ALI SUKHANVER -
For a limited time period, Pakistan has recently opened its borders with Afghanistan at Torkham and Chaman. The reason behind this action is nothing but to ensure that Afghanistan citizens could travel back to their country to see their dear and near ones. Everyone knows that Pakistan has been hosting millions of the Afghan refugees for more than three decades. The presence of these refugees has ever been a severe burden not only on the economy of Pakistan but also on Pakistan’s social set up. But in spite of all these bitter realities Pakistan has always treated these refugees as its own nationals. Unfortunately, the official hi-ups of Afghanistan has never realized and admitted Pakistan’s services in this regard. Be it President Ashraf Ghani or Amrullah Saleh, the former NDS Chief, most of the time they target Pakistan by their fake propaganda stories. Recently talking to the Hindustan Times newspaper Amrullah Saleh has blamed that Pakistan is using the Taliban to influence the situation in Afghanistan through terrorism and violence. He described Pakistan as Taliban’s ‘first home’ because the Taliban leaders engaged in negotiations with the US in Doha fly to there from Karachi or Islamabad. One could never expect such a childish argument from a political leader who has recently introduced himself as vice presidential candidate in the next elections. If a person flies from the New York airport to Dubai, it does not mean that he is representing the US government.
Such nonsense logic reflects nothing but immaturity of a prejudiced mind. Recently a video clip was uploaded on social media which shows thousands of Afghan refugees returning to meet their relatives in Afghanistan. They all are happy, healthy and full of life. Many of them are seen carrying bags containing gifts for their relatives in Afghanistan. The most interesting thing is that soon they all would be coming back to Pakistan saying good-bye to their own country and they would do that in the same joyful manner. Nowhere in the world, are the refugees as comfortable and happy as the Afghan refugees are in Pakistan but even then no appreciation for Pakistan from the Afghan official authorities. Blaming Pakistan for all that goes wrong in Afghanistan is not a new practice. In the first week of this March, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani alleged talking to the CNN that Pakistan was protecting the sanctuaries of Afghan Taliban in Pakistan. This irresponsible statement was strongly condemned by everyone in Pakistan and it was taken as another example of selfishness which has now become the ‘trade-mark’ of the Afghan officials.
Pakistan’s Former Interior Minister Rehman Malik termed this statement as highly unbecoming, unrealistic and biased. He said, “It is a matter of fact that Afghanistan’s own intelligence agency NDS is backing ethnicity-based interference and is involved in terrorist acts through Daesh.” Whatever Rehman Malik said in response to that statement was recently proved when the Afghan authorities announced that they have arrested an alleged leader of ISIS who had been involved allegedly in several attacks in Pakistan that killed tens of civilians. According to the Afghan authorities the ISIS leader was arrested on 5th of this April. Getting the news of this arrest the Foreign Office called in Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan and demanded handing over of the arrested ISIS leader. Pakistan’s Foreign Office further conveyed Pakistan’s deep concerns over the activities of the arrested leader who was involved in nefarious anti-Pakistan activities in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Foreign Office emphasized that the two sides (Pakistan and Afghanistan) should coordinate actions against the menace of terrorism, through established mechanisms.
The Afghan government has yet not responded positively to Pakistan’s demand and experts are of the opinion that Pakistan would never get the desired response to this demand because Ashraf Ghani government has never been cooperative in such situations. If it were India instead of Pakistan, the response of Ashraf Ghani government would have been altogether otherwise. As far as the Taliban issue is concerned, Pakistan has nothing to do with it; the Talban matter is purely an internal rather indigenous matter of Afghanistan. The Taliban are originally Afghan citizens and their ‘birth’ is simply a reaction against the foreign intruders. There would be no Taliban if the NATTO forces say farewell to the Afghan lands. All over the world, when there is an Afghanistan type of intrusion, Taliban type of reactionary groups automatically comes into formation.
The Afghan Talibans are a reality and realities could never be denied. It is a proof of their presence, popularity, authority and their belonging to Afghanistan that the US authorities felt compelled to talk to them considering them the major stake-holder. Moreover they have major control over large Afghan territory. Recently an article was published in the ‘Council on Foreign Affairs’ with the title, ‘The Taliban in Afghanistan’. The article says, “The Taliban is stronger now than at any point in recent memory, controlling dozens of Afghan districts and continuing to launch attacks against both government and civilian targets.” It is something very illogical that in spite of all these facts and figures, President Ashraf Ghani always keeps on blaming Pakistan for nurturing and patronizing the Taliban. Pakistan has a lot of its own problems; the present Covid-19 is at present top of the list. Though the government of Pakistan has been very successful in tackling with the problem but still there are a lot of things to be done. Instead of putting blame on Pakistan, President Ashraf Ghani must try to bring his own home to order. He must not forget that Pakistan is a country which has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for so many decades. No other country has ever been as cooperative with Afghanistan as Pakistan. If the Taliban are a threat and challenge to the Ashraf Ghani government, it is purely an internal matter of Afghanistan.