Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


The Afghan girl is back


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

While Sharbat Gul’s eyes powerfully transfixed the world from the cover of National Geographic in 1985, Aisha’s ordeal depicted on the cover of Time this week fixates our attention on where her nose would be. The metaphoric pain in the eyes has given way to the figurative - in this case, the disfigurative.

The visceral cringe at Aisha’s mutilated face is surpassed by the painful cerebral spasm at the congruent headline: “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan.”

The connective logic is that gruesome violence against women would occur were the US to leave Afghanistan. Like it isn’t now. 

The story shows what the Taliban are capable of doing. Yet the US policy includes negotiating the ‘good’ Taliban. In the early phase of the War on Terror almost a decade ago, the desire to liberate Afghan women framed the attacks on Afghanistan as a ‘just war,’ sidetracking the revenge for 9/11 into philanthropic bombing for justice and rights of women.  Afghan women were positioned as the voiceless subalterns of the Taliban Islamist order, and magnified voices from across American government, media and civil society called for occupation for liberation.   When the presence of coalition forces didn’t dissolve the blue burqas or give women economic opportunities and in fact, added to the list of women headed households without means of survival, the world muttered ‘culture’ and got on with the rest of it. Afghan women receded into the background again, to crop up again only now, when the US’s justification of its presence is under strong attack, support for its troop presence in Afghanistan at an all-time low.

Except that Afghan women did not quite disappear in the middle. The Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association (RAWA) declared US and its stooges as the main human rights violators in the country, and if there is any ambiguity where RAWA’s loyalties lie, there slogan is, ‘Neither the US nor Jihadis nor Taliban, Long Live the Struggle of Independent and Democratic Forces of Afghanistan’. Founded in 1977, RAWA is the oldest political and social organisation of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy, and women’s rights in an Afghanistan, and are as opposed to the Northern Alliance, who the US allies with, as the Taliban. They also question where the $38 billion allocated for Afghanistan since the invasion has gone.

Nor is it a matter of RAWA versus the rest. As someone who has considerable experience of working with women survivors of violence, I have evaluated women’s shelters in Afghanistan and monitored women’s rights programs for donors. I have seen horrendously scarred women, even grotesque amputations and burns, all of whom acquired their injuries while under the protection of US occupation. While the US cannot be directly held responsible for domestic violence, they patronise provincial governors and officials who allow such practices to continue, adjudicate them in instances, in addition to cluster bombing and aerial attacks on civilians that pass through sanitized semantics to appear as tangential collateral damage. There are no verified counts of Afghan civilian casualties by US assaults, and political analysts have been of the opinion that this is deliberate, while every coalition casualty is well-documented.  Countless women approach shelters simply because they have nowhere else to go to, once their male family members and children are wiped out in such attacks.

The Time magazine cover has started a controversy that has already drawn hundreds of comments. The attention, however, has been not on the tagline but on Aisha’s photograph, whether it was exploitative or shockingly violent or desensitising. How about asking these very questions about the occupation?

I remember seeing a strange discussion on an American daytime TV talk show, on whether date rape was worse or stranger rape, with women who had experienced either one trying to prove theirs was a more painful experience. Domestic mutilation or international bombing seems to offer Afghan women the same choice.

While Aisha’s picture conjectures what happens if they leave, in effect, emotional blackmail for supporting the war offensive, another photograph of a woman torn apart by bomb shrapnel, bleeding to death while in her wedding dress could be captioned: “What Happens if They Stay."

In the transition from Sharbat Gula’s haunting eyes to Aisha’s ghost nose, the world has had to lower its gaze.


Nazish Brohi is a writer and researcher and has extensive experience of working in the development sector. The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (81) Closed

