TORONTO: This Sunday, the Canadian Pashtun community staged protests the Taliban’s ongoing and brutal oppression of Pashtun people in Northwestern Pakistan. Answering the call of the Pashtun Peace Committee for a “first-ever anti-Taliban rally in Canada.” Says rally spokesman Inayat Khan Kakar:
“We want to educate and apprise fellow Canadians, the Canadian media and journalists of this unreported genocide by the Taliban, who are massacring Pashtuns in the name of Islam.” The Canada-Afganistan Solidarity Committee is proud to join with the Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum, the Pashtun Institute, the Canadian-Pashtun Cultural Society and others who have endorsed this rally. CASC is an association of Canadians who believe that Canada owes solemn duty of solidarity to the Afghan people, and this duty includes the contribution Canadian soldiers are currently making to the UN-sanctioned military effort approved by the Afghan government. “The Taliban attacks civilians, murders human-rights workers, uses children as suicide bombers and sprays acid on girls going to school,” says CASC co-founder Johnathan Narvey. Said CASC co-founder Lauryn Oates: “From pubic beheadings of teachers to the torching of girls’ schools, the Taliban’s grotesque human rights violations betray an ideology of fascism and the most brutal knid of misogyny. As the mounting Pashtun outrage about events in Northwest Pakistan makes painfully clear, Canadians must urgently confront the common-place and bigoted misconception in this country that the Taliban are somehow a legitimate expression of Pashtun or Afghan culture or politics.” Rally organizers were moved to organize Sunday’s protest by global inattention to the current emergency in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where the Taliban have now driven one-third of the region’s 1.7 million people from their homes and their lands. Roughly 300 schools have been destroyed, hundreds of teachers and secular leaders have been beheaded and butchered, and more than 100,000 girls have been driven form their studies.