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No Tali-‘ban’?
G8 moves from comedy to ludicrous

In their meeting last month, the G8 leaders issued a straightforward ‘warning’ to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, asking him to produce a detailed plan on how he’ll be handling the country’s security and reducing the prevailing corruption. The group asked Karzai to “combat corruption, address illicit drug production and trafficking, improve human rights, improve provision of basic services and governance and make concrete progress towards reinforcing the formal justice system.” That’s fine enough. Then came the comedy. They also imposed a ‘five years’ timeline for the results.

And what if Karzai fails to achieve the targets within the timeline? Well, the G8 kind of skipped that point.

Previously, such demands by G-8 were viewed as a brash display of arrogance. With the current ‘five years’ timeline, they’re viewed as being over-the-top ludicrous. It is amusing that countries like US and UK made such a demand in spite of being actively present in the war-torn nation. Did nobody in the G8 realise the stupidity of giving a five years’ timeline to a slovenly elected democratic government, where – the joke goes – any leader’s chances of lasting five years are worse than his chances of ‘lasting’ five years? (The number of roadside bombings in the country has seen a surge of 94% in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009). Even disregarding the five years’ blooper, had Afghanistan’s corruption been confined to a small segment of society, such a G8 statement could have been relevant. But with latest US reports (however much you might wish to believe them) stating that a huge 59% Afghanis point to corruption as a problem bigger than security and unemployment, such a straightforward demand appears to be quite juvenile. Afghani citizens paid over $2.5 billion as bribes last year, which is approximately 25% of the country’s GDP. The report further states that officers supervising law and order are the most corrupt (25% of the surveyed population bribed a policeman and 18% bribed a judge!).

So what will President Hamid Karzai do after this G8 demand? Practically the same thing he’s been doing every time in the past. Nothing.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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