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We don’t owe Afghanistan anything

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I was studying for a sociology exam when my driver entered my lounge. He immediately asked me to turn on the TV. The first thing that struck my mind was that there had been another bomb blast in Karachi. Fortunately, he only wanted to watch the India versus Afghanistan cricket match.

I asked him,

You’re a Sindhi. What do you have to do with Afghans?

He meekly replied,

Sahib, they are our brothers, whereas India is our enemy.
I switched off the TV but couldn’t stop thinking about what he had said.

Really? Had he just naively been believing all this time that Afghanistan was a friend?

The first nation to oppose Pakistan was Afghanistan. They are not our brothers, they are our sons. We taught them every single thing, from cricket to diplomacy. We provided them with security. Even the most senior Afghan army officers were trained in Rawalpindi.

We fought their war but our prize was 1,700,000 Afghan refugees, who brought the AK-47 culture and drugs with them to Pakistan. Our leaders accepted them wholeheartedly, not because they loved them, but because they loved the dollars and media attention we were gaining due to them.

We did them uncountable favours, but in return they transferred their extremist molvis to Pakistan. These molvis brought with them Talibanisation.

The results were bound to be catastrophic.

Moreover, Shia-Sunni hype, racism, frequent killings, and a full-fledged war in FATA are their precious, never diminishing gifts to us ─ to name a few.

Not only terrorism, but the culture of smuggling also came and flourished into a major business through the Durand range established in 1983. This was controlled by mafias of both nations. Now they supply and traffic drugs such as opium, hashish and heroin.

Let’s not forget the smuggling of precious stones, copper, automobiles and electronics, which bore fruit of heavy, multi-million dollar profits.

Most Afghans are now ‘Pakistanis’. They have their representatives in the parliament, senate and possibly in the GHQ.

Yet, I recently happened to read that the Afghan government hasbanned Pakistani newspapers in eastern Afghanistan, saying that the publications were “functioning as mouthpieces and propaganda tools for the Taliban” issues.

They are also building a water dam near our border which would limit Pakistan’s water supply and might lead to drought in many areas. The other aim is to divide Pakhtunistan from Pakistan. This would make a “greater Afghanistan”, they say.

One is compelled to ask, what’s the reason behind Pakistan’s blind love for them?

Do we love them because they are our ‘brothers in Islam’, or is it our greed for the resources, power and US aid?

Pakistan always wanted to be dominant in South Asia. India was the biggest hurdle in our way, but as we gained America’s support, we thought that we could gain control of Asia after the Soviets. China at that time was just emerging and we were the only nation which had close contacts with the US.

September 11, however turned the tables and the game changed. Our potential throne was snatched by our own friends, and not India. China and Afghanistan become the master players and the centre of US attention, whereas we became centre of hatred and terrorism.

In Musharraf’s reign we could have driven the Taliban out, but all we wanted at that time was recognition from the US and the removal of sanction which would only be possible through war.

Problems pile over problems as blood remains the most commonly spilled liquid in Pakistan.

Sometimes I feel like Afghanistan treats us like a trash bin. They fill us up with their gang lords and blame us for all wrong in the entire world.

As the match proceeded, I didn’t care who about who would be victorious, because if every Muslim is my brother, then India has more Muslims than Afghanistan.

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