Thursday, 27 May 2010

Peace Now in Afghanistan

By Sher Yahya
Afghanistan is bleeding and we fear it could bleed to death.
We, the initiators of this international appeal, are desperate about the situation in our home country. We now see it as our duty to alert the public: If the international forces in Afghanistan do not change course dramatically, this country will be destroyed to its foundations in the long run.
Even moderate, non-political Afghans, people who want nothing more than to protect themselves and provide a livelihood and a peaceful life for their families, are driven into the arms of the Taliban.
"Operation Moshtarak" in Helmand province was not only launched to fight terrorism, as is being claimed over and over. Almost at random, countless regional and local tribal leaders have been killed. It seems as if the aim is to eradicate all leading figures. This cannot be the meaning of “democracy”, which is said to be installed in Afghanistan.
Largely unnoticed by the world public, similar actions have been committed in other provinces as well. In Kandahar province, about 2,500 members of the leadership have been killed since 2001, of whom we have listed 353 by name. All of them terrorists, all of them members of the Taliban? A society beheaded in this way has little chance of gaining stability again, even if complete peace were to be achieved.
We, the initiators of this appeal, are Afghans living in Afghanistan, but also Afghans living in exile, scattered across many countries. We are not extremists. We do not advocate violence and we condemn all forms of terrorism. We hold regular jobs and are respected citizens. Our concern about the events in Afghanistan is so great that we cannot remain silent any longer. We want to emphasize that we belong to different ethnic groups. We do not want to advocate the dominance of a single group. We are all convinced that the future of Afghanistan lies in a new coexistence of ethnic groups, as it existed in this country in the past. Our case has the support of highly respected persons in Afghanistan who could provide valuable contributions to achieving peace and to rebuilding the country.
We know that we have no power, but we need to raise our voices and call on the acting powers in the United States as well as in Europe, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and in Afghanistan, to ensure that reason prevails.
The case of Vietnam shows that national self-determination has been and will remain the nemesis for any imperial hybris. The international community will not succeed in Afghanistan if it offends or suppresses the Afghans' national pride, whether religious or secular.
Vietnam has taught the lesson that an imperial power cannot achieve much against a people that has nothing much to lose. The nation state of Afghanistan may be badly designed, but in terms of determination, the Afghan population is much less at a disadvantage than the imbalance in material resources would suggest. A condescending attitude would not only be inappropriate, it would breed resentment. Afghans know that they have successfully fought at least two superpowers, the British and the Russians. It is hard to see why it should be different this time.
Our goal is not the immediate expulsion of "infidels". We do not hate the U.S., even if their policy does fuel such feelings.
We are, however, deeply convinced that a solution to the current conflict in Afghanistan is only possible on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right of self-determination of this country. It cannot be tolerated that the elected government of the country has virtually no say in elementary decisions, with foreign powers setting the course. How should Afghans develop respect of their elected representatives if these people are being discredited and ridiculed by foreign powers almost every day? How can a government be expected to succeed in the fight against corruption, if it is being demonstrated every day that it is not master in its own house?
At the same time, we cannot and will not accept the interference of our so-called religious brothers from Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
For the first time in many years, the relevant groups in Afghanistan engage in a substantial effort to conduct serious peace negotiations. This is a great opportunity for Afghanistan, perhaps the only one for years to come. But how should these talks lead to success if the negotiating partners are arrested, immediately after meeting with representatives of the President? In this way, peace talks are being torpedoed and systematically sabotaged. Who is interested in such actions and what is the aim of those responsible? In this way, any effort to stabilize Afghanistan is thwarted.
We do not defend terrorism. But whoever wants to achieve peace will have to negotiate with the Taliban. This also means that Taliban leaders who have been imprisoned will at some point have to be released.
After more than three decades of war, Afghanistan has had enough of bloodshed. Afghanistan needs peace - now!This international appeal is supported by the following persons:
(List of names to be added)

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Tells IFJ Leaders that Future of Journalism Vital for Democracy

Decisions to be taken about the future of media and journalism will have an impact on the future of democracy, warned the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, who told the world's largest group of journalists leaders meeting for the World Congress of the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) in Cadiz, Spain that.

"Whatever the future brings, the press will remain the pillar of democracy," she told the IFJ conference on the future of journalism. "We are nearer to having an informed citizenry than never before thanks to media."

In her remarks, Sra. De la Vega paid tribute to journalists who provide invaluable journalism as a public good often under difficult and dangerous conditions. Referring to the bicentenary celebration of the 1812 constitution declared in Cadiz, she said the Spanish public and media have enjoyed the benefits of a constitution which enshrined the "freedom to publish information without its being reviewed and censored".

The future of journalism, she noted, depends on the ability of media to ensure quality journalism that provides for circulation of credible information by processing and breaking down huge amounts of information available in the current fast moving world. She urged journalists to take advantage of the advance in technology and to welcome changes in media but she said governments must also protect media professionals by providing decent conditions for journalism across the media.

"We live in uncertain times and this calls for a media industry which is stable, credible and democratic," she said.

Other speakers included the IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, the President of the Press Association of Cadiz Fernando Santiago and the Regional Minister of the Andalucia region, Luis Pizarro.

The IFJ President Jim Boumelha said that delegates from 100 countries are attending the Congress in Cadiz to show solidarity with Spanish colleagues who are marking 200 years of the declaration of the first Spanish press law but also to chart the future of the profession in the world.

