Pakhtunkhwa Times

France condemns destruction of schools in Swat

Posted in 1 by ppfcanada on January 24, 2009

Updated at: 1840 PST, Thursday, January 22, 2009:

ISLAMABAD: France sent a strong message to Pakistan on Wednesday, saying that the international law demanded of it to protect women and children who are being attacked by the forces of obscurantism and fanaticism.

The much needed and welcome message from the French Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, for the oppressed segment of society, came on the heels of the frenzy of attacks on schools in the Swat valley.

“France condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of five schools on January 19 in the city of Mingora, in the Swat valley of Pakistan,” said the statement of the French Ministry made available by the Embassy of France in Islamabad.

As the paralyzed security forces fight a losing battle against the militants and the PPP government appears a helpless spectator, the French Ministry says, “This is another example of the too frequent violence against Pakistani young girls and women who are being deprived of their fundamental right to education. Through these actions, the Taliban extremists have once more demonstrated their obscurantism and fanaticism”.

Taking a tough approach, the French ministry called upon the Pakistan government to do everything it can to protect the rights of these women. “It is however by the acknowledgment of the dignity of women that this great country (Pakistan) will achieve peace and development. Pakistani authorities have to do everything they can to protect the fundamental rights of women and children as recognized by international law. France is encouraging them to do so and stands on their side in the fight against extremism, fanaticism and terrorism,” adds the statement.

In a meeting of this correspondent with the Ambassador of France Daniel Jouanneau at his residence on Wednesday, he said that public sentiments are very high against the cruel method of these extremist forces against women and children in Swat.

In this regard he said that leading French women groups and feminists have raised their voices in Paris and also expressed their keenness to meet with Pakistan’s ambassador in Paris to convey their apprehensions.

It is to be remembered that earlier when the Taliban government in Kabul made life unbearable for women and the girl child in Afghanistan, it were on the streets of Paris that voices were raised against some very inhuman practices.

Again it was France that had honoured a Pakistani rape victim, Mukhatran Mai, during the regime of Pervez Musharraf, and she was specially invited to Paris to tell the story of her survival there.

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