Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 15th, 2021

Dispel Concerns Instead of Expressing Concerns

While security situation continues to have a baneful look, failure to address rampant corruption is plunging the country into a more complicated situation. Unfortunately, the president and some high authorities can easily dodge the responsibility for the problems faced by the country by putting the blame on international organizations or international community.

When the president assumed his second tenure, he made many pledges and promises among which the fight against corruption stood out but unfortunately he has not been able to allay the concerns of Afghan people as well as international community over the widespread corruption. Last year, Kabul bank collapsed because of the mismanagement of the owners and shareholders. Now the Ministry of Finance has expressed concern that the aids of some of the donor organizations and countries channeled through International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in abeyance and this could affect the development programs in the country. The concerns come after the IMF put its assistance to Afghanistan in suspension until the Kabul Bank crisis is solved.

The crisis of Kabul bank emerged after reports said that it had lost hundreds of millions of dollars of the depositors. Abdul Qadir Fitrat, who resigned from his post as head of the central bank and now resides in the US, has said in the past that $910 million was illegally withdrawn from Kabul Bank in the form of undocumented loans to well-connected individuals. The bitter fact is this that this money was not invested in Afghanistan, which could have benefitted Afghan people, at least. Rather, it was transferred out of the country and spent on land deals that produced no benefits for the investors as well as for the people of Afghanistan.

The IMF was providing its assistance to Afghanistan through this Bank, which is now put for sale. IMF has also asked for transparent probe into the Kabul bank issue. But Afghan government has not been able to dispel the IMF concerns as yet and earlier the Minister of Finance stated that the negotiation between the government and IMF did not produce any results, accusing it of putting political pressure.
The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) has expressed its concerns about the suspension of the IMF aid, saying it could affect around 80 percent of Afghan rural population. It is high time to dispel the concerns instead of expressing concerns.