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Karzai blames foreigners for Afghan corruption

Posted by The Agonist on December 11th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Subel Bhandari &Hares Kakar | Kabul | Dec 11

DPA – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday in part blamed his western allies for spreading corruption in his government, by giving billions of US dollars in contracts to officials and relatives.

‘Our international partners not only had helped us in the law enforcement but they also became the hurdles in recent years,’ Karzai told a press conference in Kabul to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, to an audience including western diplomats.

‘If anyone is friends with a foreigner, he can do whatever he wants in his power. Huge contracts are being given,’ Karzai said.

‘One of the bright and clear ways to tackle is for our international partners not to give contracts to government (officials) and elders (directly),’ he told the gathering at the Amani High School, next to his palace.

Afghanistan ranks as second highest corrupt country in the world, Transparency International said last month, a global corruption watchdog.

Private security companies, mostly owned by foreigners, are also one of the biggest hurdles against anti-corruption measures, he said, not least the development of the interior ministry and police.

‘Immunity is a big problem that exists … Those who are powerful have immunity.

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