Afghan officers fled to luxurious houses leaving thousands and thousands to endure | Information


Up to now few weeks a number of stories have emerged of Afghan elites and several other former officers from the West-backed Kabul authorities escaping to luxurious condos in Dubai and beachside villas in California through the Taliban takeover of the nation final August.

However tens of 1000’s of Afghans, who additionally left the nation, nonetheless languish in cramped refugee camps the world over, whereas again dwelling, thousands and thousands of others face starvation.

Final week, greater than 1,000 individuals have been killed and 10,000 houses have been destroyed after a strong earthquake struck southeastern Afghanistan.

Former Afghan officers, together with aides of former President Ashraf Ghani, spent thousands and thousands to purchase properties in Dubai and the US over the last years of the West-backed authorities, in keeping with a current report by the Wall Avenue Journal.

A US watchdog stated earlier this month that thousands and thousands of {dollars} disappeared from the presidential palace and the Nationwide Directorate of Safety through the Taliban takeover final August. The cash stays unaccounted for, although Ghani unlikely fled with thousands and thousands of money, in keeping with the watchdog.

The previous president moved to the world-renowned five-star St Regis lodge in Abu Dhabi after leaving Afghanistan. He now lives within the UAE.

Tens of 1000’s of Afghans, who labored for the US and NATO forces, have been airlifted because the US forces have been withdrawing from the nation after 20 years of warfare, however a lot of them are caught in refugee processing centres the world over with an unsure future.

Corruption and misappropriation of funds

The stories of corruption throughout the Afghan authorities and misappropriation of funds within the largely aid-dependent nation put the highlight on how Afghans – each refugees in addition to these within the nation – have been failed by their management.

“I gave the very best years of my life to rebuilding this nation, to educating the subsequent technology of thinkers. And now right here I’m, weak and unable to even help my family, whereas those that did nothing for the nation reside snug lives,” stated Mina, a college professor who wished to be recognized by one title.

TFormer Afghan officers, together with aides of former President Ashraf Ghani, spent thousands and thousands to purchase properties in Dubai and the US over the last years of the West-backed authorities, in keeping with the WSJ [Facebook via AFP]

Mina constructed a profession of greater than 10 years, working as a revered professor and a distinguished voice on girls’s rights in Afghanistan. We’re withholding the title of her college as a result of safety causes.

Her work has been severely affected owing to rising Taliban restrictions on girls. Lots of her lessons have been cancelled, she has not been paid in months, and he or she typically faces harassment from Taliban guards for going out and not using a mahram (male escort). Afghan ladies nonetheless are barred from attending excessive colleges and ladies are more and more being excluded from public life, bringing again the reminiscence of the final Taliban regime of the 1990s.

The Taliban has struggled to revive the war-battered economic system after the West slapped sanctions, with the US freezing the Afghan central financial institution funds value practically $10bn following the withdrawal of US-led forces.

The monetary disaster within the nation has trickled into her family, and as her household’s sole breadwinner, Mina has been struggling to make ends meet on a considerably decreased and intermittent wage, with rising costs.

Within the final 10 months, she was solely paid twice and it was lower than half of what she was owed.

“A 12 months in the past, cooking oil was 50 Afs [$.56] per kilo, and right this moment it’s over 150 Afs [$1.69]. A bag of flour was 1600 Afs [$18], however now it’s over 4000 Afs [$45]. I haven’t been paid in months and have been borrowing cash to feed my household (her mother and father and her youthful sister). However even individuals gained’t lend me any extra,” she stated, including that on most days, they divide any meals they’ll purchase into two or extra elements in order that they’ve one thing to eat later.

“We’re ravenous and I really feel extraordinarily hopeless, particularly after I see that those that left us on this scenario live snug lives,” Mina, who is predicated in Afghanistan, instructed Al Jazeera.

Struggling to outlive

In the meantime, Afghans compelled in exile and struggling to outlive watch painfully as corrupt former officers escape accountability.

Dr Kamaluddin Koshan was a journalist based mostly in Kabul earlier than the Taliban takeover. He later labored to develop into a health care provider to serve his individuals, however now he lives as a refugee in neighbouring Pakistan typically depending on doles and charity.

