AFGHANISTAN-A SAFE HAVEN OF TERRORISTS

ALI SUKHANVER

February usually brings a very pleasant weather for the people all over the world but this February proved very unlucky for the people of Pakistan. More than hundred innocent ones became victim to brutal terrorist activities; countless injured; hundreds of families were pushed to the hell of helplessness and a lot of damage was caused to the public and private properties. And this injustice was done for what; no one knows. Some people might be of the opinion that the attack on Lal Shebaz Qalander’s shrine in Sehwan had some religious rather sectarian background but what about the suicide-attack on the Chairing-Cross Lahore and what about the terrorist’s attack on the Levies Headquarter in Mohmand Agency. According to the details provided to media, all these terrorist activities were planned, acted upon and monitored by different terrorist groups now settled in Afghanistan. Most of the terrorists in these groups are those who had to run away from Pakistan as a result of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Unfortunately Pakistan’s closest brotherly neighbour Afghanistan welcomed these terrorists with open arms and officially provided them all possible shelter and support. These terrorists were not so strong   when they stepped into the Afghan lands; it was because of the care and support of the Afghanistan government that they succeeded in strengthening themselves. The government of Pakistan so many times made serious requests to the Ashraf Ghani government regarding the hide-outs of these terrorists but no such request was ever given any importance. Pakistan Army’s that time chief Gen (R) Raheel Sharif personally went to Afghanistan and talked to the Afghan president in this context but it all went useless. The terrorists started getting stronger when they got a green signal from the Afghan government and it all gave birth to a new wave of terrorism in Pakistan. Here another thing is also very important; the terrorists were misguided with a misconception that after the retirement of Gen. Raheel Sharif, the scenario of Pakistan Army’s patriotic involvement in war against the terrorists would altogether change. They were thinking that the Operation Zarb-e-Azb was revolving around some personal desire of Gen. Raheel Sharif and the next commander would simply put a full-stop to this operation against terrorists but their dreams did not come true. The Chief of the Army staff General Bajwa carried on the Operation Zarb-e-Azb with the same speed and the same velocity. Just to exert pressure on the new military hierarchy and to check its capability of responding, the terrorists in Afghanistan began with new insurgency in the Pakistani areas adjacent to the Afghan borders. At the same time the terrorists started activating and motivating their well-wishers in Pakistan. Most of these well-wishers were the Afghan Refugees who have succeeded in hiding their actual identities and are now living in different cities of Pakistan as Pakistani nationals. This is also something very important to be kept in mind that for a common man in Pakistan it is very difficult to differentiate between the Pakistani Pathans and the Afghan refugees. They both own the same racial features and throughout Pakistan they all are titled as ‘Khan Sahab.’ The terrorists took full advantage of this misunderstanding. From Karachi to Lahore and from Quetta to Peshawar, in most of the terrorist activities, we find involvement of some Afghan refugee. Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Bajwa also confirmed the use of Afghan soil in recent terrorist activities in Pakistan. In a telephonic conversation with US General John Nicholson on17th February, he said, “Most of the incidents in Pakistan are claimed by terrorist organizations with leadership hiding in Afghanistan.” He further said, “Such terrorist activities and inaction against them are testing our current policy of cross-border restraint.” To avoid this situation it is need of the time to send back all Afghan refugees to their own country. Nowhere in the world, are the foreigners allowed such a free movement and liberty as the Afghan refugees are enjoying in Pakistan. It must also be kept in minds that love for one’s own land always remains dominant. If we expect from the Afghan refugees that they would give priority to the safety and security of Pakistan and ignore the interest of their own country, it would simply be a foolish expectation.

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