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Fuel contract scam a national betrayal

This is a biggest scam, similar to the Kabul Bank scam. The scam is about US$200 million in defense contracts. The trials are going on. Irregularities have been reported. But none has been put behind the bars. Irregularities? Yes. Is it a crime? Yes. Then why they are roaming free, roaring likes tigers, and belching like a glutton? Is there any law that deals with corruption? If yes, where is that law? Here on the ground or up in the sky? Then why they get away with the law so easily? Is the law meant only for protecting elite’s interests and serving their causes? Or is it something aimed at benefiting all irrespective of gender, status, ethnicity, religion, language and dialect? Officials from the Fuel Importing Companies Organization on Sunday claimed that documents reveal the alleged Ministry of Defense contract scam involves far more money that originally estimated and that it surpasses the US$200 million mark. They also say that senior government officials were involved in this biggest fuel memo. And they also say they have asked the government to launch a thorough probe into the case. The National Economy Commission in the House of Representatives has sought a government probe. At the same time, members of the Parliament say the government officials and companies involved in the memo must be legally trialed. The commission which was assigned the fuel contracts in the Ministry of Defense has confirmed the corruption amounts for US$100 in the contract while officials at the Fuel Importing Companies Organization said they have obtained documents that confirm the level of corruption is over US$200 million. The commission compared the fuel contract of the Ministry of Defense with that of the Ministry of Interior and concluded the difference in value of contracts. The commission said the Defense Ministry purchased the same quantity of fuel for higher rate and the difference is US$300 million. The revelation is shocking. The Defense Ministry, the arch pillar of our national defense has been doing this while the brave sons were rendering greatest sacrifices and their officials were thriving on corruption. And now that there corruption case has made way to the media and government institutions, what the black sheep will do? Will they apologize and tender their resigns? Will they ever feel ashamed to what they did? It’s a national betrayal and it’s a defense betrayal. And the betrayal should tantamount to treason and the punishment of treason must be severe. Now the government must handle the case sternly and those involved in the biggest scam must never be allowed to get away with the law. Commenting on the issue, President Ashraf Ghani said there is need of tightening procurement measures for fuel contracts and for reform in the system. The statement reeks of some kind of slackness on the part of the government as the statement is about future measures. What about the current dilemma? What about the current corruption of millions of dollars? If the government finds itself unable to lay its hands on the big guns involved in the scam, at least it should name them before the nation so that it could know who betrayed the people of the country. And if its bracing itself to deal with the issue sternly, even then the government should tell the nation what’s there on its mind but simply telling that future procurement measures need to be reformed is something that is seen a weakest approach.

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