Friday, May 16, 2008

Pak politician: Foreign troops out of Afghanistan

From the Daily Times of Pakistan:

Foreign troops must leave Afghanistan, says Khamosh

PESHAWAR, May 13 - Pakistan Mazdoor Kisan Party Central President and member of the Pak-Afghan Joint Peace Jirga Afzal Khamosh has said that foreign troops must leave Afghanistan to help succeed the peace efforts.

According to a statement issued here on Monday, Khamosh was addressing a reception ceremony hosted by an Afghan legislator in his honour in Kabul.

Speaking on the occasion, Khamosh said Afghans had been facing hardships for the last three years. The biggest problem faced by the Afghans is the presence of foreign troops, he added.

He said restoration of peace in Afghanistan was a must for bringing peace to NWFP and the rest of Pakistan. He stressed the need for people-to-people contacts to ensure peace in the region. (link)
Notes on Mr. Khamosh and his party:

The Pakistan Mazdoor Kisan Party (i.e. Pakistan Worker Peasant Party) is known as PMKP. In the past, the party has been formally merged with the Communist Party of Pakistan forming the CMKP.

The Punjab general-secretary of Khamosh's party (then the CMKP) wrote about an incident in Charsadda, NWFP in 2002. Some 3,500 security forces had come to evict thousands of peasants from lands expropriated from large landowners. The peasants resisted. A group of women villagers, a thousand strong, were drawn into the fray, burning several tractors brought in to destroy the crops. After the humiliating defeat meted out by the peasants, the Pakistani government charged over a hundred peasant organizers and leaders, including Khamosh, under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.

Amnesty International said the Act, still in effect, is "seriously flawed" as it explicitly lifts several legal safeguards provided by the Pakistani constitution. The Act "invites serious human rights violations" by putting wide-ranging powers in the hands of law enforcement agencies known for torture and executions. Political prisoners are "likely to be subjected to unfair trials".

Many Pakistanis observe that such attacks are a result of Musharraf's participation in the American war on terror; emboldened by Washington's support the dictator attempts to roll back land reforms.

In 2006, the PMKP formed an alliance called Awami Jamhoori Tehreek along with five other left parties: National Workers Party, Awami Tehreek, Labour Party Pakistan, Pakistan Mazdoor Mohaz, and Inqilabi Jamhoori Workers Committee.

In 2007, Khamosh warned that force is no way to deal with Talibanisation in Pakistan, saying that political and economic measures must be used.

Khamosh himself is an avowed supporter of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

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