Skip to main content

Afghanistan (Corruption)

Volume 522: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2011

7. What recent steps his Department has taken to support measures to reduce the incidence of corruption in Afghanistan. (37146)

We are encouraging the Government of Afghanistan to live up to the commitments they made on anti-corruption at the conferences in Kabul and London last year. In addition, I met yesterday with General McMaster, the head of the international security assistance force’s anti-corruption task force, to discuss how the coalition could assist Afghanistan in bringing those involved in corrupt practices to justice.

Has it been worth the sacrifice of 350 of our valiant British soldiers to protect the election-rigging President of Afghanistan who refuses to arrest his corrupt brother, the vice president who was caught smuggling $51 million to his bolthole in Dubai, or the Government cronies who have stolen 70% of the country’s GDP from the national bank? Is not the truth that it is not the system that is corrupt in Afghanistan, but that corruption is the system?

There are, of course, wider issues involving national security that contribute to the presence of our forces in Afghanistan, in company with those of 47 other nations. It is not appropriate to discuss individuals, but I should say that the British Government are entirely clear: no one is above the law, no one is above inquiry, and the people of Afghanistan deserve a system of justice that ensures justice for all and that those involved in corruption are brought to book.