Afghanistan’s former finance minister has claimed that “ghost troopers” and corrupt authorities officers have been accountable for the Taliban’s capacity to shortly seize management of the nation, as NATO forces withdrew their personnel.
Talking on Wednesday, Khalid Payenda, who served because the Afghan finance minister instantly earlier than the Taliban’s takeover, claimed that round 300,000 troopers and cops listed on the federal government’s payroll didn’t exist.
The so-called “ghost troopers” have been stored on the books by corrupt officers who pocketed their wages, in keeping with Payenda, who mentioned they have been “desertions [and] martyrs who have been by no means accounted for” by commanders who “would preserve their financial institution playing cards.”
The scenario allowed the Taliban to shortly seize management of territory in Afghanistan, as American and NATO forces withdrew from the nation. As a consequence of false accounting by provincial officers, Payenda says that the precise numbers had been inflated by as much as six occasions the precise determine.
The USA had beforehand raised issues in regards to the precise variety of troops and police in Afghanistan, with a 2016 US Particular Inspector Basic report laying out these fears. “Neither the USA nor its Afghan allies know what number of Afghan troopers and police truly exist,” the report acknowledged.
Alongside the difficulty of “ghost troopers,” Payenda steered that navy officers had engaged in “double-dipping,” the place they’d accepted authorities salaries and funds from the Taliban to give up with none resistance.
Regardless of this, Payenda defended the previous authorities and its president, Ashraf Ghani, refuting allegations that these on the high had been “financially corrupt,” laying the blame on provincial figures.
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