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Away From The Fighting, Kabul Takes On Another Enemy: Corruption


Afghan President Ghani, seen here at an international anticorruption summit in London in May 2016, has recently overseen hundreds of dismissals of government employees for graft.

Afghanistan's government is mired in a war against a 16-year insurgency that has forced the capital into virtual lockdown, ignited deadly protests, and compelled the head of state to retreat behind the barricaded walls of Kabul's presidential palace.

But off the battlefield, it is also waging a campaign against another evil: systemic government corruption.

President Ashraf Ghani has made tackling Afghanistan's entrenched culture of corruption a top priority as he tries to curb lawlessness and improve his administration’s tarnished image following a wave of deadly attacks that have dented public confidence in the government.

The latest major incident came when a tanker truck loaded with "military-grade" explosives detonated during rush hour in the capital on May 31, killing more than 150 people and injuring hundreds more in the deadliest act of terror in Afghanistan's post-9/11 history.

In an effort to turn the tide against insurgents, Ghani’s deeply unpopular and divided national unity government has specifically targeted the security apparatus, said to be a hotbed of corruption.

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