Some critics and presidential candidates on Saturday accused the Afghan government of double standards in assessing sexual abuse allegations against public servants.
Recently, President Ghani’s administration came under repeated accusations of sexual abuse of women by a number of high-ranking officials of the cabinet, including some ministers.
The issue was first raised by General Habibullah Ahmadzai, a former security adviser to President Ghani, who alleged that some members of the president’s administration were trading government positions for sexual favors.
The issue continued to trigger more allegations against the government institutions by a number of former officials and women’s rights activists.
A woman politician who ran for last year’s parliamentary elections, Hamida Wardak claimed that she has credible evidence which proves that some former members of the election commission had “illegitimate” demands from her in return for her success in the polls.
Ahmadzai apologized for his recent comments in an address to reporters on July 16, but he reiterated that certain groups within the government have continued with “sexual favors from women” in return for key posts.
Referring to these issues, Arif Kayani, a spokesman for Rahmatullah Nabil’s election team, said that the district governor of Wakhan, Abdul Maruf Khairkhwah was suspended after allegations of harassment of a foreign tourist in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
But, he said, sexual abuse allegations against individuals closed to President Ghani were “repeatedly ignored”.
“Unfortunately, government suspends a person based who is accused [of sexual abuse] based on some reports but forgets big cases which involve close aides of the leader [election] team,” Kayani told TOLOnews on Saturday.
A female member of the Afghan Senate, Anarkali Honaryar, said such cases should be probed impartially.
“We demand that these cases should be investigated thoroughly,” she reiterated.
The allegations have been repeatedly rejected by government.
“The Attorney General’s Office has the authority to investigate this issue and we are happy with its activities,” President Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
He said the Attorney General’s Office started probing the claims by Ahmadzai from the first but their time was wasted due to “lack of evidence” on the allegations.
This comes as a senior official of the United Nations last week called for an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of women in Afghanistan.