The Frontier Post, Oct.7, 2000

Neighbouring countries urged to stop supporting warring factions in Afghanistan


PESHAWAR - The United Nation, international community and neighbouring countries should block the way of Taliban if they are really interested in the restoration of peace in the war-torn Afghanistan.

"All the countries should stop their assistance to both the ruling Taliban and Northern Alliance, and disarm them to pave way for permanent and durable peace in Afghanistan", said a spokeswomen of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in a detail interview with The Frontier Post here on Friday.

"In the presence of Taliban and Jehadian, peace can not be restored. Both the Taliban and other Jehadi groups want to gain power. They are not interested in the restoration of peace and prosperity of their own countrymen.

Our organisation has been condemning Taliban and all the Jehadian which was ignored in the past, but the time has proved our stand as correct", she claimed.

The RAWA spokeswoman argued that Taliban and Jehadian would never support peace. They had sworn on Holy Quran even in Khana Kabba and in other meetings and conferences but they were still fighting, she added. They were not concentrating on Islam and enhanced differences.

Different nationalities were residing in Afghanistan since long but now they had fielded one against other. Such differences among various nationalities in Afghanistan had never been witnessed as today.

"Peace in Afghanistan can only be restored if the UN and OIC play its positive and sincere role. The UN should disarm the warring groups, stop every kind of foreign interference, and form a caretaker government and announce elections", the RAWA representative added.

Taliban and Jehadian had pushed the country towards destruction, darkness and ignorance.

If the ongoing deteriorating situation was not checked, the country might be disappeared from the world map.

During her recent visit to America and other countries, she said, majorities of people were not aware of Afghanistan.

This was not the status of Afghanistan in the past. It was a prestigious and dignified member country of the UN. "But now it is economically, socially, culturally deteriorated country. There is no government, no education, no democracy and politics. The people have no freedom of expression. The women have no right.

Once the prestigious and prosperous capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, has now changed into the city of beggars.

You will see men, women and children, begging every where in the city. This is a tragedy. They are not professional beggars. Believe it or not but there are some of the women beggars who have even Ph.D. degrees", she continued.

She said, "RAWA claims that Taliban do not know how to form and run the government and how to put the country at the path of progress.

They are few ignorant individuals, who act on the direction of others. We are asking Pakistan and other countries not to help Hekmitar, Rabbani and other Jehadies groups because they are not only a threat to Afghanistan alone but also for Pakistan. The world had witnessed the role of the former Jehadi leaders. We are saying the same for Taliban. Others are controlling Taliban. The neighbouring countries, instead of supporting warring groups, should support the Afghan nation.

There is no difference among Taliban and Ahmad Shah Masood. If Taliban are opposed to women, Ahmad Shah had done nothing for the helpless women in his country".

Supporting the convening of traditional Afghan Loya Jirga and other efforts being made for the restoration of peace, she suggested that all types of fundamentalists should not be given representation in future Loya Jirgas and meetings.

Women should also be given representation but it seemed impossible in the present situation and in the presence of Taliban and Jehadian, she said.

The ruling Taliban had compelled the people to appreciate even the communists, as Afghans have started praising Dr Najeebullah.

Although, she said, RAWA had never claimed to be a major organisation but it was their firm belief that the problem would never be solved in the presence of fundamentalists. The Loya Jirgas in the presence of Taliban would not benefit. They had the power. They would influence the Jirga members and convene a Jirga for their own interests.

"Taliban and Jehadian had deprived half of population of their rights and education." They know the women would demand their rights if they were given education. Taliban had termed the gates of the Universities for the women as the gate of hell.

"How we expect from Taliban to allow the women education. Taliban are deceiving the world for telling they have re-opened the school for girls. If they are true in their contention, what is their educational system. What type of education is being imparted to the students in those schools under Taliban. The people are extremely disappointed. They are worried about their two-time meal. It will take years to improve the economy of the war shattered country.

Education is the only mean to get progress but the sitting rulers are opposed to it," she said. The 20 years old war had destroyed the Afghan generation. The young generation only knew how to kill and destroy things?. They could play an important role for the welfare and prosperity of the country if given proper education. "It is a dream of the Afghan nation to have better educational institutions and prosperous life.

The parents want to give education to their children but they can only think to do so," she said, asking the Pakistani government not to close the Afghan University particularly of the women education.

[RAWA in Media] [Interview with New York Times Magazine]