Monday, April 13, 2009

Sitara Achakzai Is Dead.

Gunned down in Kandahar. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

Achakzai, a prominent women's rights activist and Kandahar Provincial Council member, was one of the leaders of a nation-wide women's strike that coincided with International Women's Day last month.

Lauryn Oates of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, and my co-founder with the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee: "(In the Taliban statement) they used the words that she was involved in 'bad things' without elaborating on what exactly that meant. I think we can assume it just meant that she was a woman who worked outside her home and she was involved in politics with the government that they are opposing. So she was a worthy target for that reason."

Achakzai had received several death threats. She was planning to leave for a visit with family and friends in Canada on May 1.

CTV interview with Lauryn here.

A statement from our friends at the Pashtun Peace Forum Canada: "We call on Canadians and others around the world to condemn the killing of Sitara Achakzai by the Taliban. This horrific tragedy is another demonstration the Taliban's fight against the liberation of women in Afghanistan. . . We call upon Canada and the free world to provide support to Pashtuns to counter Taliban. Pashtuns community living in Canada express our sympathies with the families of Achakzai and call upon Canada, UN,US, the regional players, and the international community to ensure that Pakistan halt supporting Taliban immediately."

A blistering rebuke to the Obama Doctrine: There is no such thing as "moderate" Taliban.


Blogger RadicalOmnivore said...

Sad, bad and blindingly outrageous news!

So, was this a "moderate" killing?

I would have wished to have watched Lauryn on CTV but alas I don't have the bandwidth for such luxuries.

RIP Sitara.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Graeme said...

Two word response to "there is no moderate Taliban": Richard Holbrooke.

The man is a scumbag and it's not in any way surprising that with him as the envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan that he's trying to cuddle up to backwards, murderous theocrats to achieve peace as defined by no more American troops being killed, but damn the rest of the country.

8:08 AM  

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