Strik­ing Nawaz Sharif’s home

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Email:al­isukhan­ver@hot­mail.com Ali Sukhan­ver

IT is dif­fi­cult to avoid a bul­let from one’s brother,’ some­one said com ment­ing upon the mar­tyr­dom of Ma­jor Ali Jawad Changaizi at Torkham border. The rea­son be­hind the clash be­tween the se­cu­rity forces of Pak­istan and Afghanistan at Torkham was that Pak­istan at­tempted to erect a gate on the Torkham border to put a check on the in­fil­tra­tion of fight­ers from the Afghani side. Erec­tion of a gate on Torkham border is not a new idea; Pak­istan has since long been try­ing to con­vince the Afghan gov­ern­ment on build­ing of such check­point but Pak­istan’s diplo­matic ef­forts in this re­gard proved fu­tile.

Ev­ery time Afghanistan op­posed the idea of fenc­ing the border and build­ing of a gate there by say­ing that it does not rec­og­nize the claimed bound­ary as a le­git­i­mate di­vid­ing line. In such a non-co­op­er­a­tive at­mos­phere Pak­istan was left with just one op­tion; to build a gate with­out wait­ing for the con­sent from Afghanistan be­cause it was the only so­lu­tion to keep a check on the peo­ple cross­ing the border and com­ing to Pak­istan. When Pak­istan started the construction of an en­trance on its own side, the Afghan se­cu­rity forces de­ployed there started un­pro­voked fir­ing which ended in grave loss of lives on both the sides. Ul­ti­mately the Torkham cross­ing point had to be closed. The border had re­mained closed for five days even dur­ing the last month but was re­opened af­ter a meet­ing be­tween the Afghan Am­bas­sador to Pak­istan, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and Gen. Ra­heel Sharif, Pak­istan’s Chief of the Army Staff.

The New York Times said re­port­ing on the is­sue, ‘Zarawar Zahid, the po­lice chief of Nan­garhar Province, on the Afghan side of the cross­ing, posted a video on Face­book say­ing that he was near the front line and or­der­ing a mor­tar bar­rage against Pak­istan. He ap­pears next to two mor­tars shout­ing to his men, “Strike hard enough to blow up Nawaz Sharif’s home,” re­fer­ring to the Prime Min­is­ter of Pak­istan who lives in Is­lam­abad, the cap­i­tal, 150 miles from the border.’ How funny and ridicu­lous is the state­ment of Zarawar Zahid, ‘Strike hard enough to blow up Nawaz Sharif’s home’. The Afghan forces wanted to blow up the home of the Prime Min­is­ter of a country which has been feed­ing more than 2.7 mil­lion Afghan refugees for the last thirty years. It is alarm­ing; re­ally alarm­ing; Pak­istan will have to re­visit its re­la­tion­ship with Afghanistan.

The ever-worst law and or­der sit­u­a­tion, the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity and NATO forces’ in­ten­tion of never go­ing back has cer­tainly turned Afghanistan into a land of never-end­ing war. More­over, day by day in­creas­ing in­ter­fer­ence of In­dia and US’ ef­forts of strength­en­ing In­dia’s steps on Afghan land have made sit­u­a­tion more com­plex and com­pli­cated. As far as Pak­istan is con­cerned, it has been do­ing all it could do for bet­ter­ment, progress and pros­per­ity of Afghanistan for last many decades.

Pak­istan, in spite of its count­less eco­nomic, so­cial and se­cu­rity is­sues has al­ways helped Afghanistan at ev­ery crit­i­cal junc­ture. Just cast a look at the past; Pak­istan has been pro­vid­ing spe­cial sup­port and fa­cil­i­ties to the Afghan stu­dents in al­most all of its uni­ver­si­ties and in­sti­tu­tions. Pak­istani doc­tors have been as­sist­ing the Afghan gov­ern­ment in the field of medicine and surgery; Pak­istani traders have been in­vest­ing a lot there in Afghanistan. Pak­istan has pro­vided a lot of trans­port fa­cil­i­ties to those who were in­ter­ested in im­port­ing goods to Afghanistan and above all Pak­istan has been host­ing a huge ‘army’ of Afghan refugees for the last thirty years. Though all th­ese favours and sup­ports have been widely ac­knowl­edged by the Afghan peo­ple but un­for­tu­nately the Afghan gov­ern­ment, be it the ten­ure of Pres­i­dent Karzai or of Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani, never ad­mit­ted the ser­vices of Pak­istan.

It al­ways tried to blame and de­fame Pak­istan. The re­cent clashes on the Torkham border are the worst ex­am­ple of their thank­less­ness. How stupid is idea that Afghanistan wants Pak­istan keep its doors open for ter­ror­ists and mis­chief-mak­ers. How il­log­i­cal is the con­cept that you want to en­ter a neigh­bour­ing house with­out ask­ing for per­mis­sion. Is there any country which al­lows open-ac­cess to ev­ery Tom, Dick and Harry into its ter­ri­to­rial bound­aries; cer­tainly not. Ev­ery­where you need per­mis­sion in the form of visa. If Pak­istan is es­tab­lish­ing a check in point in shape of a gate; it is no sin, no crime.

Keep­ing in view the present sce­nario, the gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan must es­tab­lish a strict check and bal­ance sys­tem for all those who de­sire to en­ter Pak­istan from Afghanistan. And the sec­ond most im­por­tant thing is that all Afghan refugees must be pushed back to Afghanistan, even by us­ing force if they re­sist. Th­ese refugees are a huge bur­den on Pak­istan, fi­nan­cially, so­cially and ad­min­is­tra­tively. As far as the peace and pros­per­ity of Afghanistan and Pak­istan’s role in Afghanistan’s bet­ter­ment is con­cerned, Pak­istan must let the peo­ple of Afghanistan do it them­selves. The Afghans are not a weak na­tion. His­tory is an eye-wit­ness to their brav­ery and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Let them lib­er­ate their country from the for­eign hands. The day shall dawn soon when the brave peo­ple of Afghanistan would re­al­ize who is their eter­nal and ev­er­last­ing friend; USA, In­dia or Pak­istan. — The writer is free­lance colum­nist based in Mul­tan.

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