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We, the members of the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) strongly condemn the terrorist acts of burning schools, poisoning students and closure of schools in the country.
As you, the Afghan publics are informed through media, more than 550 schools are closed in eleven provinces. As you know, there have also been several incidents of poisoning of students in a vicious aim to stop girls’ education in the country. This is happening in a situation where the religious families and students believe that education is not only their Islamic right but obligation. These young girls are following the example of brave girls from Kandahar, who stood strong against acid throwing and continued their education.Afghan Women’s Network, which has worked for children and women’s rights for last 17 years, is demanding the following from National and International government and non-government organizations:
The Islamic State of Afghanistan:
We call on Afghan government to make protection and promotion of educational institutions as their first priority. We urge the Afghan Parliament to ask Pakistani counterparts to release school books blocked in Turkham border.
The armed Anti government Groups:
We demand that they stop using education and terror of students and teachers as way of reaching power. There are no justifications or rationale on religious grounds.
The Islamic Government of Pakistan:
Blocking of school books in Pak-Afghan border is not a good sign of regional cooperation and good neighbors, it can only increase distance between our nations. We therefore call on the government of Pakistan to facilitate the speedy release of school books and to support the education of millions of children in Afghanistan.
Pakistani Civil Society:
We call on Pakistan civil society as supporter of children’s education internationally and in the spirit of humanity to push the Pakistani government authority to release the 25 million Afghan school books that blocked in Torkham and in this way to support the education of millions Afghan children across border.
The International Community:
We women, many of whom are mothers, are concerned for the education our children. We call on International Community to support security and protection of educational institutions and to promote Afghan children’s access to education. We strongly urge the International Community to use their diplomatic and political influence to facilitate the release and timely delivery of school books so that our children access to books and education as future leaders of this country.