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Showing posts from May, 2010

Killing one human is equal to killing of entire humanity!!!!

I grew up with a simple teaching of my Muslim parents- killing one human being is equal to killing of the whole humanity. However,I have witnessed killings of innocent human beings by those who claim to be the gate-keepers of religion. Why havent they obeyed Islam when they call themselves Muslim?
Today around 80 human beings were brutally killed in Lahore because they were Ahmadis, but does that matter? Isnt it enough to say that the carnage took lives of 80 human beings and around 100 human being injured in the attacks? No other identity matters. Anyways, the same people that killed Ahmadis today have killed thousands and millions of Muslims as well and exploded themselves around civilian populations. These are the same people who are contaminating the brains of our young children and teach them to explode themselves and kill the entire humanity.
I am still shocked with the footage and images of the terrorists that were shown on Geo Tv today.One person tries to jump from the top floo…

Where does the thought begin?

Today I was invited to attend the launch of Amnesty International's Annual Report in London. The report with more than 300 pages, illustrates the expanded human rights violations throughout the globe from Latine America to Burma to Afghanistan to Iraq to China and the list will continue forever. I noticed that this year, the report includes a more comprehensive look at the current challenges for the rights of the Afghan people, Kudos to the Amnesty's Afghanistan team!!!
Challenges remain the same. I have been yielling about these since 2002. Continued impunity, strenghtened insurgency, increased violence and decreased accountability. All amidst of a lethal war, that is taking lives at all sides. But the ones who have nothing to do with the war bear the heavier brunt. Maybe this is how it works, after all. When the elephants fight- the grass is devastated.
I had some interviews with a number of media outlets and raised concerns as usual. Sometimes I hardly find replacements for…

An Afghans response to Liam Fox

“We are not in Afghanistan for the sake of the education policy in a broken 13th-century country. We are there so the people of Britain and our global interests are not threatened.”- Liam Fox, Britain's new Defence Secretary.
This, in the 21st century, was the thought of Britain’s ConservativeDefense Secretary during his first trip to Afghanistan. I was hoping that his past five years of homework as shadow minister might have helped him see something of the light, but he seems to be still in living in the shadows of a bankrupt and failed early-20th-century conservatism.
I debated Mr. Fox on the BBC in January, on the eve of the Afghanistan London Conference. Back then, he defended the proposition that socio economic development was the ultimate solution to the Afghan conflict. But hearing his views now that he's in cabinet, it makes me wonder if this is how much politicians fake up their arguments.
We shouldn't be surprised that Fox isn't setting out education policies fo…
VIEW: Internalising impunity in Afghanistan —Wazhma Frogh By Daily TimesThe key to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan is not in encouraging the culture of rewarding bullies and strongmen, but in providing justice and so winning public support
A woman is yelling in pain but the man continues to beat her on her back with a whip. With every lash, her body jolts, moving up and down while she cries for forgiveness. A large number of men, and some women, are gathered around her, watching the scene. With each lash, the man shouts at her, “Shame on you...You must be punished...Others should learn a lesson from your punishment.” The flogging continues for around three minutes in this video that was shown on the national television channels in Kabul on February 18, 2010 and we are told that there was another woman who would be flogged afterwards.
Given the video’s content, one tends to assume that the incident must have taken place in a Taliban-controlled community. After all, a similar i…

Why are we so judgemental?

Have you come across people who think they actually guard everyone else's behavior and actions, forgetting even their own selves? At times, this is sensible because we then get to know people better. But there are also times when you feel disillusioned with their quick judgements. Yesterday, I received an email from an unknown intellectual questioning my activism and continued struggles for women's rights in Afghanistan. The email read as:
" Dear Wazhma, I usually follow your work and write ups and recently read your interesting piece in Guardian on the how the Peace processes currently going on in Afghanistan will impact women's conditions. Particularly if militants are granted amnesty and get easy admission into the country's political processes to make harsh decisions for women's rights. I also read the comments beneath the article by readers and they were quiet interesting. Mainly they were suggesting that why do u care about women's rights in war. If w…

The gate keepers of religion are making people dance to their tunes....

You would agree that these days, we are all struggling with the flux of information and news coming our ways. The greed for more is watered by the savvy cyber mania's like facebook, twitter and etc. I woke up this morning to a spark of enraged tweets on the ban of facebook and youtube in Pakistan due to the High Court's decision of banning these websites because of 'objectionable content' that offend Muslims faith and beliefs. I always remember that as a kid, my father used to tell us " If someone tells you that the cat snatched your nose, do not run after the cat, instead check if your nose is in its place". Of course, none of us could understood what he meant. But today the more I see people antagonizing violently against anyone who questions or according to them 'mocks' their religious beliefs, they all start running after the cat, rather than strengthening their beliefs and actually believing in those beliefs.
Because believing in those religious …

