Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 28th, 2021

The International Position of Afghanistan in terms of Administrative Corruption

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The International Position of Afghanistan in terms of Administrative Corruption

A lthough corruption is a phenomenon that exists everywhere in the world, its type, forms, factors and extent vary from country to country. Given the social, cultural and economic damages inflicted on Afghanistan as a consequence of the long imposed war, the extent of corruption seems getting wider and its roots and factor seems getting deeper and stronger than ever .
The national and international reports successively confirm that Afghanistan is not in a good position in terms of fighting against corruption. For example, the methodic report of Transparency International which released last Thursday, Afghanistan Ranked 165th out of 180 countries with upsurge of several stages than previous times. The top countries based on the report are Denmark and New Zealand, with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, with scores of 85 each, but the bottom countries are South Sudan and Somalia, with scores of 12 each, followed by Syria, Yemen and Venezuela .
Unhappily, more than two-thirds of world countries including Afghanistan have scored below 50, Transparency international highlighted integrity challenges among the highest-scoring countries in the previous year, showing that no nation is free of corruption.In addition to the mentioned report, the United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has also reportedly stated that the Afghan government has not taken any serious measures to fight corruption and that all its actions has remained on paper. According to SIGAR, the former head of the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC ) Yusuf Nuristani who is one of the main suspects in corruption in the country has not been dealt accordingly by the government. The agency also called on the organizers of the Geneva summit to have full oversight of the transparency of their aid to Afghanistan to prevent it from being wasted .
The agency had previously had said in a report that more than $19 billion of the $63 billion in US aid to the Afghan government had been squandered .
If these reports and other scandals which are repeatedly released by local media or parliament members are accurate, it will be unlikely that Afghanistan see the face of peace and prosperity in the near future. The corruption will cripple everything in the country including domestic economy, national developmental projects, democratic organizations, rule of law, and facilitates other threats to security, including transnational crime and terrorism .
More importantly, it will play a barring role against flow of international aid in the country .
In Geneva summit, the international community has renewed their aid with pledging around $13 billion over four coming years but restricted their money to various conditions such as ceasefire, serious fighting against corruption, civil rights protection and so on while none of them has tangibly achieved yet .
Although, In last two decades,  the largest amount of aid have poured to Afghanistan, it has not led to expected changes in the field of poverty reduction, security, construction of infrastructures and balanced development in the country.  Therefore, it is high time to learn from the past and carefully move forward to the future recognizing the deep and shallow factors of corruption in the country.  As the shallow factors of corruption have been repeatedly debated, let s discuss about the deeper root of corruption in the country .
A number of social and political experts consider the cultural barriers as deep factor behind the corruption in the country believing that moral principles are not deeply taught to members of society, especially to the children in educational centers .
Instead of honesty, piousness and knowledge, riches and materialistic ability has promoted as the criteria of goodness in the country .
In social arena, the rich and corrupt people are more respectable than honest, pious and knowledgeable people. As a result, the culture of chastity, honesty, forgiveness, fairness, shamefulness and adherence to promises, commitment are decreased, and vice versa, culture of hypocrisy, pretense of piety, lying, deception, disbelief, etc are encouraged. In such a culture, corrupt people play the role of middleman normalizing corruption in the country.  Therefore, if the moral principles are not revived in the country, we will not achieve any desired result from fighting against corruption in the country .
As a next factor, we are the heritor of a weak political culture and so the political and administrative decisions are made on the basis of ethnocentric consideration, not technical or scientific considerations. Technically, if we have a serious and general mechanism for controlling corruption, no one dare to escape from law. For example, if there was an official unit to register the property of all people, especially politicians, no one can escape from clutches of law. In other countries, the government not only registers the property of politicians but also register the property of ordinary people .
Overall, if we do not establish such serious mechanism in the country, we should not expect to overcome the current problems because corruption is the mother of all problems as it keeps breeding farther problems in the country .
The last factor behind the corruption is poverty and unequal distribution of resources and opportunities which not only paves the way for rise of social crimes and hatreds but also overpopulates the large cities with increasing urbanization .
The villagers move to cities when governments are unable to distribute resources fairly and opportunities in small, less developed villages and towns. When urbanization increases in a society, the corruption also increases due to intensified competition and population density .
Urbanization in countries that do not have a sound political system , in addition to political-economic challenges, transforms urban culture forming a mixture of different wanted or unwanted cultures .
As a result of cultural decline, corruption spreads and structured in a variety of complex ways, emerging as a desirable, inevitable, and entrenched value .

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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