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Ghani wants his authority in appointments reduced

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MateenK View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09-Aug-2017 at 2:53pm
President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday said his government had a strong will to eradicate corruption from its departments, particularly the security organs.

Addressing a conference here on “Joint Fight against Corruption in Defence and Security Sector”, the president said violation of law and corruption in security and defence sectors of the country was a huge issue.

But he said the fight against corruption should be taken forward like the ongoing fight against militants.

He said the rights of every soldier fighting for the country should be ensured so they were served justice and in return they would strive harder to contribute to the security and stability of the country.

Ghani termed reforms in the country’s defense and security institutions the only way to bring security and stability to the country.

“Without drastic reforms, there will be no security and no mega development project would be implemented. We defined the elements of corruption and strategy for its reformation but the public support is needed in this regard,” he said.

“When I talk to military officers, I notice they don’t receive proper food, equipment and logistics. Who is robbing their part?’ he questioned.

Ghani explained individuals appointed under pressure from powerful individuals and stakeholders were robbing the rights of ordinary soldiers.

He again questioned why the procurement commission was criticized the most because it saved hundreds of millions of dollars from being embezzled.

About linking political decisions only to the president, he said: “Today we witnessed a collective political will against corruption and it is encouraging.”

The president said CEO Abdullah Abdullah and second VP Mohammad Sarwar Danish had strong commitment to fighting corruption and were taking steps in a unified manner.

The Presidential Palace and the CEO pursued shared goals and were moving in one direction, he said, adding the two offices had strong will to support the military sector, the Attorney General Office and fighting corruption.

Ghani stressed independence of judicial organs and said anyone who attempted to interfere in judiciary affairs was involved in corruption which he said was unacceptable.

“All people are equal before the law and leadership does not mean to support a criminal from your relatives or friends, it is a major treason”, he said.

“Police are responsible to support the AGO, judiciary organs and implement decisions of the Ministry of Justice. A group of elders and scholars should be created and anyone who interferes in decisions of judiciary should be punished,” the president added.

“I want my authority reduced in appointments and the role of relevant organs increased in the area and a transparent process should be formed so people can trust it,” he said.

He called transparent appointments in government organs as important and said a person employed based on nepotism paved the way for corruption.

He stressed on the need for a national consensus to improve governance and said, “A national dialogue should be created for fighting corruption and supporting national security and defense forces,”

A cooperation agreement was also signed in the presence of the president between the AGO, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior and National Directorate of Security on fighting corruption in defense and security sector.

Attorney General Mohammad Farid Hamidi, said, “The aim of the agreement is fighting corruption in security organs and building capacity of security forces, we also want our security forces to be accountable to the people.”

He said the agreement would also help bring reforms and prevent corruption in procurement and logistics processes in security organs.

 Lt. Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami, acting defense minister, also said corruption was a serious challenge that that had a negative impact on the war against terror, combat capabilities and security forces performance.

He said the defense ministry had taken practical steps to improve the military’s detection, investigation, and response capacities. He said his ministry was responsible to the government in meeting its commitments with the international community.

He said 331 suspects including generals, colonels, captains, majors and others had been detained on corruption charges and 58 of the cases had been addressed and the rest were under process.

Deputy interior minister Lt. Col. Janan Barakzai, did not deny corruption in the Ministry of Interior. “We are also suffering from this problem, but we also have a strong will for its eradication,” he said.

Barakzai said the ministry registered 135 criminal cases involving 279 individuals including generals and officers who had been referred to judiciary organs and the AGO. More than 1.13 billion afghanis owed by contracted companies had also been recovered and added to the government’s treasury, he said.

NDS chief Masum Stanikzai said the cooperation agreement was important in the fight against corruption. He said the intelligence agency was committed for its implementation.

He called Afghan security and defense forces the defenders of Afghans and stressed corruption should be prevented to protect the rights of soldiers.

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