Monday, 1 April 2019

Bacha Bazi (pederasty) among Pashtuns – a few historical references

Major Lumsden who was sent to Kandahar in 1858, writes that sodomy (i.e pederasty اِغلام بازی ) which was "universally and openly practiced crime", may be styled as an Afghan vice. He noted that it occurred despite the Afghans' eternal boast that they lead religious and orthodox life and that prostitution is absent from their areas.

In 1837 Persian traveler Agha Abbas Shirazi visited country of Dawars (North Waziristan) and found Dawari tribesmen engaged in "Bacha-bazi" (pederasty).

A survey conducted in 1858 in Bannu, as quoted by Munshi Gopaldas in Tarikh-i-Peshawar published 1876, reported a total of 198 beardless catamite boys (معشوق بے ریش) and 486 Bacha-baz men who openly engaged in sodomy (لواطت) within their hujras. It was matter of pride for a wealthy man in Bannu to keep male children as catamites (مفعول, کوني).

Amir Abdur Rahman Khan and his sons were addicted to "unnatural sexual pleasures". ["Government and Society in Afghanistan: The Reign of Amir ‘Abd al-Rahman Khan" By Hasan Kawun Kakar

Persia and Central Asia were also diseased with Bacha-bazi. In 1803 anti-Qizilbash rioting broke out in Kabul when some Qizilbashes raped an Afghan boy. J.P.Ferrier in 1858 wrote that Persians had inclination for Bacha-bazi ;

Nasrullah Khan , the Emir of Bukhara (Uzbekistan) from 1826 to 1860, was a Bacha-baz. One of the youngest son of Amir Dost Muhammad Khan of Kabul was raped by him when the former took refuge in Bukhara after British occupation of Kabul. [Joseph Pierre Ferrier's "History of the Afghans", 1858]

Further reading

1- Bacha Bazi among Sindhis 
2- Shahrag, the Pakistani town where boys aren't safe from men
3- Chasing 'A boy across the river'

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