Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

“Corruption is Supporting Insecurity”

It is no more a secret that underdevelopment, instability and insecurity in Afghanistan can be easily linked to the prevailing corruption in the country. In fact, it has been one of the most dominant hindrances to the efforts for betterment after the downfall of Taliban. However, throughout these years there have not been concrete efforts against it and, therefore, it has thrived and keep on influencing Afghan society for the worst.
Pointing to one of the influences of corruption, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, in an interview said on Saturday that in return to NATO’s assistance and support to Afghanistan, the organization asks the Afghan government to fight corruption, bring reforms and build reliable security institutions. He said in his statement, “The fight against corruption is extremely important because it weakens the armed forces of Afghanistan but it also undermines political support in NATO allied countries and partner countries to provide support with training and also financial support to Afghanistan”. There is no doubt in the fact that corruption has further promoted insecurity and, at the same time, it has nullified the efforts to bring improvement in the security sector. However, it must not be forgotten that it has devoured much of the development and humanitarian aid as well.
A study report by Transparency International, last month, revealed that corruption risks in Afghanistan hamper humanitarian aid from getting where it needs to go. The study revealed that corruption risks exist in a number of stages within the program cycle of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. Most notable included; negotiation of conditions for access and area selection for programming; inappropriate interference in the selection of beneficiaries; risks of nepotism and ethnic bias in staff hiring; a lack of means to reliably hold corrupt staff and organizations accountable; and a lack of transparent and effective communication and feedback mechanisms with aid recipients. 
As a matter of fact, Afghanistan has failed to deliver maximum even through humanitarian crisis and in pursuit of development, though the country had the support and assistance of donor agencies and international community. Corruption has been lethal enough to annihilate the efforts or the plans to reconstruct the country and the different systems that may set it on the way to development. It should be noted that billions of dollars poured in the country for military support, humanitarian assistance and development projects, but if we analyze the socio-political and socio-economic scenario in the country the changes and development do not seem as great as they should have been. Most of these aids were devoured by corruption instead of being spent for the intended purposes. Either the money that was to be spent through government or the NGO sector, both the ways corruption had the largest share.
One of the major reasons that there has not been any considerable achievement regarding fight against corruption is the fact that the authoritative institutions and individuals have lacked true commitment; which ultimately provided them the room and the opportunity to benefit from the situation and make their own bank balance. So much has been said and so many instances, examples and data have proved that corruption has devoured much of the assistance funds that were for the purpose of improving the life standards of the poor and deserving people, yet there has not been any tangible measure taken to stop the situation.
No strategy for fighting corruption in Afghanistan can be successful unless it starts making the strong individuals and institutions accountable for any sort of corruption that they commit. The norm has been that the rich, powerful and influential people easily dodge the justice system, while the poor have to receive the negative consequences. In fact, the poor are influenced in two different ways by corruption. First, if they are alleged in any case of corruption they have to go through inefficient and most unjust process of the justice system. Second, they are the ones who have to pay bribes and search for recommendations in order to get their works done in the departments and organizations that are corrupt in their dealings. While the rich through their influence, get away with their corrupt activities and at the same time get their works done from different organizations without any difficulty.
Therefore, it stands paramount that the rich and influential people, both in public and private sectors, who are involved in practicing corruption and promulgating it through their actions should be brought to justice. It is important in so many ways; first it will support in identifying the huge cases of corruption that involve large sums of money; second, it will set example for others – finding the influential people brought to justice and held accountable for their corrupt deeds would send a message to the people and to other officials that they cannot run away from justice if they practice corruption.     
Such initiative definitely requires support and determination to fight against the whole system; particularly, fighting influential and powerful individuals; nevertheless, there is no other option available. Therefore, it is important that the government and the international community must address this particular issue if something worthwhile is required to be achieved.