By Muhammad Taimoor in Islamabad – December 25, 2007
Qanuni left and Zia right
On 17 Dec. 2007, some Arab newspapers published news about two Afghan high officials having been arrested and then released who were illegally carrying cash and smuggling antiques worth millions of dollars. After this news the US based Afghan satellite channel Ariana announced the names of the said officials surprising the whole world. These Afghan high officials were the Vice President of Afghanistan Ahmad Zia Masood and Speaker of the Afghanistan Parliament Yunus Qanuni. Both belong to the pro-American Northern Alliance.
The officials were on their way to London when they were caught with 17 million US dollars cash and antiques also worth millions of dollars. These two VIPs would have been in jail by now but were freed when they were identified as the members of Afghan puppet regime.
Yunus who has a family name "Qanuni", meaning lawful or legal in Arabic and Farsi, is being blasted by several Afghan websites for indulging in illegal activities and corruption.
Qanuni on his return called a press conference to wash away the stain on his reputation he got from Dubai. He clarified that the cash he was carrying was meant for purchasing a residential apartment in London for himself. However, he did not reveal the amount of money he was carrying nor how he happened to get the money.
There are a number of Afghan Government Officials who are known for their corruption i.e., Minister of Defense Gen. Faheem Qasim, Speaker Parliament Yunus Qanuni, Vice President Zia Masood, Army Chief Bismillah Khan and others. All have a reputation for illegally grabbing land and taking public parks and buildings into their private custody, taking heavy bribes, creating NGOs to get funds from Western donor agencies for fake projects and so forth.
Comment – December 25, 2007
More than revealing the corrupt nature of the government installed in Kabul, this says much about the dire nature of the situation in Afghanistan.
For a start: why were such prominent Afghan politicians trying to smuggle so much money out of Afghanistan?
Is this a measure of how corrupt the regime the west has installed in Kabul really is?
Or do the Vice President of Afghanistan and the Speaker of its Parliament know how precarious Nato’s position is in Afghanistan? And were they making preparations for a Nato defeat and the collapse of the current Afghan regime and their possible exile in Europe together with their families?
Last updated 28/12/2007