How bad must things get before officials conscientiously object to corruption in their own offices?
Answer: Really, really bad.
Well, that is exactly what has happened in Afghanistan. A provincial customs officer in Kandahar has offered to quit because he feels that the level of corruption in all levels of the administration, including in his own office, are unbearable. Read Ashamed of corruption, Afghan offers to quit
While this official must be praised for his conscientious decision to resign in protest, the state of affairs throughout Afghanistan’s officialdom is truly worrisome, and all the more so because consciences as Mr. Sakzai’s are rare at all levels of the government. Historically, and certainly over the past five years, corruption in the public sector is the accepted norm -routine part of daily life as a public servant.
Transparency International recently released its worldwide Corruption Perceptions Index. PCR Blog writes: “The rankings are not encouraging for U.S. efforts abroad. Only Haiti ranked worse than Iraq (160) and Afghanistan couldn’t even provide enough data to be included.”
I feel that Afghanistan’s government chose not to provide the data -because it was severely self-incriminating.