June 04 2009–A delegation of Australian Hazaras called on some Australian Senators and members of parliament the other day. The delegation discussed current affairs of Afghanistan, development efforts and Australian contribution. The delegation also discussed different internal issues of Afghanistan mentioned in the Letter of Concern presented to the senators and MPs.
LETTER OF CONCERN
To: The Honorable Senators and Members of Parliament
There are over 5000 Hazaras living in Australia since 1999. The diaspora sought asylum in different cities of Australia after suffering massacres and discrimination under the brutal rule of Taliban. They were respectively given Australian nationality and now living as lawful citizens of the country. We are thankful to the Australian Government, human right organizations, and Australian people that embraced us to be integrated in Australian society as active and proud citizens of our new country.
Through the following document, we would like to bring into attention of the Australian Parliament and special committees on issues;
- Australian Military Involvement in Afghanistan
- Development Aid for Afghanistan
- Social Justice and Democracy
- There are around 1550 Australian troops serving in Afghanistan under the UN Security Council Resolution. We pay our utmost tributes to the martyred troops sacrificing life in Afghanistan in the war against Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists. As an active cooperator non-member state of NATO, we request the Australian Government to increase their military efforts in Afghanistan alongside other allied forces to eliminate the menace of terrorism as soon as possible.
- We request the Government of Australia to increase its meaningful civilian efforts by increasing the over $500 million aid commitment. The development projects funded by AusAid should be expanded directly. Huge corruption in Kabul Government has effected the development efforts by the international community.
- Hazarajat, the mountainous highlands, homeland to ethnic Hazaras, have been totally ignored in the development efforts both by international community, and intentionally by the corrupt Kabul Government. Recently, Daikundi and Bamyan provinces of Hazaristan have been badly hit by acute food shortages. According to media reports, people in Daikundi were compelled to eat grass. We request the concerned quarters in Canberra to expand reconstruction projects of AusAid in the deprived regions of Hazarajat. The heavy international donation that have gone to insurgency-hit areas have been all ineffective due to militant activities. Whenever a new school, bridge or road is constructed, Taliban blow them up. Contrary to this, the deprived Hazarajat region, where the poorest population of Afghanistan reside, has had almost no major mega development project, despite the peaceful and progress loving masses.
- The discrimination of Kabul Government towards Hazaristan has been visible during the last seven years. For instance, the Kabul-Bamyan road has been inaugurated more than three times, but the construction work does not go ahead to the Hazara area. We request the Government of Australia to contribute and assist the Hazarajat Highway–from Kabul to Bamyan, Daikundi, Ghor and Herat. This mega project will change the fate of down trodden people living in these provinces.
- Despite seven years of international efforts, Afghanistan is still the largest drug and poppy producing country and world’s 90% poppy is being produced in Helmand Province, where some Austrlian troops beside the British soldiers are serving. We demand the Government of Australia to make effective efforts through UN to eradicate drugs from Afghanistan. Australia should lobby for a Special Forces Operation in the drug producing provinces to resolve the production of death forever.
- Kuchis come to Behsood and other parts of Hazarajat ever year for grazing without any legal right. The vulnerable people of Hazarajat are defenseless against the armed-Kuchis mostly associated with Taliban. Hazaras live in the mountainous highlands of Hazarajat throughout the harshest winter all the year, but when it comes the spring, armed-Kuchis arrive there. We demand the Government of Australia to pressurize the corrupt Government in Kabul to stop armed-Kuchis. Last year they killed as many as 25 Hazaras in Behsood, burning down 5000 homes and schools. We have known by our relatives in Afghanistan, that armed-Kuchis are coming to Behsood this year again. The international community should take notice of brutality against innocent and vulnerable peaceful citizens.
- There are over 2 million Hazara refugees currently living in Iran. They are faced up with humiliation. Their basic human rights are violated in Iran through worst tortures and forced repatriation. We demand the Government of Australia to lobby in the United Nations to pressurize the regime in Tehran to obey human rights and stop humiliation of Hazara refugees in Iran.
We are thanful to your all honorable senators and members of parliament for giving us time to convey our concerns.