fwd: US not finished with Pakistan yet

This provides more detail on how much information on how to build a nuclearwarhead was passed by A.Q.Khan to Iran. RLCSubject: US not finished with Pakistan yet
Date: Mar 22, 2005
–>

Asia Times Online
Mar 19, 2005
US not finished with Pakistan yet
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI – The United States is exerting maximum pressure on Pakistan
to provide a detailed and “authentic” list of all of its nuclear
cooperation with Iran over the years.

Contacts in the highest echelon of Pakistan’s strategic quarters tell
Asia Times Online that during her visit to Islamabad on Wednesday, US
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appraised Pakistan of the latest –
and strong – US demands.

Many in the Bush administration believe that Iran’s nuclear energy
program is a smokescreen for developing nuclear weapons. Tehran has
agreed with the European Union and the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) that it will temporarily suspend its uranium enrichment
program.

Last week, Pakistan publicly admitted that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the
mastermind of the country’s nuclear program, had given centrifuges –
rather than just blueprints – to Iran as part of a package of
materials that could be used to make a nuclear bomb, but only in “his
personal capacity”. Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium.

Now the US wants hard evidence of this and all of Pakistan’s other
dealings so that it can build its case against Iran. This will
include full scrutiny of Pakistan’s nuclear program, especially from
the late 1980s until the early 1990s, when Pakistan developed the
nuclear device, which it eventually tested in 1998.

Importantly, and to the consternation of Pakistan, the US demand
includes direct access and interrogation of Pakistan’s former chief
of army staff, General Aslam Beg, who has on many occasions openly
endorsed nuclear cooperation with Iran, former president Ghulam Ishaq
Khan (August 17, 1988 until July 18, 1993) and Dr Khan.

The exhaustive US demand has sent shock waves through General
Headquarters Rawalpindi. To date, the belief had been that Pakistan’s
cooperation has been sufficient to avoid people like Dr Khan from
being handed over.

The contacts tell ATol that the initial reaction in Rawalpindi is
that the requested people will not be placed in the hands of US
interrogators. It is not known what “inducements” Washington is
offering Islamabad for its cooperation, or, conversely, what stick it
is waving for not cooperating. Pakistan has for a long time wanted F-
16 fighters from the US, especially since India is reported to also
be in the market, and already receives financial and other US
military aid for collaborating in the “war on terror”.

“The [Pakistan proliferation] issue is of such critical importance
that as soon as it broke out [last year], the Pakistani leadership
decided at once what to do. They placed Dr Khan under house arrest so
that nobody could meet him. After completely isolating Dr Khan,
Pakistan extended all cooperation to the US, which was of value to
the US and to its satisfaction,” a top strategic expert maintained.

“But US interrogation of personalities like Ghulam Ishaq Khan, A Q
Khan and General Beg will mean a complete exhibition and access to
all strategic secrets and would be tantamount to compromising
Pakistan’s integrity,” the expert said.

“Now, though, the US means business and it is collecting evidence
[against Iran] which Pakistan is meant to provide. But the US has
been asked to submit its queries concerning proliferation, and they
will get a reply through Pakistani channels. Inquiries are continuing
by Pakistani officials with all concerned officials, including
General Beg, and their answers are being submitted to the US. It will
continue in the future as well.

“You can match the situation with the South Waziristan operation. At
the start, the US was convinced through its intelligence that all
high-value targets [such as Osama bin Laden] were holed up in South
Waziristan [tribal region]. Washington urged Pakistan to allow US
troops to operate in the terrain to win the ‘war on terror’ once and
for all. However, from the beginning Pakistan drew a line on its
cooperation under which it fully cooperated in the hunt for militants
and in defeating pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda elements, but it refused to
allow US troops to operate in Pakistani territory, though on
occasions Pakistan turned a blind eye on US advancement in its
territory,” he added.

Pakistan is obviously extremely sensitive about the proliferation and
black market side of its nuclear program – which it still insists was
carried by individual elements without the knowledge of the
establishment.

The public saga of Pakistan’s nuclear program began some years ago at
the wedding ceremony of then editor of the Muslim, Islamabad,
Mushahid Hussain, a journalist-turned-politician and now general
secretary of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League.

He introduced Dr Khan to a senior Indian journalist, Kuldeep Nayyer.
Thinking that he was speaking off the record, Dr Khan briefed
Kuldeep, only to his horror – and to that of the establishment – to
then read a full article on Pakistan’s nuclear program.

As a result, Dr Khan was given the same security and protocol as the
president of Pakistan.

But once Pakistan acquired nuclear capability, Dr Khan’s security
situation became lax and and he was allowed to move around and make
statements in public, and even travel outside the country.

“It was a fact that he was elevated as a celebrity in the country,
and even for generals he was the heroic figure who equipped them with
deterrence against Indian military might,” one strategic expert told
ATol.

This hero-worship backfired. A classified interrogation report of
Khan Research Laboratories’ (KRL) security chief, Brigadier Tajwar,
accepted that he knew about the movement of centrifuges outside KRL,
but he dare not stop Dr Khan and ask about the purpose of the
transportation. Pakistan’s nuclear program was mostly developed at
KRL.

Although Dr Khan has been individually blamed – and publicly accepted
responsibility for – Pakistan’s proliferation, Iran handed over a
list of about two dozen Pakistani scientists to the IAEA for alleged
involvement in Iran’s program.

“US pressure came very late. Before Pakistan even knew of Dr Khan’s
involvement in proliferation and despite intense public reaction, Dr
Khan was removed as head of KRL and banned to enter its labs. Only
for the sake of face-saving in public he was appointed as an advisor
to the president,” said the expert.

The fate of Dr Khan remains unclear. He is under virtual house arrest
under heavy security in his residence near Islamabad, and he can be
expected to live like that until his end, when he will take all his
secrets with him.

