Reflection of RAWA press conference in the Press
Every year on the 28th of April, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) holds a public demonstration to mark the day that fundamentalists took power in Afghanistan in 1992. This year, police in Peshawar stopped RAWA from demonstration and informed us that we would demonstrate at our own risk and should not count on police protection even if attacked. Also the fundamentalist groups who attacked RAWA rally on Dec.10 last year, threatened RAWA, saying that if we hold demonstration, they will attack again. Since a large faction of protesters could not reach Pakistan from Afghanistan and we were denied permission by police, RAWA was forced to cancel the demonstration. A press conference was held instead on 27th of April in Peshawar to condemn the black day and the Pakistani government for stopping RAWA to demonstrate against Taliban and Jehadis in Peshawar.
RAWA for sanction on all warring factions
The News International, April 28, 2001
PESHAWAR: Revolutionary Association of the Women of the Afghanistan (RAWA) on Friday asked the international community to impose sanctions on all Afghan warring factions saying restrictions only on the Taliban could not help the two-decade long conflict resolved.
RAWA leader, Saima Karim said this during an emergency press conference, following the district administration prevented them from holding a rally to mark April 27 as black day, the day when the armed forces of the defunct USSR had invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
"The same day in 1979, the Red Army attacked our homeland, and the same day in 1992 the radical mujahideen groups forcefully capture the country's power "she said.
Both these developments led to massive suffering of the Afghan women. The Soviet forces physically harassed them while radical groups confined them inside the house, denying them the basic human rights, she maintained.
She regretted the administration decision not to allow the association holding its proposed rally. "The rally was not against the Pakistan government. It has been evident from experiences in the past that RAWA never troubled the government agencies through holding such activities. The only aim of the rally was to highlight the depleted condition of the Afghan women."
The Afghan woman has been denied of her legal rights. And this is what RAWA wanted to communicate to the international community by holding the rally Saima remarked.
She said the current policies being followed by the world body not helpful to restore peace inside Afghanistan. -SANA
RAWA urges world community to stop backing Taliban, rivals
The statesman, April 28, 2001
By Zakir Hassain
PESHAWAR: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has called upon the international community to dissociate itself from the Taliban, Ahmed Shah Masood and other Jehadi outfits for the sake of regional peace.
Saima Karim, the RAWA chief, said that they had warned the entire world long ago not to support and side with Prof. Burhanudin Rabbani, Gulbadin Hekmatyar, Ahmed Shah Masood, the Taliban and other Jehadi forces for what they had done to the innocent Afghan people, but she added, the countries backing these forces ignored their pleas and continued their support.
"Supporting factions headed by these Afghan leaders is a crime as they have committed atrocities on innocent Afghan people," said Saima
The RAWA head was Addressing newsmen on Friday at the press Club here.
Saima said that the association had decided to stage a demonstration in the City to protest the Russian invasion of Afghanistan on April 27, 1979, and subsequent takeover of Kabul by the Jehadic on April 28, 1992, after the fall of the communist regime of Dr Najibullah.
She said that the RAWA had requested the district administration of Peshawar to grant it permission to observe these days, but despite assurance that the demonstration would be peaceful, the district administration refused, citing security as reason.
Saima said that they did not want to create any law and order problem for the Pakistani authorities. The proposed demonstration was aimed at expressing Afghan women's concern over things happening in their homeland and sending a message through the media t hat they wanted nothing but peace.
Coming back to the Afghan problem, Saima asked as to who were behind atrocities committed on the Afghan people and who were backing elements producing heroine in the war-ravaged country. The RAWA chief was of the opinion that 90 percent of the Afghan were suffering from depression because of the dreadful ordeal they had gone through.
She asked as to why Ahmed Shah Masood had been invited to visit Europe. The inviters had made a blunder as the crimes and atrocities committed by Masood and Hekmatyar against the Afghans in general and the women in particular could never be forgotten, she maintained. Saima said that Masood wanted to cheat the Europeans, adding that in case he was replaced with the Taliban, it would also not be in the interest of the Afghan nation.
Saima said that when the army government came into power here, it said that there was no representative government in Afghanistan, but later, she went on to say, it started supporting the Taliban, she said that the Afghans were a peaceful nation wanting democracy in the country.
She appealed to all the countries to sever all kinds of relations with Masood and the Taliban and slap sanctions on them.
The RAWA head said that the Afghans neither accepted the Taliban nor they would accept the Jehadis, warning that they would soon rise up against the Taliban as they were misfits in their culture.
RAWA for ban on countries interfering in Afghanistan
The nation, April 28, 2001
From Shamim Shaid
PESHAWAR- Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) Friday urged the United Nations to impose economic sanctions against all those foreigner and neighboring countries who are interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and patronizing the extremist elements.
"Such fundamentalist elements, who are engaged in fighting and hostilities against each others at behest of their financiers and patronisers from abroad, are responsible for destruction of Afghanistan and genocide of its people," the RAWA spokeswoman said while addressing a press conference here on Friday. Saima Karim said that April 27 and 28 are considered Black days in Afghan history whereas on first day the former Soviet Union imposed puppets government on Afghanistan while on April 28 the fundamentalists Jehadi elements were empowered in Kabul. "We believe Taliban to be a continuation of the fundamentalist Jehadic elements and they are assigned the task to destroy Afghanistan, kill its peace loving and democratic minded people and damage rich history of Afghanistan," she added.
