Condemn all human rights abuse and terrorist activities by the Taliban and their international financiers.
When: 10:00 to 13:00 Sunday April 6th
Where: Down Town Vancouver, in front of Vancouver Art Gallery
Canada and its allies must take a united front against Pakistan because it is a state sponsor of terrorism that threatens world security, says Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
Alexander, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, said the fight against the Taliban and groups like al-Qaeda will never be won in Afghanistan alone because it is a “cross-border conflict” supported by the Pakistan government.
Speaking on a special edition of CBC's Power & Politics about Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan, Alexander said the world has only caught up with that reality in recent years, despite long-standing warnings from Afghanistan that Pakistan is a big part of the problem.
“This is state sponsorship of terrorism. It’s covert. It’s been denied. Not even Western analysts agree that it’s happening on the scale we know it to be happening,” he told host Evan Solomon.
On the April 5, 2014, Afghanistan presidential and provincial council elections will take place across the country. This tool is an effort to make the election accessible and transparent. Polling stations determined by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) and preliminary observer deployment designations released by Afghan election monitoring groups are featured to provide information and analysis on electoral conditions and activities.
The recent slue of terrorist attacks on civilians and election officials has received a lot of attention as the eyes of the world shift to Afghanistan just a week ahead of its historic presidential election. But for many Afghans, militant attempts to keep disrupt the country's democratic process have only fueled a greater determination to participate in the upcoming vote.
Residents of the Hoot Khail area of Kabul witnessed a six hour long assault on the Independent Election Commission's headquarters on Saturday, but most continued to go about their everyday routines. Security forces were able to contain the attack and prevent any civilian casualties. Two soldiers were injured, and all four of the attackers were killed.
Toryalai is a roadside money exchanger who faces the dangers of life in Kabul on a daily bases. But he told TOLOnews on Saturday that he would cast his vote to choose President Hamid Karzai's successor no matter what.
There are many others like Toryalai, such as Pacha Gul. “These attacks happen every day and our enemies are trying to prevent us from voting, but these attacks by no means can prevent us from voting," he said.
Waheed, a mechanic in Kabul, said that he has seen worse wars in the past 30 years and the recent flare up of violence does not worry him. Waheed said he is determined to vote, and even more so now that insurgents are trying to prevent him from doing so.
Only a matter of days remain before polls open, and in all likelihood there will be more attacks in Kabul and elsewhere around the country. But the resolve of Afghans who want to help determine their country's future is strong, and seems to have been only strengthened by the insurgents' subversive tactics.
March 29, 2014
Former Labor Party Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard spoke today an audience made up mostly of members of Canada's NDP. The following exchange took place after her address:
Wells to Gillard: Was it a hard call to continue the deployment in Afghanistan?
Julia Gillard: Yes, at an emotional level, of course. In terms of whether or not to continue the mission, our party decided that we needed to end the days of Afghanistan being a safe haven for terrorists.
[May I trade my citizenship for Australian? - David Ross Mann, CFO, Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee]
By Amy Judd Global News
Roshan Thomas, a teacher and an optometrist from Vancouver, was one of the Canadians killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.
Sources have confirmed to Global National that Thomas was one of two Canadians killed when gunmen opened fire on a luxury hotel in Kabul.
Thomas’ husband, Dr. Rahim (Roger) Thomas is an ophthalmologist in Richmond. The couple have three children.
“She was doing what she loved to do,” said Samira Thomas, Roshan’s daughter. “She spent her life living the ethics of her faith and part of that meant going and serving communities that she felt she could enable in helping them. So she was running early childhood development centres there, and she had been for the last 10 years.”
Was it worth it? As Canada’s mission in Afghanistan comes to an end, that question is most often asked from the perspective of Canadian self-interest. We look at the number of dead and the cost in taxpayer dollars and conclude that this was an expensive mission in a place far removed from our everyday lives.
Afghanistan is far away from us — in fact, it is exactly on the other side of the world from Canada’s most westerly points — and much of what was accomplished there gets lost because of the distance between our two countries.
But the perspective of Afghanistan as far removed from our everyday lives, and as an inherently backward, irreconcilable backwater, is not shared by the thousands of Canadians soldiers who served in Afghanistan — or their families, or the aid workers who worked there or the journalists who covered the war — and became familiar with the country and its people.
It is also not shared by those Canadian companies, investors and employees of private businesses which staked their interests and not insubstantial capital in Afghanistan’s emerging economy.
But despite all that, Afghanistan is still poorly understood within Canada. As the last Canadian soldiers leave this month, I regret that we failed to move beyond polarized views of both our mission in Afghanistan and of Afghan society.
Canadian coverage of Afghanistan often fell into a vortex of misinformation, myths and memes that stripped the mission of a more nuanced public understanding, focusing instead on the extremes, perhaps a more interesting and easily digestible narrative.
Toronto Star, Published on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Thin as the Canadian contingent was in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, never numbering more than 3,000, the Taliban did not stage a comeback on their watch.