KABUL, Afghanistan — He rises, acknowledges Canada’s commitment to Afghanistan’s security, and then immediately delivers his message: "Your young Canadian soldiers give their blood for Afghanistan . . . but there is no reconstruction, only corruption. Canadian development money should be used for big projects, not for buying private luxury houses for government officials and luxury cars with television sets in them."
Bashardost certainly understands the extent of corruption in Afghanistan better than most and speaks out against it publicly more than anyone. After studying in France and obtaining a PhD in international affairs, Bashardost returned to his native Afghanistan following the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.
"The Taliban are not the problem. It is the corrupt mujahedeen warlords who have been returned to power in the form of the Karzai administration," says Bashardost. "My first priority after I’m elected will be to put the war criminals on trial and to replace all the corrupt governors with responsible, capable people."
"To date, more than US$60 billion has been provided in aid to this country, which is more than 10 times the pre-2001 annual GDP," he says. "But most of that money has ended up heading back out of Afghanistan, rather than into the hands of Afghans."
When asked just how exactly he intends to eradicate the warlords, corrupt politicians and drug lords when he possesses no private army of his own, Bashardost simply shrugs his shoulders and says, "It will be the people’s will."Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.ca