Avenging Meena's Blood is
Meaningful Only in the Context of Struggle Against Fundamentalism and for Democracy
Ahmad Sultan and Mohammad Humayoon, affiliates of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami and Khad -the intelligence agency of the then Soviet puppet regime-, the convicted murderers in the cowardly assassination of Meena, the founding leader of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), and her two associates, were executed by order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan at 4:00 a.m. on May 7, 2002. On this occasion, RAWA wishes to state the following:
1- For the past fifteen years, RAWA had been toiling through an arduous path in order to bring Meena's murderers to justice. We will never forget that on the day Meena's blood was shed, no voice of protest was raised and no conscience awoke to speak of justice and the continuation of her path -except the voice and the conscience of those who had made a covenant of honour over the blood of martyrs. The fundamentalists and their associates went wild with joy at the news of Meena's assassination, and a number of pseudo-revolutionary and hollow "revolutionary" groups sank into shameful silence. Latif Pedram, a Khadi-Jehadi man of letters, took ignominy to unprecedented heights by publicly insulting the martyred Meena with vile vituperation; a poetess with claims to "tender heartedness" showed an absolute lack of "tenderness of conscience" and exhibited disgusting condescension by comparing Meena with herself; and another erstwhile committed and significant poet -betraying his noble covenant- so lapsed into the mire of apathy and sensuousness that, with his poetry, he could worship at the "alter of the marble feet" of his mistress but was too void of any sense of shame and decency to bring himself to compose a poem celebrating the epic of Meena's life and death.
The representative of the Afghan Interim Administration in Quetta, Pakistan, beseeched RAWA's pardon to the two Khad-Gulbuddin mafia criminals, claiming that "the execution of two Afghan nationals in a foreign land contravenes the tenets of Afghan honour"! What the honourable representative wanted to forget was that honour, whether "Afghan" or "non-Afghan", should have felt violated when the heart of the first woman political activist in Afghan history, whose only item of indictment was that she was a patriot, a revolutionary and an avowed anti-fundamentalists, was cold-bloodedly pierced in a foreign land and she and the organisation she headed were subjected to incessant and merciless insults and abuse.
Defending Meena and struggling against the hellhounds of the Gulbuddin and Khad bands was, and continues to be, an honourable calling and a source of pride to all who believe in Meena's ideals; but there could be no honour or pride in pardoning Meena's murderers. The honourable representative of the Afghan Interim Administration may have unwittingly become a vehicle for the last attempts of the criminal fundamentalists hiding in the backstage of the Afghan Interim Government for saving the skin of one of their own. According to Pakistani papers, Eng. Abdul Rahim, the Minister of Communication of the Afghan Interim Administration, presented General Musharaf, the ruler of Pakistan, with a last-minute petition for clemency. This Eng. Abdul Rahim is the same person who -like the blackguard he is- in years prior to 1992 used to brutally attack RAWA members selling RAWA's Payam-e-Zan (Women's Message) magazines in Peshawar and Islamabad and threaten bookshops selling RAWA publications, all in the style of Indian movie thugs and with the support and blessings of the then Pakistani government. Was it that he was too ashamed of his past deeds and track record to contact us directly!? Such is the clear and irrefutable link between the criminal traitors of the Rabbani band and the Gulbuddin-Khad gangsters. Would that the esteemed Afghan Consul in Quetta -in whose good intentions there can be no doubt- understood the machinations behind the scenes and had not lent his weight to attempts -instigated by criminal fundamentalists- to secure the commutation of the sentence of the two murderers. Is it very difficult for him to imagine what kind of "justice" one could have hoped for in retribution for Meena's blood, had the murder taken place within the "jurisdiction" of the depraved fundamentalists? In a way, we count ourselves fortunate that the legal process went through its course not under the puppet regime, nor during the blood-drenched period of 1992-96 of Jehadi infamy, nor under Taliban barbarism; but here in Pakistan.
2- RAWA opposes capital punishment. We aspire to a society where there can be no criminals of the ilk of Ahmad Sultan and Humayoon, and hence no need for any capital punishment. We are aware, however, that we have a long, long way to go until such a society is built in Afghanistan.
3- In response to pleas for forgiveness to Meena's murderers, Meena's heirs -her daughter and the sisters of her two murdered associates- correctly stated that notwithstanding their pledge and commitment to RAWA's objectives, and irrespective of the fundamentalist-gangs factor in the issue, they could not honour the pleas. The prevailing political culture and the level of political ethics of most political entities in Afghanistan is such that were a plea for pardon to be respected, malicious rumours would certainly be circulated to the effect that RAWA had been bought off with large sums of money or in exchange for political favours and "positions and posts" in the Afghan government, or even both. In the event of granting pardon, RAWA would have exposed itself to slanders of dirty dealings over the blood of its martyrs. This risk was brought home all the more forcefully when just a day before the execution we received an offer of over a million dollars in cash in return for a pardon. We also received a number of threatening messages. Thus, showing clemency and refuting the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan would have meant that we had caved in to threats. RAWA could not allow that, as we have announced time and again that the blood of no RAWA member is of a different hue from that of Meena's, and RAWA never has - nor will- understand the language of threats and intimidation, especially when spoken to in that language by fundamentalist traitors.
On the other hand, as RAWA has constantly reiterated, Meena was not the victim of the passionate enmity of a few criminals but of a political regime and a school of thought, i.e. Khadi (Soviet style secret-police mafia) and fundamentalism. Therefore, Meena's blood cannot be avenged by the execution of Gulbuddin himself, or of tens or hundreds of Gulbuddinis or Khadis and their associates. Meaningful revenge for Meena's blood, and the blood of all martyrs fallen in the fight for peace, democracy and social justice in Afghanistan, can be exacted only by decisive and relentless struggle against fundamentalism, the remnants of Khad, their foreign patrons, and for women's rights and democracy. It was in accordance with this belief that RAWA wanted the two murderers not necessarily to be hanged, but to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
4- Despite of the execution of Meena's two murderers, RAWA will continue to press for the prosecution of other associates of the two murderers -one of whom is currently living in Germany.
5- RAWA sympathises with the father of Ahmad Sultan. His younger son was killed during the war of resistance against the Russians and their stooges, and his young daughter -unable to live with the shame of her brother's crime, and not in a position to get her hands on her criminal brother in time- committed suicide out of sheer frustration and sorrow. Ahmad Sultan's father has now lost his remaining son who died with the brand of infamy of Meena's murder on his brow. But he can be proud of having a son like Sultan Masood; Ahmad Sultan's cowardly crime cannot blemish the memory of his heroic brother and has nothing to do with his father.
6- RAWA wishes to express its thanks and gratitude to all Pakistani lawyers who, by signing a petition in 1994, announced their solidarity with us. Especial thanks go to RAWA's legal counsel, Mr. Aslam Chishti, as well as all judges and members of the Pakistani Bar who, with seeing the legal process through to the execution of the two murderers, did not allow the shameful acquittal order of Judge Inayatullah Kansi, who ordered the release of the two murderers in 1992, to be repeated in the legal annals of Pakistan.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
May 8, 2002