The words of James Baldwin “the civilised have created the wretched quite coldly and deliberately” explain the atrocities of the Afghan forces that Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented in a recent report. The 61 pages document alleges that the “CIA-backed Afghan troops committed war crimes.” But will the Western media ever cover this story as vigorously as they cover the atrocities of the “haters of the Western values”? Even asking this question sounds imprudent.

One of the leading magazines of the Anglo-American world, the New York Times Magazine dedicates a separate space for a weekly report that highlights the Taliban attacks and atrocities. But the report named, “The Afghan War Casualty Report” rarely, if ever, mentions the crimes that the Afghan security forces carry out against the members of the Taliban or civilians.

Nevertheless, the moral question that surfaces is this: why do the war crimes of those supported by the United States or its secret agency Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) not create the same uproar that is made if the Taliban or any such group commit such atrocities?

The report is a scathing account of how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Both the US and the Afghan government need to sit down together and find a remedy for the problem. Unsurprisingly, neither the Afghan government has ever shown any interest in fulfilling its obligation to investigate the alleged war crimes, nor the US has ever been bothered by the atrocities of the Afghan military.

Furthermore, the Afghan paramilitary forces’ behaviour shows us that both the US and Afghan governments prefer short term military fixes to long-term reforms. How can the two partners bring stability and end lawlessness in the country if they cannot reign in the Afghan paramilitary forces? The two stakeholders must take the findings of the report seriously. Ignoring the HRW’s document and not acting upon the recommendations made will further undermine the Afghan institutions.