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Central & South Asia
Afghan ministers on 'graft' list
Senior ministers accused of graft on last day of anti-corruption conference.
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2009 09:34
Karzai's rivals say he will use the list to sanction those who endorsed his election rival, Abdullah [Getty]

A list of government ministers deemed corrupt by the country's attorney general has been presented to Afghanistan's parliament.

The list, released on the final day of a three-day anti-corruption conference, includes five senior members within the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said Hashem Ahelbarra, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul.

"Overall the list includes 15 former ministers, five ministers currently holding positions and six governors in Afghanistan," Ahelbarra said on Thursday.

"They include Rangin Spanta, the foreign minister, Hanif Atmar, the interior minister, as well as Nematullah Shahrani, the top advisor to the president, and the minister of the economy, Jalil Shams."

International pressure

The three-day meeting, Karzai's first official act since he was sworn in as president for a second term, is a response to calls from his Western backers to make the country's government more transparent, particularly in the wake of the fraud-tainted presidential poll that took place in August.

Karzai was declared the winner by default when Abdullah Abdullah, his main challenger, pulled out, citing irregularities.

"This is going to have an impact on the future of Afghanistan," Ahelbarra said.

"We will have to wait for another 48 hours for Karzai to announce the final make-up of his government, to see whether he is hearing calls from the international community and the Afghan people to sanction those involved in bribery and kick-back schemes.

"However, his rivals are saying he will use this list to sanction those who endorsed doctor Abdullah, his election rival."

Daoud Sultanzoy, an Afghan member of parliament, told Al Jazeera, the list leaves a lot of room for political influencing and agendas.

"There is a lot of international and domestic pressure for Karzai to stamp out the endemic corruption in this country," Sultanzoy said.

"However, this pressure can create a very zealous approach, we have to make sure we don't malign those who are being hunted for political reasons." 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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