What « peace » jirga ?

Now that the self-congratulations and the religious chanting has ended , at the so called Peace Jirga, it’s time to state clearly what has been achieved for the country and especially for 50% of its population – women. The answer is simple: from quite bad we are heading for perfectly dreadful. The only female deputy who attempted to talk had the microphone wrenched away from her, that was my friend Bilquis Roshan (whom I wrote about in Le Monde Diplomatique recently). A brave woman who has never hesitated to speak her mind, I’ve seen her in action! Will she get a chance? Of course not. The Taliban will shut her up the same way that they are doing in Kandahar where they have killed female activists of every ilk, including the policewoman Malalai Kakar who had dedicated her life to protecting women against brutal husbands.

In the meantime, the show goes on usual! Taliban or no Taliban. In the village of Gardan-i-Top in the Ghor province, two little girls, Khadija Rasoul aged 13 and Basgol Sakhi 14 had been forced to marry old men in an exchange deal; because they were beaten, they tried to run off, disguised as boys. Presumably lost and not knowing how to move about in public space, they were caught by the police and sent back to their village, to their husbands, never mind that the Constitution outlaws both such early marriages and domestic violence.. There the local authorities decided to punish them by having them lashed in public. Here is the video which some locals proudly filmed. Watch this tiny little figure huddled under shawls being beaten by a brute whose turban slips off in his exertions. She tries so hard not to cry, not to collapse to keep the dignity which the thugs around have lost forever. Her face is being covered, not because anyone feels guilty about the tears but because a woman’s face should not be seen in public. Burqas are expensive items, doubtless these little girls were not deemed to deserve one- or would fallen over them, because, as you will see they are tiny, as are all the malnourished kids (especially girls) in this country. All this is the name of patriarchal privilege, sanctioned by a Fundamentalist reading of Islam.. This is a snippet of daily life in rural Afghanistan. And that caricature of a Peace Jirga will only continue to legitimate this kind of abject behaviour. With the blessing of the US and NATO sponsors of this farce.


This video wis being circulated Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission