RAWA News, August 16, 2009
Will Election end the warlordism and corruption in Afghanistan?
The politically compromise system allowed warlords and human rights violators to rule the governance at central and provincial level.
By Maiwand Habibi
20th August 2009 Elections is coursing in Afghanistan in a time that the call for improved governance, particularly at sub national level in Afghanistan has become increasingly urgent, as expressions and concerns over dissatisfaction, an increasingly virulent insurgency and the corrosive effects of corruption which has become part of a complex triad (corruption, opium economy and terrorism) where warlords, insurgents, factional leaders, corrupt officials and drug dealers are contributing to its sustenance has increasingly grown.
Afghanistan is also a facing the great challenge corruption and warlordism and is the one of the victim of corruption like other South Asian and African countries which is considered and believed to be the most challenging and serious problem in addition to drugs and terrorism. This has created a serious threat to the legitimacy of the state, trust of the public, process of development and democratization, and the effectiveness of foreign aid. The United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan Mr. Kai Eide has highlighted on 28th August 2008:
Voting observers expect fraud during next week's Afghan presidential election and warn that cheating will most likely take place at polling stations in remote or dangerous areas where independent monitors won't be able to be present.
AP, Aug.17, 2009
In addition, the root of the problem that has opened the door for warlord and corruption at central and sub national level is the system flaw in the governance. Lack of elected district representation, District councils, governors and mayor are all appointed whose merit is suspicious.
Every official in provincial governor office and municipality at all level takes bribes in order to deliver basic public services a respondent at Kabul provincial office stated. In addition, this deliberate fostering of culture of impunity is based on political compromises as the President does not want to offend warlords and criminals by punishing the members of their syndicates. This approach of the government offered the most conducive medium for corrupt officials and culprits to get protected in the criminal networks and safe havens. For example, pardoning Marshal Qasim Fahim and Younus Qanooni for grabbing the land of innocent civilians in Sherpur of Kabul that encouraged competition among other warlords such as Dostum and Karim Khalili to further surmount national and international funds and construct palaces in the same vicinity.
The politically compromise system allowed warlords and human rights violators to rule the governance at central and provincial level. “The people around Karzai tell him of a cuckoo land,” said Shukria Barakzai Times Online on 24 November 2007, a Pashtun MP who is both a friend and critic of Karzai. “He circles within a small mafia ring who are supporting the destruction of the system. At the beginning there were only 10 to 15 of them but since then they have spread like a cancer in Afghanistan.”
Furthermore, Abdul Hamid Aimaq a senator from Kunduz said “the courts take bribes, the attorney office takes bribes and there is no one to ask about these all. For this reason there are killings, rapes, thefts and everything else. There is no government in reality”
The Elections was a hope for Afghan people and the international community and Afghan government needs to critically and seriously take the issue of warlordism and corruption particularly at sub national level in order to gain the public support and bring stability and peace. Unless the international community and the Afghan government truthfully take the issue of warlordism seriously, they would have little chance of bringing peace and security or winning the war against terror and insurgency as warlordism and terrorism are indivisible concepts which are feeding each other.
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