Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, November 19th, 2017

The Cornerstone of House is Ruined

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The Cornerstone of House is Ruined

The acknowledgement of financial corruption by head of parliament is a big fear in Afghanistan. When Wolesi-Jirga (the lower house of parliament) is engaged in corruption, is there left any other secure place?
The condition of parliament shows that legislators pursue corruption under the aegis of law. The financial corruption committed by a legislator will be highly perilous, therefore, curbing and pursuing this is extremely hard. Financial corruption by MPs is the same as an owner steals from his/her own house. S/he knows every way and will be able to close any way. 
Reports about the engagement of MPs in corruption shows that corruption is widespread. The public have lost their trust in their representatives due to the nationwide corruption. They seem no more honest or committed to people. The status quo is unsatisfactory. All social relation is based on mutual trust and the public reliance is formed when there is peace of mind. This confidence is founded on moral precondition, the lack of which will lead to the disintegration of social reliance. For a legal relation, the public need to search all the ins and outs of one’s background to make sure that their family was not engaged in corruption. MPs have also put the reputation of their children at stake. Besides being engaged in corruption, they have had gain without pain. Such corruption generates further corruption and misery. A number of individuals learn corruption in the same positions. Those who have no power or position will not dare to engage in corruption. The widespread involvement in corruption made it hard to campaign against corruption. Judicial institutions were not able to prosecute the influential individuals. Therefore, corruption is growing every day. If this issue is not payed serious attention, the national anti-corruption strategy will not be effective enough in curbing corruption. Civil and international institutions expect an independent and powerful body to fight corruption in the framework of this strategy in order to curb the corruption committed by influential and powerful individuals. Only mafia is not the powerful perpetrators but any perpetrators that go beyond the legal boundary is called powerful. MPs also deem themselves either beyond law or immune to justice. The judiciary power seems unable to bring them to justice.
There lies a problem with Constitution with the same issue. Afghan Constitution bestowed MPs a high and impeccable position, which has created a great sense of courage for them. In other words, MPs have turned bold under the secure shelter of law. When the head of parliament confesses to several millions of embezzlement, no tremble emerges in his voice and no MPs turn red – which is a strong blow to law and justice. The law enforcers and judicial institutions are unable versus one who confesses his crime. So, the right of nation is violated in such a simple way. When nation’s representatives and defenders spoil the House of People, it means that the house was destroyed from the bases. In such a case, fighting administrative corruption in other government institutions will be no more than a title for the media or press.
Afghan government is aware of the fact that the continuation of international assistance depends on fight against corruption. It is clear for the world that Afghan soldiers die hungry; whereas the head of people’s representatives spend millions of Afghanis for the decoration of his house.
Afghan government must prove to the international community that it is decisive and capable of fighting corruption. The government’s weakness in combating corruption will reduce global support to a great extent. Apart from global community, the National Unity Government (NUG) is losing the public trust if it does not prove its resolve to fight corruption.
The measurement of financial corruption does not amount to much in parliament but losing trust will be an irreparable loss. Afghan parliament has lost public trust and besmirched the House of People – this is an unforgiveable crime. There is no prosecution when the head of parliament confesses his crime, this way will be followed by any other powerful individuals. Besides being a braveness, it will also put a pernicious effect in the country.
Lacking access to information is also violation of nation’s right. People have the right of access to information and should know the issues going on in parliament. The reports by truth inspector should be read in open and be available to everyone. Now the report should be handed to the media. When a corruption is confessed openly, why the detail is kept hidden?

It should be noted that MPs are not beyond law. Afghan Constitution states in article 102, “If a member of the National Assembly is accused of a crime, the responsible official shall inform the House of which the accused is a member, and the accused shall be legally prosecuted…. If the accusation takes place during an Assembly recess, the permission for arrest or detention shall be obtained from the administrative board of the respective House, and the issue shall be referred to the first session of the aforementioned House for decision.”

Syed Asif Husseini is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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