Taliban, not Pashtun culture responsibe for human rights abuse : Malala Yousafzai

by Aamaj News

Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Pakistani activist, reacting to the statements of Munir Akram, Pakistan’s representative to the United Nations, said the abuse of human rights is the Taliban culture, not of Pashtuns.

“If Ambassador Akram and leaders around the world really care about human rights for the Afghan people, they should join together and speak with one voice. They must offer no compromise to the Taliban on protecting women’s rights,” Yousafzai stated.

She called on the world leaders to demand the Taliban to lift restrictions on education and work of women and girls in Afghanistan.

“The Amb­assador, who has since apologised for his remarks, attempted to shift the blame for the inhumane misogyny facing Afghan women to Pashtun culture. While the Tali­ban may twist their faith and heritage to suit their own aims, they alone bear the responsibility for the catastrophic violation of women’s rights in the country they control,” she stated.

“I do not claim that Pashtun societies are perfectly equitable. As in many other parts of the world, our women and girls still face high barriers.”

Malala referring to her steuggle for education in past years and the support of her family stated that her father, a proud Pashtun man, encouraged her to learn as much as she could, to speak out in public on issues facing women and girls, and to choose my own future.

She underlined that Afghanistan has raised a generation of girls who will not be silent until gaining their denied rights.

It is mentionable that during a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Amb­­assador Munir Akram, Perma­nent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, claimed that “from our perspective, the restrictions [on women] that have been put by the Afghan interim government flow not so much from a religious per­spective, as from a peculiar cultural perspective, of the Pashtun culture, which requires women to be kept at home. And this is a peculiar, distinctive cultural reality of Afgha­nistan, which has not changed for hundreds if not thousands of years.”

But after facing bitter restrictions, he apologized.


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