Afghan Policewomen

On March 9, 190 policewomen returned home after a four-month training course in Turkey . Turkish officers trained the Afghan policewomen in computers, administration and management, rule of law, and driving. Japan paid for the training, which cost US $15,000 (869,770 AFN) for each officer.

Afghanistan flag

Afghanistan flag

“Women are playing a crucial role in the Afghan National Police, and these 190 trained women police officers will improve security in Afghanistan,” said Masoma, a policewoman Women in the police mean a better response to community needs and security,” she said. “Having more trained policewomen is essential in Afghanistan. As we saw recently, policewomen did very well in the 2014 presidential elections around Afghanistan.”

The government is optimistic about what the newly trained officers can do for the country.These police officers have gained valuable training, said Brig. Hikmat Shahi, the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI)’s gender officer.

The ministry plans to have 20 of the policewomen train other officers, she told Central Asia Online, adding that the officers will help improve the overall quality of police by sharing their knowledge and experiences from the training.

Recruiting other women to join the police force is another goal.

An Afghan policewoman

An Afghan policewoman

“The MoI has worked hard to provide courses for these police officers in Turkey,” Shahi said. “This will encourage other women to join police, and the number of them will increase. I learned a great deal in Turkey and plan to share it with my colleagues,” one of the trainees told Central Asia Online, adding that she hopes to make a difference when she starts working in Herat Province. “Serving the society is the slogan of police; we will prove it by serving this country bravely.”

“My message to other Afghan women is to join the police and serve their country,” she said.

“I think our country will benefit from what we learned in Turkey,” said Shabnam, another trainee.

With women comprising less than 2% of the police force, Afghanistan is in need of more female officers, officials say.

Currently, there are about 2,300 policewomen, but the government would like to increase that to 5,000, according to MoI officials.

Images from www.siasat.pk and afghanistanflag.facts.co

The Story of Reza Gul

Reza Gul, an Afghan mother in Farah Province, became a prominent figure to her fellow citizens after battling the Taliban militants who had killed her son, a policeman. She is one of the many women around the world who experience oppression and violence, like the Vietnam comfort women.

Reza Gul

Reza Gul

The Balabolok District resident rushed to the small police out-post near her home after it came under attack early November 17, Gul told Central Asia Online. Shocked and shaken by the brutal killing of her son, she responded by taking up a weapon and killing at least 25 insurgents.

“The Taliban attacked our village and my son’s outpost at dawn,” the woman in her fifties said. “After seeing my young son’s body, I picked up his gun and decided to fight off the killers of my son until I died.” The fight lasted several hours, during which her entire family, led by Gul, engaged the insurgents, she said. “I am saddened by my son’s death, but he is a martyr,” said Gul’s husband, Abdul Satar, who is also a policeman. “He died for our country, and I am also ready to defend Afghanistan against these enemies.”

Acting First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum awarded her the Malalai Medal in Kabul on December 3.

Dostum offered his condolences to Gul and her husband over their son’s martyrdom and instructed Farah Governor Mohmmad Omar Shirzad, who attended the ceremony, to provide a piece of land in a suitable location for the family. Gul is a suitable example for all women of Afghanistan as she showed bravery and gallantry, he said. She’s not the only woman to receive official recognition for fighting the Taliban.

download (1)

On August 4, a woman in Nuristan Province caught the country’s imagination after gunning down armed insurgents. Uzra Nuristani killed four Taliban insurgents and wounded several others in Pachiragam village of Bargmatal District.

Images from huffingtonpost.co.uk and nbcnews.com

Afghanistan Facts and Figures

Afghanistan was at the centre of the so-called “Great Game” in the 19th century when Imperial Russia and the British Empire in India vied for influence. And it became a key Cold War battleground after thousands of Soviet troops intervened in 1979 to prop up a pro-communist regime, leading to a major confrontation that drew in the US and Afghanistan’s neighbours.

download (77)

But the outside world eventually lost interest after the withdrawal of Soviet forces, while the country’s protracted civil war dragged on. The emergence of the Taliban – originally a group of Islamic scholars – brought at least a measure of stability after nearly two decades of conflict.

But their extreme version of Islam attracted widespread criticism. The Taliban – drawn from the largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns – were opposed by an alliance of factions drawn mainly from Afghanistan’s other communities and based in the north.

In control of about 90% of Afghanistan until late 2001, the Taliban were recognised as the legitimate government by only three countries. They were at loggerheads with the international community over the presence on their soil of Osama bin Laden, who ordered the bombing of US embassies in Africa in 1998 and the attacks in the US on 11 September 2001. After the Taliban’s refusal to hand over Bin Laden, the US initiated aerial attacks in October 2001, paving the way for opposition groups to drive them from power and heralding a long-term, Nato-led military presence.

In 2012, the 11th year of the conflict, Nato backed plans to hand over combat duties to Afghan forces by mid-2013. Some 130,000 Nato-led combat troops will leave Afghanistan by December 2014. The alliance says it is committed to a long-term strategic relationship with Afghanistan beyond that date. Foreign military trainers will stay on.

US Military presence in Afghanistan

US Military presence in Afghanistan

Meanwhile, tentative steps towards a negotiated peace agreement began in 2012, when the Taliban announced they had agreed to open an office in Dubai for talks with US officials.

Images from en.wikipedia.org and infoplease.com

 

 

Central Asia Security and Stability Conference

Experts gathered at a conference on “Regional Security and Stability in Central Asia: Key Challenges and Ways Forward” at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 3 October. The event launched a series of NATO-supported events marking the 20th anniversary of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in the Central Asian partner states.

Central Asia Security and Stability Conference

Central Asia Security and Stability Conference

Dr Alisher Faizullaev, Professor of Practical Diplomacy at UWED said, “It is important to develop Central Asian [regional] institutions and to use shared cultural factors to support interaction between the countries and peoples at different level”.

Referring to the need for greater regional cooperation among Central Asian states, Dr Ulugbek Khasanov, Associate Professor of International Relations at UWED argued that “[we] shouldn’t just “tolerate” each other; we should respect and trust each other”.

Dr Aziz Malikov from the Centre for Regional Security Studies called for enhanced attention to the threat of local border tensions escalating into inter-state conflict, and remarked that the absence of delimitation and demarcation of many of the state borders in Central Asia prevents an effective fight against trans-national threats.

NATO Liaison Officer Alexander Vinnikov outlined NATO’s engagement with Central Asian partners and support for Afghanistan, including through the post-ISAF support package (Resolute Support mission; financial sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF); NATO’s Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan) recently announced at the Wales Summit.

Dr Aziz Rasulov, an expert at the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan, argued that the drawdown of the ISAF mission posed a serious challenge for Afghanistan’s security and warned of the possibility of ANSF weapons falling in the hands of terrorist groups. Similarly, Dr Nihola Tulyaganova, Professor of International Relations at UWED expressed scepticism regarding the Afghan authorities’ ability “to ensure stability, a functioning government and sustainable economic development”.

Central Asia Security and Stability Conference

Central Asia Security and Stability Conference

Delegates also exchanged views about recent events in Ukraine, border tensions in the Ferghana Valley and the prospects for regional cooperation among Central Asian states.

Images from fes-asia.org and nato.int