WDF statement of solidarity with Afghanistan

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for building peace, democracy and a sovereign republic; call for a regional and political solution and the opening of borders for Afghan refugees.”

(Solidarity Statement, Islamabad 15 August 2021):

We at the Women Democratic Front (WDF) are extremely distressed and worried about the current developments in Afghanistan in the form of a ruthless attack on the Afghan state by foreign supported insurgents leading to widespread war crimes against women and working class people.

The rapid and staggering Taliban takeover of Afghanistan’s provinces makes us very concerned for the safety of Afghan citizens, especially women and children. Years of war and conflict have led to the sustained and continued dispossession of the women and children of Afghanistan. This tragedy is more pronounced now as it directly threatens their right to a dignified life, liberty, education, employment and livelihood. Hence, our hearts are heavy with the news of the Taliban advancements in Afghanistan and what this might mean for the people of Afghanistan.

We strongly condemn the U.S. war policies in Afghanistan and the country’s chaotic exit that has pushed millions to face an uncertain destiny in the time to come. After directly occupying Afghanistan for over 20 years that led to the loss of life of thousands of Afghans, the United States’ exit at the cost of Afghan democracy amidst the possibility of a Taliban takeover is deplorable. The U.S. cannot and will not be able to absolve itself of the bloodshed and the chaos it has created in Afghanistan. Successive regimes in Pakistan that have supported and benefited from the imperialist policies of the U.S. must also introspect at their role in sustaining regional conflict. We strongly recommend that moving forward, Pakistan pursues a non-aligned foreign policy and makes genuine efforts towards peace in Afghanistan.

We at WDF reject this native/imperialist binary through which this conflict is currently being analysed. The Taliban is a product of imperial strategies and regional patronage. It does not represent the will and right to self-determination of the people of Afghanistan. We stand against any attempts to normalise or legitimise the Taliban takeover.

Currently, we are witnessing the world, particularly western powers, either watching this tragedy unfold silently or using this as an opportunity to score points and shift the blame. We urge that the international community considers the situation in Afghanistan as a humanitarian crisis and do whatever it can for the citizens of Afghanistan. All regional countries should immediately offer the right of safe passage to the people of Afghanistan. We believe that peace in Afghanistan is extremely crucial to peace in the entire region. Regional cooperation from all neighbouring countries including Pakistan and India is the need of the hour.

We strongly implore that the international community and Pakistani authorities open their borders for Afghan refugees. The people of Afghanistan have long suffered due to the internal conflict as well as imperial and regional interventions. The responsibility to bring peace and offer refuge to the people of Afghanistan falls on the entire world. We also urge that along with humanitarian assistance, the international community and media recognises this situation as a failure of U.S. imperial designs and calls out the nefarious nature of U.S. imperialism in all its forms, everywhere. Lastly, we express our heartfelt solidarity with the masses of Afghanistan and vow to continue to stand in solidarity in their struggle for peace, democracy and sovereignty.

Issued by: WDF Cabinet