Thousands of Afghan women band together to protect their civil liberties
The Voice of Afghan Women in Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan campaign met on Sunday in Kabul and called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the war and bloodshed “of innocent Afghan people”.
The women, who are party to the resolution numbered 15,700 and were from 34 provinces.
On Sunday, hundreds of these women came together in Kabul, at an event facilitated by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and issued a nine-point resolution stating clearly that while they have “never been involved in the conflict” they have paid the highest price.
They pointed out that they have been left homeless because of the ongoing war and have lost fathers, husbands, sons, brothers and other family members through years of conflict.
They stated that women across the nation want their voices to be heard by the parties involved in peace talks and by the world.
Top of the list of demands was that for a ceasefire, second was that conflict by Muslims against Muslims is not permissible and they called on religious scholars around the country to work for the promotion of peace, the preservation of national and religious values in order to strengthen national unity, mutual acceptance and conflict resolution through mosques.
They also called for rights and achievements of the last 20 years to be respected and for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity to be maintained.
They stated that as Afghan women, they consider the preservation of the country’s constitution as a national obligation – so as to guarantee their civil and political rights in peace negotiations.
“We, the Afghan women support the public movements and actions of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to achieve lasting and dignified peace, and we emphasize on the continuation of these movements for the establishment of lasting peace in the country.”
They also called for the families of those affected by the war to receive support and said “we Afghan women seek the support of neighboring counties and the region for the peace process in Afghanistan and we ask the international community to ensure lasting peace and to provide necessary cooperation to strengthen our country’s fence and security forces.”
The women stated that as “responsible citizens” they want to live in peace and know that language, ethnic and religious differences are all accepted – “because our beauty lies in ethnic, religious diversities and national unity”.
Afghanistan makes history after beating Pakistan in T20I series
Afghanistan made history on Sunday night when they beat long-time rival Pakistan in their second successive T20I match in Sharjah to win the series.
Sunday’s match saw Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 7 wickets with one ball remaining.
This is the first time in Afghanistan’s cricketing history that they have beaten Pakistan in an international series and as fans back home and across the world erupted with joy after a nail-biting last two overs, congratulations started pouring in.
Afghanistan Cricket Board said it was a “momentous occasion for Afghanistan cricket!”
The board said in a tweet that the team had “created history by securing their first-ever T20I series win over traditional rivals Pakistan. It’s a triumph of grit, courage, and teamwork.”
Rashid Khan’s squad did indeed show grit, courage and teamwork and after winning the toss and opting to bat first, Pakistan faced an early blow from Fazalhaq Farooqi who dismissed Saim Ayub for a duck on the second ball of the innings.
He then trapped Abdullah Shafique LBW on the very next delivery to take Afghanistan to a dream start. Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but Imad Wasim’s 64 not out off 57 and Shadab’s 32 off 25 took them to a respectable total.
Chasing a target of 131 runs, Afghanistan were calm and focused throughout the second innings but needing 30 runs off the last three overs, and 22 from the last two overs.
However Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi hit a six each off pace bowler Naseem Shah in the penultimate over to reduce the target to five runs. Zadran then hit the winning boundary off Zaman Khan’s last over to chase down the 131-run target with one ball to spare.
This was Afghanistan’s first bilateral T20I series against any of the top six teams — India, England, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
They have previously won a T20I series each against the West Indies and Bangladesh and five in five against Zimbabwe.
Khalilzad slams ‘brutal’ but ‘failed’ regime in Iran
Former US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Sunday called the Iranian regime a “political and economic failure at home and a growing threat to the region and the world”.
In an interview with UK-based Iran International, Khalilzad said the Tehran regime has lost the support of the Iranian people.
Following up with a detailed tweet after the interview, the former envoy said the Iranian “regime rules through brutal suppression of those who back the Zan (women), Zendagi (life), and Azadi (freedom) movements.
Referring to the ongoing poisoning mystery, he said “many female students have been poisoned at school.”
He also lashed out and said: “Iran has become the capital of al-Qaeda, is determined to acquire nuclear weapons, and provides military support to Russia in its aggression in Ukraine.”
Khalilzad also stated that the Iranian regime “might well use al-Qaeda to target regime opponents abroad and former US officials it has declared it wants to kill.”
He said the Biden administration and US Congress needs to increase support for Iran’s democratic opposition, isolate Iran internationally, press allies to declare Iran’s special military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist organization, and downgrade relations with the regime by withdrawing their Ambassadors.
“We must increase sanctions, especially stopping the import of Iranian oil. We must also strengthen deterrence against potential Iranian aggression,” he said.
Mohammad Sadiq resigns as Pakistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative to Afghanistan, resigned from his post on Wednesday.
“After serving close to three years as Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, I have requested the government that the time had come for me to move on and focus on my personal pursuits — family, books and agriculture/environment,” he said in a series of tweets.
Sadiq said that he was grateful to the prime minister and all the other stakeholders for their “wholehearted support” to him as the special envoy.
“I deeply appreciate the hard work of many of my colleagues who spent long hours to make the Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship work,” he added.
Sadiq was appointed to the Afghan position in June 2020 and had worked closely with other envoys during the peace talks process between the US and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) in the lead up to the signing of the Doha Agreement on February 29, 2020.
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