Afghan corruption needs end to impunity: EU special envoy
KABUL (Pajhwok): Corruption has become an integral part of Afghanistan’s political system and the huge challenge could be overcome by doing away with the culture of impunity, the European Union special representative in Kabul said on Sunday.
In response to a recent Pajhwok Afghan News and The EU Delegation online survey on administrative corruption, Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin said corruption in Afghanistan is a serious and one of the important issues that needs to be tackled.
He said the Afghans are worried and believe corruption in the country is on the rise and they want their government to come hard on the menace.
Some 33,000 Facebook users visited the online survey conducted between March, 26, 2016 and April, 7, 2016. Some 668 individuals responded to 12 questions asked in the survey about corruption in government departments.
The respondents were asked whether corruption was increasing or decreasing and if they were satisfied with what the government was doing to deal with the scourge.
They were asked if there existed a strong political will to combat corruption and which government entity they considered to be the most corrupt.
Of the 668 respondents, 506 called financial corruption as the major issue and half of them were concerned about the increase in corruption. Some listed the judiciary, customs departments, municipalities as respectively first, second and third most corrupt government entities.
“Fortunately, the president has also clearly stated that he is aware of the problem and he wants to do something about it. So what we need to see now are specific actions,” Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin said.
He said the international community and donors should help the Afghan government place mechanisms uncovering and preventing corruption.
Ambassador Mellbin also said the Afghans had realized that corruption undermined the credibility of government institutions and the anti-corruption effort mainly depended on a political will. “It is a huge challenge and needs to be addressed by prosecution of corruption cases and stopping the culture of impunity,” the ambassador said.
Mellbin expressed concern over widespread financial corruption in Afghanistan and said that the fact the international community is looking to reaffirm its commitments calls for strong focus from the Government:
“The International Community sends a clear message to the political leadership of Afghanistan, the political opposition and parliament members: it is the time to realize their responsibilities with regard to the anti-corruption fight,” he said.
He said that the International Community does not expect a miracle about corruption, but are looking forward to seeing the situation improving.