RAWA Marks the 16th Death Anniversary of Meena
Reflection in Pakistani media

Afghan Women to follow Meena for their rights

The Nation and The Pakistan Observer, Feb.5, 2003

ISLAMABAD- Women in Afghanistan have been facing hard ships regarding their right of freedom and self-respect, where democracy in the country is need of the hour.

Speakers express these views in a function held here Tuesday to commemorate the 16ht martyrdom anniversary of Meena, the founding leader of Revolutionary Associations of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

Asma Jehangir, the women and human rights activist said a country can progress when its women are given freedom and religion does not become a tool of repression for others.

She regarded the women contribution in Judicial Commission in Afghanistan as an absolute necessity.

Screening process should be put in place so that suspected people in the country may not be in ducted in Afghan army and police, she added.

Revolutionary Associations of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) representative said supporting the cause of democracy without secularism is incomplete and Meena's blood with the same cause inspires all freedom-loving women. Her active social work and effective advocacy against the view of fundamentalist and the puppet regime acted as a beacon for her supporters in the way to democracy, she added.

She said that in Afghanistan, religion has been misused in the past by different warlords. These politicians made religion a violent tool whether in Taliban or Northern Alliance regime, she added.

Revolutionary Associations of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) representative urged upon international community to bring war criminals in the International Court of Law and should support democracy instead of fundamentalism.

Speakers on the occasion, Yaseen Kasib said Meena's struggle was for humanity, self respect of women and democracy.

Later, a play titled "Path of Life" was performed to pay homage of Meena which showed her life in a chronological reverse. The theatre piece started with her death, went on with her trip to Europe and the publication of Payam-Zan magazine. It continued with establishment of Revolutionary Associations of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and Meena's youth and her struggle against all slavery. -APP

Peace in Region linked with democracy

DAWN, Feb.5, 2003
By A Reporter

ISLAMABD, Feb.4: The fate of south Asia is linked with democracy, secularism and anti imperialist stance and it is the duty of the progressive forces to play their role in this regard.

Speakers said at the 16th death anniversary of founding president of Revolutionary Associations of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Ms Meena here on Tuesday.

The renowned Human rights activist Ms Asma Jehangis said Afghan people faces repression for the last 23 years.

Demanding an International inquiry commission, she said there was a need to probe the dark episode in Afghanistan "A commission is imperative for this purpose, which could fix the responsibility and recommend an exemplary punishment for the culprits."

She said the secular Afghanistan and Pakistan could guarantee peace and stability in entire region.

She said Afghanistan and Pakistan were heading towards democracy and if this process was reversed, it would be a great tragedy. In spite of a democratic setup in Afghanistan, warlords were handed over power, while in Pakistan intelligence agencies were enjoying real power, she added.

Rejecting the recent decision of the chief justice of Afghanistan was still in grip of fanatics, who would never allow the democratic forces to strengthen. Afghan chief Justice has imposed complete ban on cable network, satellite and women singers, which is violation of basic human rights and an attempt to deprive people an access to information, she said.

Paying glowing tribute to Ms Meena, she said the struggle of Meena had created awareness among Afghan women regarding their rights. She said the effort of RAWA founder were source of inspiration for the Pakistani women, which guided them towards a struggle for democracy, secularism and human rights.

The member of foreign committee of RAWA said that it was apathy of Afghan people that they were ruined by their own people. After the withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan this country was pushed into more darkness.

Criticising Karzai government, she said Afghan women are still facing restrictions. This government has failed to provide real freedom and basic human rights to Afghan people who are unsafe in their country and have no approach to basic facilities like education, health care etc, she said.

She said the US was preparing to attack Iraq with claim to restore democracy in this country. "If America wants to introduce Afghanistan-like democracy in Iraq, we will condemn it."

Others, who spoke on the occasion, were Shoaib Hashmi and Afzal Khamosh.

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