Habib Aug 05, 2010 11:31am
Its disgusting, i don't know what they are tying to prove by publishing such a picture. I totally agree with the writer that they just trying to justify there presence there and also their success which is all falls. I would rather suggest the American troops should be looking after their women in new york which has the one of the highest rape rate in the world...........
Qasim Aug 21, 2010 09:36pm
yes true
gunjan Aug 15, 2010 04:24am
at least one religion does!
Frank Aug 11, 2010 05:12pm
Helen Its so happened Afghan people is the center of attenation becasue of the war, but if you check newspaper around the world you will find women every were is targeted. There are Family drama in every country. So lets not target Religion here, becasue I dont think religion make you do these things People does.
gayatri devi Aug 17, 2010 04:30am
i agree. scoreing points against the horrid west is more important. it should be possible to fight for women rights, without getting involved in hate against west.
Ali joyo Aug 09, 2010 12:47pm
Wow, thats realy nice Article , this is to way where we have to get with true and pasetive steps This is also fact , that Who cares it? but we have to ignore these things . We do not concerned with who care or careless. Where , I see , iam fully concernd for Afghan womens as well as mens every wheres. Its so, difficult to impose civilised behaviour on contries but , we can chang cruel or harsh and middle ages or old fashiond . I realy, impresed from Nazish Brohi she is real writer and also experienced of working in the devlopment sector.
arjoshi Aug 10, 2010 08:36pm
maybe someone should ask Aisha if she enjoyed an Afghan Muslim male cutting off her nose and that would she be interested in Western safety net or medical support to rebuild it? Is there no sense of right or wrong that every issue of a human can be re written to fit the political issue of Muslim lands to be freed first Before such atrocities shall stop? That such issues are Ok but key issue is NOT Aisha but the NATO troops in Afghanistan? Will some of the bloggers please stop to think - this was a human who was disfigured by a barbarian husband, irrespective to whichever enlightened religion he may have belonged to, and that the girl probably DOES deserve sympathy and support, and not be made a football for scoring Islam/Muslim lands freedom goals against the immoral West for a change?
BeeZee Aug 09, 2010 07:59am
What has Pakistan got to do with this?? Its an Afghan girl mutilated by the Talibans! Why has everything to come back to Pakistan??
nha3 Aug 09, 2010 07:14am
Dear Ms Brohi, A superbly articulated piece. Spot on! Please write more on this nauseating issue. The conflation b/w protection of Afghan women's rights and US legitimation of its imperial agendas is a crucial issue often overlooked in public debates both here in Pakistan and in the USA.
Shine N.P. Aug 09, 2010 10:21am
Nazish Brohi, You missed the entire point. The American troops commit crimes and kills many and it should be condemned. No doubt about that. All Afghans, both men and women are at the receiving end of these indiscriminate attacks. But, the ponit here is the cruelty towards the women by the taliban for the CRIMES they're doing. Nobody in the world carry out these type of barbaric acts. How can a normal human being can do these things to his sisters from his own country ? And, YOU being a woman never bothered to villify it, but find it suitabe to comment on some other things. You should be ASHAMED as a women by writing this piece. Whatever honourbale work you've done to uplift the women won't justify what you've written.
S. Nasir Mehdi Aug 08, 2010 09:27pm
You are more worried about Afghan women similar atrocities took place in Pakistan.
S. A. M. Aug 08, 2010 05:07pm
No actually men cannot go beyond a certain point but women can easily do things that a common ordinary man would not even be able to think. I have this firm opinion that in this wolrd there is chaos mostly because of women. when a woman does not find a man to fight with they will quarrel with another woman. this is why it is seen that 10 men can live together but 2 women can't.
Aqbal Aug 18, 2010 09:13am
Aisha, you poor child.
Janghiki Khan Aug 23, 2010 07:00am
Why dont we learn to show the other Cheek!!!
Sarah Aug 08, 2010 12:14pm
funny, I feel safer walking in New York than I would in Afghanistan, or Pakistan for that matter.
Sarah Aug 08, 2010 12:13pm
Yep, men who have low confidence and an inferiority complex often think of educated women as being "dangerous".
Shahzeb Aug 08, 2010 12:22pm
Sabeen...well written piece..i just want to add that Kevin Carter commited suicide afterwards and as per his last few writings, he never got rid of the feelings of leaving that child to die there...conscience??
Sarah Aug 08, 2010 12:20pm
I agree that the motives may be dubious and self-serving, but if that helps highlight a plight that has existed - and let's face it, abuse of women in Taleban Afghanistan and even Pakistan is a real issue - then use the images. The western media has a reach, and power that we are still in the progress of developing and if we can piggyback on the issues it has raised to solve a real problem that has existed, then let's use this opportunity and turn it into a positive, rather than start the blame the west game or conspiracy theories. These women would rather have their stories told and issues addressed and not waste time into the analytics of the why, how, etc.
