Daily Revolt

November 24, 2007

Corruption, Bribes and Trafficking: a Cancer that is Engulfing Afghanistan

It is desperate for Afghanistan. And it is happening because of our neglect. All this happening under our very noses. Massive corruption here and in Iraq guarantee that these states will fall to extremists. As long as government fails for the people of these countries there cannot be the loyalty to democracy, which is necessary if the Islamic Jihadists are to be defeated:
“Everyone in the Ministry of Interior is corrupt,” he told The Times. “They wouldn’t sleep with their wives without wanting a backhander first.”

He never, though, expressed surprise. Governmental corruption in Afghanistan has become endemic and bribes to secure police and administrative positions along provincial drug routes is an established procedure.

“The British public would be up in arms if they knew that the district appointments in the south for which British soldiers are dying are there just to protect drug routes,” said one analyst. Western and Afghan officials are also alarmed at how narco-kleptocracy has extended its grip around President Karzai, a figure regarded by some as increasingly isolated by a cadre of corrupt officials.

“The people around him tell him of a cuckoo land,” said Shukria Barakzai, a Pashtun MP who is both a friend and critic of Karzai. “He circles within a small mafia ring who are supporting the destruction of the system. At the beginning there were only 10 to 15 of them but since then they have spread like a cancer in Afghanistan.”

The Ministry of Interior, key to establishing security in the country, remains the worst offender. Disaffected police officers have named, to The Times, General Azzam, recently appointed Chief of Operations after his stint as Chief of Staff, and his deputy General Reshad as the prime recipients of bribes.

[...]One former governor told The Times that every judge in his province had been corrupt. He claimed there were cases of the police handing detainees to the Taleban, or helping to transport Taleban commanders from one province to another.

“The Government has essentially collapsed,” he said. “It has lost its meaning in the provinces, it has lost the security situation and lost its grip on civil servants. Corruption is playing havoc with the country.”

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