“Unfortunately, this is the most likely scenario. The US pressure is
maximum, there is no doubt. That Pakistan will stand firm there is no
doubt either. The situation will not change, even in the next two
years. However, the ultimate reaction of a world superpower is only
determined by its geostrategic requirements, not by any fixed ideas
or rules,” the strategic expert commented.
> Syed Saleem Shahzad, Bureau Chief, Pakistan, Asia Times Online.

fwd: THE NATION; Afghan Detainee’s Leg Was ‘Pulpified,’ Witness Says;

This report is just beyond understanding. This is so heinous that I wonder of
the American people would believe it. Is that why it is not being reported in
the media? RLC afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: THE NATION; Afghan Detainee’s Leg Was ‘Pulpified,’ Witness Says;
Date: Mar 23, 2005
–>
>
> Los Angeles Times
> March 23, 2005
> THE NATION; Afghan Detainee’s Leg Was ‘Pulpified,’ Witness Says;
> The testimony comes at a hearing for an MP who delivered beatings.
> The inmate later died.
> by Lianne Hart
>
>
>
> An Afghan detainee in U.S. custody was so brutalized before his death
> that his thigh tissue was “pulpified,” a forensic pathologist
> testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for a military police
> officer charged in the 2002 assault.
>
> “It was similar to injuries of a person run over by a bus,” said Lt.
> Col. Elizabeth Rouse, who performed an autopsy on the detainee,
> identified only as Dilawar.
>
> Rouse’s telephone testimony came on the second day of an Article 32
> hearing — the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding — to
> determine whether Army Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 26, should be court-
> martialed.
>
> In addition to facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in the
> Dilawar case, Brand also is charged with assault for allegedly
> striking a second detainee, Mullah Habibullah, who also died in U.S.
> custody.
>
> Brand is one of two soldiers charged so far in the assaults that took
> place at the Bagram Control Point, a temporary holding center for
> detainees in Afghanistan, about 40 miles north of Kabul. A hearing
> for the other soldier, Sgt. James P. Boland, is pending. Both
> soldiers are members of the 377th Military Police Company, an Army
> Reserve unit based in Cincinnati.
>
> Army investigators testified that Brand acknowledged that he
> delivered more than 30 consecutive knee strikes to Dilawar as he
> stood in shackles, his arms chained to a ceiling. But Brand defended
> his actions, telling investigators that his superiors were aware that
> the blows were routinely delivered to force detainees to comply with
> the guards’ orders.
>
> “I did what everybody else did. It was not according to doctrine, but
> that was standard practice. That was how things were done,” Brand
> said in a statement.
>
> Investigators described the Afghan holding center as a two story,
> hangar-style building of interview rooms and isolation cells fitted
> with ceilings of concertina wire. The night before Dilawar’s death,
> Brand said in a Jan. 24, 2004, statement, he went to Dilawar’s
> isolation cell to help another guard give the man water. The guards
> then attempted to place a hood on Dilawar’s head, a practice reserved
> for unruly detainees or those being escorted from a cell to an
> interrogation room. Dilawar — in chains, his wrists shackled above
> his head — resisted, and Brand said he struck him twice with his
> bent knee.
>
> In a Feb. 3, 2004, statement, Brand acknowledged that at another
> time, he delivered more than 30 knee strikes to Dilawar. Asked what
> provoked the punishment, Brand told investigators he couldn’t
> remember.
>
> Brand also admitted striking Habibullah in the thighs when he
> resisted efforts to put a hood on his head. “Allah, Allah, Allah,”
> Brand recalled Habibullah crying.
>
> Dilawar died from “blunt force trauma to the lower extremities
> complicating coronary artery disease,” Rouse said. Habibullah died of
> a pulmonary embolism apparently formed in his legs from the beatings.
>
> Army investigator Angela Birt said that delivering knee strikes was
> so routine for Brand that “the two [detainees] didn’t stick out in
> his mind because he couldn’t remember how many he had struck.”
>
> Brand’s lawyer, John Galligan, said outside the courtroom
> that “everything that was done was done in order to perform his
> mission…. I’m greatly disturbed a young soldier like Brand who,
> responding to his country’s call, does what he thinks is right and we
> turn around and place him on the criminal docket.”
>
> Brand, the father of four, sat expressionless at the defense table as
> autopsy photographs of Dilawar were entered into evidence.
>
> When investigators had asked him during a 2004 interview if the knee
> blows were wrong, he replied: “No, not wrong wrong but necessary to
> achieve what you wanted them to do.”
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3600 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
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>
>
>

