The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), stated that the existence of corruption in the Afghan government has strengthened the position of the Taliban.
According to the U.S. watchdog, the Taliban is able to recruit supporters by giving examples of corrupt officials in the central government.
Speaking at Wilson Center in Washington, DC John F. Sopko, the Head of SIGAR urged the U.S. government to prioritize anti corruption efforts in Afghanistan.
However, Sopko praised the performance of President Ashraf Ghani’s government for its anti-corruption efforts. He said the current government has performed better in addressing corrupt practices, when compared with the previous government led by Former President Hamid Karzai.
In addition, the Head of SIGAR blamed Washington for doing very little to prevent corruption in Afghanistan.
Rayhana Azad, an Afghan lawmaker believes that corruption in the Afghan institutions cannot be tackled in a short period of time, rather it requires a long-term anti-corruption strategy. She urges the government to make a decision about former government officials, who are accused of fraud and other wrongdoing.
Latif Mahmud, Ghani’s Deputy Spokesman says that government is committed to the fight against corruption, and it has implemented “Key indicators and fundamental standards,” for reducing the level of corruption.
Meanwhile, Naser Timory, a Researcher at the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), told Ariana News that the cost of corrupt practices to the National Unity Government is estimated to be approximately $1.7 billion. He added that this amount of money is significant for a poor nation like Afghanistan, which depends heavily on the support of the international community.