The second deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqiq reacted to the arrest and imprisonment of Abdul Razaq Wahidi, former Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and said it was a “politically-motivated and biased” move.
Wahidi was sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges and misuse of authority related to his duty when he was serving as deputy minister of finance back in 2015.
In a statement, Mohaqiq said that President Ashraf Ghani was not serious with fighting corruption in the country.
“Those ‘thieves’ who are from his own group are given medals, but they adopt an insulting move against Mr. Wahidi,” he wrote.
“Hizb-e-Wahdat party of Afghanistan strongly condemns the kangaroo trial and ‘abduction’ arrest of Mr. Abdul Razaq Wahidi, former minister of communications and describes it oppressive, politically-motivated and discriminatory,” said Abbas Agha, spokesman for Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party led by Mohaqiq. “Mr. Wahidi had been acquitted by three other courts and his suspension from the duty should have been revoked so that he could return to his job. Government resorted on kangaroo court to avoid his return to the job and sentenced him to three years in jail. On the other hand, Mr. Wahidi was not any fugitive or criminal that the government sent police and arrested him from the university and transferred him to jail,” Agha added.
Critics said the government is implementing the law on those who are not able to defend themselves.
“Politicians in Afghanistan in the level of ministers or members of the cabinet or presidential candidate supporting the criminals, the support of these gentlemen is a reason that the law is implemented on the poor while the oppressors were still free and continue their crimes,” said political analyst Ahmad Saeedi.
Kabul residents said the government is not able to take firm action against those who are accused of murder, bullying and other crimes.
“Government is ‘weak’ to take action against criminals,” said Humayun, a Kabul resident.
“Corruption exists within the government,” said Mohammad Ali, a Kabul resident.
A spokesman for Ministry of Interior Affairs, Nusrat Rahimi, said that at least 165 “criminals” have been arrested.
“At least 165 of them have been arrested while 114 of them are fugitive in the provinces. Among them are Haseeb Khurasani and Haseeb Quwai Markaz who have fled the area, but police will nab them,” Rahimi said.
Rahimi said Mr. Wahidi was arrested based on the order of the Attorney General’s Office.
Wahidi was nominated as minister of communications in 2015 and served as a minister until early 2017. He was once again accused of “corruption” in the collection of 10 percent levy on telecom services and was suspended from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in early 2017.
Sources said that Wahidi was deputy minister of finance when he approved a contract of printing “thousands” of copies of cards for the Finance Ministry which cost AFs3, but he approved a contract which charged AFs29 for printing each card.
He said that seven others, including Azizulddin Shams former head of a government-owned printing press, Qahir Haidari a former deputy minister of finance, have also been sentenced to two to four years in prison.
On January 14, Wahidi told TOLOnews that the accusations are based on “baseless documents”.
Wahidi said the AGO has accused him of violating his job description when he was deputy finance minister.