Afghan children & World Children’s Day

Afghan children & World Children’s Day

The Hague, 20 November 2021

November the 20th, is observed in almost all countries as World Children’s Day. The Day was first observed in the year 1954 on 14 December by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The date of 20 November is deemed significant, as, on this day in 1959, the UNGA adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. On 20 November 1989, UNGA also adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The theme for World Children’s Day 2021 is ‘A Better Future for Every Child‘. The theme is being observed in accordance to the global coronavirus pandemic which has affected the rights of every child.

In Afghanistan is however, this year, no room for celebration of this day. Famine and high prices have taken the most basic necessities of life from children. Malnutrition has endangered the lives of more than a million children. Corona hospitals have been closed as the World Bank stops aid. In the state-run Sehat-e-tefl hospital in Kabul, they were forced to cut down trees to provide food for patients and doctors because the hospital does not have the money to provide fuel.

Teenage girls are not allowed to attend school. Students at state universities are deprived of education because the Taliban are since three months  waiting a decision by clerics on an Islamic education bill. Can Afghan children and youth celebrate World Children’s Day in such a situation? It is a shame that the World is only reluctant to recognize the Taliban regime. Even the promises of humanitarian help directly to the people of Afghanistan has not been realized yet. Why the Afghan children should suffer from malnutrition, hunger, lack of medication, closed school etc? They had nothing to do with Doha Agreement, which caused the collapse of the former regime and Taliban takeover!

The Executive Committee of FAROE

Consequences of US Military intervention in Afghanistan

Resolution of the Conference

Consequences of US Military intervention in Afghanistan

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of US intervention

October 9, 2021, The Netherlands

The Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE) held the online conference  “Consequences of U.S. Military intervention in Afghanistan” on October 9, 2021. The conference was attended by independent personalities and representatives of Afghan organizations residing in Europe.  After hearing the speeches on the background of intervention, developments after the fall of the Taliban, improvements in legal and social areas, and the failure of the United States and NATO, the in leaving behind a stable country, this resolution was issued in three parts in agreement with the participants:

A: Situation analysis

1. Afghanistan and Afghans seem to once again fall victim to major global political and strategic games.

2. Unfortunately, the policy of the proxy wars of regional and trans-regional countries still remains with the same strength and potansil of generating conflicts.

3. The pretext of the war on terror not only failed to eliminate terror and terrorism, but even strengthened radicalism, drove some youth into the trap of fundamentalism, produced more violence, and strengthened regional militant fundamentalist groups.

4. The 20-year presence of the United States and NATO in the region, further paved the way for the use of proxies, that ultimately placed the operators of proxy wars in the position of winnar,  champion and more fearless in waging proxy wars.

5. Direct interventions by the United States and the West in Afghan politics, particularly the export of so-called Western orieted technocracy, accelarated corruption and bad governance, and led the country to current tragedy.

6. Widespread corruption in the system and the growth and support of the culture of impunity in the country brought the shaky system formed in the past twenty years to the abyss of such a fate.

7. Despite having a security and strategic agreement with Afghanistan, contrary to the provisions of this strategic agreement, the United States, signed Doha Agreement with the Taliban and other NATO member States approved it. The West actually turned its back on the values they claimed to stand for. The Doha agreement actually handed over to the Taliban, every thing they needed to take over the power in Afghanistan.

B: Current situation and measures required:

  1. All stakeholders in issues concerning Afghanistan believe that the country is facing severe poverty and famine. Any kind of procrastination at this period will cause a great human catastrophe in the country, for which all involved sides will be responsible.
  2. People familiare with the Taliban’s behaviour are in distrust of the Taliban’s system and their government, as well as the sincerity of donor countries. Eliminating this incredtience requires humane and honest action, as well as a review of past misguided policies. This can only be achieved by global and multilateral commitments.
  3. The fate of religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities is a matter of concern. There is a possibility of severe threats and even unpredictable crisis of crimes against humanity, given the Taliban’s hardline and narrow-minded policies towards minorities. Preventive, comprehensive and common global measures are needed.
  4. Afghanistan needs more democratic minded patriotic political movements than ever before. Supporting the creation of these moveents can help full the vacuum of people’s political representation in negotiations to determine their political destiny.
  5. The Taliban have revived the human rights crisis of the 80’s and 90’s by reducing freedom of expression to attack on journalists and depriving women and girls of their fundamental rights. The exclusion of women and girls from work and education will faster the move of the country to disasterous poverty and social distress. This should be prevented with all necessary measures.

