Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 12th, 2020

Another Story of Corruption…

According to an exclusive report by AP, the Government has blocked investigation into the corruption case against former governor of Kapisa Ghulam Qawis Abu Bakr, who is also affiliated with Hizb-e-Islami. He was removed from the governor's post after former US Commander in Afghanistan General Petraeus handed over proof to President Karzai that he was helping the Taliban insurgents.

The allegation of corruption against Abu Bakr includes the case that he received $200,000 (about 9.5 million Afghanis) in exchange for a construction contract for a cell tower. Other allegations are that he used the foreign donations for roads, schools and clinics for stone and gravel of his three luxurious houses in Kabul, and a large house in Kapisa.

Local small construction companies were asked to 'contribute' truckloads of gravel and stone for his homes, otherwise their projects would be shut down. One factory-owner who rejected the demand, faces the enmity of Abu Bakr.

This proves the fact that President Karzai has done nothing to reduce huge corruption in his administration, which he promised to make his prime object and launch a war against corruption, when he was elected for the second term in office. Though he took some symbolic steps by introducing a new anti-corruption unit, but since its brith in 2009, we have not seen any big official being punished.

Similar to the story of Abu Bakr, there was another direct intervention from President Karzai when his aide Zia Salehi was arrested. He was released soon after his arrest. There have been about 2000 cases investigated by this unit since 2009, but most were blocked, because all those who were found involved in corruption were high-profile officials and aides of President Karzai, like Zia Salehi and Abu Bakr. Only in 28 cases of small level corruption where bigwigs were not involved, convictions have taken place.

Afghanistan remains the 3rd most corrupt country in the world. And it's the bigwigs in corridors of power who are backing corrupt officials. The reports of President Karzai's brother having transferred millions of dollars out of Kandahar Airport were silent.

While taking oath for second term, President Karzai declare the fight against corruption as his top priority. But in reality, he it was just empty promise to calm down the international criticism at that time.

The U.S. is equally guilty in this mess. It's all the money of US taxpayers that go into pockets of our corrupt officials, but the Obama Administration has decided to keep quiet on the huge corruption in Karzai Administration.