re: Demonstration in Bahrain

> THE FRAUD OF US DEMOCRACY CRUSADE:
> AMERICAN MEDIA SILENT OVER MASS PROTEST IN BAHRAIN
> By Bill Van Auken
> 29 March 2005
> http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/mar2005/bahr-m29.shtml
>
The hypocrisy of Washington’s self-proclaimed crusade for democracy in the Middle East found damning expression this week in the nearly total silence of the US government and the American media over a demonstration that brought tens of thousands of protesters into the streets of Bahrain last Friday demanding democratic reforms.
>
> The contrast between the reaction to this popular upsurge against a dictatorial monarch in the Persian Gulf and the attention lavished on the so-called “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon could not have been starker.
>
> The New York Times was among the few to print anything at all, limiting its coverage to a 13-line Reuters dispatch placed at the bottom of page 6 in its international briefs column. The Washington Post, the other paper of record of the US ruling elite, published nothing at all, and the major broadcast media remained completely silent.
>
Apparently, the US corporate media’s only interest in Bahrain is the preparations for a Grand Prix motor race to be held there on April 3. The aspirations and the oppression of the country’s population are a matter of indifference.
>
> Friday’s peaceful march saw an estimated 80,000 people—roughly 12 percent of the Gulf state’s total population—demanding constitutional reforms. They called for greater power for the elected lower house of parliament, which currently is subordinated to a handpicked upper chamber, the consultative council — an arrangement that leaves all real legislative power in the hands of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. They also demanded a constitution ratified by elected representatives, rather than the current charter, which was imposed by royal decree in 2002.
>
> This action signaled the refusal of the Al-Khalifa dynasty to relinquish the
absolute power it has exercised since declaring its independence from Britain
in 1971. As a consequence, the opposition parties boycotted an election held that year.
>
> The monarchy denied organizers of the march—principally the main Shia opposition movement, the Islamic National Accord Association (INAA)—a legal permit for the protest, citing “tension and regional threats.” Also participating in the march were the left-wing National Democratic Action Association, the National Democratic Rally—a pan-Arabist group—and the Islamic Action Association, another Shia opposition movement. Political parties remain banned in Bahrain.
>
> On Saturday, the daily newspaper Al-Ayyam quoted a senior minister in the Bahrain regime declaring that the INAA “will face legal measures after it organized an unlawful demonstration yesterday.”
>
> Opposition leaders are threatened with arrest. The regime has increasingly
cracked down on dissent. In the past month alone, it jailed three young men for running an online discussion forum—Bahrainonline.org—that posted comments critical of the regime. It accused them of “defamation…inciting hatred against the regime and spreading rumors and lies that could cause disorder.”
>
> Also arrested March 9 were three members of a recently formed Committee of
the Unemployed for distributing leaflets urging participation in a picket on behalf of the jobless. It is estimated that as much as 25 percent of the country’s population are unemployed. An opposition group reported that the three were subjected to physical abuse and harsh interrogations.
>
> Last September, Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja, vice-president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was arrested for violating royal decrees restricting freedom of speech and association. The rights group was also proscribed.
>
> Al-Khawaja earned the monarchy’s wrath by speaking at a public forum on poverty and social inequality in Bahrain, blaming the policies of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa—the king’s uncle. The regime is a family affair, with al-Khalifas occupying 10 of the 21 ministries, including all those most important to the exercise of state power.
>
> While the Shia community represents an estimated 70 percent of the country’s population, there are only five Shia ministers in the government, all of them
occupying relatively unimportant posts. In the last elections, the ruling family shamelessly gerrymandered electoral districts to dilute the Shia vote.
>
> Given the Bush administration’s incessant proclamations of its dedication to the struggle for democracy and against tyranny, one might anticipate the administration embracing the demonstration in Bahrain as an indication of a democratic wave sweeping the Middle East.
>
> After all, here were tens of thousands openly defying a regime that
suppresses freedom of speech and assembly, discriminates against the majority of the population and routinely locks up those who criticize it.
>
> But George Bush did not take to the airwaves proclaiming his desire for the
liberation of the people of the Bahrain—as he has done in relation to Iran
and Lebanon—nor did he suggest sanctions against the tyrannical monarchy, as he has implemented against the Syrian regime.
>
> Rather, there was an embarrassed silence, both in Washington and the media. The events in Bahrain cannot be reported because they expose US policy as a lie.
>
> Washington is not condemning this tyrant, because he is a pliant and valued instrument of US imperialist policy in the region. The small gulf emirate he rules serves as the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet. Some 4,500 US military personnel are deployed there, occupying a 79-acre base. The Navy and Marine components of the US Central Command are also based there, and the royal family allowed the use of its territory for carrying out military attacks on Iraq.
>
> Economically, the autocratic regime has likewise subordinated itself to Washington, signing a free trade pact last year that effectively abrogated an existing customs union joining it with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. US firms dominate the oil sector.
>
> With a population and landmass that are both approximately equivalent to
those of Indianapolis, Indiana, Bahrain has been designated as a “major non-NATO
ally.”
>
> Last November, when King Hamad flew to the US, the White House celebrated him as “the first Arab leader to meet President George W. Bush since his re-election as US president.”
>
> During the visit, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lauded the King for sharing the US commitment to “help the Iraqis have their election.” That the election staged in his own country was so blatantly rigged that political
organizations representing the majority of the population boycotted them went
unmentioned.
>
> King Hamad’s regime in Bahrain, the Saudi royal family, Egypt’s Mubarak,
General Musharraf of Pakistan and ex-Stalinist dictators like Karimov of
Uzbekistan—these are the regimes that Washington props up and depends upon in the Middle East and Central Asia. They are the real face of the supposedly democratic goals of US imperialism in the region.
>
> The reaction to the Bahrain protests serves to expose the obvious. In its pretense of a worldwide crusade for democracy and against tyranny, US imperialism designates who is a democrat and who is a tyrant based entirely upon its own strategic interests. Thus, protests in Lebanon that are seen as a means of strengthening both US and Israeli dominance in the region are celebrated by the US government and given massive coverage in the media, while a demonstration in Bahrain that threatens to undermine a US-backed regime is censored from the news.
> —

fwd: Afghanistan asks India for help in health care: technological integration of the world

Forwarded Message:

From: Jocelin Lebier
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Afghanistan asks India for help in health care
Date: Mar 18, 2005
–>
>
> Associated Press
> March 18, 2005 7:37 AM Eastern Time
> Afghanistan asks India for help in health care
>
>
> Afghanistan’s public health minister asked Indian officials on Friday
> to help bring modern health care to his war-ravaged nation, officials
> said.
>
> Afghanistan will set up a countrywide network of “telemedicine”
> centers with the help of India’s space agency, the Indian Space
> Research Organization, said Abdul Salam Jalali, a member of the
> delegation.
>
> Telemedicine centers are located in areas where hospitals don’t exist
> or specialists are not available. They are equipped with a computer,
> video camera, clinical equipment and a satellite connection which
> allow doctors in another location to examine patients.
>
> He said Afghan Public Health Minister Syed Mohammed Amin Fatimie held
> talks with officials of India’s health and family welfare ministry
> and visited hospitals in New Delhi.
>
> “Two and a half decades of war and internal fighting have destroyed
> our infrastructure, including health care facilities,” Jalali said in
> the southern city of Bangalore.
>
> In the first phase, Afghanistan will set up telemedicine centers in
> 11 cities, including Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalali said.
> The first center in Kabul will become operational in early 2006, he
> said.
>
> Jalali, also the director of the Indira Gandhi Institute for child
> health, a hospital in Kabul set up with Indian assistance, said
> Afghanistan lacks specialists to provide advanced medical care in
> several disciplines. Afghan hospitals are in talks with several
> Indian hospitals to enable these patients to get treated in India at
> affordable rates, he said.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3600 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
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> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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>
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>
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>
>
>

fwd: Where’s the outrage on torture?

