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June 20, 2021

‘Women’s role crucial for Afghan development’

June 20, 2021

Islamabad : Rights activist, politician and businesswoman from Afghanistan Hasina Syed has said the role of women and youth is very important for the development of war-torn Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan is not Afghanistan of the past. It's changed. There is no place for extremism. The Afghan extremist leaders no longer have means of opposing women in different fields. Today, our country has even women filmmakers," Hasina Syed told a ceremony held in her honour at the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) here.

She said like Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan and Hasina Wajid in Bangladesh, Afghanistan had many women role models and that the Afghan women looked to women like former Pakistani minister Hina Rabbani Khar for inspiration.

The Afghan said efforts for regional peace, especially in Afghanistan, had been successful.

She praised Pakistan for helping Afghanistan with peace process and said there were many enemies of peace in Afghanistan who needed to be discouraged.

"Afghanistan's economic development is essential for peace. The Pak-Afghan relations are very strong, important and never-ending. Pakistan is important for Afghanistan and Afghanistan is important for Pakistan. Better bilateral economic and trade cooperation is required," she said.

Ms Hasina Syed said regional countries, including Pakistan, had a key role to play in bringing women and youth forward with Afghan peace.

She said with the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, the Afghan forces had become much stronger.

"The financial problems of the Afghan National Army have also been largely resolved. Afghanistan doesn't need any foreign troops on its soil. The Afghan forces are able to ensure the national security," she said.

The Afghan activist said peace and stability were essential for both Afghanistan and Pakistan to ensure poverty alleviation, job creation, and economic growth.

She said Pak-Afghan economic development could strengthen regional peace.

Hasina Syed said Afghans, including the Taliban, were becoming part of national development.

She said Afghanistan's economic development would help defeat extremism.

The Afghan activist said her country should be a neutral country on international issues and it would never be able to progress by becoming a partisan country.

She said the installation of a fence between Pakistan and Afghanistan was a good move as after the initiative, no side would be able to blame each other for troubles.

Hasina Syed said the Afghan Taliban were also educated people, so they had a very important role for national peace and development.

"It takes time to change things. It will take time for other parties, including the Taliban, to change. The interim government should include neutral political leaders and parties. Afghanistan must move forward with the help and cooperation of the Loya Jirga," she said.

The Afghan activist said the Hazara community was educated, responsible, capable and talented and played a key role in the country's development and prosperity.