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Editorial: Maltreatment of Afghans at Torkham

Unfortunately, contrary to basic human ethics even UN framed laws for affairs on international borders and crossing points between neighboring countries, attitude of Pakistani officials and personnel of security forces is astonishing but even is much more hostile and unethical. From last several years, since imposition and implementation of one side decisions, the Afghans are remaining in queues for hours due to lacking of proper staffers in immigration and other departments in Pakistan sides. These people are not only forced to remain in queues for hours but even some time they are beaten and abused by these persons. Earlier the situation was friendly due to duties or posting of personnel of traditional Khasadar forces or personnel from local Afridi and Shinwari tribes. Most recently, Pakistani armed forces took responsibilities of not only guarding the crossing point but also influencing affairs of other departments. However, it is internal matter of Pakistan state organs and Afghans having no concern but the Afghans are concerned with their maltreatment. Besides uniformed soldiers and office holders of Pakistan army, its affiliated body National Logistic Cell (NLC) personnel with Green Colour waistcoats have been assigned not only for ensuring writ of the law but for abusing, maltreating and even detaining of Afghans for undone sin. Most recently they introduced another law just for discouraging own Pakistani nationals to go for shopping in Afghanistan and the Afghans to consume almost of their money in Pakistan. They fixed RS 10, 000 (Rupees ten thousands Pakistanis” as expenditures for own national. This law and decision is only meant for Afghanistan and other countries are exempted of it. Through such acts, Pakistan compel its own nationals and the war affected Afghans to approach the Hundi/Hawala brokers for transferring their money between Peshawar and Afghanistan. In the light of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) pressure, visibly Pakistan’s law enforcing agencies are shown extra ordinary performances by raiding and arresting those currency dealers who never made themselves as part of the groups involved in helping terrorists, getting money through Hawala and Hundi system. And it means that certain circles within Pakistan are unhappy with ending or curtailing activities of these people who are either involved in Hawala system or extending financial support to militants. The Afghan government needs to realize its responsibilities at this stage and handle the matter with Pakistan. Thousands of Pakistanis are engaged in economic activities, construction work and other jobs throughout Afghanistan. Similarly, millions of Afghans are still residing in Pakistan. Every day thousands of countrymen are going to Pakistan for medical treatment and other socio-economic activities. Both the neighboring countries must evolve a plan to enable these people from both sides to cross over the crossing points without any harassment and fears.

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