C: Destiny of the people and the country

  1. The experience of the past five decades of war shows that the country needs a fundamental change in the political structure. Referring to the Constitution of Constitutional Monarchy (1964) after the Bonn Conference (2001)and most recently by the Taliban authorities, indicates that  in order to achieve peace and preserve the country’s territorial integrity, Afghans need to redefine the structure and framework of authority.
  2. The experiences of the past five decades continue to show that the people want a legitimate system based on the will and the vote of the people. This legitimacy must be inclusive, reliable and guaranteed by clear structures.
  3. The People of Afghanistan need welfare services. The records of civil society movements over the past 20 years is full of people’s demand for prosperity. Welfare in the country is possible when a legitimate system based on justice, transparancy and equality of citizen governs the country.
  4. Afghanistan’s geo-politics and geo-economy still remains the same as before the end of the Cold War in the 1980s. The intensification of insecurity and the duration of war in this region still endangers the entire world. Measures are need to be taken to end the war. In the mean time, to compensate the mistakes of the past 20 years, all countries around the world should support Afghans in building  a developed and secure Afghanistan. Their investment should be coordinated with a comprehensive understanding of the strategic objectives of global development and the participation of regional countries in the programme.
  5. History bears witness that in this land, no authoritarian and protectorate government has been able to survive. Any persistence in appropriation and ignorance of others in power will make the people stand up and the war will last. It is necessary for countries in the region to stand with the People of Afghanistan before the flames of this war burn their skirts.

Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE)

سرنوشت آزادی بیان و رسانه ها در افغانستان تحت تسلط طالبان

سرنوشت آزادی بیان و رسانه ها در افغانستان تحت تسلط طالبان

بر بنیاد اطلاعات فدراسیون بین المللی خبرنگاران بیش از ۷۰۰۰ کارمند رسانه یی پس از تصرف افغانستان از سوی طالبان متأثر شده اند. آنان یا از کار دست کشیده اند و یا هم از ترس مخفی شده اند. احمد وحید پیمان، روزنامه نگار افغان که اکنون به آلمان فرار کرده است به این فدراسیون گفته است که فعالیت خبرنگاران زن ممنوع شده است و برنامه های سرگرمی از رسانه ها کاملاً لغو گردیده اند: «طالبان فقط وانمود می کنند که با مردم مدارا می کنند تا در سطح بین المللی شناخته شوند، اما نمونه های بیشماری از حملات گسترده آنان وجود دارد» بر اساس اطلاعات این فدراسیون ۱۵۳ رسانه مجبور به توقف فعالیتهای شان شده اند.

انتونی بلانگر، دبیرکل این فدراسیون گفته است: «من معتقدم آنچه ما شاهد ظهور آن خواهیم بود، یک رسانه رسمی – یک رسانه طالبان و بدون حضور زنان است»

The fate of the freedom of expression and media in Taliban-dominated Afghanistan

According to the International Federation of Journalists(IFJ), more than 7,000 media workers have been affected by the Taliban's occupation of Afghanistan. They have either quit their jobs or gone into hiding out of fear. Ahmad Wahid Peyman, an Afghan journalist who has now fled to Germany, told the IFJ that female journalists had been banned and that entertainment programs in the media had been completely canceled: "The Taliban are only pretending to be tolerant of the people. "To be recognized internationally, but there are countless examples of widespread attacks." According to the IFJ, 153 media outlets have been forced to shut down. "I believe that what we are going to see is an official media - a Taliban media without women," said Anthony Blanger, the IFJ's secretary general.

آلمان: آغاز روند پذیرش بیش از ۲۰۰۰ فعال حقوق بشر از افغانستان

آلمان: آغاز روند پذیرش بیش از ۲۰۰۰ فعال حقوق بشر از افغانستان | مهاجرت به اروپا | DW | 14.09.2021

Resolution

Resolution

September 11, 2021

Twenty years ago, the United States of America used Taliban’s promotion of terrorism as a pretext for the military invasion of Afghanistan. However, the presence of the US and international alliance “against terrorism” in Afghanistan did not affect the center and source of promotion and export of terrorism in the region, i.e. Pakistan. On the contrary, Pakistan received tens of billions of American dollars as compensation for facilitation of transit services for the US and NATO forces. The subsequent military operations resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghans civilians and Afghan and NATO soldiers. The failed counter narcotics policy led to an escalation in drug production and addiction of more than 3 million Afghans. Eventually, the United States of America isolated the Afghan government it supported for twenty years and entered into a peace deal with the Taliban. What followed was a ISI designed handover of provinces and districts of Afghanistan, one after the other, to the same terrorists that the US had initially gone to Afghanistan to fight. The final act involved a humiliating and unceremonious American exit from Afghanistan. What happened hereafter was the Taliban take-over of big cities including Kabul.  Participants of the protest of September 11, 2021, called for by the Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE) in 12 cities in Europe, endorse this resolution and subsequent points:

  1. We hold United States of America accountable for the ongoing tragedy and Taliban rule that has resulted from the US designed and led Doha Peace Deal
  2. We support the will of people of Afghanistan in rejection of Islamic Emirate as political System.
  3. We call on the international community, particularly the people of Europe, America, Australia and other countries to put pressure on their respective governments to refrain from recognition of the Taliban government.
  4. Protesters asked the UN, EU, US and other governments to tie provision of direct financial aid to the Taliban regime, to the following conditions:
    1. the possibility of their recognition of the Taliban government and
    1. Protection of civil and political rights of the people of Afghanistan
    1. Protection of freedom of expression and press as defined by international principles
    1. Protection of equal rights of all Afghan citizens, regardless of gender, ethnic, linguistic or religious differences
    1. Recognition of sovereignty of the Afghan Constitution, and commitment to honor and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Conventions that Afghanistan has ratified
    1. Provision of guarantees for women’s equal rights and their right to free participation in political and social affairs of the country
    1. Protection of the right to free participation in political, civil, cultural and human rights activities, without the fear of persecution
    1. End of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by all countries, in particular the Pakistan
    1. Protection of the moral and material gains of the past twenty years achieved through Afghan and international effort and sacrifice
  5. All foreign countries should refrain from supporting  arm proxy groups and ignition of another civil war in Afghanistan.

Resolution

Resolution

September 11, 2021

Twenty years ago, the United States of America used Taliban’s promotion of terrorism as a pretext for the military invasion of Afghanistan. However, the presence of the US and international alliance “against terrorism” in Afghanistan did not affect the center and source of promotion and export of terrorism in the region, i.e. Pakistan. On the contrary, Pakistan received tens of billions of American dollars as compensation for facilitation of transit services for the US and NATO forces. The subsequent military operations resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghans civilians and Afghan and NATO soldiers. The failed counter narcotics policy led to an escalation in drug production and addiction of more than 3 million Afghans. Eventually, the United States of America isolated the Afghan government it supported for twenty years and entered into a peace deal with the Taliban. What followed was a designd handover of provinces and districts of Afghanistan, one after the other, to the same terrorists that the US had initially gone to Afghanistan to fight. The final act involved a humiliating and unceremonious American exit from Afghanistan. What happened hereafter was the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan.  Participants of the protest of September 11, 2021, called for by the Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE) in ____, endorse this resolution and subsequent points:

  1. We strongly condemn the American invasion of Afghanistan, American war crimes committed in Afghanistan during 20 years of occupation, and hold United States of America accountable for the ongoing tragedy and Taliban rule that has resulted from the US designed and led Doha Peace Deal
  2. We support the will of people of Afghanistan in rejection of Islamic Emirate as political System.
  3. We call on the international community, particularly the people of Europe, America, Australia and other countries to put pressure on their respective governments to tie the possibility of their recognition of the Taliban government and provision of financial aid to them, to the following conditions:
    1. Protection of civil and political rights of the people of Afghanistan
    1. Protection of freedom of expression and press as defined by international principles
    1. Protection of equal rights of all Afghan citizens, regardless of gender, ethnic, linguistic or religious differences
    1. Recognition of sovereignty of the Afghan Constitution, and commitment to honor and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Conventions that Afghanistan has ratified
    1. Provision of guarantees for women’s equal rights and their right to free participation in political and social affairs of the country
    1. Protection of the right to free participation in political, civil, cultural and human rights activities, without the fear of persecution
    1. End of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by all countries, in particular the United States of America
    1. Protection of the moral and material gains of the past twenty years achieved through Afghan effort and sacrifice
    1. Condemnation of American officials’irresponsible statements on Afghanistan and prevention of their interference to arm proxy groups and ignition of civil war

