The leadership of the Ulema Council of Afghanistan and the Attorney General’s Office on Saturday embarked on a two-day consultation meeting on rule of law and corruption in public offices in the country.
The meeting enabled delegates to exchange ideas on ways to cope with corruption and eliminate it from government offices.
The delegates will present the results of their talks to the Presidential Palace after they wrap up their meeting on Sunday.
Qiyamuddin Kashaf, Head of the Ulema Council, the country’s religious scholars council, said the majority of government institutions are affected by corruption and that this phenomenon is one of the reasons for the ongoing war in the country.
Kashaf said some people are leaning towards the Taliban due to the lack of rule of law and corruption – especially when it comes to their legal problems not being addressed.
“Most of government’s offices are corrupt. There are different types of corruption,” Kashaf said.
At the event, the Attorney General Farid Hamidi called on the people to support government’s anti-corruption efforts.
He said war, violence, unemployment and poverty have led to corruption in the country.
“This conference is not for peace; it is for a continued and strict fight against corruption and for ending corruption in government offices in Afghanistan.
Peace is not possible when there is corruption. Corruption has dried the roots of this nation,” said Hamidi.
Religious scholars meanwhile said fighting corruption needs action not slogans.
“Let’s earn honor for our country, for the religious scholars, for our leaders and let’s get rid of this situation,” said Waezizada Behsudi, a religious scholar.
In February, Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Afghanistan as the 4th most corrupt country in the world in 2017, trailing only Syria, South Sudan and Somalia.
The study put Afghanistan in 4th place among 180 countries in the world.
The index also highlighted that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, “while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risk their lives every day in an effort to speak out”.
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of 43.
Afghanistan however only scored 15.