do not have comprehensive strategy to deal with it and they fail to understand the urgency of dealing with it. They believe wrongly that they can deal with the issues of insecurity and terrorism without having to deal with the problem of corruption; and in this they are mistaken to a large extent. They basically put the cart before the horse and this would only complicate the situation for them.      
Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) has also shown concerns regarding the government’s anti-corruption campaign. IWA’s Executive Director has said in a statement, “The fight against corruption should be the top priority of the National Unity Government. There should be a political will for this purpose… The NUG has not implemented its promises it has made for overcoming the endemic corruption in the country.” Government’s reluctance to take concrete measures against corruption is basic reason that Afghanistan has been among the most corrupt countries of the world for some years now.
Today, corruption has penetrated into our social behavior. It is now a part of routine life to be corrupt. From a very minor to the most major matter, we find corruption ruling the roost. One of the most unfortunate facts is that the people do not consider it evil to be a part of corruption in some way or the other. They readily become part of it and do not seem to revolt much against it, because they know that ultimately the corrupt have to be rewarded.  One of the major problems in tackling with corruption in our country is that the controlling mechanism itself is involved in it. The government that should be on the forefront to curb this menace, itself has been a major contributor in this regard. There have been many major occasions of corruption when current administration has been blamed for being directly involved in the matter. From the issue of election to the Kabul Bank episode, the government has not been able to extract itself out clean. On most of the occasions the government has blamed the Western supporters to be generating corruption in the country.
Western allies, on the other hand, have kept on insisting that Afghan authorities must carry out serious measures to curb the overgrowing corruption; however, the outcome is yet to be produced in this regard. The Western allies have spent billions of dollars in supporting the Afghan government; they have every right to make sure that the money which is intended to support the Afghan people must be used through a transparent manner. However, they have not been very much careful in this regard. And already much of the money has been misused by corruption.
Nevertheless, in the process, the supporters of Afghanistan have lost their trust from the Afghan authorities and are mostly disappointed from what has been achieved after more than a decade of expenditure and hard work. One of the reasons that there is reluctance on the part of the international community to pursue the war in Afghanistan is, no doubt, corruption.  Corruption in Afghanistan is now a complex phenomenon that requires extensive efforts from both national and international authorities to be comprehended and resolved. Definitely, the anti-corruption institutions, equipped with authority and facilities can be major contributors in curbing it and Afghan government needs to establish them and nourish them appropriately. However, it is also important to note that the honest efforts on individual level can be helpful to eradicate corruption to a great extent. The realization, on individual level, that a person commits the biggest injustice and violates the right of fellow-being when he does corruption is the crying need of time.