فراخوان ملی. شنبه ۱۱ سپتمبر ۲۰۲۱

دوستان قرار ما یازدهم سپتمبر 2021 در پشتیبانی از خواسته های برحق زنان ، دختران شجاع داخل و خارج کشور و مردم ما در داخل کشور برای کسب آزادی و جنبش “آزادی ” جوانان سرزمین ما در داخل کشور، اروپاو سراسر جهان و اعتراض به حاکمیت قرون وستائی طالبان و باداران امریکائی و پاکستانی آنها در شهرهای مختلف اروپا.( ادرس محل تجمعات اعتراضی در برشور های ضمیمه است). هالند : امستردام و روتر دام و يك كنفرانس مختلط افغانها و هالندي ها جنوب شرق هالند سويدن: استكهلم ، گوته بوري ، مالمو، او ميو ( برشور او ميو زير عنوان در پشتيباني از جنبش آزادي المان : هامبورگ ، هانور ؛ برلین فرانكفورت، شهر لمبورگ، گیسن و شايد هم شهرهاي اطريش : ويانا انگلستان: لندن

A Call for demonstration

A Call for demonstration

18-08-2021

Dear Afghans living abroad,

The Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe (FAROE) calls on you, wherever you are, to join us in protest campaign, in  sphere of solidarity and unity on September 11, 2021 against the governments of US and Pakistan, the countries that caused the ongoing humanitarian, political and human rights crisis in Afghanistan.

What happened in our country in the last few weeks, is a massive humanitarian and human rights tragedy. All the rights and freedoms of Afghans living inside the country are under threat after Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on August the 15th .  The national flag is replaced by the Taliban flag.

As our people burn in the flames of war and the resulting homelessness, and millions of Afghans mourn their rights and freedoms, some so-called Afghanistan experts try to justify the western diplomatic, political, and intelligence failures in Afghanistan, by implying that the majority of Afghan people have the share the same views with the Taliban on issues such as women rights and civil rights.

This is an unjust picture of the Afghans mentality. Our compatriots living in the west,  have a moral duty to let the voice of our progressive and freedom-loving people be heard by the world.

September the 11th , the day that the events of the last two decades in Afghanistan are tied to, is the right moment to demonstrate simultaneously in different cities against the USA for paving the way for the return of the Taliban and against Pakistan for being the mentor and sponsor of the Taliban and other terrorist groups in our region. We call upon anti-war groups and other people who love Afghanistan to join us.

So far, Afghan organizations in The Hague and Amsterdam (Netherlands), Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover (Germany), London (UK), Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway) have expressed readiness to host and organize demonstrations in their cities. We call on all Afghans, politicians and people of the host countries and human rights activists to organize such demonstrations on this day in their own city or join the nearest demonstration. For information and coordination, contact FAROE on the e-mail address below this page.

Demonstration date: September 11, 2021
Time: from 2 pm to 5 pm

CONFERENCE RESOLUTION

The twentieth annual conference of the Federation of Afghan Refugee Organizations in Europe (FAROE) was held virtually on November 7, 2020. Over a hundred women and men of the Afghan diaspora, including academics, independent figures, and representatives of Afghan refugees from the European Union, Afghanistan, United States, and Canada, attended the conference. Consequent to presentations and ensuing debates, the participants emphasized the following points in relation to current developments in Afghanistan:

