WASHINGTON: A congressional oversight body has sent a letter to the US State Department, saying that some American-funded companies and individuals are actively supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan.
In the letter, which was also copied to the US Agency for International Development, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction urged the US government to immediately stop disbursement of federal funds to these companies and individuals.
The US Congress created this oversight body, better known by its acronym SIGAR, to supervise more than $89.5 billion of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance it has so far given to Afghanistan.
SIGAR claims that government investigations have uncovered instances of US taxpayer money being funnelled to the insurgents, a serious problem largely caused by weak oversight.
Earlier this year, Congress amended the National Defence Authorisation Act, now requiring the Commander of the US Central Command to ensure that those receiving more than $100,000 from US funds do not support insurgency or oppose US or coalition forces.
The SIGAR letter points out that in July Centcom Commander Gen James N. Mattis identified five individuals and entities as “actively supporting an insurgency” in Afghanistan: Arvin Kam Group LLC, Arvin Kam construction Company, Vakil Saadat, Haji Mohammad Almas Khan and Haji Khalil Fruzi.
Two months later, Gen Mattis identified 15 more, including the Nur Rahman Group of Companies, Nur Rahman, Mohammad Rahman, the Hiwad Brothers Company, the Zurmat Group of Companies, Yousef Zaland, Mohammad Ayub, the Zurmat Group of Businesses, Zurmat Foundation, Haji Amir Muhammad, Nurullah Jan, Abdul Wakil Wasim, Triangle Technologies, Haji Dost Mohammad Zurmat Construction Company and Zurmat General Trading Company.
The letter says that SIGAR alerted the State Department and USAID about this determination, urging them to initiate government-wide debarment of these companies and individuals.