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Islamabad blames the victim

Every country on this planet knows that Afghanistan is the worst victim of foreign influence, terrorism and extremism. Afghans are paying the cost for the war that has been imposed by the neighbors and world powers on them. It has been more than three decades but there is no end in sight to the ongoing violence which had displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed their properties. The quest to control Afghan policy, natural resources and turf had turned this country literally into a hell where neighbors, particularly Pakistan, kindled violence by supporting various armed groups.

Despite that, Afghans are blamed for supporting terrorism. It is our neighbor Pakistan that blames us for its failed policy—strategic depth. The assets on which Islamabad has invested heavily since 1980 had now gone gory. Pakistan has historically supported different terrorist organizations including the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Sepha-e-Sahba, Lashker-e-Taiba, al-Qaeda, Jundullah, Hezbul Mujahideen, Al Badar Mujahideen, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Chinese and Chechen militants. In the recent past it has lost control over some factions of the TTP. Yet it has perfect control over the other terrorist groups. For example, take the Afghan Taliban. Islamabad fully supported the group since its emergence in 1990s. Pakistani military and civil establishments were on the same page about the Taliban. The militant group was equipped, advised and trained to seize control of the country. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto wanted to hoist Pakistani flag in Nangarhar. Military generals including Hamid Gul told the Taliban to burn Kabul. It was the first country that recognized the Taliban regime.

Astonishingly, Islamabad is cursing Kabul for the menace of terrorism which it had watered and germinated for years. Summoning of Afghan Charge d’ Affaires, Sayed Abdul Nasir Yousufi, over the attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda is beyond comprehension. Pakistani foreign ministry said that Afghan government should take action against the TTP. At the same time, the NUG shall also be criticized for its failed diplomacy and taking this serious issue so lightly. Summoning of Yousufi is a serious issue. The halfhearted response of the government is worth criticism. The NUG shall go beyond denying the allegations. It shall ask Islamabad that how the TTP’s chief Mullah Fazlullah succeeded in fleeing Swat and later other areas that are under control of Islamabad. Pakistan has the world’s seventh largest military. It is failure of the Pakistani military that Fazlullah is alive.

Through such actions, Pakistan wants to alienate Afghans living on both sides of the Durand Line. Islamabad wants to create hatred amongst Pashtuns living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against their Afghan brothers who are living on this side of Durand Line. Bacha Khan was against division of Afghans that is why he wanted to be buried in Jalalabad. Afghans feel great reverence for him. This was rightly pointed out by his granddaughter, Yasmin Nigar Khan. She said that Bacha Khan is held in such high esteem in Afghanistan that even extremist groups would not attack anything that is named after him.

In addition to that, through such steps Pakistan also wants to divert attention of people from key questions. It has been pointed out by the provincial president of the ANP, Afrasiab Khattak, in most appropriate manner. He said that Pakistan wanted to externalize the terror problem. He said that terrorism is an internal problem but some entities were trying to externalize it.

Therefore, the government shall respond to the allegations in befitting manner. Islamabad shall be asked to stop speaking for terrorists and blaming the victim, but take action against the terrorist groups that enjoy shelters and training centers in Pakistan.

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