RAWA wants separation of religion from state

Dawn, March 18, 2003
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, March 17: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has said that unless religion is separated from the state, Afghanistan cannot make progress in the socio-economic field.

Speaking at a gathering organized by RAWA in connection with the International Women Day on Monday, RAWA leaders said that Karzai government was a continuum of the successive despotic Afghan regimes. The lawlessness in Afghanistan was a carry-over of the jingoism syndrome, they said.

They observed that Afghan women could enjoy their basic rights and freedom in a true democratic deposition based on secular and liberal values. RAWA leaders pledged that they would continue their struggle against all forms of exploitation and for the establishment of the people's democracy in Afghanistan.

They criticized the political role of the Northern Alliance - a main shareholder in political power in Kabul - for its anti-women, anti-democratic and inhuman role in the country.

Referring to the Iraq crisis, they said Saddam Hussain was accountable to his people, who had been braving against the cruel policies of the dictator. They said RAWA was opposed to terrorism whether it was unleashed by individual, groups or state.

Humaira Jan of RAWA said that democracy without secularism was incomplete as human rights were guaranteed only in a secular state.

She said that as an eyewash just a few women were made ministers by the present Afghan government but in true sense they didn't represent the Afghan women.

Marina Mateen told Dawn that whether it was Taliban regime or Northern Alliance both looted the country of its freedom and the women of their due rights. Both were fundamentalists and puppets in the hands of outsiders.

Expressing solidarity with RAWA, Awami National Party information secretary Haji Mohammad Adeel said that his party would continue to support the association's struggle for the womenfolk.

He praised RAWA's role against the Taliban and said that it had been a main part of democratic struggle against the obscurantism and fundamentalism in Afghanistan.

The Afghans, he said, had luckily dethroned the fundamentalists and paved a way for the fragile democracy which needed to be strengthened. The deserter Taliban, he claimed, had made NWFP the next target of their activities, he added.

He lashed out at the six-party religious alliance, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal for enforcing a Taliban-style system in the province in the name of Shariat.

Speaking on the occasion, MPA Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, a central leader of PPP (Sherpao), lauded Rawa's struggle and assured his party's support.

He said: "Afghanistan is back on the track of reconstruction, economic development and progress."

He hoped that the repatriation of Afghan refugees would pave way for the peaceful their rehabilitation. The new Afghan government needed the support of developed countries to bring back prosperity to the country, he added.

A central leader of the PPP (Sherpao), Senator Aneesa Zeb Tahirkheli also praised the efforts of Rawa for its poor and war- affected people.

Afzal Khamoosh, general secretary of the Communist Mazdoor Kisan Party, also spoke on the occasion.

Afghan school children presented revolutionary songs and Sheema Kirmani, a famous classical dancer, performed the women struggle in the light of poetry.


Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Mailing Address:  RAWA,  P.O.Box 374,  Quetta, Pakistan
Mobile: 0092-300-8551638
Fax: 001-760-2819855
E-mail: rawa@rawa.org
Home Page: http://www.rawa.org
Mirror site: http://rawa.fancymarketing.net