The Afghan question

Muhammad Ali Baig

THE Socialist Saur Revolution in Afghanistan on April 27, 1978 led the Afghans into a new era of confusion. Prime Minister Muhammad Daoud Khan was killed by the revolutionaries. The revolution was something contrary to the traditions and way of life in Afghanistan. Nur Muhammad Taraki, Haizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal were leaders of Communist Afghan Peoples Democratic Party.
Taraki was executed on the orders of Amin and just after three months he was deemed to be ineffective by the Soviets and was eliminated. Babrak Karmal was installed by the Soviet Union after their Invasion of Afghanistan. The modernization policies of Taraki, Amin and Karmal resulted in a Civil War and ultimately the Red Army had to put boots on the ground to quell the Islamic resistance. Americans were monitoring the situation in Afghanistan long before the removal of Muhammad Daoud Khan. Perhaps they wanted to lure the Soviets in the rough and coarse terrain of Afghanistan to seek revenge of the Vietnam War. Operation Cyclone was designed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) long before the Soviet invasion. The operation continued for almost 13 years and still is the most expensive CIA operation ever. American and Pakistani intelligence agencies worked together to train and arm the Afghan Mujahedeen to fight the Communist Forces. Afghanistan became a battleground between the two superpowers of that time.
President of Pakistan General Zia-ul-Haq himself favoured the Mujahedeen and allowed the migrating Afghans to enter into Pakistan. It is very much strange that Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, the neighbouring Muslim countries of Palestine did allow the Palestinian refugees to enter their countries but unlike Pakistan they kept the migrants to a limited space i.e. refugee camps, and did not allow the expatriates to spread across their respective countries. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established in 1949 by the U.N. General Assembly to provide camps and assistance to the Palestinian refugees. The Afghans started to pour into Pakistan and their number was increasing due to escalation of the war.
Afghans comprise of different ethnic groups who have always been at war with each other due to the culture of warlords in Afghanistan. Historically, they do not surrender to the foreign invaders and the three Anglo-Afghan Wars can be taken as a precedent, but it is also a fact that they just cannot live peacefully among themselves either. Afghans does possess a belligerent behaviour coupled with their gypsy living style. The Afghan people started to create problems for Pakistan in societal, security, economic, environmental and political sectors. They brought sectarian violence, narcotics and “Kalashnikov Culture” with them. It was contrary to the Pakistani society but still the people showed a great deal of sacrifice by giving them refuge. Currently there are more than 1.8 Million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. The number is limited to those who are registered but a less is known about the illegal immigrants. The Afghan people seem to be pretty thankless regardless of the sacrifices made by Pakistan. Even former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his family lived in Quetta, Baluchistan, for quite a long time but he never spared a single moment to hurt the interests of Pakistan.
According to Gallup Pakistan in 1992 57% Pakistanis believed that Afghans should not be allowed to stay in Pakistan, and in 2015 80% Pakistanis wanted Afghans to go back. The time has come to deport all Afghans who have always stabbed Pakistan in the back. Now they are playing in the hands of India thus threatening the survival of Pakistan. They continue to deny the legality of the Durand Line and they were the ones who raised the slogan of Pukhtunistan.They never appreciated and acknowledged the services of Pakistan.
— The writer is a freelance columnist based in Islamabad.

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