Karzai decrees wide-ranging reforms
28 July, 2012
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai listed good governance, an effective anti-corruption fight, rule of law and a strong economy as top priorities of his administration.
Recalling his address to last month's joint sitting of parliament, Karzai's office referred to a wide-ranging presidential decree for reforms in the three branches of the government.
A detailed statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said that government departments would thoroughly discuss the reforms aimed at grappling with the current challenges.
Under the decree, cases against the individuals detained by police or investigated by the Attorney General Office (AGO) have to be disposed of on a fast-track basis.
Parliament was directed to set store by the core national interest in exercising its legislative powers and accord priority to answering urgent and genuine demands from the executive.
High-ranking officials were ordered to refrain from nepotism and other extraneous considerations in the recruitment of technocrats and super-skilled experts.
While stressing a halt to the land-grab practice, the president decreed security agencies to collect unlicenced weapons and probe all parallel organisations in the country.
The authorities concerned were asked to present a comprehensive report in three months to the Council of Ministers on the first phase of the project for issuing computerised identity cards.
Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was instructed to look -- in coordination with relevant state organs -- into the affairs of all Afghan diplomatic missions across the globe.
The Ministry of Justice was tasked with preparing draft laws governing elections, municipalities and AGO. The proposed laws have to be submitted to the Cabinet in six months.
Additionally, the AGO was given a month's time to investigate the inmates of detention centres throughout the country. It was further asked to constitute an oversight body within two months and make functional district attorney offices.
In compliance with the directives, the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption will keep an eye on strategic benchmarks put in place by public and private sector entities to combat graft.
As part of the drive, the watchdog will have to probe questionable assets of government and NGO officials in six months.
By the same token, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance will have to look into gubernatorial slots and float in a month workable recommendations aimed at strengthening the office.