Amit Ray Aug 09, 2010 01:15pm
The cost of a Taliban victory and US withdrawal can be gauged from the recent article by Irfan Husain (Dawn: Wednesday, 28 July 2010: The High cost of defeat), and I quote the following relevant paragraph: "The entire region will become a hotbed of extremist violence. The Taliban
Amir Khan Aug 10, 2010 05:40am
I have yet to see a place where the Americans have gone and have left or stayed which has resulted in improvement of livelihood, culture and customs of the local people. The Americans have lost the war and now to gain public support they are playing the womens rights card. The sooner they realize that they have lost this war the sooner we can get on to building a prosperous Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Obaid Aug 10, 2010 05:35am
Although this is not the main story here but like to comment on this notorious picture. This is how it happened - The sound of soft, high-pitched whimpering near the village of Ayod attracted Carter to an emaciated Sudanese toddler. The girl had stopped to rest while struggling to a feeding center, whereupon a vulture had landed nearby. He said that he waited about 20 minutes, hoping that the vulture would spread its wings. It didn't. Carter snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away - Wikipedia. The man waited 20 minutes. This is how one newspaper reported this event. "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene." He could have taken the picture and helped her as well. This journalistic principle is overridden by human values.
Naseem Musahib USA Aug 08, 2010 01:24am
I am ashmed of this barbaric act. I am also very angry. Pakistan needs only two words - Tolerance, and Organization. Probably very simplistic but it is a good start.
Helen Aug 10, 2010 03:17am
I think the whole premise of your article is wrong. When Time Magazine asks "what if we leave?", with the picture of a mutilated Afghan woman on the cover, they are not implying that women are protected there now (obviously that is not the case). They are asking what hope for freedom and stablity will the Afghan people have (particularly women) if the world gives up and the Taliban regain control of the country. What perplexes me is why Muslims throughout the world support the Palestinians in their legitimate struggle against Israeli oppression but when the Muslims in Afghanistan were oppressed by their own people, somehow a response to that is wrong. Here's a thought; when the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan to topple the regime that gave refuge to Al-Qaeda, its neighbors should have said "You want to get rid of those guys. How can we help"
Sawliha Aug 10, 2010 01:46am
Completely agreed! Mutilation of women happen all across the subcontinent-whether it's Afghanistan, Pakistan or India. @ S.A.M: doesn't Pakistan have the "chola pathna" episodes? don't we have feudal lords gang raping women? Come on, before slinging mud at India, why do we forget that OUR MUSLIM women live through violence in OUR MUSLIM country amongst other MUSLIMS?
vineet garg Aug 06, 2010 01:35pm
Sabin, I can't agree more than this. Wonderful sum up of article.
Pradeeep Aug 06, 2010 12:58pm
S.A.M - Then on the same lines should not even an article of this sort in a Pakistani newspaper. This is happening in Afghanistan and you do not have any right to talk about their internal issues. Get real. If you say that Afghanistan is a neighbor and you are concerned because of that, then the same concern holds good for us too.
Nazish Brohi Aug 06, 2010 02:26pm
To clarify, it seems from the comments that this needs reiteration, I do not suggest overlooking violence against women and neither am I an apologist for the Taliban and nor do I prescribe to ambiguities of cultural relativism. My problem here is simply the US stating that violence against women will happen if they leave Afghanistan. Nazish
Nazish Brohi Aug 06, 2010 02:43pm
Anna, I respond directly to your message because I think your sense of outrage is very important - I wish more of us had this anger. I hope you express it politically and in public spaces, because it is critical that you, and everyone else who is committed should do so on the issue of violence against women. As an aside, my first job was working at a women's shelter, I have worked with women survivors of violence for over ten years, protested on the streets for it, been arrested for it and have taken on politicians who extend patronage to aggressors - directly. I have also written a book on the (negative) impact of Islamization and Talibanization on women and minorities in Pakistan, and documented and published crimes against women by those who operate through religio-ideological frameworks. This article, however, was on something esle. I draw strength from those who feel as passionately as you. Nazish
S. A. M. Aug 06, 2010 11:12am
