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Reflection of RAWA press conference

RAWA press conference at Peshawar, Sep.13, 2000
Sahar Saba in a press conference at Peshawar
September 13, 2000

UN urged to impose arms embargo on Afghanistan

DAWN, 15 September 2000
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Sept 14: The Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association has urged the United Nations and the US to impose effective ban on arms supply to Taliban and the opposition Northern Alliance.

Speaking to newsmen at a local hotel on Wednesday, Sahar Saba, a spokesman for the association said peace and stability could not be restored in Afghanistan until the supply of "guns and money" to the warlords was stopped.

The Rawa had been struggling for the democratic rule and peace in the war-torn country since 1979 but the outside forces had been supporting their "stooges" and played havoc with the life of the innocent Afghans, she added.

She maintained that the US provided financial and military support for the so-called Mujahideen during the former Soviet occupation and created from among them the Taliban movement. "The US economic sanctions against the Taliban are counter-productive, harming common people and strengthening fundamentalist forces fighting under the banner of Taliban", she added.

The courageous stance taken by the Rawa members, Ms Saba said, had provoked all the fundamentalist forces and they had tried to eliminate some of them physically. Earlier, she said, Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, Maulavi Younus Khalis, Maulavi Rasool Siaf and others turned the country into rubble in the name of religion, now the same was being done under the aegis of Taliban.

RAWA for early solution of imbroglio

The Nation, September 14, 2000
From Our Correspondent

PESHAWAR - a two-member delegation of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has made its best to convince the western world in favor of wishes of war affected people from Afghanistan who are in favor of early return of peace and stability.

"Both Taliban and Jehadic elements have become puppets in the hands of those foreign forces who are interfering in affairs of Afghanistan, therefore, it could be impossible for its leaders and stalwarts to govern that country."

Saba Sehar along with Ms. Sajida had undertaken a four months long tour of United States of America and Switzerland where they besides attending a number of international meetings and gatherings on Afghanistan, had meetings with the high ranking authorities, parliamentarians, human rightists, intellectuals and others.

In Switzerland, RAWA delegates attended the 52nd Convention of United Nations Human Rights wing where they described in depth the situation in Afghanistan as well as threats to lives of the Afghans in other foreign countries.

Beside RAWA, the Northern Alliance had also sent nominee to such a conference and she focused all her speech on the policies of Taliban but we had diverted attention of the audience towards negative and unrealistic policies of both Taliban and Mujahideen, she said that they believed that neither Taliban nor Mujahideen are acceptable to the war-affected people of Afghanistan.

In response to a question, Saba Saher said that it was crystal clear that Taliban and Mujahideen are following dictation of foreign countries. In this respect, they told the foreign countries and public opinion makers to impose economic restrictions against these foreign countries.

When diverted her attention towards Rome and Cyprus Conference, Saba Saher said, "we are in favor of Loya Jirga and other political ways and means for resolving the conflict, but we believe that in presence of these extremists like Taliban and Mujahideen all such efforts are useless and meaningless."

Saba Sahar dispelled the impression that Taliban are ruling more than 95 percent of Afghanistan and they have established peaceful atmosphere in their governed areas. In fact, she added that Taliban have converted Afghanistan into a big prison house where they have make millions of Afghans as their hostages.

Afghanistan today is a big prison for women: RAWA

The Nation, September 15, 2000

PESHAWAR (Online) - Activist of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Sehar Saba has said that despite sanctions on Afghanistan, the Taliban and other warring factions inside Afghanistan managed to get economic, military and diplomatic support from the world.

Addressing a Press conference after her four month tour to the US amidst to inform the world community that why more freedom for women in Afghanistan, who are barred by law from education, healthcare and employment, was needed. She was also accompanied by Sajida Hayat -the first spokeswomen to travel to the US for RAWA. They relay tales of Afghan girls and women living in virtual house arrest under the governing Taliban's and other warring factions.

She informed that her visit was sponsored by Feminist Majority Foundation with an aim to let the world community that since the Taliban militia seized control in 1996, women and girls in Afghanistan had been subject to severe repression.

Sehar Saba who was reluctant for a pose to the media told that photographs in newspapers would add further problems for her adding that today Afghanistan was a big prison for women.

She said that it was a misconception to assume that peace existed in Afghanistan adding that neither Taliban nor the Northern Alliance representing the Afghan nation. She, however, added that despite poor rule, Zahir Shah has still remembered by the Afghan people.

Commenting on her four-month visit to the US, she said that after the withdrawal of Russian troops, today people in America did not know much about Afghanistan.

She said that their visit had also been highlighted in the American press. The interpersonal communication with the American people helped a lot to highlight the plight of the Afghan women.

She said that the American were not ready to believe that in Afghanistan law forbid women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.

She termed her visit to the states a great success and added that RAWA being a political organization protecting the rights of women inside Afghanistan totally regretted claims rather believe in practical steps.

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