A former advisor to President Ashraf Ghani and a women’s rights activist, Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, on Thursday, called for an independent investigation by an impartial “third party” into sexual abuse allegations against the Presidential Palace, Arg, which was followed by a big buzz among political elites, media and civil society activists.
The allegations were made last month by a former Afghan government official who claimed that some members of Ghani’s administration were trading government positions for sexual favors.
General Habibullah Ahmadzai, a former security adviser to President Ghani, leveled these allegations. The allegations were widely shared on social media, triggering an outcry in the country.
Ahmadzai, who resigned from his post to contest in parliamentary elections, claimed that some officials “were working systematically to promote adultery in the palace”.
Mariam Wardak, another former government official, commented on Ahmadzai's claims and had to provide clarification as it was misconstrued.
Ghani’s office promptly responded by ordering an investigation into Ahmadzai's claims.
Last week, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah called for a transparent investigation into the allegations.
Naderi said in a tweet on Thursday that the issue requires an independent investigation by an “impartial third party”.
“Trying to escape from an independent investigation by a third party who is impartial to the claim regarding the recent allegation of women’s misuse in power, can bring no benefit to the real women’s rights and to our nation, but to create a market for powerful men to benefit further,” she tweeted.
“The way such an important issue instead of being investigated used for a political attack of different sides to benefit individuals, brings more harm to the dignity of Afghan women in this land than to help them. Therefore, there is a demand for third-party investigation in order to put zero price to the current market of individuals trying to gain benefits,” Naderi added.
A woman MP from Kabul, Shinkai Karokhel, described the issue “concerning” from a different angle.
She said the issue, either proved or not, will provide an environment of justification for the militants to continue their war against the Afghan government.
She said it is “a big disrespect” to against the Afghan men and women serving in the government. “This issue will be a good excuse for the enemies of Afghanistan to justify their war,” Karokhel added.
Two Kabul residents interviewed by TOLOnews on Thursday said the issue needs a thorough investigation.
“Those who have really committed the crime should be brought to justice,” said Aziza, a Kabul resident.
“Such issues should be disclosed to the people no matter who is behind it,” said Mustafa, a Kabul resident.