US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko said on Wednesday that his office would investigate allegations that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani took millions of dollars with him when he left the country.
Ghani has said he left Kabul to stop the bloodshed and denied reports that he had taken a large sum of money with him. But the speculation continues, and Congress has asked the Sopco team to get to the bottom of it.
“We haven’t proved it yet. We’re looking into that. Actually, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked us to look into it,” Sopko told the House of Representatives subcommittee.
Ghani was strongly criticized for having fled the extremist Islamist Taliban on the outskirts of Kabul in August. The SOPCO Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has long been investigating fraud, waste and abuse during America’s massive state-building efforts, which ended 20 years later with the Taliban takeover. I had come.
Sopco suggested to the House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee that oversees development aid that the failure of the US project should not be a surprise given the rampant corruption and mismanagement.
“Corruption became so widespread that it eventually threatened the security and reconstruction mission in Afghanistan,” he told the House panel. The congressional hearing was one of a series looking at the chaotic American withdrawal and the way forward.
“We can apply the lessons learned in other conflict areas,” said Representative Joaquin Castro, the Democratic chairman of the subcommittee. The United States and other countries have stopped almost all aid to Afghanistan.
“This is a difficult time for all of us who care about the future of the Afghan people, especially the Afghans who have helped the United States and its allies over the past 20 years,” Sopko said. He said all cigar workers, including locally employed Afghan workers, were safely evacuated from Kabul.