Dear Devi Ji, You should first have a look at the plight of the kasmiri women. Whilst making the decision to leave coutries like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan you should have mentioned about those forces that are adding greatly to the woes of kashmiri women. So many have been raped and so many are reported missing but ofcourse that would go completely unnoticed. You could also not take account of Satti Ma that ritual where women burn themslves alive alongwith the deadbody of the husband.
sabin agha Aug 06, 2010 11:06am
In 1993, The New York Times published the haunting photo of a vulture stalking a Sudanese girl child who collapsed on her way to a UN feeding station in the femine hit Sudan. The picture was clear that vulture was waiting for child to die so that it could feed on it. The photograph was taken by freelance photojournalist Kevin Carter that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Carter also become notorious for sticking to the journalistic principle of being an observor and not getting involved i.e. he left after taking his photo and neither he, nor the New York Times, knew what happened to her. That photograph generated both acclaim and controversy across the world. while Carter left the scene without helping her reach the feeding station, the flip side was that help started pouring in aswell from around the world. That picture was an eye opener. By taking that picture and making it available to the world, Carter actually helped save hundreds of thousnads of children "from becoming vultures feed" becuase it drew the attention of international community towards disasterous femine in Sudan. It's very thin line that we tread on while maintaining balance. There are always two sides to every story. Its how you percieve things. Picture of ayesha might be grusome, but its also a stark reminder of negetive aspects of Afghan society.
suraiya kasim Aug 06, 2010 09:34am
very well written, the comparisons are well founded and very true!
gayatri devi Aug 06, 2010 08:59am
i am concerned for afghan women,and women and men everywhere. however it is not possible to impose civilised behaviour on countries with a medieval and brutal mindset. usa should leave afghanistan, iraq, pakistan and whereever they are. it may not be moral. however it is practical. there is no alternative to this.
Steve Aug 09, 2010 07:42pm
It doesn't make the news because it was proven to be a lie. It was proven to be propaganda from the enemy. Look if that did occur we would want the soldiers punished, if only for the selfish reasons that we wouldn't want them to come back into our society where they could commit such acts. But also it doesn't serve America's interests for that stuff to go on.
Fatima Nasir Aug 06, 2010 06:21am
I quite agree
sm roofi Aug 06, 2010 06:18am
actually, it seems regrettable that one incident can cause a whole country in trouble. america's invasion in afghanistan was not valid. all afghanistan's localities are paying for an ambigious attack of past (9/11). i think when the american forces were not present in afghanistan then why media and jounalists did not criticize these issues related to women in afghanistan? western countries have thier own traditions, customs and civilizations but the afghan and others have their own. i also feel abashment and it is a very shamefull act. instead of critising these brutal activities we and media should try to give the solutiong of these henious crimes in muslim localities. americans will have to leave the afghanistan if they are sincere to afghan people and nation. otherwise, this war will bring a huge devastation of humanity and soil.
zafar Aug 06, 2010 06:09am
its not about using or not using the images, its about how they are used and what purpose they serve. The point is why do they care so much about Afghan women and not about oppressed women or shall I say oppressed HUMANS all over the world. They dont care about what happens to inferior races as long as it serves their purpose. They felt the pain of Afghan women ( and men) due to 9/11 and not because their hearts are full of mercy for them.
iffi Aug 06, 2010 06:01am
i will say it again
Fersos Aug 05, 2010 12:50pm
Is it being suggested that there is a conspiracy at work? I find nothing wrong in any media outlet using images to show the Taliban mindset. It must be terribly upsetting for closet Taliban sympathisers to see such images. I can see that the hatred for America can manifest itself in different forms. If there is so much ill will why not tell the yanks to take their troops and money and go back home. The media is clearly playing to the gallery and must also accept responsibility for the direction the country is taking. The World is very bad, I am very good.
ahmed41 Aug 06, 2010 05:51am
Rizvi sahib, I agree with you. Its a shame !!! There is no justification for such acts. Maybe some of the Taliban mind set needs psychiatric treatment. Yeh kya baat huee, kisi ki nak aur kaan kaat do ?/ Primitive !!! Beyond belief and intolerable. One is ashamed of the word and the idea of "" TALIBAN "". What the hell are they in "talab " of ?? No compassion. No acceptance of human dignlty. They are worse than animals. On the other hand their religion is all about changing man into an angel.
