june 18, 2015

malalaij joya

For several days, teachers in Kabul and other provinces have been on a strike for their rightful demands. In a country where lack of awareness and illiteracy are one of the main causes of our people’s misery, development of education and improving the status of teachers is a primary necessity, but the corrupt puppet government has done nothing to strengthen this basic pillar of our country except for increasing false and hypocritical propaganda. Today, the teachers of Afghanistan belong to one of the poorest stratum of the society which is itself a tragedy. A hungry and homeless teacher cannot educate those who have to build the future of our society.

Like any other despotic puppet government, this government has no interest in increasing literacy rates in the country, therefore in the past fourteen years it has placed the most reactionary and traitorous people in the Ministry of Education (MOE) and given them an open hand to plunder and commit other treacheries. Younis Qanooni, Hanif Atmar, Farooq Wardak, Ahmad Moshahid, Noor Mohammad Qarqayn, and now Assadullah Hanif Balkhi, are the filthy elements who have been designated to this ministry for the past fourteen years. They all have ties to criminal fundamentalist gangs and have done nothing but loot the budget for education.

Farooq Wardak has close ties to the terrorist party of Gulbuddin, and was the minister of education for six years during which he made education a joke, modelling it to fit his dark, fundamentalist mindset. He constantly provided the media with false statistics. On May 27, 2015, Asadullah Hanif revealed in a parliamentary session that false statistics had been given about the number of schools and students to attract more funds. He said that there were areas which had no schools, but were being funded and this extra money was embezzled.

Ashraf Ghani has proved himself as a bigger deceiver than Karzai. During his election campaign and after that, he made big promises to teachers, but as was predictable he acted on none of them. The distribution of some pieces of land is one of the demands of the teachers but no attention is paid to this demand because in Afghanistan three million acres of land has been grabbed by warlords and gangsters who have key positions in today’s government. Asif Nang, the former deputy of the MOE confessed in an interview with Azadi Radio (October 18, 2014) that 10,000 acres of land that belonged to this ministry and was to be distributed among teachers, had been grabbed by ‘powerful figures’.

These people only use the words ‘powerful figures’ and do not have the conscience or courage to name these people, but our nation recognizes all these plunderers who have looted what belongs to the teachers, disabled, and poor of this country. The most prominent of these thugs are Sayyaf, Atta Mohammad, Karim Khalili, Zahir Qadir, Mullah Izzat, Amanullah Guzar, Qaseem Fahim’s gang, Ismail Khan, Allah Gul Mujahid, Mullah Tara Khel, Zalmai Toofan, Mumtaz, and others. These people are also Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah’s sweethearts and so have full impunity and have never been held accountable for their actions. When I was in the parliament, I raised my voice against Younis Qanooni’s 25 million dollar embezzlement from the MOE. My protest was not only ignored, but Qanooni planned and imposed my suspension from the parliament so that no voice would be raised against the corruption in the government.

If Afghanistan had had a relatively pro-people government, they could have increased the teachers’ salaries and helped maintain their modest lives by only cutting down corruption, and prosecuting the high-ranking embezzlers to take back the assets of the nation from their filthy hands. But since anti-people, US-manufactured governments like the current government see their death in literacy and awareness of the nation, they will never make any efforts to improve education. Instead, they will pave the ground to further draw the children of our country towards Talibanism, ISIL-ism, and other forms of ignorance. They know very well that an illiterate and unaware nation can be devoured much more easily by them and their US masters.

I fully support the rightful strike and actions of the honorable teachers of my country, and believe that corrupt, anti-people, and puppet governments can only be defeated by unity and struggle. If we are all united against these lackeys for the rights of our nation, there is no doubt that we will be able to stop the treacheries of these traitors and the ongoing disaster in our country

Unity, protest, and struggle, or accepting enslavement, misery, and misfortune! History does not recall a third path!

Malalai Joya