In response to a question, the RAWA spokeswoman said we denounce the sanctions imposed against Taliban as they are one sided and can be considered discriminatory. She while elaborating her point of view, said that other faction engaged in the in-fighting i.e. the Northern Alliance is exempted of the sanctions and it is receiving moral, economic and financial assistance from its foreign patronisers and financiers.
She said that if UNO sincerely wants an end to infighting and return of peace and stability in Afghanistan, then similar sanctions must be imposed not only against Taliban and against their rivals and against all those countries who are patronizing these war lords and fundamentalists.
Advocating in favour of RAWA'S firm stance against the extremists, Saima Karim said that it is not only harmful to the interests of war stricken and drought affected Afghanistan but it is also detrimental to the interests of the whole region. She diverted attentions towards outcomes of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and said the country has now become into a safe haven for terrorists.
Saima flayed the western countries for awarding warm welcome to Ahmed Shah Masood and stated it a joke with the Afghans. She added that now against Ahmad Shah Masood, the United States and its allies are preparing another trogon horse in the shape of Gulbadin Hekmatyar which would not be tolerated. "RAWA believe that all these hardliners like Ahmad Shah Masood, Gulbadin Hekmatyar, Rasool Sayaf, Prof. Rabbani, Khalili, Rashid Dostam, and Taliban are enemies of Afghanistan and its nation. The world need to recognize those elements who are responsible for killing millions of Afghans and for destruction of their motherland.
The RAWA spokesman woman said for commemorating April 27 and 28 as Black days, they decided arrange a peaceful rally but they were not allowed by Peshawar administration. Purpose of the rally is to highlight miseries of the Afghans and divert then attention towards outcomes of extremism.
RAWA urges world community not to help Masood
Khyber Mail, April 28, 2001
PESHAWAR: Terming the excess and crimes committed by Jehadi groups who entered Kabul on April 28 worst and more heinous than Soviet lackeys who assumed power on the 27th of same month in 1997, RAWA's spokesperson Saima Karim asked world community not to feed Ahmad Shah Masood as he is the last remnant of Jehadi criminals.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday she said "we ask the European countries to refrain from repeating the mistake earlier committed by United State regarding the nurturing of Gulabaddin by helping and overrating Ahmad Shah Masood".
RAWA spokesperson said that participation of Masood in the European Parliament and his claims about democracy and women's rights will never wipe the scar of horrible crimes, which his sinister gang committed against our people. Terming Ahmad Shah Masood as "leopard in the guise of a generous men" she said, it just shows his trickery and hypocrisy.
Holding both the Taliban and Jihadi groups responsible for the miseries and plight of Afghan women and destruction of the country Saima Karim called upon the western countries to consider both as the criminal camps. The countries those were busy in interfering in Afghanistan never realized and bother about the fate of and effects of their interference in Afghanistan. She urged world community especially United Nations to impose sanctions on countries involved in supply of arms and other assistance to the warring factions of Afghanistan.
Criticizing United Nations role to cope with refugee problem she said "UN never fulfill its obligation toward the sufferings of our people languishing in Jalozai and other camps just by visiting and giving some pretentious tents".
Saima Karim came heavily down on fundamentalist groups and termed fundamentalism a cancer that caused intense suffering to the women of Afghanistan. She made a passionate appeal to world community to check this menace which posses a threat to humanity.
Remarking about the Afghans love to democracy she said "the people of the world should know that Afghans are not from other planet and they, too, like other nations of the world aspiring for democracy and freedom" the RAWA spokesperson demanded the trial of Taliban and Jehadi groups in international court of Justice (ICJ).
Replaying to a question about their activities she said we have underground activities. As we could not expose our self due to security reasons "With very limited resources we are giving assistance to as many widows and orphans as we can."
Curbs on states fuelling Afghan war demanded
DAWN, April 28, 2001
PESHAWAR, April 27: Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) on Friday called for international sanctions on countries providing financial and military assistance to belligerent sides in Afghanistan.
"We call upon the UN to impose sanctions on countries which provide financial and military help to the Taliban as well as the Northern Opposition Alliance. This is essential for bringing lasting and durable peace in Afghanistan," RAWA activist, Saima Karim, told a news conference here.
She said RAWA had planned to hold a march to mark the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on April 27 and the accession to power of 'fundamentalist' mujahideen in Kabul on April 28, but could not do so due to refusal of permission from the district administration in Peshawar. "We wanted to show it to the world that the Afghan women are not oblivious to what is happening in their country," she said.
The women of Afghanistan, she said, wanted to ask the international community why their country had been turned into ruins and a terrorist base, producer and distributor of drugs in the world.
She said that continued ravages of war in Afghanistan had brought depression to most of its population, particularly women. "Afghanistan is not a normal country," she said.
She warned the international community, particularly the European Union, not to support the groups who had brought destruction to Afghanistan. She said the EU should not forget the miseries brought to the Afghans between 1992 and 1996.
She was equally critical of the Taliban and warned that fundamentalism could spread in the whole region. "Even Islamabad and Karachi would not be able to escape. There are already signs emerging of this phenomenon," she warned.
She said that RAWA had welcomed Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf's statement regarding the need for a representative government in Afghanistan but regretted that nothing had been done to achieve that objective.
Saima said that RAWA believed that sanctions on ruling Taliban were one-sided and that similar sanctions should have been imposed on the Northern Alliance.
The report of RAWA press conference and cancellation of the demonstration due to pressure by Pakistani police was also published in all Urdu and Pushto newspapers of Pakistan.