  1. The participants affirm their firm belief in the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the principles that
    1. all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights;
    1. everyone is fully and equally entitled to the rights and freedoms envisaged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without discrimination as to race, color, sex, religion, political or other belief, social background, or wealth.
  2. It can confidently be asserted that the Afghan people yearn for an independent, free, democratic, self-reliant, and advanced Afghanistan. We Afghan refugees aspire to a victim-centered approach to peace in our land of birth that would include justice for victims of crimes committed during the past 42 years, and put an end to the culture of impunity for potentates. We reject the “peace” brought to our people through political solutions imposed by foreign countries catering to their own vested interests.
  3. The resurgence of the Taliban, with their scorched-earth policies and opposition to democratic principles and standards, has intensified violence in the country. The ambiguity of the Doha-agreed mechanism of the Taliban’s participation in Afghanistan’s political structure has endangered the implementation of the principles of peaceful coexistence and political tolerance in the country.
  4. The text of the US-Taliban agreement contains terms that feed the Taliban’s hopes for the revival of their “emirate”. The Taliban have intensified their war and campaign of bloodshed with the aim of attaining such an objective. The daily toll of civilian casualties and the free rein given to different terrorists groups in Afghanistan are a testimony to such a strategy.
  5. The resurgence of the Taliban undoubtedly sets the grounds for a proxy war by neighboring countries in Afghanistan. The risk of such a proxy war will increase manifold if the current government loses control of the situation. We call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Afghanistan.
  6. We Afghan refugees believe that despite the honorable and tormented Afghan people’s longing for peace after 42 years of war and foreign invasion, they are not willing to trade their civil and human rights and freedoms, and the independence of their country, for an imposed political solution.
  7. If the Taliban persist in their current views and on continuing on the path of war and bloodshed, the antagonism between their position and that of the people, especially youth and women (who comprise the majority of the country’s population), on social and political rights leaves little hope for a meaningful peace.
  8. In the event of the realization of either of two horrific scenarios, i.e., a Taliban Emirate dispensation or a proxy war by neighboring countries, the risk of women’s rights becoming seriously restricted or totally repudiated is ominously predictable. The conference participants are particularly concerned about this danger and call for international guarantees for Afghan women’s rights. The participants emphasize that Afghans living in Europe and North America need to lobby their host governments to press for Afghan women’s rights.
  9. The conference emphasizes the role of the Afghan diaspora, and insists that if either of the horrific scenarios mentioned above materializes, a great burden of duty to their country of birth and its people will fall on the shoulders of the Afghan diaspora, particularly those living in Europe, for which they need to be prepared.
  10. The first step for the Afghan diaspora in Europe and North America towards fulfilling their mission as mouthpieces for the people of Afghanistan and for giving voice to the Afghan people’s needs and tribulations would be to promote cooperation and coordination between Afghan organizations abroad and develop and strengthen collaboration and concordance between such organizations and Afghan media outlets outside the country. The conference participants call on FAROE to be the contact and coordination center in this regard. 
  11. The conference expresses grave concern over the danger of the destruction of Afghanistan’s historical and cultural relics by the Taliban, and calls for international guarantees for the preservation of this heritage.

This resolution is based on minutes and notes taken by a resolution drafting committee of speakers’ views and debates among participants, and has been drawn up in 11 articles as presented above. This resolution was adopted subsequent to no opposing or modifying views being received within the allotted time.

The Biden Presidency: What choices for Afghan policy remain?

The Biden Presidency: What choices for Afghan policy remain?

By Kate Clark co director of ANA on Nov 12,

Conclusion

Before the extent of Trump’s ‘America First’ policies were made clear, many Afghans who feared the prospect of a US withdrawal were optimistic that a return to a Republican administration might make the US a more steadfast ally for Afghanistan. Trump’s populist isolationism and haphazard approach to decision-making eventually disabused them of that hope. While Obama’s drive to take American out of an ‘endless war’ footing was more principled, he and Trump broadly converged on the goal of troop withdrawal. Biden has long advocated a light footprint, which seems to be where he remains today. What has changed are the conditions of the Doha agreement that may prevent even the lightest CT footprint.

Much has been made of Foreign Policy’s reporting on the team of 2,000 foreign policy and national security advisors amassed by Joe Biden. They will be receiving suggestions and recommendations from many corners of Washington and the world on Afghanistan, advising Biden what he ought to do, or reminding him of the obligations some feel he should have for a country whose government the US toppled and whose fate it then got tangled up in. However, Biden will have strong ideas of his own on Afghanistan policy, as will some of the familiar names being touted for top cabinet posts.

Moreover, times are very different from when he and Barack Obama took power over a decade ago. In their first year in office, when Obama announced the surge it was because he was persuaded that what happened in Afghanistan and Pakistan had a fundamental impact on the security of the United States. It is worth giving a long quote from his speech delivered on 1 December 2009 as it underlies just how much has changed in US views of Afghanistan:

I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. And this danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region.

As for the Taleban, Obama said the movement had maintained “common cause with al-Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government.” The US had to “reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government.”

The prospect of al-Qaeda re-establishing itself and the Taleban again ruling Afghanistan has not gone away. Yet in Biden’s Foreign Policy article and Stars and Stripes interview, he made no mention of the Taleban and referred to al-Qaeda just once. Afghanistan will not be a priority for Joe Biden when he takes power. Other policy decisions – the Covid-19 pandemic and the domestic economy as well as a whole host of other foreign policy issues – are far more pressing. Afghanistan is simply not that important to America any more.

Washington’s decisions still remain fundamental to what happens in Afghanistan and for many Afghans, the need for action from the US may feel urgent, given the 30 April deadline and the intensification of the conflict. Yet, what room Biden has to re-set US policy on Afghanistan will be limited, not only by his inheritance of the US-Taleban deal but also his own inclinations.

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