I JUST could not, in spite of repeated efforts, fathom the basis of Afghanistan’s hostility towards Pakistan contrary to all the ground realities, such as the Afghan trade corridor which runs through Pakistan, the free movement of Afghans across the Pakistan-Afghan borders, the huge member of Afghans who have settled in Pakistan besides millions of refugees, the Pakhtun factor, because Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan is no different from Afghanistan as it is dominated by the Pakhtun community.
It is because of the Russian and US invasions of Afghanistan that Pakistan has suffered terrible losses in men and material. These wars have spawned terrorists fed on religious emotions which the US nurtured to fight the ‘godless’ invaders first and then to wage war against the terrorists or the ogre it created. Either way Afghanistan was ruined, affecting Pakistan equally.
In India from where I migrated as a child, we Muslims always looked upon Afghanistan with hope. Some Indian Muslims even migrated to Afghanistan during the Khilafat movement, which turned out to be a terrible disaster, ruining lots of Muslim families. If by some magic Afghanistan and Pakistan can create a council of common interests, there would be a remarkable expansion of the existing commercial and cultural relations, helping the common man in the two countries. We are more close in all spiritual and cultural and linguistic areas than France and Germany, which buried centuries of warfare and forged an unthinkable unity whose diamond jubilee was recently celebrated.
There are now residing in Pakistan millions of Afghans doing business, both regular and irregular.
I remember from my boyhood days that calendars published by Muslim publishers often carried pictures of King Amanullah, Enver Pasha and Ataturk, all in military regalia, as heroes who would one day, so we dreamt, liberate Muslim lands, especially Indian Muslims for alien rule. When I recall the above and other similar events, I cannot for the life of me find the reason for Afghan opposition, nay, enmity towards Pakistan. Will some Afghan public figure, writer, diplomat or historian enlighten me?
F.H. ANSARI Karachi