The president of Afghanistan gave a historical speech and discussed the issues such as improvement of government, fighting against corruption, strengthening the rule of law and economic sustainability, solving the current problems, and other necessary amendments in an extraordinary session of the National Assembly which was held on 21th of June, 2012. Gradually a decree from president office was sent to the all three states of the government on July 26th, 2012.
After the decree was broadcast by different media outlet, a great number of discussions among politicians and civil society institutions were made. Although Nai- Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan is in support of anti-corruption, and violation of law, it considers the presidential decree limiting efforts, and against the media law of the country.
Based on the 18 clause of the first article of this decree, the Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Pilgrimage, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Education with the assistance of Islamic Ulema Council, pastors, and the preachers of mosques are assigned to prevent the programs and advertisements which are against the regime and mislead the youths and create negative incentives in the society.
Nai thinks Regime, society ethics, and negative incentives are general words and could be interpreted differently and could be misused. The government officials can easily limit the media with having such document in hand.
Moreover, based on article 15 of the decree, the Ministry of Information and Culture was assigned to present a specific plan to the Ministers Council for controlling the quality and setting the minimum criteria for the governmental and local media publications within the next two months.
Since the mass media law is only standard for the monitoring of the media and that should be carried out by the mass media commission. This commission has always been in favor of implementing it. By setting minimal criteria out of the law, proves that the government likes to limit the work of media.
The government should have asked the media in fighting against corruption and law enforcement. With such limitation on media, the government’s well regarding corruption elimination might go under question.
Furthermore, based on article 15 of this decree, the Ministry of Information and Culture is assigned to take out/remove the external non-familiar terms from the literature of the country. Regarding the use of the national terms, it is worth mentioning that the last clause of article 16 of the Constitution is still under question that whether it exists in the approved Constitution by Loya Jirga in 2003 or not. On the other hand, with the propose of using the national terms, language conflict might be created by people.
Nai, once again asks the government that in order to fight against corruption and violation of law, there is a dire need to freedom of expression and access to information. With imposing such constraints for the independent and private media that is against article 21 of the mass media law, not only corruption will be eliminated, but also it be increased.