emm Aug 06, 2010 05:43am
no comments for the girl..have no idea why and how that have happened so no use making blanket assumptions
emm Aug 06, 2010 05:42am
US attacked Muslim lands first they destroy it and then promise to build it they invade with the reason " where is Osama" than they ask where is Osama US is wrong..if they attack Muslim lands, Muslims have a total justified right to attack them that is self defence than people say Islam doesn't permit killing of women and one denies that but for example, if robbers hold a child as a hostage and father tries to save the child by killing the robber, in that instance child can get hurt too or die
ahmed41 Aug 06, 2010 05:42am
Just because the cases of rape are high in New York, doesn't mean that one turns a blind eye to atrocities against mankind in other parts of the world. Solve both problems in a humane manner.
SYED ASIM RAZA RIZVI Aug 05, 2010 09:25am
It is a shameful act of cutting noses of girls and boys.
ahmed41 Aug 06, 2010 05:37am
Looking for a " conspiracy angle " in everything is an exercise in " denial " It is not a positive approach to solve problems,Fersos-jan
Amit Ray Aug 05, 2010 09:55am
The writer is trying to show that the CNN cover story is a ploy to justify US presence. It is true that there have been many civilian casualities caused due to the action of the western troop there. But, I believe that most of these are unintentional and not part of the policy. Nevertheless, these are very unfortunate and care should be taken to minimize such civilian toll. But look at the Taliban - it is always deliberate and part of their policy to brutalise women. So, there is no comparison between the two situations. All right thinking people in the region, especially our womenfolk, would no doubt start having nightmares, if the US were to leave the region today !
Rehman Aug 06, 2010 05:12am
The Afghan girl is back but who cares ?!
Saleem Kirla Aug 06, 2010 05:01am
Wow, that's five minutes wasted. Fence-sitting article par extraordinaire.
Adam Says Aug 06, 2010 04:46am
And vice versa?
Anna KARINA Aug 05, 2010 04:35pm
You should be ashamed of writing this piece being a woman how would you feel if your nose was cut off i don't see u condemning the act shame shame
ashrel Aug 06, 2010 04:19am
there is a difference between accidental--ie wedding dress killed and deliberate cutting of nose and ears by the taliban. I do not think that bombing weddings is a strategic objective of the american army, while oppressing women is definitely a stated objective of the taliban, demonstrated since their establishment in power.anyway i frankly think the Americans should not waste time and money trying to civilize a country, that is so medieval , better get out and cut their losses. Frankly i can care too hoots about what muslims are doing to their women, as long as they do it in their own borders. peace
abc Aug 06, 2010 03:42am
the underlying factor is not weather America stays or not, but how the woman can its due standing in the society or to help them get rid of "the voiceless subalterns of the Taliban order" status. The only way to empower them is tro make them economically strong, which is possible only when they learn skills over and above household skills. NGO's of thw world need to reach to such deprived woman and help them gain the desired status on economic front.
Ali Raza Aug 05, 2010 02:28pm
Nazish, after a considerable time have a read something that I agree with 100%, but unfortunately most people will never grasp what you have written because they haven't experienced it, haven't lived it or witnessed it themselves. Keep writing!
gayatri devi Aug 05, 2010 12:46pm
it is bad for americans to committ crimes against afghans- i have allways believed that usa should never have entered afghanistan,iraq or any country muslim or nonmuslim. they should pack up and go as fast as they can. i have written on this subject . to no avail. however this said how does it take away the deep shame of afghans doing this t their own wives, sisters, and mothers. i think it is disgraceful. however i am a agnostic and can not understand the afghan or pakistani mindset. this is the why i feel that nonmuslims should stay away from muslim countries.
Amir Khan Aug 05, 2010 09:52am
After reading ''The DAWN'' blog for over a year now. I have finally seen some excellent piece of work. This country needs some good journalists and writers who do not just regurgitate what is written in western media but also do their own research. Good work Nazish.
sana Aug 05, 2010 10:05am
another photograph of a woman torn apart by bomb shrapnel, bleeding to death while in her wedding dress could be captioned:
Habib Aug 05, 2010 12:37pm
well you know better than i do that this is not just a cover story to sympathise with the womens plight in Afghanistan, it is all about exploiting just as they did with Iraqi women you must have ssen those stores on CNN which most of the times tells only one side of the story. When they search the houses in the middle of the night do they show respect to women the answer is
Sajeb Aug 05, 2010 10:11am
Brilliant article! The Western Nations always play the 'moral' card when it suits their purpose. Their 'morality' is sickening.