Yes, where is it? Is anyone listening? RLCForwarded Message:

From: mab
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Where’s the outrage on torture?
Date: Mar 20, 2005
–>
>
> Where’s the outrage on torture?
>
> By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | March 17, 2005
>
> IN AUGUST 2003, when he was commander of the military base at
> Guantanamo Bay, Major General Geoffrey Miller visited Baghdad with some
> advice for US interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison. As Brigadier General
> Janis Karpinski, the military police commander in Iraq, later recalled
> it, Miller’s bottom line was blunt: Abu Ghraib should be ”Gitmo-ized”
> — Iraqi detainees should be exposed to the same aggressive techniques
> being used to extract information from prisoners in Guantanamo.
>
> ”You have to have full control,” Karpinski quoted Miller as saying.
> There can be ”no mistake about who’s in charge. You have to treat
> these detainees like dogs.”
>
> Whether or not Miller actually spoke those words, it is clear that
> harsh techniques authorized for a time in Guantanamo — forced nudity,
> hooding, shackling men in ”stress positions,” the use of dogs — were
> taken up in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they sometimes degenerated into
> outright viciousness and even torture. Did the injunction to ”treat
> these detainees like dogs” give rise to a prison culture that winked at
> barbarism? Should Miller be held responsible for what Abu Ghraib
> became?
>
> The latest Pentagon report on the abuse of captives, delivered to
> Congress last week by Vice Admiral Albert Church III, doesn’t point a
> finger of blame at Miller or any other high-ranking official. It
> concludes that while detainees in Iraq, Guantanamo, and elsewhere were
> brutalized by military or CIA interrogators, there was no formal policy
> authorizing such abuse. (On occasion it was even condemned — in
> December 2002, for example, some Navy officials denounced the
> Guantanamo techniques as ”unlawful and unworthy of the military
> services.”)
>
> But surely, Church was asked at a congressional hearing, someone should
> be held accountable for the scores of abuses that even the government
> admits to? ”Not in my charter,” the admiral replied.
>
> So the buck stops nowhere. And fresh revelations of horror keep seeping
> out.
>
> Afghanistan, 2002: A detainee in the ”Salt Pit” — a secret,
> CIA-funded prison north of Kabul — is stripped naked, dragged across a
> concrete floor, then chained in a cell and left overnight. By morning,
> he has frozen to death. According to The Washington Post, which sourced
> the story to four US government officials, the dead man was buried in
> an unmarked grave, and his family was never notified. What had the
> Afghan done to merit such lethal handling? ”He was probably associated
> with people who were associated with Al Qaeda,” a US official told the
> Post.
>
> Iraq, 2003: Manadel al-Jamadi, arrested after a terrorist bombing in
> Baghdad, is brought in handcuffs to a shower room in Abu Ghraib.
> Shackles are connected from his cuffs to a barred window, hoisting his
> arms painfully behind his back — a position so unnatural, Sergeant
> Jeffrey Frost later tells investigators, that he is surprised the man’s
> arms ”didn’t pop out of their sockets.” Frost and other guards are
> summoned when an interrogator complains that al-Jamadi isn’t
> cooperating. They find him slumped forward, motionless. When they
> remove the chains and attempt to stand him on his feet, blood gushes
> from his mouth. His ribs are broken. He is dead.
>
> Then there is the government’s use of ”extraordinary rendition,” a
> euphemism for sending terror suspects to be interrogated by other
> countries — including some where respect for human rights is
> nonexistent and interrogation can involve beatings, electric shock, and
> other torture. The CIA says it always gets an assurance in advance that
> a prisoner will be treated humanely. But of what value are such
> assurances when they come from places like Syria and Saudi Arabia?
>
> Of course the United States must hunt down terrorists and find out what
> they know. Better intelligence means more lives saved, more atrocities
> prevented, and a more likely victory in the war against radical
> Islamist fascism. Those are crucial ends, and they justify tough means.
> But they don’t justify means that betray core American values.
> Interrogation techniques that flirt with torture — to say nothing of
> those that end in death — cross the moral line that separates us from
> the enemy we are trying to defeat.
>
> The Bush administration and the military insist that any abuse of
> detainees is a violation of policy and that abusers are being punished.
> If so, why does it refuse to allow a genuinely independent commission
> to investigate without fear or favor? Why do Republican leaders on
> Capitol Hill refuse to launch a proper congressional investigation? And
> why do my fellow conservatives — those who support the war for all the
> right reasons — continue to keep silent about a scandal that should
> have them up in arms?
>
> http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/
> 03/17/wheres_the_outrage_on_torture?mode=PF
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3600 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
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> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
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>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
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>
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>
>
>

fwd: re: When Rapist Walk Free

Hi, Thanks to Amelia for sending this to me. Some of the numbers here are
staggering. Note that 60 percept of women in Kazakhstan report that they have
been molested. Certainly the numbers are underreported in some places. Best, RLCForwarded Message:

From: arboone@artsci.wustl.edu
To: Robert Canfield
Subject: re: When Rapist Walk Free
Date: Mar 10, 2005
–> Professor Canfield,
>
> March 4, 2005:
>
>
> Women said worse off now than 10 years ago
>
> EDITH M. LEDERER
>
> Associated Press
>
>
> UNITED NATIONS – Many women are worse off today than they were 10 years ago,
> women around the world say in a new report that accuses governments of failing
> to keep their pledge to achieve gender equality.
>
> Governments worldwide have adopted a “piecemeal and incremental” approach to
> women’s rights that cannot achieve the goals in the landmark platform of
> action adopted at a 1995 U.N. conference in Beijing, it says.
>
> The report is the work of women’s rights activists in 150 countries. Compiled
> by the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, an international
> advocacy group based in New York, it was released Thursday to coincide with a
> high-level U.N. meeting on implementing the platform.
>
> The message was clear, starting with the title: “Beijing Betrayed.”
>
> “The women of the world don’t need any more words from their governments –
> they want action, they want resources and they want governments to protect and
> advance women’s human rights,” the report said.
>
> The women’s report sounded very different from the speeches this week at the
> U.N. conference, where governments have been touting their records on women’s
> rights.
>
> “The realities women document often contrast sharply with the officials’
> reports,” June Zeitlin, the executive director of Women’s Environment and
> Development, said.
>
> “What we see are powerful trends – growing poverty, inequality, growing
> militarization, and fundamentalist opposition to women’s rights,” she
> said. “These trends are harming millions of women worldwide.”
>
> “Governments need to respond very strongly to counterbalance these trends and
> push the Beijing platform to further women’s rights,” Zeitlin said.
>
> Nonetheless, she said, “there is still some cause for celebration.”
>
> Advocates of women’s rights have stepped up their activities around the globe
> and have pressed governments to change some discriminatory laws. The number of
> countries that ratified the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
> Discrimination Against Women rose from 146 a decade ago to 179, though the
> United States has still not done so.
>
> The goal of giving every girl and boy an elementary school education by 2005
> is likely to be met everywhere but sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the
> report said.
>
> But despite these and other gains in the Beijing platform, “and despite a
> decade-worth of efforts … many women in all regions are actually worse off
> than they were 10 years ago,” the report said.
>
> Violence against women remains an “acute problem” affecting some two-thirds of
> women in relationships worldwide, the report said.
>
> For example, in Kazakhstan, over 60 percent of women have suffered from
> physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. In the United
> States, 31 percent of women report being sexually abused by a husband or
> boyfriend. And in 2000, 44 percent of married women in Colombia suffered from
> violence inflicted by a male partner, the report said.
>
> While trafficking of women and children into bonded labor, forced marriage,
> forced prostitution, and domestic servitude has become a global phenomenon,
> governments don’t appear to be making significant efforts to combat these
> crimes.
>
> According to the report, up to 175,000 women from Eastern Europe and the
> former Soviet Union are being lured into the sex industry in Western Europe
> every year, and there has been “a dramatic increase” in the number of Soviet
> bloc women trafficked to North America.
>
> One goal of the 10-year-old platform was to make reproductive health services
> available to women everywhere. But access and affordability are still
> obstacles, “compounded by cultural and religious fundamentalism,” the report
> said. Women and girls also face the highest risk of getting
> HIV/AID, “primarily because of continued patterns of sexual subordination.”
>
> Governments had also pledged to put women in decision-making positions and set
> a target of having 30 percent of government and public administration jobs
> filled by women. But the report said 10 years later “not much” has happened,
> noting that only five countries had reached 30 percent in 1995, 10 in 2000,
> and 15 in 2004.
>
> The report listed what it called “the dirty dozen” countries that have no
> women in parliament: Bahrain, Kuwait, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, St. Kitts and
> Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates and
> Guinea-Bissau.
>
> “Across all regions, women are often still considered unequal to men – in the
> workplace, at home, in government – and assigned roles accordingly,” it said.
>
> The majority of the world’s poor are women, and since Beijing “women’s
> livelihoods for the most part have worsened, with increasing insecure
> employment and less access to social protection and public services,” the
> report said.
>

fwd: Trading with neighbours

One more of Pakistan’s problems. Dawn is one of the better newspapers in
Pakistan. FYISubject: Trading with neighbours
Date: Mar 4, 2005

