Fabien Baussart
Fabien Baussart

Afghans must be wary of Pakistan helping plans

Pakistan’s proposed offer of citizenship to Afghan refugees is a colossal fraud on the people of Afghanistan given the grim scenario of starvation and violence facing them caused by none else but Pakistan.

Pakistan’s silence on the Taliban revenge killing of civilians and gross-ill treatment of Afghan refugees over the decades reveal the true nature of its intent–to use Afghans as a leverage to extract billions of aid, a repeat of `global war on terror` tactics of pocketing billions.

The most telling and tragic consequence of Pakistan’s treachery has been stark starvation and deaths staring at millions in Afghanistan today. Just after a month Pakistan helped the Taliban to overthrow the elected government in Kabul, millions of children, women and others are faced with starvation and other malnutrition-related ailments. The United Nations report that at least a million young children are in the grip of an endless cycle of malnutrition and could face serious ailments and death in the coming weeks. Children have already started dying in some of the poorer regions. In Ghor for instance, at least 17 children have died of malnutrition in the last six months. Another 300 are under medical care for the effects of hunger. Several hundred children in central parts of the country face a similar dire situation.

In all, the UN estimates that about five million children will be struggling with malnutrition and its serious after effects by the end of this year. What the UN chooses not to state publicly is how many of these children will die of starvation? And what is the number of women and old who face starvation and even graver consequences?

Pakistan’s role in the unfolding collapse of their beloved country could not be lost to the people of Afghan who are now being tempted by an offer of citizenship. It is clear to them that Pakistan was a bigger enemy than the Taliban or Islamic State of Khorasan. Behind the facade of a helping neighbour, Pakistan has played a deceitful game on them and has brutally snatched a sliver of a chance at becoming a progressive, democratic country. Today, Afghanistan is faced with the scenario of becoming a basket case, all because of Pakistan and its ally, the Taliban.

Pakistan has betrayed the people of Afghanistan in another gruesome manner–it has remained mute to the Taliban’s spree of revenge killings in areas where they faced stiff resistance to their takeover. In Spin Boldak for instance, the Taliban have gone on a killing spree of civilians since taking over Kabul. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission termed it a war crime and sought international help in holding the Taliban accountable.

Despite such hue and cry, the Taliban, in collusion with Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, was hunting down former Afghan military personnel and police officials. In Kandahar, for instance, the Taliban massacred at least 40 former and current government officials. The Taliban are specially looking out for former army personnel. Several Special Forces soldiers have been killed in Jalalabad and Kandahar. Many have gone into hiding. The Taliban have launched a house to house search in many provinces, driving former soldiers out and then shooting them in cold blood. Pakistan’s silence speaks volumes of its complicity in the latest round of atrocities on the people of Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s malevolent intent towards Afghans is also borne out by how it was denying international aid to Afghan refugees who had to fled to Pakistan in the past as well as in the present$5.20 per refugee per year in international aid for providing healthcare and education facilities to Afghan refugees.If the total number of registered refugees is taken into account–1.5 million, the total aid amounts to over $1.5 million. A large part of this aid is quietly diverted by Pakistan, leaving Afghan refugees to fend for themselves most of the time. The Afghan refugees are viewed suspiciously in Pakistan, questioned and detained for every crime involving drugs and killings in cities like Karachi.

The offer of citizenship is nothing but a sugar-coated cyanide pill aimed at killing the spirit of proud Afghans.

About the Author
Fabien Baussart is the President of CPFA (Center of Political and Foreign Affairs)
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