Speaking an annual anti-corruption conference in Kabul, Bass said that corruption in Afghanistan is the issue that most imperils the continued financial support from the international community that the government and the wider society require – today and tomorrow.
“Imagine the Taliban embrace significant reductions in violence necessary to begin intra-Afghan negotiations. Imagine the result of those negotiations was a settlement within the current constitutional framework of the Islamic Republic, as you desire. Imagine the Taliban are ready to lay down their weapons and make peace,” Bass said.
“Even if all of these steps occurred, failure of a settlement is still quite possible – because governments, international financial institutions and commercial lenders will not provide the financial support necessary to implement a settlement, if they lack the confidence those resources will be used properly,” the diplomat said.
Bass said that until and unless most Afghans see fighting corruption as something they must do, there is little prospect of success. He called for ending the culture of impunity and special treatment.
“If you do not make progress addressing impunity and curbing rampant corruption, you will not hear my government, and other governments, speaking louder and more urgently about this issue,” Bass said. “You will hear silence. And Afghanistan will receive much less support.”
“Because we will have turned our attention, and our resources, to governments and societies making a stronger effort to tackle corruption and criminality,” Bass added.
Monday 16 December 2019 11:39