Haroon Bux Aug 05, 2010 11:21pm
good article. The interference of the US(and western allies) are the main source of chaos in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. The public opinion is against the foreign forces and the US is seen as occupiers rather than liberators. Some say its about the resources, some say its about stopping the Islamic revival in the Muslim lands, one thing is for sure that no one can stop the Muslims from uniting under the flag of Islam.
Auranazeb Aug 05, 2010 10:48pm
Nose cutting Any human being would agree taht what ever the crime comitted by a woman, she does not need this punishment. This is asking our country to go back to mediviel age. our girls and women should be educated and respected. Until such time we will have this barbaric practices and suported by men who wish to keep their women as slaves. Regarding the yansk in Afganistan / Pakistan / Irag etc is another matter - POLITICAL
Shams Aug 05, 2010 10:08pm
Well Written Ms. Brohi.
Zulfi Aug 05, 2010 07:52pm
Coalition and US forces have committed the worst human rights violations in Afghanistan and Iraq, God know when or if there will be any accountability for that. I was just reading an account of three soldiers who raped a 14 year old girl repeatedly while keeping rest of the family captive and on their way out shot everyone even a 6 month old and then set them on fire. Does that ever make the news?
Bhaskar Aug 05, 2010 07:18pm
yes habib, u r rite on most of ur part that excepting the nite searches. For most of the time (at least so), when the yankees barge in at nite they dont have "cutting instinct" in their minds. No country is perfect but not every country has approved rules like stoning or other insulting "cheapstakes".....
Ahmad Raja Aug 05, 2010 06:52pm
Time Magazine is a progressive publication and has expressed reservations about war both in Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times. It is absurd to suggest that there is some kind of conspiracy. The decision is already made to send additional troops and nothing would change that. However, it is barbaric to cut off the nose and ears of a child and I see very few people condemning it. Have we all become so callous and cruel as a society? How does it show us in bad light---Actually, it doesn't. The only bad thing we can do is to bypass talking about the cruel, inhuman nature of the crime and find an excuse to ignore it. This is as bad as cutting off the nose and ears.
Ali Khawaja Aug 05, 2010 06:49pm
excellent perspective
S. A. M. Aug 05, 2010 06:48pm
Dear Devi, If afghan women are suffering by their own men it has got nothing to do with the religion. It could be their culture or their custom which at the outset appears to be totally flawed. I am sure you would not like my comment but these days the fact is that many women have made the lives of their hubbies a living hell. the educated woman is very dangerous. they know how to use the law against their own life partner or any other man that causes them the slightest trouble. (Today's man is so busy and so burdened with responsibilities that they cannot make any attempt to act in a strange manner with anyone let alone women). They just don't let their life partner live his own life. Tears, the helpless and weak woman o how many times I have heard these lamentings. Hey ladies you have to give us some space to breath. But I completely appreciate RAWA for taking care of the Afghan women folk. They are doing a noble job which deserves lot of support and appreciation.
RKN Aug 05, 2010 06:20pm
There is a difference between what government policies recommend and decisions that individuals make in certain extraordinary circumstances (like in war). Yes, the "individuals" have committed war crimes in Iraq and in Afghanistan, but the US government is not evil and its policies do not encourage that. There is fair bit of transparency in the way US government functions and also the way media reports and debates different topics in the US. Now ask yourself, what kind of policy Taliban has towards women and people following other faiths?? You know the answer! So, blindly blaming US and also its media without any basis is not fair. US has bunch of very smart and vocal public that wants fair reporting and they don't buy any rubbish that media reports. If you have a strong counter arguments please come on stage and debate like they do on the US media. After 9/11, Saudi Ambassador was a guest speaker constantly on the US media and defended Saudi Arabia even though most of the terrorists were of Saudi origin. He was given a fair chance to defend his country's reputation and explain their position to the world. Can you imagine Taliban doing the same??? No way!
Khalid Saifullah Aug 05, 2010 06:11pm
Your statement about rape rate in New York is just plain wrong. New York city is one of the safest cities in the US and and in the world especially for women and statistics show it.
Asim Rashid Aug 05, 2010 06:01pm
No society can be changed by outside forces. It is only evolution that changes our cultures and societies. So forget if USA can change anything in Afghanistan. British ruled sub-continent for 200 years and see have we become like British?? So let the Afghans do what they think or believe, then they will learn and change themselves.
