KABUL — President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, under pressure from the international community to do more to battle corruption, has issued an ambitious list of government reforms that orders his ministries, prosecutors, and judiciary to fight bribery, nepotism, and cronyism.
Karzai’s 23-page decree also instructs officials to clear the attorney general’s office and the courts of languishing corruption-related cases and do more than talk about bringing crooked figures to justice.
Donor nations have long expressed concern about corruption within the Afghan government and $16 billion in aid pledged this month at a Tokyo conference is tied to a new monitoring process to assure that the money is not diverted by corrupt officials or mismanaged. Karzai has blamed international contracting procedures for some of the problem.
In the decree, Karzai repeated his request that high-ranking government officials or their relatives do not get rebuilding contracts. He demanded that ministries and other governmental departments write a flurry of progress reports on a myriad of issues — including efforts to resolve traffic problems in the dusty, congested Afghan capital, Kabul.
The decree, issued Thursday, is similar to an executive order but is ambiguous about what happens to those who do not comply, and does not spell out who will pay for the cleansing that Karzai proposed.
Political analyst Jawid Kohistani did not think the decree would stave off corruption.
‘‘Karzai is acting late on corruption,’’ he said Friday. ‘‘We have anti-corruption laws, but it is very difficult to remove corruption. It is hard to just remove corruption by a decree. He should start to remove corruption from inside the palace.
‘‘I’m not confident that this decree will bring good results because those people who are involved in corruption are high-ranking officials in the government. They have control of the economy and they also are grabbing the land. The low-ranking employees of the government — they are only getting small bribes.’’
Afghanistan, with a history of war and international interference and support, has come in 181st out of 183 countries on Transparency International’s corruption index. Only North Korea and Somalia were deemed to be more corrupt.
Karzai has promised to clean up his administration without much result.
While Karzai expressed gratitude for the Tokyo pledges, he said his government was not solely to blame. He said the contracting process for development projects, which have poured billions of dollars into his war-torn country’s fragile economy, have led to influence-buying.