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    AISA experts’ resignation referred to AGO

    KABUL (PAN): The Council of Ministers on Monday referred the issue of resignations by seven members of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) to the Attorney General Office (AGO) for a thoroughgoing investigation.

    Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan the Cabinet decision came on the completion of an initial probe into the resigning experts’ claim about rampant graft in the organisation.

    While announcing their resignations on Thursday, the experts branded their chief as incompetent and said: "The first step in the fight against corruption has been initiated at AISA."

    Asking the president to look into the agency affairs to prevent fund embezzlement, the officials accused AISA head Wafiullah Mukhtar of knowing little about how to lure investments and making appointments in disregard of merit.

    The experts include Baryalai Malyar, Omar Joya, Dr. Roohullah Ahmadzai, Ghulam Rabbani Mansoor, Suleiman Akbari, Mir Taufiq Ansari and Abdul Ghafar Rasin.

    But Mukhtar scorned the allegations, calling them propaganda aimed at his removal. He insisted he had been appointed on merit, saying the seven people would be referred to AGO if they failed to produce evidence.

    The investigations would prove who was at fault, according to Faizi, who insisted that the decision had been taken to ensure transparency and lay bare the truth of the matter.

    On Friday, the Afghan Anti-Corruption Network (AACN) voiced its deep concern at the collective resignation of the AISA officers.

    The watchdog urged President Karzai to order the AGO and the judiciary to look into the allegations and prosecute those found involved in graft.

    “For economic development and self-sustainability, the government must encourage domestic and foreign investments in the country,” a statement from the network said.

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