Petition to President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
Prevent destruction of ancient site of Mes Aynak and the environmental damage
Sign our petition to save the ancient Buddhist city of Mes Aynak (Province Logar, Afghanistan) from needless destruction while preventing irreversible environmental harm to the Kabul watershed and the Afghan people. We, the undersigned, acknowledge the urgent need for revenue generation for Afghanistan. We also recognize cultural heritage is a treasure for the ages, and no amount of revenue can compensate for an environmental catastrophe. 1. We insist that the Mes Aynak mining project be conducted in accordance with international standards in a transparent manner that will safeguard public health, and ensure maximum protection for cultural heritage and the environment. International standards include publication of the final mining plan, the final, approved environmental impact plan, and the consensus advisory of archaeologists to optimize restoration of the site. 2. We strongly urge the Afghan government to set up a coordinating body composed of government and mining officials, neutral experts in the fields of environmental safety, archaeology and geology, and representatives of the local population and civil society to oversee the implementation of International standards. This body shall ensure that the mining plan is followed throughout the entire life of the mine. Issue Briefing on the Campaign to Save Mes Aynak In November 2007 the Afghan government granted a 30-year lease for the Mes Aynak copper mine to the China Metallurgical Group (MCC). The hope is that this mine could become a significant source of revenue for a country that is emerging from three decades of conflict and trying to stand on its own feet. However, the same site also holds a buried Buddhist city with multiple temples, fortresses and commercial and residential areas. Below that are older historic remains going back to 3000 B.C. and possibly including Bronze Age artifacts. Experts call this one of the premier archaeological treasures in Asia. When mining begins, this unique heritage site will be destroyed forever. Currently, a small team of salvage archaeologists is rushing to save whatever can be removed from the location. The copper deposit also sits atop the aquifer that supplies water to the surrounding agricultural province and to Kabul, a city with an estimated 3 million inhabitants. Copper mining is hazardous and there is a real threat of a catastrophic environmental disaster if the proper methods of mining are not applied. So far, no environmental impact plan and no mining plan has been made public. There has been no discussion of variable mining technologies that might allow for portions of the site to be saved. Local residents and the Afghan population have not been informed of the costs and significant risks of this endeavor. An atmosphere of secrecy prevails and destruction is scheduled to begin in just a few months. There is a better way forward – identified by a group of renowned international experts who met specifically to find a solution in June of 2012. Their recommendations are reasonable and should be followed by the Afghan government, MCC, and their supporting partners, the World Bank and the U.S. Department of State. Update: We are partnering up with others who share this common goal!!! Please also sign the petition by Nadia Tarzi to UNESCO at https://www.change.org/p/save-our-past-ask-unesco-to-include-mess-aynak-on-the-list-of-endangered-sites For more information about Mes Aynak, please refer to https://www.facebook.com/groups/mes.aynak/ https://www.facebook.com/savingmesaynak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mes_Aynak http://www.apaa.info/APAA/APAA/CopperMineatMessAynak.html http://www.savingmesaynak.com/
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Congress: Back Direct U.S. Talks with the Taliban to End the War in Afghanistan
On July 15, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration has told its top diplomats to pursue direct talks with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan. The Times said the shift stems from a realization by U.S. and Afghan officials that the administration’s Afghanistan strategy is not making a fundamental difference in rolling back Taliban gains and from recognition that people in the United States and in Afghanistan are tired of the war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that there would be no precondition for talks and that everything would be on the table for discussion, including the removal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan. The Times reported that unlike previous diplomatic efforts to end the war, the U.S. military is now fully on board, noting that Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was instrumental in initiating a recent cease-fire. Past efforts to end the war in Afghanistan through diplomacy have been undermined by opportunistic political opposition in Washington. Those who wish to prolong the 17-year-war will now likely oppose direct U.S. talks with the Taliban to end the war. Those who want to end the war must speak up now for direct U.S. talks with the Taliban to end the war, because that is the only way the war will end. Urge Members of Congress to speak up now in support of direct U.S. talks with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan by signing our petition.
Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State
Save my Afghan interpreter
When I served as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan, my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, saved my life. Now I need you to help me save Janis’ life. In 2008, Janis and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all of the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. However, because they are so visible in their communities, many interpreters have become targets for violence. Janis knows for a fact that the Taliban has added his name to a kill list and he is in constant danger. For the moment, he is living safely on an army base, but he needs to leave the country immediately to ensure his safety and that of his family. The US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters like Janis are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are weeks away from expiring unless Congress takes action to renew them. Janis began his application for a US Visa in 2011. Today, he is still waiting for the US Embassy in Kabul to issue him the visa he has earned. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Janis leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. I know first hand how critical interpreters like Janis are to our troops serving overseas. It’s time that the US do the right thing and help Janis escape the dangerous situation he’s in because of the work that he did for our country. Please join me in calling on the US Embassy in Kabul and the State Department to help save Janis life by issuing his visa immediately.
Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State
Help save Ehsan, the interpreter in Afghanistan who helped US troops
Thanks to a previous Change.org petition, I was able to help Janis Shinwari, my interpreter while I served as a base intelligence officer in Afghanistan, secure a visa to resettle in the US after he was stuck for years in bureaucratic red tape. Now I need your help again to save my other interpreter, Ehsan. While serving in Iraq in 2008, I learned that the help of local Afghan nationals like Janis and Ehsan was critical to our effort. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. It wasn’t until after my service, when I learned that Janis’ life was in danger as he was placed on a Taliban kill list because of his work to help US troops, that I truly understand how much these brave individuals put on the line. Every day, many of these interpreters live in fear that they or their families will be harmed in retaliation for their efforts -- a very real and deadly threat. Like Janis, Ehsan is an amazing man. During our time together, Ehsan helped my unit and I interdict over 7 tons (millions of dollars worth) of drugs used by the Taliban to fund their attacks. The Taliban know this and as a result placed him on their kill list. Without our help, he could die. Luckily, the US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are set to expire in the coming months unless Congress takes action to renew them. When my previous campaign took off, Janis’ application started moving faster and now Janis has his visa to safety. I don't think I've ever heard him as happy as when he finally received his visa. Ehsan, my other interpreter, heard all about our efforts to help Janis and contacted me begging that I do for him what I did for Janis. Ehsan submitted his application to the US Embassy in Kabul in June 2012 but he’s still waiting for his visa. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Ehsan leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. Together, we can help make that happen.
Petition to Peter Salovey, James A. Levinsohn
Stop Gen Musharraf at Yale
We the undersigned are of the considered opinion the invite to Butcher of Balochistan, Pakistan coup leader and dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, by the Yale School of Management is highly unethical and immoral. By assassinating Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, former governor and chief minister, Gen Musharraf started a genocidal war in France-sized Balochistan , which is continuing to this day; the General overthrew an elected government through a military coup; the general launched the Kargil war against India that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of nuclear war; the general openly admitted he supported the Taliban terror against the most beautiful people of Afghanistan; the general and his top brass, including his right hand Gen Nadeem Taj, provided safe sanctuary to Osama bin Laden at Pakistan's West Point in Abbottabad, while taking billions of dollars from the US in the name of fighting terror; and the general said women in Pakistan stage rape dramas to emigrate to the West. Given these aforementioned facts, we request Professor Peter Salovey, A.B., ’86 Ph.D., President, Yale University; Professor Edward A Snyder, Ph.D., Indra K. Nooyi Dean and William S. Beinecke Professor of Economics and Management, Yale School of Management, and Professor James A. Levinsohn, PH.D., Director, Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, to rescind the invite to Gen Musharraf to speak at the event entitled "The Future of U.S.-Pakistan Relations: A Conversation with General Pervez Musharraf, Former President of Pakistan" on April 24 at the Yale School of Management. The School of Management can definitely find better scholars to address the issues than a dictator and coup leader. The invite to Gen Musharraf rubs salt to the wounds of tens of millions of victims of Pakistan army and ISI terror in Balochistan, Afghanistan, and India. An Ivy League school like Yale University should not invite such villains and felons of history on the campus and insult his victims even further. We the undersigned hereby request that the invite to Gen Musharraf be cancelled.