Not enforcing laws behind endemic graft: candidates
KABUL (PAN): Pledging efforts at countering endemic administrative corruption on the International Anti-Corruption Day celebrated April 9, presidential candidates for the April 5 vote on Monday called the rampant menace the legacy of government’s failure to effectively implement the country’s laws.
Presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who attended a gathering marking the day in Kabul, told participants hollow slogans would not help eradicate corruption, but practical steps.
“The stigma of corruption damages a nation’s and a state’s image and reputation. It is a disease that needs to be cured and prevented,” the former finance minister remarked.
Ahmadzai believed corruption could not be eliminated in the absence of a national consensus and could be overcome through long and short-term plans.
Another presidential candidate, Qutbuddin Hilal, also vowed to aggressively fight administrative corruption he if won the upcoming elections. He said those who had committed corruption over the past 12 years should be held accountable.
“Both foreigners and local are involved in corruption. It is because the Bonn meeting on Afghanistan made a wrong decision on the power-sharing.”
Mohammad Duad Sultanzoy, who a day ago pledged to hold well-off individuals accountable if he wins the April elections, told the gathering the government alone could not control corruption as long as the masses did not raise their voice in this regard.
He, like Ahmadzai, also said only slogans would not help, saying the government had to take practical steps to do away with administrative graft. “We should not contest the elections only to become famous; it is a corruption with people’s votes.”
For his part, Hidayat Amin Arsala said Afghanistan was not alone when it came to corruption, calling for the menace to be fought on international level.
He said corruption threatened efforts at enforcing laws in a society and strengthened cruel segments and suppressed the poor.
Former Nangarhar governor Gul Agha Sherzai’s vice-presidential running mate, Alami Balki, said 16 forms of corruption had been identified in law and all those forms prevailed in the incumbent system.
He alleged 15 ministers in the current and the previous Cabinet had corruption charges against them, but they could not be prosecuted because Afghanistan lacked exclusive courts to deal with corruption cases.
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