Former Afghan King Supports Taliban Role in New Government

Afghanistan’s former king Mohammed Zahir Shah has agreed that moderate factions of the Taliban should play a decision-making role in the re-formation of Afghan government. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf have also endorsed this position while Russia and India remain opposed to opening any leadership roles to the Taliban. Reports have suggested that possible allowances are being made for the Taliban at the insistence of Pakistan, which is trying to dilute the influence of the Northern Alliance in the reconstruction process.

Pakistan had been the primary source of support to the Taliban before the U.S.-led war on terrorism began, supplying military aid and personnel. Many Afghans interviewed by the Feminist Majority believe that the Taliban is principally a Pakistan-led and supplied occupying foreign military force.

The Feminist Majority is conducting a major campaign urging that Afghan women’s rights be restored and that a constitutional democracy in Afghanistan be re-established. Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority President, has noted that the discussion of incorporating so-called moderate elements of the Taliban into the reconstruction process in Afghanistan is of increasing concern. The Taliban has committed horrific crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including the institution of gender apartheid, a system under which women have lost the most basic human rights.

For more on the discussion of the future of Afghanistan, see previous stories on Feminist News. To find out how you can help Afghan women regain their rights and become a part of the reconstruction process in Afghanistan, log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.


Reuters, 10/19/01

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