Former Colleagues Demand Ajmal Ahmadi’s Dismissal From Harvard University

Some former employees of Afghanistan’s Central Bank and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries have written an open letter to Harvard University officials, asking them to dismiss Ajmal Ahmadi, the former head of the Central Bank, from the university’s academic staff.

Ajmal Ahmadi fled Kabul after the regime’s fall and has recently been selected as a prominent member of Harvard University.

Former Central Bank employees have described Ajmal Ahmadi’s membership at Harvard University as shocking and disrespectful to many inside and outside Afghanistan. According to the letter, this news also surprised many of Afghanistan’s international partners; Because Ajmal Ahmadi has destroyed their efforts and achievements.

According to the letter, Ajmal Ahmadi, during his tenure as head of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, has caused damage to the country’s economic institutions. The letter states that Ajmal Ahmadi has a history of “unbelievably infamous in the field of deception, corruption, abuse of power, intimidation of his colleagues, continuous violation of laws and complete disregard for laws and regulations, disrespect for basic human rights, interference in people’s private lives, justice and the restriction of freedom of expression.”

Ajmal Ahmadi has been accused of constantly abusing his authority for personal gain and obstructing transparency and accountability during his tenure at the Central Bank and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. He also fired some highly experienced officials at the Central Bank and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries without legal justifications. The letter states that he also forced some other employees to resign, abandoned all laws, and ran the institutions at will.

The letter states that Ajmal Ahmadi was a dictator and that after the removal of the first and second deputies of the Central Bank, their vacancies were never filled and there was no executive board left for the Central Bank for almost 15 months. This is in complete contradiction with Article 18 of the Central Bank Law. It goes on to explain that he engaged in trade and ambiguous relations with the shareholders of commercial banks and prevented the central bank from enforcing the regulations on those banks. The letter also states that Ajmal Ahmadi allied with the shareholders of the weakest banks and worked to protect their interests.

According to the letter, his income from non-transparent projects was so high that he did not even receive his ten-month salary from the central bank; Because “apparently [this money] was insignificant compared to his other illegal cash flows.” The letter states that people are asking the relevant agencies, including the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), to investigate his possible financial transactions and find out about his tax evasion. The letter also refers to an investigative report conducted by Hasht-e Subh on Ajmal Ahmadi.

In another part of the letter, it is stated that the infamous legacy left by Ajmal Ahmadi belongs to an “institutional terrorist” who weakens and destroys institutions. According to former Central Bank employees, those who have witnessed Ajmal Ahmadi’s devastating legacy see his membership at Harvard as in stark contrast to the university’s core values.

According to the text of the letter, Ahmadi severely damaged the credibility of the Central Bank and destroyed the achievements of the last two decades, which were hard to achieve. Central bank officials say his authoritarian management style at the institution put banks in a vulnerable position that, even before the country collapsed, damaged the stability of the economy in general and monetary policy in particular.

Former Central Bank officials have said that Ajmal Ahmadi himself played a role in the collapse of the government, and it is surprising to them that Harvard officials are paying attention to his views on the collapse of the government.

The former employees of Afghanistan’s Central Bank and Ministry of Commerce and Industries have called on the University officials to reconsider their membership so that a “corrupt” and “incompetent” person cannot do more harm to Afghanistan. Most of those who agree with the letter have directly or indirectly collaborated with Ajmal Ahmadi in the previous government.

About 20 days ago, the family of Yama Siavash, a former journalist assassinated in Kabul last year, filed a lawsuit entitled “Justice for Yama Siavash,” calling on Harvard University to cancel the membership of former director of the Central Bank of Afghanistan Ajmal Ahmadi.