UN Special Envoy Lyons in Mazar, meets local leaders, women

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The UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons met with the representatives of local women and “Taliban representatives” in Mazar-e-Sharif, according to UNAMA.

Lyons called for “upholding all Afghan’s rights, especially women & girls, inclusive governance and a genuine reconciliation process is critical for stability, domestic legitimacy & international confidence,” UNAMA said in a tweet.

This comes as the Islamic Emirate’s Political Office in Qatar said it has formed a commission regarding the reopening of girls’ schools.

“I have just received information today that a committee is set up particularly for this issue to resolve it and I hope this issue is resolved at the earliest,” said Suhail Shaheen, head of the office.

Meanwhile, female students above grade six said that they have become hopeless about their future.

Sofia, a student of grade eight said that she is currently working as a tailor since schools were closed.

“Knowledge is a brightness. When there is no knowledge in a country, the country is in darkness. We are in darkness since the Islamic Emirate came to power,” she said.

“I don’t go to the school now. I am at home. The Islamic Emirate doesn’t allow us to go. They demand hijab and we accomplished it. We have obeyed every order of them (Islamic Emirate), so let us go to school,” said Firoza, a student.

Analysts believe that banning girls from going to the school affects the country’s future.

“Opposing education is against development and a peaceful and stable life,” said Parwiz Khalili, a university instructor.

The caretaker government has repeatedly said it will hold a gathering to decide the fate of the girls’ students beyond grade six but there have been no details about the date of the gathering.

“The issue will be solved at some point based on Islamic regulations and consideration of the leadership,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

This comes as former President Hamid Karzai in a meeting with the UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, called for the reopening of girls’ schools.

The UN top envoy in Afghanistan said that the organization is working on a proposal to urge donors to provide eight billion dollars in aid for Afghanistan.

Talking at a gathering at the Arg (the presidential palace) on Wednesday in Kabul, Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that transfer of cash to Afghanistan would continue until the banking system is revived in the country.

“We secured the permission to import cash to address the crippling lack of liquidity, assisted by your administration in doing so. We imported in December, last month of last year, over 120 million dollars and this month another 32 million,” she said.

The Arg was the venue for the first international conference about economic conditions since the fall of the former government.

Representatives of 20 countries attended the summit, some via videoconference.

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund said that short term aid is not enough to tackle the crisis, and he called for the removal of obstacles in the way of economic recovery.

“A mutual path should be formed to meet the problems of people on time, and forever. The short term aid is not sufficiently beneficial for the nation,” he said.

The Islamic Emirate’s cabinet members praised the UN support for Afghanistan.

The Second Deputy of the Prime Minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, said that the Islamic Emirate would monitor the distribution of aid to vulnerable people.

“The political conditions of the donors are not acceptable. We never want economical reliance, which brings crisis, we never want to be in the circle of political conditions of donors. We will never sacrifice economic independence,” said Second Deputy PM Abdul Salam Hanafi.

The cabinet of the Islamic Emirate has made a plan to tackle the economic crisis in the country.—Tolonews

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