Malala urges G20 to boost funds for girls’ schooling

In this file photo, Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai gestures while talking during a session at the Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland on Jan. 25, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2019
0

Malala urges G20 to boost funds for girls’ schooling

  • Malala became a global symbol for girls’ education
  • She is the youngest-ever person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014

TOKYO: Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai Friday urged Japan and its fellow Group of 20 nations to pledge new funding for educating girls at June’s G20 summit, hosted by the Japanese.
Speaking alongside Shinzo Abe, the celebrated Pakistani education activist told Japan’s Prime Minister about “the importance of investing in girls now for future economic growth and global stability.”
“As the chair of this year’s G20, I hope Prime Minister Abe in Japan will lead on girls’ education and encourage all leaders to commit to new funding to prepare girls for the future of work,” she told reporters.
“I hope he can use his G20 presidency to help my sisters in Japan, G20 countries and around the world to reach their full potential because the world works better when girls go to school.”
Malala became a global symbol for girls’ education and human rights after a gunman boarded her school bus in October 2012, asked “Who is Malala?” and shot her.
After medical treatment in the UK, she continued her vocal advocacy and became the youngest-ever person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.


Pakistan urges Taliban, US to refrain from ‘active hostility’ amid peace talks

Updated 59 min 53 sec ago
0

Pakistan urges Taliban, US to refrain from ‘active hostility’ amid peace talks

  • Foreign office says intra-Afghan dialogue holds key to Afghan peace process
  • Clarifies Pakistan did not participate in recent rounds of talks in Abu Dhabi and Doha

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has said Pakistan has been playing the role of a facilitator in peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and US officials and urged them both to refrain from hostile engagements.

On Friday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, expressed disappointment after the collapse of a planned meeting between the Taliban and a group of Afghan politicians in Qatar that exposed the deep divisions blocking efforts to end the 17-year-long war.

The Doha meeting was intended to prepare the ground for possible future talks by building familiarity among Taliban officials and representatives of the Afghan state created after the U.S.-led campaign that toppled the Taliban government in 2001. A similar encounter was held in Moscow in February.

Up until now the Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government which it considers to be a foreign-appointed puppet regime.

“Pakistan is doing everything in its capacity to facilitate the peace process, and would keep urging both sides to restrain from active hostility,” foreign office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

In response to a question by Arab News about the latest round of talks, referred to as the Doha Process, Faisal said: “Let me clarify that there is no such thing as the Doha Process. The last two rounds of talks between the US and Taliban were held in Doha but the earlier round was held in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan has not attended talks in Doha.”

“We facilitated the talks between the US and Taliban in Abu Dhabi and Doha,” Faisal added. “Pakistan will continue to play its role in this regard as a shared responsibility.”

A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha on the weekend. But the event was abruptly canceled amid arguments over the size and status of the group, which included some government officials attending in a personal capacity.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office has blamed Qatari authorities for the cancellation of the talks, saying they had authorized a list of participants that differed from the one proposed by Kabul, “which meant disrespect for the national will of the Afghans”.

The Taliban derided the agreed list of 250 participants as a “wedding party”. Some senior opposition figures who had been included refused to attend. The Taliban also objected to Ghani’s comments to a meeting of delegates that they would be representing the Afghan nation and the Afghan government, a statement that went against the insurgents’ refusal to deal with the Kabul administration.

The Taliban said holding a dialogue with the “powerless and crumbling Kabul administration is a waste of time” as their aim was to focus on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.