Gen. Campbell says no policy to overlook bacha bazi
KABUL (Pajhwok): NATO and US forces top commander in Afghanistan General John Campbell on Tuesday denied reports that the Pentagon had ordered US troops to ignore the sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan police and militias.
General Campbell, who oversees 13 000 US and allied troops to train Afghan counterparts and carry out counter-terror operations, denied any such policy was in place.
"I personally have served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and am absolutely confident that no such theatre policy has ever existed here, and certainly, no such policy has existed throughout my tenure as commander," he said in a statement issued to Pajhwok Afghan News.
"I further expect that any suspicions of sexual abuse will be immediately reported to the chain of command, regardless of who the alleged perpetrators or victims are.
"If the abuse involves Afghans, a report shall be forwarded to me through operations channels, copied to the Staff Judge Advocate, so that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan can be advised and requested to take action."
Campbell also said he had talked to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the issue and that the Afghan government has in recent times tried to crack down on the ancient and outlawed practice of child abuse locally called bacha bazi.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.