PRESIDENT’S WORDS

ashraf ghani photo

The people of Afghanistan will witness the fundamental reforms in education sector that they are seeking for. I call upon all people of Afghanistan to initiate National Education Assembling across the country.

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ARG HISTORY

Kabul, a city of ancient history which had been a home for kings and crowns. In the past, a wall, which still its remainders exist, enclosed the city with six entrance gates. Each of the doors were known with a certain name…

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National Unity Government Committed to Eradicate Corruption

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has recently published a report which indicated, “National unity government is carrying activities to combat corruption in the country.” This matter was mentioned by John Sopko, special auditor of the United States for rehabilitation of Afghanistan. 

SIGAR has stressed on the fact that threats arising from the issue of corruption were not seriously considered in the past years.  

Mr. Sopko has admired the national unity government’s leaders for the fact that their efforts have been better in comparison to the previous government. He had further added, “If the government could attract financial support and attention of the international community, it will be a big achievement for the government.”

I think for us, the Western countries and the US, it is optimistic. If the new government could once again attract the attention and trust of its foreign partners for financial supports, and the promised money is given to Afghanistan, then this will prove to be beneficial for Afghans. Also, the international communities will be content that the funds spent in the past and currently being sent to Afghanistan are not wasted.” 

SIGAR was established by US Government to monitor and evaluate their provided supports and projects for Afghanistan and to enable them answer their people and their country. 

Now, most of the corruption cases are re-opened in the center and provinces and some of the government authorities are either detained or have escaped. President Ghani, in his first steps after the swearing-in ceremony, detained those who were involved in Kabul Bank’s financial corruption. 

After establishment of the national unity government, H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave a new order to re-open the corruption case of Kabul Bank. President Ghani took his first steps by re-opening the documents of Kabul Bank so that the new government honestly handles the case without political influences and this was the first step of President Ghani to combat corruption. 

On 1 Feb. 2015 (12 Dalwa 1393), President Ghani met authorities of National Defense Ministry in the presence of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, acting minister of Ministry of Defense, and authorities from the Procurement Section of the ministry, as well as authorities of IRDS, CSTC-A, ISAF and SIGAR representative. 

During the meeting, fuel contracts of Ministry of Defense as well as seven other contracts were assessed. The president asked explanation for claims made by a vendor who had failed to win the contracts, accused that there were a difference of $215 million in the contracts, and the difference has been confirmed by ISAF and SIGAR and has been reported in the Procurement Directorate of President’s Office as well.  

He added that, henceforth, the procurement section of Security and Defense ministries will change to non-military, and the National Procurement Directorate of President’s Office will work on its plan. 

During the meeting, the president emphasized that it is one of the political goals of the government to end the culture of giving and taking bribery and required steps will be taken forward to achieve this goal, which is the will of Afghanistan’s people.  

It is worth mentioning that National Procurement Commission saved more than AFN5.6 billion after reviewing 110 contracts worth $60 billion. Revision and assessment of other ministries’ contracts are still going on by the National Procurement Directorate. 

Recently, the president, in a meeting with some officials of Urban Development Ministry on 29 May 2015 (8 Jawza 1394), suspended six officials of the mentioned ministry from their positions and issued an order to ban them from leaving the country. Further, he instructed Attorney General’s Office of the country to investigate corruption cases of the defendants based on practiced laws. 

According to President Ghani’s order, relevant departments are assigned to implement travel ban on director of Center Urban Development, director of Properties, director of Residential Housing Enterprise, head of 5th Macroyan project, head of Office and head of Finance for Coordination of the Ministry’s Apartment. Mentioned authorities have been referred by the president to legal and judicial institutions on charges of corruption and taking bribe.  

Meantime, President Ghani suspended acting director and deputies of Afghanistan Investment Support Agency’s jobs and appointed a board to investigate corruption in this agency.

Bribery in construction projects’ contracts, distribution of apartments to high ranking government officials and their relatives, and building low quality apartments are examples of corruption in Urban Development Ministry’s project. 

Rooting out and fighting against corruption are one of the main priorities of the government. Re-opening of Kabul Bank’s corruption case, investigation of corruption in fuel contracts of National Defense Ministry, and referring case of six officials of Urban Development Ministry to Attorney General’s Office are some of the measures the president has taken since inception of his work to eradicate corruption in the country.