Arshad ali Aug 05, 2010 06:00pm
Taliban's treatment of women is most of the times not fair as the stories are told. Women are maltreated in almost every human society more or less. Neither Islam nor modern human civil codes approve unfair treatment of women. The Western media have energy and resources to expose the ill done in the East especially in the Muslim countries but there are hundreds of cases of rapes, burning and killing of women in the West, which nobody talks about. Watch any local TV channel or TV serials about facts based crime stories and you will learn how much pain women suffer in the Western societies. Not to mention exposing woman's private body parts on televisions and magazines. Religion, especially Islam provides women dignity and protection. But if the people don't follow it that is not to blame the faith it is the followers.
Aamir Ali Aug 05, 2010 05:57pm
why doesn't Pakistani media have courage to show Taliban crimes against the women of Pakistan ? There have been hundreds of girls schools burned, girls who were dancers at weddings murdered in cold blood, and acid thrown in faces of Pakistani women which is then justified by mullahs. Your response to all these crimes is to point fingers to USA and talk about Afghanistan ?
Kabeer Aug 09, 2010 02:00pm
Ms. Nazish Brohi, Today's news published in Dawn isn't enough to mute the voice of taliban appologist? please read in detail:- "HERAT: The Taliban publicly flogged and then executed a pregnant Afghan widow by emptying three shots into her head for alleged adultery, police said on Monday."
scott Aug 05, 2010 05:14pm
The world is not perfect. But to argue that the US is worse than Taliban is ludicrous. If you don't agree, perhaps you ought to go and live in a Taliban controlled area. This tendency to hold the west to a higher standard reeks of hypocrisy. If the US strikes lead to civilian deaths there is an outcry. Yet, the Pakistani army uses artillery and bombs against its own people leading to massive civilian casualties, and there isn't a peep from you. American troops even face court martial if they break the rules of conduct. There have been several trials.
Mohammad A Dar Aug 05, 2010 05:11pm
Nothing but a propaganda tool for the west against Muslims and Islam even though it has nothing to do with Islam or Taliban..
Akhan Aug 05, 2010 05:10pm
"another photograph of a woman torn apart by bomb shrapnel, bleeding to death while in her wedding dress could be captioned:
hifsa khan Aug 05, 2010 04:51pm
That,s good you feel nonmuslims should stay away from muslim countries. But keep your feeling to yourself. I am an Afghani women living in Afghanistan. We, the people of Afghanistan, have to decide who should stay away not you. I am not a supporter of America but the problem is not foreign troops, the problem is Pakistan, India & Iran who are fighting their proxy war at our land. And to some extent we Afghanis are also responsible for what is hapening to us. perhap you don,t know the worst time for us was from 1989 to 2001 when there were no foriegn troops. But the number of people killed during that time was more than ever before. Our problems will end if Pakistan, India & Iran stay away.
M.J Khan Y.Z Aug 05, 2010 10:36am
Just another American policy. Now that the topic of leaving Afghanistan is up & hot. The pro US media plays the feminism card, citing violence against women as one of the strong reasons to expand the occupation. Here they talk about Taliban brutally chopping noses AND what about the afghans they killed using cluster ammunition, bio-weapons, water boarding torture etc etc etc? Suddenly the US is portrayed as the saviour for women, for everything. Remember if US hadn't left Afghanistan in turmoil back in 89...NONE OF HIS WOULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED! One-Sided Article.
M.J Khan Y.Z Aug 05, 2010 10:39am
I ment the CNN cover story as the "Once-Sided Article" not this one. Just for the record.
Anonymous Aug 05, 2010 11:11am
Brilliant! Have you written to Time Magazine with your viewpoint? I hope this debate doesnt go away. I can just imagine Oprah picking this up as the next topic for her show...and that would be all the endorsement the Americans would need to stay on!
Sungrais Jan Aug 05, 2010 11:15am
right on Sana, and don't forget Abu Gharaib.
Vighnaraj Kuloor Aug 05, 2010 12:23pm
On your comment about Aisha's photgraph. The western media does not seem to mind showing the "graphic" pictures of Asians. Their sensitivity is limited to graphic pictures of their own folks. I distinctly remember New York Times showing the picture of half burnt body of a baby after the recent air crash in India.
Raki Aug 05, 2010 11:26am
There is a world of difference between incidental and accidental actions in a war situation, and stated and practised policies followed by the Taliban when they controlled Afghanistan. Controlled, not ruled because only THREE countries in the world recognized their control - not numerous Islamic countries, not Pakistan's all weather friend China. Any attempt to equate both is as harmful as other conspiracy theories.