> Dawn (Pakistan)
> 03 March 2005 Thursday 21 Muharram 1426
> Trading with neighbours
> By Sultan Ahmed
>
> Pakistan’s trade with countries in the region continues to be small
> despite its need for a larger volume of trade with them, and its
> location in a strategic area. Neither religious affinity, nor
> neighbourhood and not even political or economic alliances have
> helped the country to achieve the volume of trade set from time to
> time with each of them hopefully.
>
> When it comes to trading with India it may be argued we had three
> wars with it in the first 25 years after Independence, and a cold war
> that lasted, with Kashmir being the central divisive factor, for
> almost 30 years.
>
> In such a tense environment, meaningful trade with India was not
> possible. And even the SAARC of seven South Asian nations which has
> lasted for 20 years now has not made much of a difference when it
> comes to active economic cooperation between India and Pakistan.
>
> In the case of Iran we have not only religious affinity but also
> commonality of history and traditions. And the two countries have
> been members of blocs like the Cento, RCD and, following the break up
> of Soviet Union, of the ECO of ten Muslim states. That makes the
> close relationship between the two countries as old as 50 years. And
> yet the volume of trade between them is only 400 million dollars both
> ways. Now the leaders of the two countries have now resolved to raise
> the volume to one billion dollars.
>
> Pakistan’s economic relations with Afghanistan had a chequered
> history because of unsettled conditions there. The Russian occupation
> and then the US dominance altered conditions there radically.
>
> A large volume of goods have exchanged between the two countries
> unofficially or through smuggling, which included drugs from the
> poppies grown in that country by the poor farmers.
>
> The Afghan transit trade with its long list of goods earlier had
> always been a contentious issue as most of the tax-free goods usually
> came back to Pakistan quick and competed with the tax paid imported
> goods or locally manufactured items with heavy duties in Pakistan.
>
> If the western manufactured goods like electronics came through
> Afghanistan earlier, the Japanese and Korean goods came later through
> the same route followed by the Russian manufactures during Russian
> occupation of Afghanistan.
>
> Things got greatly mixed up during the Taliban rule and later came
> the Americans along with President Karzai. Now prime minister Shaukat
> Aziz hopes the Afghan transit trade list would end soon and Pakistan-
> Afghan trade would rise to one billion dollars which seems a distinct
> possibility.
>
> Several constraints come in the way of large scale trade between
> Pakistan and the Central Asian states, including the fact that the
> latter are rather new to the market economy.
>
> Road links between Pakistan and those countries are not good either,
> and the proposed road development schemes are slow to materialise.
> Nor are our traders very familiar with those countries and their
> traders. But they are members of the ECO, and they reaffirm the need
> for trade on a preferential basis from time to time earnestly, but
> without adequate follow-up.
>
> But now in a world without textile quotas and where WTO regime is
> becoming more assertive and commercial competition is constantly on
> the increase, all the countries in the region feel the need for
> larger volume of trade between them.
>
> On the other side if there is no formal trade agreement between
> Pakistan and India to step up their volume of trade that does not
> mean that exchange of goods between them is not taking place.
>
> Smugglers on both sides are carrying on informal trade to the extent
> of one to two billion dollars. India’s commerce minister Kamal Nath
> says the volume of trade between India and Pakistan carried on
> through third parties is more than double the formal trade between
> them. He wants the two countries to gain by formal trade as well as
> from duties instead of the latter going to other countries. No one
> has disputed him.
>
> Joining the government leaders in this area are the top businessmen
> who have been visiting each other’s countries in large numbers and
> have formed a joint chamber of commerce to boost and broad base the
> trade. They want such initiatives to ultimately result in mutual
> industrial investment and deepen their economic involvement.
>
> The proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is only the first
> reflection of the benefits of cooperation between India and Pakistan
> in association with other countries in the region.
>
> The proposed Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India gas pipeline
> is another indicator in that direction. Both countries need gas in
> increasing quantity to meet their future needs of rapid economic
> growth.
>
> Hence, following Kamal Nath’s visit to Islamabad and a meeting of the
> foreign ministers of the two countries, a joint study group was set
> up with the commerce secretaries of the two countries as co-chairmen
> to identify the deterrents to large scale trade and specify measures
> to promote such trade.
>
> The committee met in New Delhi for two days last week and decided on
> further measures to remove road-blocks to trade on a large scale.
> They are not moving in an idealistic or hasty manner but
> pragmatically.
>
> The joint study group discussed the trade issues threadbare for two
> days and decided to report their deliberations to their principals
> for final decisions on contentious issues.
>
> And the group constituted two working sub-groups which will deal with
> customs cooperation, trade facilitation and removal of non-tariff
> barriers. Promotion of trade between the two countries has now become
> part of the composite dialogue.
>
> The officials separated the apparent political issues in respect of
> trade, like Pakistan granting the most favoured nation status to
> India and facilities for India for transit trade with Afghanistan, to
> be taken up by the political leaders.
>
> Pakistan found that in spite of India giving the MFN status to it
> there has been little of export from Pakistan to India. But during
> the first six months of the current financial year ending September
> last exports from India to Pakistan increased by 256 per cent – to
> 246 million dollars from 69 million dollars in the preceding year.
> The upward trend was truly satisfying for India.
>
> The realization came to the officials on both sides that although
> businessmen were keen on promoting large scale trade between the two
> countries they did not know enough about the latest laws and rules
> governing trade in both the countries, and that needed to be updated.
>
> The enthusiasm for larger trade has to be matched with real insight
> into the conditions for trade in both countries, and that vacuum
> needs to be filled for the trade to move fast on both sides.
>
> During prime minister Shaukat Aziz’s visit to Iran last week three
> significant agreements were signed between the two countries to
> enlarge the scope of economic cooperation.
>
> It may be said the spirit of the agreements was the same that
> motivated earlier agreements, but this time with a pragmatic prime
> minister like Shaukat Aziz on Pakistan side they are determined to
> operationalize the agreements and they have quantified the extent of
> cooperation between them.
>
> The first agreement was to set up a joint investment company with a
> paid up capital of 25 million dollars which will become operational
> in 90 days. It will promote investment and broaden the areas of
> industrial and economic cooperation. The second agreement would
> provide Iran’s agricultural support and enhance the export of
> Pakistan’s fruits, mainly kino and mangoes to Iran.
>
> The two countries also signed a protocol to amend the Preferential
> Trade Agreement and operationalize the tariff and trade regime. An
> annual trade target of one billion dollars was also set in place of
> the current trade of 400 million dollars.
>
> They also signed an MOU to follow up various decisions taken during
> the bilateral talks. Following their decision Iran would provide 200
> million dollars credit to Pakistan for the development of
> infrastructure, mainly railways and road network.
>
> It was also decided to set up a committee of the commerce ministers
> to devise an action plan for trade and removal of tariff and non-
> tariff barriers. Both the countries have also decided to have
> meetings of the joint economic commission every six months.
>
> Iran and Pakistan have also agreed to have a meeting of the petroleum
> ministers of both countries plus the Indian petroleum minister Mani
> Shankar Aiyar on March 19 in Islamabad to discuss the gas pipeline
> from Iran to India via Pakistan, which Shaukat Aziz describes as the
> pipeline of peace.
>
> It seems odd that while we seek a Free Trade Area agreement with the
> distant US we have so little trade with our Muslim and non-Muslim
> neighbours and even Saarc partners. But we may argue that the US is
> Pakistan’s largest export partner receiving 23.9 per cent of our
> exports and hence an FTA agreement with the US is important.
> Pakistan’s commerce secretary Tasneem Siddiqi this week flew to the
> US to begin preliminary talks in Washington for the FTA which are
> expected to be protracted.
>
> We are also supposed to sign an FTA agreement with China during the
> visit of the Chinese prime minister later this year to inaugurate the
> Gwadar Port, the construction of which is assisted by China.
>
> And Pakistan has already signed its first FTA agreement – with Sir
> Lanka – and we are supposed to import far more tea from Sri Lanka
> following the heavy import duty on Pakistani rice by Kenya from which
> we import a large quantity of the tea.
>
> We have been toying with the PTA and FTA within the Saarc orbit as
> well. While the member countries have signed the needed agreement
> they are too slow to implement their key provisions. However, trade
> with Afghanistan has improved a great deal. And president Karzai now
> wants to join Saarc, and Shaukat Aziz is very supportive of that
> move, which India too would welcome so that it could have larger
> trade with Afghanistan.
>
> In fact larger mutual Saarc trade and higher economic cooperation
> depend on the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan
> which are making a slow progress.
>
> While the businessmen, artists and the people as a whole are keen on
> having a larger cooperation and mutual understanding, the governments
> are slow to move from their stated positions on major issues,
> particularly the key issue of Kashmir. A major question now is: how
> can the government get around this major obstacle to peace and
> harmony in the region?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3600 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
> TO SUBSCRIBE
> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afghaniyat/
>
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> afghaniyat-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
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> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
>

