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Editorial: Corruption in trading

Though terror and violence is considered major issues in already war-torn Afghanistan but the increasing trend of corruption on the part of officials and politically backed high ups could be a sever threat to the very future of countrymen. In particular, bilateral trade with neighboring countries, and some of Central Asian countries is considered “gold mine” for the officials of Gomrak (Customs Department), civil administration and personnel of law enforcing agencies. Taking note over bilateral trade with Pakistan, therefore, crossing points like Torkham, Chaman and others along with civil administration of provinces like Nangarhar, Kandahar, Paktika and Khost believed to be the major beneficiaries of it. Similar might be the situation in the provinces bordering with Iran and other Central Asian Republics. But unfortunately media in Afghanistan never made attempts to highlight these issues and push the rulers in Kabul to realize their responsibilities in its overcoming. Reports from different circles reveal that major victims of increasing bribe or self imposed taxes are the transporters. Due to turmoil in relations since longtime, across the Durand Line in Pakistan, the authorities are minting money through collection of illegal taxes from transporters and goods trucks drivers. In return now the Afghan officials right from common employee till Governors and ministers have introduced own taxes, which is being collected from Pakistani trucks drivers and owners. Earlier the gratification paid by drivers and received by personnel of law enforcing agencies or clerical staffers in Customs and Transport offices was nominal but now increased too much. From each Pakistani goods truck from 10 to 20 thousands Pakistani rupees allegedly collected at Kabul and Jalalabad. On such grounds, now owners and drivers have parked their vehicles and reluctant to pay such huge amount. Similar is the situation in Southern and South-Eastern provinces. Even illegal collection is taking place on both sides of Ghulam Khan crossing point. Some of crossing points have been closed for civilians at day time but open and functional at night time for illegal trade with mercy of Pakistan’s security forces personnel and Good Taliban supported by Pakistan. Illegal trading is believed to be major source of income or resources for militants from both the neighbouring countries. The bribe, gratification, imposition and illegal taxes badly affected not only Afghanistan’s bilateral trade with the regional and neighbouring countries but even with rest of the world. Instead of forcing the transporters and traders to pay huge amount to individuals as “bribe,” Afghan government needs to evolve a system of taxation, which might be helpful for its national exchequer. 

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