Malalai Joya: ‘Stop playing with the destiny of Afghan people’

Malalai Joya. Photo: Kiraz Janicke

Afghan feminist and anti-war activist Malalai Joya urged 400 people at the University of Technology Sydney to get the Australian government to pull the troops out of her country. The Afghan people were capable of winning against the fundamentalist warlords, but not while Western occupying troops rehabilitated the Taliban, she said.

“There is no such thing as a ‘moderate’ Taliban”, she said, referring to US-NATO support for Afghan President Hamid Kazai’s attempts at power sharing with the Taliban. Joya also criticised the Australian government for training the militia of Oruzgan warlord Matiullah Khan.

Joya said the recent rigged parliamentary elections were “a selection not an election”. Joya did not stand but has dedicated her time to anti-war work. It was therefore ironic that MP Tanya Plibersek, who’s party supports “10 more years of war” in Afghanistan, introduced her.

Joya said she “never wanted to be a politician” but made a heart-felt plea: “Stop playing with the destiny of the Afghan people”. It is a pity that Plibersek, by that point, had left the room.

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