Protestors want foreign troop out
KABUL (PAN): On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion, hundreds of Kabul residents -- most of them women -- took to the streets on Thursday, asking international forces to withdraw from Afghanistan.
Led by the National Solidarity Party, the demonstrators, carrying photos of dead civilians, gathered near the Du Shamshira Mosque and marched down the Kabul Serena Hotel Road.
They termed the proposed strategic cooperation agreement with the US and America's permanent military bases in the country as a sellout of core national interests.
Insecurity and corruption had risen despite the presence of foreign forces in the country over the past 10 years, they said.
Sahar, one of the protestors, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The US has occupied Afghanistan and has been killing innocent Afghans on different pretexts. We want foreign troops to pull out immediately.”
She said a representative government be established so that foreign interference could be prevented. “Signing the strategic agreement with the US and its permanent military bases in our country would be a blot on our history.”
Wazhma, another female protestor, said the US had come to Afghanistan in the name of bringing peace and stability to the country. But 10 years on, she added, violence and insecurity had intensified.
Lashing out at the Pakistani Army artillery barrage into Kunar and Nuristan provinces, Wazhma asked the government to take stringent measures to prevent the attacks and block neighbours' interference.
Hafizullah Rasikh, head of the party, said the US had invaded Afghanistan under the garb of the war on terror and restoring peace. However, violence and instability had hit an all-time high, he claimed.
He alleged the Taliban were supported by the US. Rasikh added: “We denounce civilian casualties and the unconditional pullout of the NATO-led force from the country.”
The US was the root cause of all troubles in Afghanistan, he said, adding the only way to resolve the conflict was the withdrawal of foreign troops. “Afghanistan is not only in the bloody grip of the US and NATO, but also the neighboring countries, especially Iran and Pakistan, which have invaded the country culturally and politically.”
With more than 30,000 members, the National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan was established in 2004 and has a strong following in Kabul, Farah, Kunar, Nangarhar, Balkh, Takhar and Bamyan provinces.
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