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Editorial: Diminishing trust

Anti-corruption strategies of the National Unity Government (NUG) are drawn-out and had fallen far short of the objectives. The teetering drives against corrupt official will continue to face the same fate and traumatize the already troubled nation. Reason behind the failure is very clear. Authorities are not fighting corruption wholeheartedly. The campaigns seem only for show off. In reality, people in the power corridors believe in the philosophy of “scratch my back and I will yours”.

Result of this cold shoulder response to such a major problem is criticism and diminishing trust. The government is criticized without any pause. The reports of local and international bodies are so shocking that common people are left with no other option but to protest and criticize the failed anti-graft campaigns. Thursday report of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, an anti-corruption monitoring group, is a reminder that the NUG is going towards a different direction than it underlined in late 2014. The group in its report said that determination of the Afghan leadership to effectively fight corruption is weakening and eroding public trust. According to the report, lack of coordination has also made the fight against corruption ineffective.  “I have seen lack of political will, weak state, lots of impunity, selective justice, not existing system of checks and balances, inefficient institutions,” said senior member of the anti-corruption group, Slagjana Taseva. In her press briefing, Ms Taseva stressed on the need for wise leadership to improve the anti-graft efforts.

At such a critical time for the country when the international community is disappointed from the performance of Afghan government, the report questions performance of the current leadership. The nation is feeling embarrassed because the report had projected a picture which is disheartening.  It was not the first report of its type, but several such reports were published recently. As per the report, the officials never delivered on their pledges. The anti-corruption programs were not completed as per promise. There is a long road ahead to get rid of corruption.  Every top official is claiming to root out corruption but on the ground situation is very different.

Despite the promises and claims, the situation has not changed in favor of Afghans. Consider it failure of the government or political immaturity of public but change is nowhere in sight. Corruption exists in every government department.  There is not even a single institute which could be considered “corruption free”.

Therefore, the government has to take corruption as a serious issue, and devise a comprehensive roadmap to fight this evil. The situation will become worst if the words were not put into action.

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