(TOLO news): TOLOnews has obtained a document showing that Shad Mohammad Sargand, a senior adviser to President Ghani, also received a salary from the US’s Ohio University—while serving as adviser—over the past two years. Sargand, who was a professor at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in the US state of Ohio, established a relationship between the school and the Afghan government over years, which– according to documents—earned the school approximately $10 million worth of construction contracts to complete projects for Afghanistan. But a document obtained by TOLOnews shows that the university won a contract from Afghanistan’s Public Works (now merged with the Transportation Ministry) for a project worth $1.8 million, and– documents show– Sargand earned $75,000 dollars per year, for two years, as the contract was implemented, all while serving as Ghani’s adviser. An MP responded: “In Afghanistan, we are witnessing the largest and most diversified mafia government, in all of its organs, among high-ranking people. Not only advisers but also high-ranking officials have companies; for example, their companies receive exemptions for fuel,” said Ramazan Bashardost, a parliament member. The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation did not comment on this matter. The Presidential Palace also has not commented about how an adviser to the president can also be responsible for a reconstruction project in Afghanistan from a US university. “A person cannot receive a salary at the same time from two-government sources, and also, by law, individuals cannot use their government connection to secure financial contracts and projects,” said Abdul Qayoum Sajadi, another parliament member.
TOLOnews reporters have sought a comment from Sargand but have not received an answer.