Mar 30, 2010
Abdul Halim Achakzai, a senior research analyst at (CAPS)

16 March 2010

Corruption defined as “the abuse of public position for private gain” is an important and growing challenge in Afghanistan that undermines security, reconstruction and state-building objectives. It is a reality that corruption exists in every country to varying degrees; however, this issue has reached its peak in Afghanistan. Available indicators have placed Afghanistan in the top list of those countries found with serious levels of corruption. The basic causes of corruption in Afghanistan appear to be broadly similar with those found in other countries such as the inability of government institutions in providing proper services, weak accountability mechanisms, large amounts of aid spent through non-governmental channels, lack of security, poverty, unequal implementation of law and interference of influential people in government affairs. The aforementioned causes of corruption have greatly damaged the reputation of the Afghan government and the presence of the international community and have led to widening the gap between the Afghan people and government. Widespread corruption deters and distorts private investment as well. As such the adverse implications of corruption are important to consider. Popular perceptions of widespread corruption implicate the effective functioning, credibility, and legitimacy of the state. A vivid instance in this regard could be the presence of corruption in the formal judicial system which has caused certain locals in some provinces to turn towards the Taliban for justice. (Full Article, file type (pdf) 119 KB)