"We meet to ponder the future of journalism at a time where media barons are plotting the next fix to roll in more profits at the expense of journalism." He said journalists must not forget the mission of journalism and the right of people to freedom of expression provided for in Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

IFJ Congress Cadiz Debates Human Rights and Journalists as More Violence against Media

The World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) meeting in Cadiz, Spain today debated the situation of journalists' rights in the face of growing antagonism between governments and media as well as precarious conditions of its workforce. The Congress heard presentations from the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information of the African Commission for Human and People rights, Ms Pansy Tlakula, the coordinator of the Global Unions' Council, Jim Baker and Osvaldo Urriolabeitia of FATPREN, an IFJ affiliate in Argentina.Ms Tlakula told delegates that there is increasing animosity between governments and journalists on the African continent. On one hand, governments claim there is lack of accountability in media and its content is largely biased. On the other, journalists insist on reporting without fear nor favour. This standoff is at the root of press violations including attacks, detention and even murder. She said that the AU Commission successfully intervened in the Gambia for the release of journalists last year but there are still countries where journalists remain under sustained threat such as Zimbabwe; Eritrea and Somalia. Ms Tlakula called for the IFJ to adopt efficient strategies to engage the governments on press freedom and to address sensitive issues of reporting on homophobia and religion defamation.In his remarks, Jim Baker said freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining form the basis of trade unionism which opens up space for democracy. Journalists need face double trouble both on account for doing their work and being trade unionist. He called on IFJ to promote respect for journalists' rights to fight the fear which restrains media from effectively exercising scrutiny and provide check and balance in democracies.Osvaldo Urriolabeitia welcomed progress made in Latin America such as the dropping libel laws in Argentina and the recognition of workers' rights in Uruguay. At the same time, violence against journalists and their families continues across the region the culture of impunity still prevails. The IFJ should establish a permanent office in Colombia and Mexico to monitor the situations in those countries.During the debate, delegates called for concrete action actions to promote journalists' rights including engaging a dialogue with governments but also petitioning relevant courts over serious press freedom violations. The IFJ affiliates should also inform their members about violations occurring in other countries and regions around the world.The IFJ World Congress strongly condemned the harassment of Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque and her daughter who have been threatened by the Colombian secret police because of her investigative reporting.″Congress condemns this unrelenting persecution of our colleague which violates her rights and stands by Ms Duque and all Colombian journalists who face threat to their lives and press freedom around the world. ″

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The coverage of war zone remains a dangerous job for press

This is more then three decades since Afghanistan turned important and key for press coverage but the country has remained a very dangerous place on earth for the journalists.

Many elements are involve threatening journalists life in the ground of news coverage, or investigative work.

Powerful people hate those who unveil their work and clothed activities.

We have several examples in Afghanistan which tell the sadness stories of journalists who lost their sweetness life during the search of a truth.

We can not forget BBC's Abdul Samad Rohani killed in southern province of Helmand province in June 2008.

Local investigation suggest that Helmand police are directly involved in his murder. He has been killed by local police because he discovered a secret jail running by security officers in Nawa destruct of Helmand province.

His killers are still enjoying the power but Rohani's kids never seen their father again. His sine was research of truths and the local official corruption. That's why he has experienced hatred of the powerful people.

A press freedom violation can be an assassin's bullet, aimed to kill an investigative journalist, and to intimidate and silence his colleagues.

It can be the knock on the door from the police, bringing in a reporter to question her on her sources, or put her in jail with or without a proper trail.

It can be a restrictive media law, which puts the power over editorial content into the hands of censors and press courts.

Over the past 12 years more than 1.100 journalists and media staff have been killed in the line of duty.

They died because someone did not like what they wrote or said, or because they were in the wrong place in the wrong time.

The International Federation of Journalists monitors press freedom violations and campaigns for greater safety and for a focus on the in-country journalists and freelances who are at greatest risk and who have the least protection.

This is done in cooperation with the member unions around the world, and with other organizations through IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.

The IFJ works for press freedom by trade union development, working for journalists’ rights and social conditions, as there can be no press freedom where journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear.

The IFJ is also a founder of the International News Safety Institute, founded in 2003, which promotes practical action world-wide to increase the safety and protection of journalists and media staff.

Deliver a gift strategy to Afghanistan

By Hanan Habibzai
People of Afghanistan need financial support not military equipments.Afghanistan need a justice to see every type of warlord to be brought to the court.

Afghan people need a communicative foreign donors not military and gun men.
International allies of Afghanistan should leave the military argument and to successfully resolve of situation need to think 'win-win'.

It is not possible to meet every one's ideal result but if partly reached people will get satisfied with your treatment ,then you're a good friend.

When you always urging on military efforts ,it then impossible to be a friend for those who you want to accept your ideal stuff.

Delivering a gift strategy can be used to bring a discussion that is going nowhere to an end.
It will allow the opposition forces to quite and you to fulfill your interests. proving yourself as a friend need to quite military efforts and give a hope of betterment to the poor people of Afghanistan.

Important of all is justice,without justice there will not be a stability. Afghanistan suffered more then three decades of violence and war.

According the United Nation report in 2009 there was 14 present of increase in civilian’s causality in Afghanistan, compare to 2008. These people who lost their sweethearts need urgent help, simply as a Western family need.

In the past nine years International troops were not only incapable to capture Taliban supreme leader or Osama Bin Laden but the insurgents remerged in a strong position across the country.

The ordinary Afghans remain the main victims of so called war on terror. The Western Allies of Afghanistan are talking about military efforts in Afghanistan but do they have a plan for the development of the country to bring a change in local life?

The success and the safety of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan depend on the help and coordination of local population too.

The provident of safe environment and the opportunities to the local people to have a voice is key to win the battle of heart and minds in Afghanistan but this effort needs a strong commitment.