‘Afghanistan government determined to eliminate corruption’

Kabul, May 5 (IANS) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said the government was firm in its fight against corruption and would step up efforts to eliminate the menace.

“The administrative corruption is still a big challenge. We are firmly committed to fighting it and bringing reforms to ensure good governance and rule of law,” Xinhua news agency quoted Ghani as saying during a meeting organised by the EU delegation in Afghanistan.

“Corruption is a national shame … we will soon be mounting a national campaign to engage our public in the fight against corruption,” Ghani said.

Ghani also said that the government was carefully considering a proposal to establish a specialised Anti-Corruption Justice Centre to further enhance the effectiveness of the campaign.

Ghani’s comments came as poverty in Afghanistan has increased from 46 percent in 2013 to 49 percent in 2014 mainly due to the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-hit country and a decline in foreign aid, according to officials.

Meanwhile, some Afghan lawmakers and civil society members said the existing anti-corruption measures were not strict enough to serve as effective deterrents.

They said Afghanistan would not be able to achieve lasting peace unless the government eliminates corruption.

–IANS

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