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Pakistan: 'Leave our country alone'

Alan McCombes, the editor of Scottish Socialist Voice, recently visited Pakistan. Here we print extracts from his report:

Issue No. 1775

Despite the repression they suffer from the Taliban, Hilla says all women in Afghanistan oppose the US bombings:

'This is not seen as a war between America and the Taliban-it is seen as a war waged by non-Muslims against Muslims. But if they invade the country on the ground, most people will fight with the Taliban against America and Britain. Yes, America wants to defeat the Taliban and al-Quaida. But its main aim is to take over Central Asia as it has done with some Arab countries. But even if America defeats the Taliban and brings in its own government, the left will still have to work underground, because America will not bring democracy but another dictatorship.'

Dr Neelo is a young woman teacher. 'I am here in Pakistan because of the Taliban,' she says. 'But the Taliban is our problem. What happens in our country is for us to solve, not for America or anyone else. We have no food, we have no clothes, we have no education, we have no culture, we have no work. For 24 years my country has been at war. We have not had a day of peace. I say to the United Nations, 'Leave our country alone-please leave us in peace'.'

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Sat 17 Nov 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1775
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