The Big Lie of Afghanistan

In 2005, I was the youngest person
elected to the new Afghan parliament. Women like me, running for
office, were held up as an example of how the war in Afghanistan had
liberated women. But this democracy was a facade, and the so-called
liberation a big lie.

On behalf of the long-suffering people of
my country, I offer my heartfelt condolences to all in the UK who have
lost their loved ones on the soil of Afghanistan. We share the grief of
the mothers, fathers, wives, sons and daughters of the fallen. It is my
view that these British casualties, like the many thousands of Afghan
civilian dead, are victims of the unjust policies that the Nato
countries have pursued under the leadership of the US government.

eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly
democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the
continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that
ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region.

must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of
warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many
of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during
the civil war of the 1990s.

expressing my views I have been expelled from my seat in parliament,
and I have survived numerous assassination attempts. The fact that I
was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from
prosecution for their crimes should tell you all you need to know about
the "democracy" backed by Nato troops.

In the constitution it
forbids those guilty of war crimes from running for high office. Yet
Karzai has named two notorious warlords, Fahim and Khalili, as his
running mates for the upcoming presidential election.
Under the shadow of warlordism, corruption and occupation, this vote
will have no legitimacy, and once again it seems the real choice will
be made behind closed doors in the White House. As we say in
Afghanistan, "the same donkey with a new saddle".

So far, Obama
has pursued the same policy as Bush in Afghanistan. Sending more troops
and expanding the war into Pakistan will only add fuel to the fire.
Like many other Afghans, I risked my life during the dark years of
Taliban rule to teach at underground schools for girls. Today the
situation of women is as bad as ever. Victims of abuse and rape find no
justice because the judiciary is dominated by fundamentalists. A
growing number of women, seeing no way out of the suffering in their
lives, have taken to suicide by self-immolation.

This week, US vice-president Joe Biden asserted that "more loss of life [is] inevitable" in Afghanistan, and that the ongoing occupation is in the "national interests" of both the US and the UK.

have a different message to the people of Britain. I don't believe it
is in your interests to see more young people sent off to war, and to
have more of your taxpayers' money going to fund an occupation that
keeps a gang of corrupt warlords and drug lords in power in Kabul.

more, I don't believe it is inevitable that this bloodshed continues
forever. Some say that if foreign troops leave Afghanistan will descend
into civil war. But what about the civil war and catastrophe of today?
The longer this occupation continues, the worse the civil war will be.

Afghan people want peace, and history teaches that we always reject
occupation and foreign domination. We want a helping hand through
international solidarity, but we know that values like human rights
must be fought for and won by Afghans themselves.

I know there
are millions of British people who want to see an end to this conflict
as soon as possible. Together we can raise our voice for peace and

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