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Editorial; Undone sins

Reportedly over four thousands out of eight thousands imprisoned in Adyala Jail Rawalpindi are Pashto speaking and majority of them are from Afghanistan. In fact as a result of recent development where Pakistan’s certain circles including high ups from civil-military establishment considering Afghanistan as “enemy” like of India, word “Afghan” is considered a sin. And on such grounds, all those who calling them or mentioned as “Afghans” as a nationality in official, property and other documents are also considered as anti-state and even enemies of Pakistan. Since a long almost people from all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bakluchistan and even people from Pakhtoon origin residing in Punjab, Sindh and Pakistan occupied are mentioned “Afghans” as their nationality. Still absolute majority of Pakhtoons, even almost from former princely states of Dir, Swat, Chitral and all former tribal agencies along Durand Line are mentioned as Afghans. But unfortunately from last several years, through one or the other ways mentioning words “Afghan as nationality” is being discouraged at each and every government level. There is mentioned a clause in land revenue, judiciary and other government departments whereas each and every person’s nationality shall be defined. But instead of Afghans, now officials from particular mindset mentioning words Durranis, Yousafzai’s, Khattak, Mehsud, Afridi, Shinwari, and Salarzai etc instead of a simple and beautiful word Afghan. On such grounds, majority i.e. over 4000 inmates of Adyala Jail are considered Afghans and they are being treated as citizens of a hostile or enemy country. Islamabad based Afghan diplomats have recently initiated efforts to get details of all countrymen imprisoned in Pakistan jails. But all of their requests are being turned to deaf ear. At once in 1996-97, Peshawar based ex-diplomat namely Wali Naeemi had made a successful attempt of not only getting details of all Afghan nationals imprisoned in various Jails of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but even he had helped a large number of getting release. Almost of these inmates are imprisoned under petty charges and allegations. They lacking access to legal attorneys and assistance, therefore, they are being punished now for undone sins. Due to prolonged turmoil and internal hostilities, the Afghan government has not tackled the issue of prisoner’s extradition treaties with Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. Miseries of the families whom adults and bread earners are imprisoned either in Pakistan, Iran or any other country, touching its peak. The issue of prisoners is not different from the widows and orphans, therefore, Afghan government needs to take early steps for its resolution. Majority of the Afghans, imprisoned in Pakistan and Iran couldn’t afford fine and it is the time for Afghan government to discuss the issue with UN and other international organs involved in human rights protection and welfare of helpless families.

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