Paktika to remove underage recruits from security forces
SHARANA (Pajhwok): The governor of southeastern Paktika province on Monday vowed to remove from armed forces underage recruits and punish their recruiters.
Ilyas Wahdat told this to a gathering of officials from the interior, defence, finance ministries, the presidential palace, attorney general’s office and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) here.
Children section head at AIHRC Abdullah Abid said their visit to Paktika province was aimed at identifying and removing underage recruits from the security forces.
He said Afghanistan had long been criticized at international conferences over underage children performing duty in security forces.
According to him, President Ashraf Ghani had issued a decree under which all security personnel having not reached the legal age would be fired.
“Paktika officials should inform us in a month about the number of children they would remove from security forces ranks,” he said.
However, Abid didn’t provide specific number of children working in security forces.
Governor Ilyas Wahdat said all recruits below the legal age would be removed in a month period.
“I would punish those who had recruited underage children in security forces,” he said.
However, a resident of Sharana, the provincial capital, Najibullah, told Pajhowk Afghnan News that unemployment and poverty had forced people into enrolling their children in security forces.
Many children were seen serving in security forces in different parts of the province especially in the Afghan Local Police.
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