Dawn, 22 September 2001

RAWA supports ex-king's peace plan

Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Sept 21: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan ( RAWA) has said that if Osama bin Laden is arrested by the United States it will not be a permanent solution of terrorism being faced by the entire world and will certainly not lessen Afghan people's misery.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday, Saima Karim, a spokeswoman for the RAWA, said that short-term and unrealistic policies of the US and its allies had allowed scores of Osamas to play havoc with the lives of innocent people in the world. "Afghanistan has been harbouring thousands of such people for years and they can harm societies", she added.

She said that for the last several years, Afghanistan had become a safe haven for terrorists. She expressed concern over recent attacks in New York and Washington and the killings of innocent people." The RAWA has always denounced terrorism as it has been facing this menace since the coup in Afghanistan in April 1978," she added.

The US, Saima Karim said, had encouraged the trend of terrorism when its policy-makers had extended military and financial support to fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan.

When Russian forces pulled out of Afghanistan, all democracy- loving forces had made a resolve to reconstruct Afghanistan, but the US dissociated itself from the Afghan problem, enabling the fundamentalists to ignite civil war in the country.

She extended full support to the peace initiative launched by former Afghan King Zahir Shah, now living in wxile in Italy.

Responding to a question, she said her organization was opposed to the Taliban and considered the Northern Alliance the other side of the same coin."The RAWA believes in the political solution of the problem, which had compelled thousands of Afghans to take shelter in neighbouring countries." We favour a political solution of the problem", she added.

From: http://www.dawn.com/2001/09/22/nat8.htm

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