It is believed that corruption is one of the severest injustices done to a society. Corruption is an injustice in the sense that when justice demands that a person should be given what he\she deserves, corruption does the exact opposite. It is corruption that makes systems and institutions suffer and even collapse. Therefore, corruption should be handled appropriately if a society intends to develop and strengthen the foundations of a just system. Unfortunately our country Afghanistan has been a victim of this nuisance for a long period of time.
And it is because of the same reason that Afghanistan has been limping while striving to stand on its feet regarding political and economic development. It is also unfortunate to note that the justice system that could have played a major role in nipping this evil in the bud did not offer as much as necessary and the situation has now gotten out of control.
It is notable to observe that there are certain cases in which the law and order system itself becomes the victim of corruption and that is what has happened with Afghan society. In such cases the worst manifestation of corruption can be observed. The law then becomes the will of the rich and the powerful, and the poor suffer its consequences. The example can be easily found in the growing disparity between the rich and power in our country.
Another characteristic of corruption is that it makes an institution or individual incapable. Depending much on corruption, the institution or the individual gives up the hard work and realizes the easy ways of achieving the objectives. And it is unfortunate to note that the rampant corruption in Afghanistan is affecting it in both the ways mentioned above.
After the end of Taliban regime, there were hopes that Afghanistan would be able to move towards betterment. The extremist and repressive government of Taliban would be replaced with a modern and welfare-seeking one. The war torn country would be able to have some time in reconstruction process and the people of Afghanistan would be able to have a life wherein they would be able to have a sigh of relief and definitely their basic rights. The opportunity was great as well, as the international community started assisting the country militarily, technically and above all financially.
Billions of Dollars poured in the country for both military support and development projects. But if we analyze the socio-political and socio-economic scenario in the country the development does not seem as great as it should have been. Most of these aids were devoured by corruption instead of being spent for the intended purposes. Either the money that was to be spent through government or the NGO sector, both the ways corruption had the largest share.
Today, corruption has penetrated into our social behavior. It is now a part of routine life to be corrupt. From a very minor to the most major matter, we find corruption ruling the roost. According to Asia Foundation report last year, about 55% of Afghan respondents believed that corruption is a major problem in their daily lives. If people responded to their involvement in some sort of corruption and they responded rightly, the percentage would be very high.
One of the most unfortunate facts is that the people do not consider it evil to be a part of corruption in some way or the other. They readily become part of it and do not seem to revolt much against it, because they know that ultimately the corrupt have to be rewarded. According to an earlier report of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime an Afghan normally pays an average of $158 per bribe, which is really threatening and shows the violation of justice on daily basis. It is also very much unfortunate to hear that Afghanistan has been ranked among the top three corrupt countries of the world.
One of the major problems in tackling with corruption in our country is that the controlling mechanism itself is involved in it. The government that should be on the forefront to curb this menace, itself has been a major contributor in this regard. There have been many major occasions of corruption when Karzai government has been blamed for being directly involved in the matter. From the issue of election to the Kabul Bank episode, the government has not been able to extract itself out clean. On most of the occasions the government has blamed the Western supporters to be generating corruption in the country.
Western allies, on the other hand, have kept on insisting that Afghan authorities must carry out serious measures to curb the overgrowing corruption; however, the outcome is yet to be produced in this regard. The Western allies have spent billions of dollars in supporting the Afghan government; they have every right to make sure that the money which is intended to support the Afghan people must be used through a transparent manner. However, they have not been very much careful in this regard. And already much of the money has been misused by corruption.
Nevertheless, in the process, the supporters of Afghanistan have lost their trust from the Afghan authorities and are mostly disappointed from what has been achieved after more than a decade of expenditure and hard work. One of the reasons that there is reluctance on the part of the international community to pursue the war in Afghanistan is, no doubt, corruption. Even in the recent Tokyo Conference the support for Afghanistan was conditioned with the improvement in the measures to curb corruption. Almost all the countries having a share in the announced $16 billion aid for Afghanistan insisted that Afghan government needed to do much more to curb corruption.
Corruption in Afghanistan is now a complex phenomenon that requires extensive efforts from both national and international authorities to be comprehended and resolved. Definitely, the anti-corruption institutions, equipped with authority and facilities can be major contributors in curbing it and Afghan government needs to establish them and nourish them appropriately. However, it is also important to note that the honest efforts on individual level can be helpful to eradicate corruption to a great extent. The realization, on individual level, that a person commits the biggest injustice and violates the right of fellow-being while being involved in corruption is the crying need of time.