Afghan Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi has dismissed the corruption and fraud allegations against him, calling for the Attorney General to investigate the matter further.
"I refuse all the allegations and I urge the Attorney General to take the necessary steps," Ahadi said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday.
Ahadi was named in a letter signed by 12 high-ranking ministry of commerce officials including the deputy minister linking him to vast corruption.
The letter, revealed to media on Saturday, accuses Ahadi of changing numbers on contracts when sending them to the Council of Ministers and Parliament, employing his close relatives without professional aptitude, paying relatives higher wages without considering qualifications and experience, and several other issues.
"I think [the letter] was not sent by our personnel. I didn't receive any letters from the personnel," Ahadi said Tuesday.
However, deputy minister Mutasel Komaki confirmed to TOLOnews on Sunday that the letter was written and signed by ministry staff to alert Ahadi to the reforms needed, but it was not sent to anyone outside the ministry.
"We didn't give the letter to the media. We [planned] first to discuss the issues with the minister himself but if he couldn't do anything to solve the issues, we would send it to the president [Hamid Karzai] then to the media," Komaki said via a phone interview.
"We only submitted the letter to the minister himself, not to anyone else so far," Komaki confirmed again on Tuesday in response to Ahadi's claim that he had not received any letters from his staff.
Ahadi said any concerns raised by his staff may stem from their discomfort over reforms that have already introduced at the ministry.
"We have already brought some major reforms. They might have an issue in this regard," Ahadi said.