Karzai asked not to induct criminals into new cabinet

The News International, December 20, 2004

Joya in The News International PESHAWAR: Malalai Joya, who shot up to instant fame for her remarks against the warlords in the Loya Jirga in Kabul, has asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai to respect the wishes of the people of Afghanistan and not to induct criminals in his new cabinet.

Briefing newsmen at Peshawar on Sunday, Joya said that the warlords were still hounding and her life was not safe, but she would not give in to pressure and intimidation because the people of Afghanistan, particularly the women, need to be represented at every level.

The young and dynamic lady from the remote Farah province of Afghanistan was elected as member of the Loya Jirga to represent women and voice for their rights, which earned her wrath and enmity of the religious-minded warlords and she has suffered at their hands considerably. She informed that her house was attacked and her bodyguards and supporters were tortured, humiliated and kept in private jails by powerful commanders just because they were supportive of her views.

Head of an NGO named Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women Capabilities (OPAWC), Malalai Joya is working for Afghan women and children in mainly three western provinces of Farah, Herat and Nimroz in the field of education and health.

She was invited to the United States and Italy after her remarks made headlines after the powerful warlords branded her as communist and anti-religion because she opposed the election and induction of warlords in the Loya Jirga and the government. She said that situation has not changed as was expected during the last three years with the fall of the Taliban and the same warlords were again on the stage to play havoc. Joya said that the US and other countries promoting democracy need to come forward and work for disarming these warlords, as these elements got to the power corridors due to the support of America and its allies.

She said that rights of women were being usurped "I was asked time and again to tender an apology for my remarks, but I would not do that because it will damage the struggle for the rights of women," Joya said.

She said that the rest of the world was of the belief as if women have been liberated and all their rights secured with the fall of Taliban, which unfortunately was not true adding that more atrocities and sufferings have been brought on the women. "Burqa is not the problem of Afghan women, their security and rights were the real issues," she said. Joya said that the writ of International Security Assistance Force should be extended beyond Kabul and there was a need to increase the number of forces to ensure security throughout Afghanistan because protecting only Kabul would not solve the problem of the people of that country.

She said that the people of Afghanistan had attached high hopes to the United States in the post-Taliban era, but no basic change has been witnessed and that the people were slowly and gradually expressing disappointment and hopelessness. Drugs business and gun-culture was on the rise, rights of all the people have been trampled, particularly the rights of women and security concerns of the masses was on the increase. "Hamid Karzai should not surrender to these warlords and must act in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan," she said.

Karzai asked not to induct warlords in cabinet

The Nation, December 20, 2004

PESHAWAR - Member of Loya Jirga from Farah province of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya Sunday asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai not to induct warlords in his new cabinet, who she termed a serious threat to peace and stability of the country.

Stability and peace cannot be guaranteed in Afghanistan, until warlords entry into cabinet and their appointment on powerful post were completely banned, she said while talking to reporters at Peshawar Press Club on Sunday.

We need peace, due to which war-shattered country of Afghanistan can be put on the right track of progress and development, she said, asking Hamid Karzai to choose and name notable and peace-loving Afghans for his new cabinet.

She recalled the international community to play their role in this regard positively.

Indeed, former commanders and warlords is still a threat and a powerful force in Afghanistan.

The reason, Malalai Joya informed is that they had all sort of resources and they would create problems for government like past, either they were posted on strong positions or inducted in the proposed cabinet of President Hamid Karzai.

Despite all prevailing threats, she said she was seeing a good future for Afghanistan.

She said she was pleased with the results of Afghan presidential elections, adding making clean sweep in the said elections by Hamid Karzai was that he had promised with the nation of ending warlords role in Afghanistan next set-up.

Malalai to Karzai: Keep criminal warlords at arm's length

The Statesman, December 20, 2004
By Rashid Khattak

PESHAWAR: President Hamid Karzai must keep the warlords out of his cabinet as they are responsible for the country's destruction, Malalai Joya, women elected representative of Afghanistan's Farah province in the Loya Jirga has said.

Talking to a group of journalists here on Sunday, Malalai branded the warlords as criminals and alleged that they had destroyed the entire country for personal interests.

She was of the view that Hamid Karzai got majority in the presidential election for the reason that he had criticized warlords in his last speech.

"Karzai has promised during his election campaign that he would not form a government with the help of guns holders," she informed.

"Karzai should keep his promise for the greater interest of Afghan people and try these warlords in the court of law," she remarked.

"It is the need of the hour to disarm these people," she maintained, adding that without strengthening peace neither economical nor democratic progress was possible.

Malalai expressed her deep sorrow over the fact that even after a lapse of three years no fundamental changes could be seen in the war-ravaged country.

She said: "Unfortunately many progressive and educated Afghans whose presence is necessary for democracy and development of Afghanistan are still living abroad due to insecurity in the country."

"They can't return to their homeland as they are afraid of the armed gangs."

To a query she said, there is need of more NATO and ISAF forces to ensure security of the masses.

"It is impossible to ensure human rights and women rights sans peace. Veil is not the symbol of ignorance rather a cultural value but even in the presence of elected president Afghan women are deprived of their fundamental rights like education and health," she added.

Malalai, who is also a social worker and presently working as director of Organization of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) got international fame when she lashed out at warlords and asked the participants of the Loya Jirga last year to brought the so-called mujahideen, sitting in the Loya Jirga to national and international justice.

"I got a number of life threats after the speech in the Loya Jirga and many European states offered me citizenship but I refused the offers as my opponents propagated that the purpose of my speech was to get the citizenship of any European state."

She maintained that she had visited USA and Italy to convince the governments and masses of these countries to stop supporting warlords in Afghanistan. Malalai told the media men that she had gifted her award and medal to the archives of Kabul given by social organizations of Italy and other foreign countries.

"My house has been attacked several times and there are still chances that these war criminals will try to kill me but I am sure that my voice will continue to protest against these criminals because it has become the voice of the people now," she remarked.

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