Malala Yousafzai responds to Taliban’s burqa imposition in Afghanistan


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai Monday took an exception to the Afghan Taliban government’s order of forcing women to cover their faces in public, a return to a signature policy of their past hardline rule, and an escalation of restrictions that are causing anger at home and abroad. A decree from the group’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, said that if a woman did not cover her face outside the home her father or closest male relative would be visited and face potential prison or firing from state jobs. “We call on the world to co-operate with the Islamic Emirate and people of Afghanistan […] Don’t bother us. Don’t bring more pressure, because history is witness, Afghans won’t be affected by pressure,” Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the minister for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, told a news conference. In a hard-hitting statement released on Twitter, the education activist said the Taliban “want to erase girls and women from all public life in Afghanistan”.Yousafzai said the Taliban wanted to keep girls out of school and women out of work, deny them the ability to travel without a male family member, and force them to cover their faces and bodies completely. “We must not lose our sense of alarm for Afghan women as the Taliban continue to break their promises. Even now, women are taking to the streets to fight for their human rights and dignity — all of us, and especially those from Muslim countries, must stand with them,” she said.



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