By: Feroz Mahbobi
After the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, and the emerge in the civil war, nearly all the infrastructures in Afghanistan were destroyed and almost all the educated people of the country flee from war. Among all the hopelessness, there was only one country that appeared as a safe heaven for Afghans, and that was Pakistan. Millions of Afghans traveled as a refugee to the country for whom they had an iven sacrifice for; and the people of Pakistan wholeheartedly welcomed them. Due to lack of services, Afghans who had decided to stay in Afghanistan through the war, also started traveling to Pakistan for different purposes, such as medical treatment, purchasing goods, mostly jewelries and other important things for weddings. Nearly 80% of the country was using Pakistani products, because there were no factories left after civil war in Afghanistan. In short, Afghans found safe heaven for living in Pakistan.
I got the chance to visit the country of love after seven years as a delegate in AfPak Youth Dialogue, where eight delegates from Afghanistan, came together with active youth from Pakistan to find the solutions for the problems and misunderstanding among the civilians of both countries. As a result of the dialogue, I came to realize that there is no problem among the citizens, but governments. I found the Pakistani nation exactly like the Afghans, full of love, respect and empathy. Unfortunately, the policies designed by the army and intelligence which leads to killing of innocent lives in both countries is what I found hurtful. Most Afghans have love relation with the Pakistani Nation, the main problem that lays in between is with the policy makers.
Nearly one Year ago when I visited Pakistan, the youth involved in the dialogue gave me a lot of hope by saying they would act as a pressure source against the government, if it were to make any policies against Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see the commitment, not only did they not take a stand against the policies against Afghanistan, but they also discouraged others from speaking up about it.
I did not see anyone taking a stand when Panjwab government arrested poor Pashtuns, whether from our side of Durrand line or the other side. Pashtuns and Afghans were targeted by the army and nearly all active youth remained silent. Therefore, now I call them the youth with eyes and words, but no voice.
Afghans are not upset with the local people of Pakistan because they have got nothing on their hands; we are upset with the policy makers of Pakistan who are only after their political gain through destroying us. There are various proofs that show clearly involvement of the Pakistani military and intelligence in supporting terrorist acts carried out in Afghanistan resulting in taking away so many lives. The Pakistani government could use different methods to support peace in Afghanistan,such as bringing the terrorist groups to the negotiation table or at least not providing them a shelter in Pakistan. Not only they have not taken any of these steps but they chose to support terrorists against the Afghan government. Good example is the last interview of Mullana Fazal Rahman where he said that Jihad in Afghanistan is legal but it’s not legal in Pakistan. He said that Taliban should do Jihad against the Afghan government and they should not fight against the Pakistani government.
To conclude my points, during my stay in Pakistan, I loved the country and the very warm hearted Pakistani citizens. However, the wrong policies of the policy makers in Pakistan, has been spreading so much hatred in Afghanistan which will take much time to clear. As an Afghan citizen, I will always be fond with the love we have received from the Pakistani nation and I want to mention to them all that it’s up to you to choose how you want to live with us; as a neighbor, a brother or an enemy.”