Quqnoos, October 20, 2008
Afghan minister fails to answer corruption allegations
Commerce minister disobeys request to appear before Parliament
THE HEAD of the law enforcement commission has called the new attorney-general and the commerce minister before Parliament to answer allegations of corruption.
RAWA: Amin Farhang (right) before a parliamentary commission on charges of corruption. Stanakzai Sapand (left), deputy of counter-corruption department told him that they do not recognize him as a minister, which sparked a quarrel between the two.
But Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang (pictured), whose ministry is accused of widespread corruption, failed to turn up to Parliament.
The Parliamentary Affairs Ministry said it had been informed that Farhang would not be able to make Sunday’s session, but the law commission said it had not been notified of this.
Last week, the attorney general, Mohammad Ishaq Alako, said he had launched an investigation into Farhang’s ministry following allegations that the ministry’s oil and gas department was plagued by corruption.
The investigation is still under way.
Alako came to the post of attorney-general promising to clamp down on government corruption, but his office now faces corruption charges of its own.
President Hamid Karzai’s government is coming under increasing pressure to stamp out widespread corruption in his government.
Alako, who was catapulted into the chief prosecutor’s chair in August after Karzai forced his predecessor to resign, promised cabinet members and the Afghan people that he would focus on enforcing the law during his time in office.
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