Andhra Pradesh

Want freedom of education in Taliban regime, say Afghanistan students

Afghanistan students in Andhra University in Visakhapatnam worry about the validity of their passports.  

At a time when their future looks uncertain, they have not lost their identity and resolve and say that they are proud Afghanis first and their ethnicity and others things follow later.

“We want the people across the globe to recognise us as people from Afghanistan and not be identified as Tajiks, Uzbeks or Pashtoons. We oppose what the Taliban is trying to do by discriminating us by our ethnic origin,” says Abeedullah Aabedi, who is pursuing his PG in law at Andhra University. He hails from Nuristan province of Afghanistan and like him there are about 130 students from different parts of the strife-torn nation, including about 25 women, on the campus pursuing different courses.

Among numerous worries, one factor that is bothering them is education. In the last two decades, the education system of Afghanistan has seen a sea change, with even women taking up higher education. “We want the present freedom in education to continue. We want our women to be educated. The mother of our child should be educated, as mother is considered to be the first teacher. And we want modern education and not ‘Talibanistic’ education. We want our children to be on a par with the rest across the world and not be recognised as salwar kameez wearing terrorists holding an AK-47,” say the students.

Talking about the present Taliban government, Sami, who is pursuing his MSc in mathematics, says, “The world has not yet recognised the government. But if it is recognised, then we will also accept it. But the government should not curtail our freedom.”

A big worry for the students is whether the government will be recognised and whether their passport will be a valid document.

“We are hopeful that India, which has always been a friend to Afghanistan, will do something about it. Right now we request the government to extend our visas and allow us to continue our further studies with funding for survival,” says Abeedullah.

IS worry

They are wary about the influence of IS and whether the Taliban will convert the country into such a caliphate State. “We want our country to be recognised as a Muslim country but not an IS-like state. There are many Muslim countries such as UAE, Malaysia, Bahrain and Oman where there is freedom for people. They are modern countries with modern education,” says Jamaluddin, who hails from Laghman province and is pursuing his BBA.

“We are Muslims and we know how to live like one. We do not want to be told not to wear trousers or jeans or grow a beard without cutting or trimming it. We want to live just like the people who live in other Muslim countries,” says Abeedullah.

On what had gone wrong with the earlier governments of Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karzai and why their country had plunged into this crisis, the students say that the government had become corrupt and discriminative. They also blame the U.S.A. for the present humanitarian crisis.

“The Americans have betrayed us and left us stranded in the middle of a crisis. We are going through a very deep humanitarian crisis. There is no adequate food available, people have lost their jobs, unemployment has skyrocketed and there is no money to get treatment in hospitals,” the students lament.

The only positive sign is that there is a temporary lull in mindless violence. Since there is no army or government security forces, there is no bombing or suicide attacks. But on the other hand, targeted killings have increased manifold, they say.

‘Missing family life’

“The tragedy is that though we want to go back to our families and tend to our old parents and some of us who are married are desperate to see their children, our family members are not allowing us to return. They are advising us to pursue higher education as things are really bad back home, narrates Mohammed Ayaz from Paktia, who is pursuing his MJMC in AU.

They are hopeful that the Indian government will play a big role in mitigating the crisis.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 4:33:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/want-freedom-of-education-in-taliban-regime-say-afghanistan-students/article36814927.ece

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