“I had a satisfying and trustworthy earnings, however most of all I cherished the work I did as a result of it helped our nation. I didn’t think about that is the place I’d find yourself right this moment,” 34-year-old Koshan instructed Al Jazeera, talking from Pakistan the place is at present residing, after having escaped Taliban threats for his work.

As a refugee, Koshan, who was the regional supervisor of the North Zone of Khaama Press, a distinguished Afghan company, now shares a small, dingy one-room house together with his spouse and three kids, all beneath the age of eight.

In line with a European Union report launched in Could, there are greater than three million Afghans residing in Pakistan, of which 775,000 are undocumented and most of whom reside in extraordinarily inhumane circumstances in casual settlements within the nation. Most of them had fled because of the final 4 a long time of battle within the nation.

As their financial savings dry up, Koshan’s household has struggled to make ends meet.

“I’ve no earnings to pay for lease, electrical energy or fuel. Meals can be sparse, and there are days we go to mattress hungry. Typically my kids ask me for fruits and I can’t even afford that for them,” he stated, the exhaustion evident in his voice.

Within the 20 years earlier than that, Koshan stated, he had labored arduous to realize each aim he set for himself.

“I additionally labored with many NGOs and Afghan civil society combating injustice,” he stated, beaming with pleasure as he narrated his life’s journey.

“Even my kids have been out of faculty for months as a result of I can’t afford to pay their charges. Day by day that they miss schooling, their future is at stake,” he stated.

Whereas Taliban threats compelled Koshan into exile, he blames corrupt Afghan officers equally for his distress.

“They [corrupt officials] looted the whole lot that belonged to the nation for 20 years. They appointed one another in influential positions, after which rewarded one another,” he stated, his voice rising with anger.

“There was a lot nepotism and discrimination among the many elites, and completely no sense of loyalty in direction of Afghanistan,” he stated.

Tens of millions dealing with meals insecurity

The truth is, the US’s Particular Inspector Common for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F Sopko had echoed related considerations in grim warnings in June 2021.

“Corruption in Afghanistan is not only a prison justice difficulty. Systemic corruption in Afghanistan goes past that… menace to your complete US mission and worldwide effort in Afghanistan,” he stated, warning the Afghan authorities to “get critical” about addressing corruption whether it is ever to convey lasting peace to its individuals.

“Time is operating out,” he had warned, simply weeks earlier than the collapse of the Afghan authorities of President Ghani.

Greater than 22 million Afghans are dealing with meals insecurity, in keeping with the UN’s World Meals Programme, because the nation stares at an financial collapse. Taliban’s diplomatic isolation has not helped the scenario.

Khalid Payenda, the final Afghan minister of finance, who was talked about within the Wall Avenue Journal report for proudly owning properties within the US, has denied the allegations.

He has shared his monetary information and sources of his belongings on his Twitter deal with.

Payenda, a whistleblower on a number of stories exposing corruption within the Afghan authorities, says Afghanistan’s corruption drawback was widely-known and even exploited by many networks and stakeholders.

“Corruption was endemic within the sense that it existed not simply on the nationwide degree but additionally the sub-national ranges, and inside all branches of the federal government, the chief, legislative and even the judiciary,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

Payenda shared related assessments from his time throughout the authorities system.

“In a single division, that was bringing in just one million afghani per thirty days, far lower than its potential, it elevated considerably beneath my tenure,” he stated.

Native information stories from final 12 months affirm his declare, documenting an increase in customs assortment – 330m afghanis collected day by day in June 2021 versus 180m afghanis per day within the earlier quarter.

Koshan, who as soon as positioned a powerful religion in Afghan democracy, is a dissatisfied man.

“I recurrently voted within the elections and inspired others to take part, pondering we may make a distinction. However they lied to us,” he stated bitterly.

“They instructed us to work for the nation, at the same time as they constructed lives overseas, and deserted us the second issues received worse,” he stated, making reference to the Afghan president’s escape on August 15, 2021 that triggered the collapse of the nation.

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