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Editorial: Nepotism cripples system

According to a brief but conclusive research of the Pajhwok Afghan News, nepotism exists in 10 different provinces where 15 key positions are transferred from one family member to another. The transfer of position within families is taking place under the very nose of the government. Faryab, Paktika, Nuristan, Kunduz, Farah, Kabul, Kunar, Ghor, Uruzgan and Badakhshan are provinces were government positions are inherited by the influential families. Merit in these provinces is found only on papers and the papers are found in the trash bin, because in 13 instances, sons replaced fathers. There are two instances of brother and sisterly love.

Favoritism shown to relatives by a person in power is an unforgiveable legal and moral crime. It is corruption—a serious type—and a setback for the nascent democracy. It shows the government is still based on the tribal structure where the fittest rules and is listened. Their say matters and if challenged they can topple the government or create security challenges while forming armed groups. Perhaps it is the reason that the previous and current governments were afraid of sacking some officials. History of the country is full of the stories of militia forces established by powerful individuals to protect their interests. In the recent past, an armed group supported by an influential person emerged in eastern Nangarhar province. The group fought against Daesh at the behest of this individual. The inquisitive minds were forced to question credibility of the government.

Blue-eyed managed top positions. Despite drawing wide criticism, reshuffle of the blue-eyed candidates is continued. A few of the ministerial nominees, who were rejected by the Wolesi Jirga, are appointed at different positions. Seemingly, the reshuffle is based on the pledges to the campaigners who supported the candidates. As eyes of the leaders are fixed on re-election, thus, they are not ready to risk losing the supporters, especially the well-off and influential.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan is suffering from drought of statesmen and a flood of politicians. High-ranking Afghan officials including the leaders are working with details rather than ideas that could be translated into actions. This is why they cannot deliver on their pledges. Nepotism is a curse that should be fought at every front. Improvement of different sectors and the proposed reforms process have been in doldrums for the past several years. The issues will remain as it is if our politicians were not turned into statesmen. Therefore, to fight nepotism and foster real democracy in the country, the leaders shall stand on principles.


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