Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Parliament is to Look into Waste in Loya Jirga

Corruption is a much-discussed issue in Afghanistan. It is sometimes put in the shade when much-trumpeted events like Traditional Loya Jirga or ineffective efforts like reconciliation process with 'unhappy brothers' take place or come to the fore. In fact, these things are often intended or aimed at diverting the attention from corruption.

The government often thinks that it can restore public support for itself by launching some expensive but ineffective campaigns such as convening an assembly of hand-picked delegates from provinces, districts and villages.

It is often forgotten that to misuse state resources and public money - spend it lavishly on useless or even illegal things like Traditional Loya Jirga as said by the Jirga participants - forms a very bad aspect of corruption.

People will come to find out about it and will hold the government accountable once the wave of demagogy has subsided and things get back to normalcy. Afghan government privileged a few without any legal basis while these privileged few do not include those 30% unprivileged that live below poverty line.

There is no doubt that those who participated in the Jirga discussed a very important issue - the strategic partnership between Afghanistan and the United States of America - but the fact is that they provided nothing new and important enough to justify the lavish use of state resources.

Even if the participants of the Loya Jirga had provided new inputs, it cannot justify privileging few while those 30% risked their lives to elect their representatives to parliament in a mechanism and manner provided for in our constitution.

These resources and money could be earmarked for building a health clinic or improving health care services in a village where there is a high rate of child mortality or where a high number of mothers die during childbirth.

Once the discussions and debates by those who supported the Jirga and those who opposed it are over, the parliament must begin to investigate and look into the waste done in conduct of the Loya Jirga to privilege few at the expense of cutting from the health services that could benefit a poor mother or a poor child because it is, in a sense, no less than the money withdrawn from citizens' accounts in Kabul bank in a corrupt way.

One can conclude that though corruption is a much-discussed issue, it is never addressed; rather, due to a lack of culture of accountability, new forms of corruption emerge without being really thought-provoking.