The phenomenon of corruption has existed since ancient times. It is going on from ancient Mesopotamia to the deep moral quagmire of our modern times; some people have always sought to find a way to cleverly escape from anti-corruption. However, some others have considered corruption as a good and useful opportunity for a small group and harmful for the public.
The elections in the first and second rounds of 2014 and later in 2019 were the result of widespread corruption; According to Robert I. Rotberg “the corruption is about achieving ‘superiority’, unjustly.” Corruption is gaining influence through hidden payments or the promise of two-way rewards.”
Documents, manuscripts, interviews, etc. prove that the seizure of power in the first and second terms of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s presidency was the result of “corruption” and supremacy. This supremacy was not related to an individual or a group, but a large stream diving in the stream of corruption and taking advantage of it like a housefly.
Despite the countless opportunities that could have led Afghanistan on the path of development in its true sense, the corruption-oriented approach entered this opportunity to history conversely. This corruption put the cycle of very productive and impressive activities in the direction of the interests of a certain stream and group. Since corruption returns public benefits to a small number of profits, this type of corruption and political approach brought the country to the precipice of collapse and produced many anti-value consequences. Maybe in the short term, according to the view and calculation of Ghani and his team, it is possible to benefit from the increase of ethnic hegemony of power in Afghanistan, but in the long term, this will prevent the entire country from developing. This example of corruption was designed by some theorists and implemented by Mr. Ghani. Afghanistan could be transformed into a single and developing land with rational behavior, but with the implementation of such corruption, it has been given a path against the direction of development and prosperity. Every day, the opponents of the hegemon wanted by Ghani and his allies are added, and political-military fronts are opened to return this hegemon to his place.
Why are these corrupted bodies calling for decentralized structures? Because the contemporary history of Afghanistan, especially the past two decades, which includes the periods of Karzai and Ghani, has shown that the concentration of power is not the solution to the country’s problem. Neither Mr. Karzai nor Ghani, none of them believed in a united Afghanistan in the Liberal Democratic Party, and what motivated them to stay in power was to maintain ethnic dominance and challenge their traditional rivals.
Any trend that sounds like the song of decentralized structure is suppressed with the titles of separatist, fascist, servant, etc. Cicero said a long time ago “Corruption is a betrayal for loyalty to the common good or the destruction for the common good.” Now that more than a year has passed since the fallen republic, are Ghani and his team ready to accept their mistakes, including structural corruption? Today’s and yesterday’s supporters of Ghani and his team still do not think this is corruption and betrayal; because this corruption has benefited a team that works to maintain and expand ethnic hegemony with the approach of Amanullah Khan and Nader Shah.
According to the author of the anti-corruption book, “Afghan governments [Karzai and Ghani periods] have depended on the steady flow of corruption income.” In underdeveloped countries, governments are not meant to serve the people; they are there to serve themselves and their leaders and corruption is a tool that worked with it in such a way.
The Taliban regime in Afghanistan consumes all government facilities for the expense of personal power. There is no service and no response to people. What has crystallized in the ruling regime is the corruptive power at the service of the emir and commanders armed to the teeth. Those who spoke for the whitewashing of the Taliban and paved the way for this group to reach power undoubtedly contributed to the destruction of people’s life. According to former US President Theodore Roosevelt, “If we keep corrupt in the government office, we submit to their corruption with contempt, then we are wrong.”
To understand and explain this issue, two cases of political corruption in these two structures can be recounted:
1- Doha Agreement
The Taliban signed a political memorandum in Doha in collusion with the United States of America. This memorandum is an example of big political corruption. How does a terrorist group with dozens of members on the black list of the United Nations and the Security Council, sign an agreement with the Americans? What have they agreed on in Afghanistan? How did the Taliban convince the Americans to have an unquestioned rule in Afghanistan? What do they give from Afghanistan to the powerful countries to bring a terrorist group into power?
The memorandum was signed in secret, no one has enough information about it so far. This is an example of betrayal. History will judge that the Taliban and their supporters turned Afghanistan into a killing field for defenseless people with this memorandum. When the Taliban kills and tears, no one asks them anything. These issues evoke a great meaning; the fact that behind this memorandum there has been political corruption between the combination who wears turbans, Ghani’s team, and America.
Nepotism, party-playing, or familyism is one the common examples of departmental corruption, which implies discrimination and preference for relationships instead of rules. In the process of partisanship, a person who accessed to corruption has power and position in government departments.
After the formation of a new structure in Afghanistan due to successive wars and violence and the destruction of all political-administrative infrastructures, nepotism was undoubtedly predictable; but after 2014, this kind of corruption became more evident and the administrative, political and military officials were operating according to nepotism or cronyism. For example, the advisor of Afghanistan’s most important security department, the Security Council, was a computer graduate. At the same time, based on an unfair process, hundreds of soldiers with good records were forced to retire. Today, the ruling regime behaves worse than Mr. Ghani’s government. All structures have been placed in the hands of those who have neither the necessary and sufficient literacy for administrative work nor the political knowledge to control the situation.
When we talk about corruption, we don’t mean only taking money from people. When things are not going well, activities are slow and people are not satisfied, this is corruption itself. An example of that is the Central Passport Department as one of the best efficient and less corrupt institutions in the previous government. Today, this institution is full of corruption and misbehaves with clients.
Malasalari (favoring and supporting the clergies under the pretexts of religion) is also a form of corruption. Mullahs – by maintaining the respect that the traditional society of Afghanistan has for them, they are not modern and efficient people. In this regime, the whole system is full of mullahs who have neither sufficient religious literacy nor religious-political piety. When someone does not have the capacity and ability to carry out public tasks, how do we expect him to take better decisions for the current situation? Such a person does not have religious-political piety. Is it possible to expect more from mullahs, when Mullah Hassan Akhund is the prime minister of the Taliban regime who considers that science is permissible, and its analyst considers “Naswar” (a Type of drug common among Afghans) a sign of humility according to his previous emir’s theory?
Adeeb Bahram – Contributor and Opinion Writer, Hasht-e Subh Daily