Afghanistan threats beyond the Taliban

I have always called for responsive governance and improved security as the necessary pre-conditions for the stability of Afghanistan, but it seems that the political agendas prevail above the needs of the common Afghan and the government chose to rather engage itself in political deals with the militants, who are not the only threats to Afghans. But this lack of strategic vision and planning in the government gives rise to parallel conflicts inside the country which goes unheard and ignored.
There is no doubt that Afghanistan continues to struggle with the legacies of the glorious holy war as the supplement of the 'Cold War' that was very hot for Afghans, and the war factions known as 'warlords' have gained more influence and ground as the government high position is mainly hijacked by them. They are still enjoying the luxurious impunity granted by the Bonn agreement of the new Afghanistan in 2001.
Another spark in the fire of insurgency and ongoing conflict is the r…

Don't raise hopes for Afghan peace jirga (Guardian)

A national reintegration plan ignores the fact much of the violence is caused by an exported insurgency from Pakistan
Wazhma Frogh
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 11 May 2010 12.00 BST
Article history
Afghanistan is preparing for a consultative peace jirga through which it aspires to build national consensus on the political approach to the insurgency, and create a roadmap towards ending the perpetual violence in the country. The government has indicated that during the jirga it will open its reintegration and reconciliation plan for debate. A version of this plan was first presented at the London conference on Afghanistan in January, where the initiative received financial and political support.
Traditionally, jirgas have been a mechanism for resolving communal and tribal conflicts in many parts of Afghanistan, as well as at the national level. Jirgas have been useful in solving disputes and averting further deterioration or perpetration of violence. Their decisions are often binding and forced, …

Afghanistan’s triangular regional dilemma

We can rewrite history but cannot escape geography. Afghanistan has always been sandwiched between conflicting interests of its neighbors and as Afghanistan is taking a new roadmap to recuperate its fragile security and stability, the neighbors particularly Pakistan , Iran and India are sharpening their teeth to claim their part in all the political processes in Afghanistan . Better to say, a potential crisis emerging from the triangular dilemma confronting Afghanistan . Stranded with the British legacy of disputed Durand Line, Pakistan created the Taliban insurgency as means of continued security and political havoc taking the advantage of poor governance system in Afghanistan, at the same time Iran has been building up its contacts and linkages in Afghanistan through support to the most conservative faction leaders of the country unlike Pakistan, Iran supports socio-cultural fundamentalism in Afghanistan through private universities and television channels. It is worth mentioning th…

Where is the governance of the government?

While millions of Afghans are starving of chronic food insecurity, worsening national security and fragile governance, some parts of the government chose to fight alcohol and foreign restaurants so that at least some Afghans that used to get some benefits and income from those venues, wouldn’t get anymore. And they might have to join criminal gangs and the militants to earn an income. I have no affiliation with the restaurants nor commiserate with the alcohol cause.My problem is with the larger governance failures in Afghanistan that have caused increased insecurity and militancy.Paradoxically, there have been numerous instances that the police officers snatched the batches of alcohol for their own consumption and that has been the primary reason for their loyal commitment to this fight. On the conditions of anonymity, a National Directorate of Security employee says that almost every police officer in Kabul that he knows of are drunk at night. Why doesn’t the government prevent this …

Does Justice look this monstrous? A perspective on Kasab's verdict and beyond

Does justice look this monstrous? ( Originally for Legal Drift)
Whatever little bit of respect I had for some of the 'mainstream' media, is shrouded in agitation today. Almost every channel from one of the acclaimed 'world-democracy' flashed the news of ' Kasab sentenced to death - justice served'. It is of great misfortune that common brains are being fed with such contaminated views and disdain prevails in our thoughts and comprehensions. I do not want to get into the legal implications of the trial or the verdict and nor the sentence is of much of sensation as almost everyone knew the outcome of the trial. But the larger question seems to be that would we ever be able to see justice beyond injustices and retribution? While I agree that law enforcement has to fulfill its responsibilities to protect the citizens of a country, at the same time I think the civil society of a ‘democratic nation’ should deconstruct the given rhetoric that is made to believe as abso…

The daughters of Eve......

I receive many questions and comments from readers and friends praising my work but at the same time express their concerns that at times my writings are cynically pessimistic and overly critical of almost everything. Many of whom encourage me to look for positive inspirations in my writing. But I am sorry friends, for disappointing you once again, today as well , I do not have a positive news but let me try.
The popular imagination is that for a better tomorrow you need to bolster today. It is more than obvious that Afghanistan's tomorrow will be determined by the social and intellectual strength of today's children. But as our historical trajectories are traced till today, our children and youth have been the most poised, disillusioned and truly unfortunate and every bit of the legacy of those enraged trajectories are palpable in the attitude, thinking, and behavior of our children and youth. However, are they the ones to be blamed? I do not think so.
Today was the 5th report…