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RAWA seeks rights for women

09 March 2002 Saturday 24 Zilhaj 1422

PESHAWAR, March 8: The Revolutionary Association of theWomen of Afghanistan (RAWA) has argued that their compatriot women have not been liberated.
Speaking at a International Women Day function, organized by the RAWA here at a wedding hall on Friday, speakers prom various political parties and social activists underlined the need for alleviating the miseries of Afghan women by empowering them in Afghanistan.

They also paid tribute to Meena Kishwar Kamal, RAWA's founding chief, killed allegedly by the militants of Golbodin Hikmatyar in 1986 in Quetta. They said the RAWA did a lot for the emancipation of Afghan women in its shortest history.

Dr Sohaila, a former central leader of the People's Democratic Partyof Afghanistan (PDPA), a united front of the Parchamand Khalq factions of the Moscow-backed communist party, HajiAdeel of the Awami National Party, Fanoos Gujjar of the Pakistan Awami Party, Christina of the Women in Black International Association and RAWA leaders spoke on the social conditions of Afghan women, US military campaign in Afghanistan, terrorism, post-Taliban era, establishment of peace, role of neighbouring countries, Loya Jirga, Afghan reconstruction, Afghan constitution and the future Afghan state.

A spokesman for the RAWA said despite momentous changes their unhappy land was still far from enjoying freedom and liberty. "The women of the world celebrate International Women Day with spirit and enthusiasm, in Afghanistan women still don't feel safe enough to throw away their chains. There is still a wide chasm between us and the glorious future we have fixed our eyes, hearts and minds upon," she added.

She said the Taliban, Osama and other such leaders were creatures of my opic US policies and the Afghan resistance war against Soviet aggression. The successive US governments had supported the mand persistently turned a blind eye to the higher interests of Afghan people, she added.

"The RAWA, which has ever been marginalised and side lined by the successive US governments, has enjoyed immense moral support and the unbounded material generosity of thousands of American women, men and children," she said.
Commenting on the war on terrorism, she said: "We look upon the US military campaign in Afghanistan as a fracas between patron and the ex-proteges." The US had taken the Northern Alliance into service through wooing and arming certain infamous warlords, but one fundamentalist band, like Taliban and Al-Qaeda, could not be fought by siding with and supporting another like NA, she added.

No power, she said, except the Afghan people themselves could or would succour them against fundamentalism, and there was no precedent in the history wherein a foreign nation or nations who had themselves been patrons and abettors of agents had granted liberty to a nation held in thrill by those very agents.

She vehemently opposed any reconciliation with the criminals and suggested severe punishment for them. "If deployment of troops and military action against Al Qaeda is a just cause, prosecuting the bone-chilling crimes of Northern Alliance is the sine qua non for peace, democracy and justice in Afghanistan," she said.

© The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 2002



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