When Rapist Walk Free

I am so thankful for Nicholas Kristoff. He is one of the few journalists who
has been exposing the brutality taking place in our time. HIs willingness to
report it is one of the positive sides of this sordid tale. Pray for her. RLCMarch 5, 2005. Nicholas D Kristoff
NYTimes
When Rapists Walk FreeOne of the gutsiest people on earth is Mukhtaran Bibi. And after this week,
she’ll need that courage just to survive. Mukhtaran, a tall, slim young woman who never attended school as a child, lives
in a poor and remote village in the Punjab area of Pakistan. As part of a
village dispute in 2002, a tribal council decided to punish her family by
sentencing her to be gang-raped. She begged and cried, but four of her
neighbors immediately stripped her and carried out the sentence. Then her
tormenters made her walk home naked while her father tried to shield her from
the eyes of 300 villagers. Mukhtaran was meant to be so shamed that she would commit suicide. But in a
society where women are supposed to be soft and helpless, she proved
indescribably tough, and she found the courage to live. She demanded the
prosecution of her attackers, and six were sent to death row. She received $8,300 in compensation and used it to start two schools in the
village, one for boys and one for girls, because she feels that education is
the best way to change attitudes like those that led to the attack on her.
Illiterate herself, she then enrolled in her own elementary school. I visited Mukhtaran in her village in September and wrote a column about her.
Readers responded with an avalanche of mail, including 1,300 donations for
Mukhtaran totaling $133,000. The money arrived just in time, for Mukhtaran’s schools had run out of funds.
She had sold her family’s cow to keep them open because she believes so
passionately in the redemptive power of education. Now that cash from readers has put the schools on a sound financial footing
again. And Mercy Corps, a first-rate American aid group already active in
Pakistan, has agreed to assist Mukhtaran in spending the money wisely. The next
step will be to start an ambulance service for the area so sick or injured
villagers can get to a hospital. Down the road, Mukhtaran says, she will try to start her own aid group to
battle honor killings. And even though she lives in a remote village without
electricity, she has galvanized her supporters to launch a Web site:
www.mukhtarmai.com. (Although her legal name is Mukhtaran Bibi, she is known
in the Pakistani press by a variant, Mukhtar Mai). Until two days ago, she was thriving. Then – disaster. A Pakistani court overturned the death sentences of all six men convicted in
the attack on her and ordered five of them freed. They are her neighbors and
will be living alongside her. Mukhtaran was in the courthouse and collapsed in
tears, fearful of the risk this brings to her family. “Yes, there is danger,” she said by telephone afterward. “We are afraid for our
lives, but we will face whatever fate brings for us.” Mukhtaran, not the kind of woman to squander money on herself by flying, even
when she has access to $133,000, took an exhausting 12-hour bus ride to
Islamabad yesterday to appeal to the Supreme Court. Mercy Corps will help keep
her in a safe location, and those donations from readers may keep her alive
for the time being. But for the long term, Mukhtaran has always said she wants
to stay in her village, whatever the risk, because that’s where she can make the
most difference. I had planned to be in Pakistan this week to write a follow-up column about
Mukhtaran. But after a month’s wait, the Pakistani government has refused to
give me a visa, presumably out of fear that I would write more about Pakistani
nuclear peddling. (Hmm, a good idea. …) Mukhtaran’s life illuminates what will be the central moral challenge of this
century, the brutality that is the lot of so many women and girls in poor
countries. For starters, because of inattention to maternal health, a woman dies
in childbirth in the developing world every minute. In Pakistan, if a woman reports a rape, four Muslim men must generally act as
witnesses before she can prove her case. Otherwise, she risks being charged
with fornication or adultery – and suffering a public whipping and long
imprisonment. Mukhtaran is a hero. She suffered what in her society was the most extreme
shame imaginable – and emerged as a symbol of virtue. She has taken a sordid
story of perennial poverty, gang rape and judicial brutality and inspired us
with her faith in the power of education – and her hope.Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com

gang rape in Pakistan

We were all heartened when these guys were imprisoned. It is beyond belief that
they would now be released. This is not only sexual abuse but also underclass
abuse. RLChttp://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Pakistan-Rape.html
Pakistan Rape Victim Seeks Protection
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: March 5, 2005
Filed at 5:35 p.m. ET
MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — A woman who was gang-raped in Pakistan in a retaliatory
“honor” attack said Saturday she is fearful after several of the alleged
perpetrators were ordered released from prison.
Mukhtar Mai in June 2002 was raped by four men on the orders of a village
council that wanted to punish her family.
The assault was ordered after Mai’s brother was accused of having sex with a
woman from a more prominent family, though Mai’s family says the allegations
were fabricated to cover up a sex assault against the boy by several men.
Mai’s story captured global attention and prompted President Gen. Pervez
Musharraf to order the arrest of the culprits. Within days six men were behind
bars, and a judge sentenced them to death after finding them guilty.
On Thursday, however, an appeals court in Multan in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab
province ordered five of the men released because of a lack of evidence. The
other had his death sentence reduced to life in prison.
While the five have yet to be released, Mai said she won’t be safe in her
village of Meerwala — 350 miles southwest of the capital, Islamabad — where
the crime took place.
“I fear that those who were awarded death sentences can take any step after
their release,” a tearful Mai told The Associated Press, urging the government
to provide her protection.
Mai, a 33-year-old teacher, said she would not leave her village and promised to
appeal the court’s decision.
“I will fight a legal battle to death. I want all those people who molested me
hanged,” she said.
Mai told a news conference in Islamabad that she had asked her lawyer to
challenge the court verdict. “My case is not only in Pakistan court, but also
in the court of God,” she said.
“I hope that the Supreme Court of Pakistan will give me justice,” Mai said.
Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the government would file an
appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Mai’s behalf.
Mai is from the Gujar clan. The attackers were from a clan considered socially
higher, called Mastoi.
She denied her 13-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor had relations with the Mastoi
woman, saying the clan fabricated the story to cover up another incident, in
which her brother was allegedly sexually assaulted by Mastoi men.
Mai said she cannot forget what happened on June 22, 2002, when they came to her
house and accused Shakoor. Hours later, a village council summoned her father.
“I was worried about my brother, so I went there to see the proceedings,” she
said. “My father was defending Shakoor when a man caught me and started taking
me to a house. I cried and asked for help. Some armed men caught my father.
Later, four men took turns raping me and then threw me out of that house.”
She said she would never forgive the people who saw her being dragged away but
did nothing to help. “I heard laughter, and weeping there helplessly was only
one man — my father,” she said. Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/

fwd: Why Some Afghan Women Prefer Death to Marriage

There is still much hardship for women in Afghanistan.
RLCPlease see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/Forwarded Message:

From: ACMojala@aol.com
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Why Some Afghan Women Prefer Death to Marriage
Date: Mar 2, 2005
–>
>
> Why Some Afghan Women Prefer Death to Marriage
>
> Forced Into Marriages in Exchange for Money, Some Afghan Girls Are Making
> Desperate Choices
>
> Afghan teenage sisters Khusboo and Heena made a pact that if they could not
> escape forced marriages, they would kill themselves. (ABCNEWS.com)
>
> Dec. 11, 2004 — They had fled the Taliban, returned home to a “new
> Afghanistan,” and were looking forward to continuing their education when
Khusboo and
> Heena heard the calamitous news.
> School, the two Afghan sisters were told, was a luxury the family could not
> afford. Instead, the girls — who were 14 and 15 years old at the time — would
> be married off to older men in exchange for money, or the customary “bride
> price” paid by Afghan grooms to the bride’s family.
> For Khusboo and Heena, whose last names are being withheld to protect their
> identity, the news was devastating. Raised by their grandmother in Kabul, the
> family fled to Pakistan after the Taliban swept into power in 1996. And though
> life as refugees in Pakistan was extremely hard, they did manage to go school.
> So when the U.S. invasion ousted the Taliban and the sisters returned home to
> the Afghan capital, they had every reason to believe they would join the army
> of girls across the city trooping to schools, enjoying a freedom they were
> denied under the repressive regime.
> But that, their grandmother told them, was not to be. “I was so sad because I
> didn’t want to get married,” said Heena, speaking through a translator. “I
> wanted to go to school.”
> Rather than be sold into marriage, the two girls decided to run away — an
> extremely audacious and risky act in conservative Afghan society.
> ‘Afghanistan Has Been Transformed’
> After decades of civil war, peace and stability — of sorts — are finally
> returning to Afghanistan.
> On Tuesday, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first democratically
> elected leader. Speaking at Camp Pendleton, Calif., as Vice President Dick
> Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attended the inauguration in
Kabul,
> President Bush hailed the historic milestone in Afghanistan’s history.
> “Afghanistan has been transformed from a haven for terrorists to a steadfast
> ally in the war on terror,” Bush told a gathering of Marines. “And the
> American people are safer because of your courage.”
> But even as Afghan females are finally enjoying basic human rights, such as
> the right to an education, to work and to vote, Afghanistan remains a
> profoundly conservative Muslim nation.
> Cultural traditions — including age-old, honor-bound codes of conduct —
> still shackle and oppress several women, especially those living outside
Kabul.
> Escaping Forced Marriages by Suicide
> In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of news reports
> about suicides by self-immolation among Afghan women. Although nationwide
> statistics are hard to come by, hospitals and aid agencies in cities like
Kabul and
> Herat in western Afghanistan have recorded a number of female burn cases.
> Forced into marriages — often with older, richer men — and faced with a life
> of endless exploitation and drudgery, an untold number of Afghan females are
> dousing themselves with kerosene used in cooking stoves and setting themselves
> on fire.
> “There is an absolute level of despair, that you will never be able to make a
> choice about your life and that really there is no way out, and knowing that
> you will have to live with a man you have not chosen, who is probably older
> than you are, who is not going to allow you to work, to go out of the house,”
> explained Rachel Wareham of L’Association Médicale Mondiale, or World Medical
> Association, an international physicians group.
> Self-immolation is a horrific act that often results in a slow, torturous
> death in hospital burn wards even as medical officials desperately struggle to
> save lives.
> Medical officials and journalists such as Stephanie Sinclair — who spent
> weeks photographing patients in a hospital burn ward in Herat — say there is a
> marked difference between patients of accidental burns and those who have
> attempted self-immolation.
> “In the burn ward, you can tell the self-immolation cases from the regular
> burn cases,” said Sinclair, who was on assignment in western Afghanistan for
> Marie Claire magazine.
> A Life of Unending Drudgery
> One such case was Shakila Azizi, a 27-year-old woman who returned to her
> native Herat from Iran, where her family had gone to escape the Taliban.
> But when Azizi arrived in Herat, she had to live with her in-laws, Sinclair
> said. She found herself at the bottom of the family pecking order, forced to
do
> all the cooking and cleaning for the family.
> One morning, Azizi apparently complained to her in-laws about the way they
> were treating her, but she said they would not listen. In desperation, she
went
> into the kitchen, doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire, Sinclair
> said. Doctors tried in vain to save her life, and the young woman suffered a
> torturous death. She leaves behind two small children.
> Making a Fatal Pact
> Khusboo and Heena said they had made a pact that if they could not escape the
> forced marriages, they would kill themselves.
> Luckily for the sisters, they heard of a women’s shelter in Kabul and they
> decided to run away from home. Founded by Afghan women’s rights activist Mary
> Akrami after the fall of the Taliban, the women’s shelter is the only one of
its
> kind in Kabul. Its location is a secret, since Akrami says angry family
> members sometimes want to harm her or the women fleeing social and familial
> persecution.
> A Kabul native who fled the Taliban for Pakistan, Akrami returned to her
> homeland after performing years of social work in the destitute refugee camps
of
> Pakistan. But although the situation for women in Afghanistan has improved
> since the ouster of the Taliban, Akrami says there’s still a long way to go.
> “Government and the [Afghan] constitution say that women have rights, but
> still I am not happy with this much rights we have for women,” she said.
> Indeed, while the constitution, passed in 2003, recognizes basic women’s
> rights, international rights groups such as Amnesty International have warned
that
> it fails to protect the rights of women. What’s more, experts say there is a
> huge gap between the law and its enforcement is huge.
> But while Afghanistan is still trying to build its tattered judicial system,
> Khusboo and Heena’s ability to escape forced marriages is testament to a
> nascent hope in a country that once had one of the world’s worst records on
women’s
> rights.
>
> http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=10968
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3600 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
> TO SUBSCRIBE
> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
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>
>