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Calls for New Probe into Education Ministry Under Farooq Wardak

04 Jul 2020 Tolo News

Six years have passed since large scale corruption was reported within the Afghan Ministry of Education with Farooq Wardak serving as minister. But no progress has been made on the corruption case.

In 2015, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in a report revealed large scale embezzlement of funds provided for the Ministry of Education. Later on, the Afghan government assigned a probe team comprising members of parliament and a top official from the attorney general to investigate reports of billions of afs funds provided by the USAID.

At the time, the then Minister of Education Farooq Wardak and several other officials at the Ministry of Education were accused of being involved in embezzlement.

The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring Committee (MEC) on Saturday again called on the Afghan government to finalize corruption cases involving the cabinet ministers.

“Regarding the cases of the ministers, over the past two or three years, we have not seen any progress. MEC is demanding these cases to be finalized,” said Khairullah Saraj, MEC’s member.

Corruption cases in the Education Ministry involve fraud in school-building and the printing of textbooks as well seeking funds for ghost teachers.

“The political leadership of the Afghan government does not have the will to investigate cases of corruption related to ministers; the legal and judicial institutions aren’t free to act in such cases,” said Naser Taimoori, member of Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA).

The Attorney General is not prepared to comment. But Wardak has refused the allegations and said he had no corruption case with the Attorney General.

 “Corruption cases in the government institutions-- whether in the Ministry of Education or other organ--haven’t been investigated. The government is silent about it,” said Gul Ahmad Noorzad, an MP.

Although, the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center (ACJC) was aimed to probe cases of corruption against the high level government officials, the ACJC since its establishment in 2016 has had only one cabinet minister who faced trial-- and he was acquitted.

Original Link: https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/calls-new-probe- education-ministry-under-farooq-wardak

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