After the 9/11 attacks on the US World Trade Center, the US invaded Afghanistan in search of Osama bin Laden and stayed in Afghanistan for 20 years to eradicate terrorism. The US military has begun withdrawing from Afghanistan without achieving anything, causing unrest, chaos, loss of life and property, and by September of this year, in two months, US troops will leave Afghanistan. But once again, clouds of unrest are being cast in Afghanistan, the effects of which will surely be felt in Pakistan as well.
Something happened in Afghanistan in 1979 when the then world power Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the purpose of invading Afghanistan was not only to conquer Afghanistan, Russia also targeted Pakistan. But Russia’s goals were thwarted and it was forced out of Afghanistan. The dream of a stable Afghanistan did not come true after the departure of the Soviet Union. Afghanistan is still at war internally and the effects of this war have so far engulfed Pakistan. With every new day, difficulties are also arising for Pakistan.
After the departure of Russia, the situation in Afghanistan improved somewhat after the establishment of the Afghan Taliban government, but on September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked in the United States and Osama bin Laden was blamed for the attack. So the US entered Afghanistan in search of Osama bin Laden. The blood of innocent Afghans was shed in search of Osama. The worst bombardment on Afghan soil in history took place and Pakistan suffered the most in this war.
Before 9/11, Afghanistan was moving towards a peaceful Afghanistan, but the events of 9/11 changed the situation once again and the unrest on Afghan soil also engulfed Pakistan. Pakistan had to pay a heavy price in the form of bombings for becoming an ally of the United States in the war in Afghanistan. After human and financial sacrifices, Pakistan ended the wave of terrorism. Pakistan Army, Police, Pakistani citizens and politicians sacrificed their lives for peace in the country. Even today, the Pakistani people are shocked by the echoes of the bombings.
The effects of the Afghan war on Pakistan began after the 1979 Russian invasion. A large number of Afghans turned to Pakistan and since then Afghans coming to Pakistan have remained in Pakistan. Afghan refugees were not confined to camps, they turned to Pakistani civilians, started businesses. A large number of Afghan refugees have settled in Pakistan.
After Russia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and then the US intervention in Afghanistan, there was no room for improvement in Afghanistan. The United States came to Afghanistan in search of Osama, but after living there for 20 years, it is leaving without getting anything. With the withdrawal of US troops, the power struggle in Afghanistan has once again begun. The Afghan Taliban have seized most of the area, and there are reports that the Afghan Taliban are gaining access to areas near the capital, Kabul. In this context, there is a danger that Afghanistan’s internal affairs will once again affect Pakistan. The situation in Afghanistan is a source of concern not only for the government of Pakistan but also for the citizens and political leadership in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to reports, preparations are being made to set up camps near the Pak-Afghan border in case of evacuation of Afghan citizens and according to Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, a fence has been erected on the Pak-Afghan border and the work will be completed by the end of this month. If Afghans are forced to live as refugees again, the effects are likely to be felt in Pakistan again. Therefore, the Government of Pakistan must work with the relevant stakeholders to formulate a plan of action for the future. If the reconciliation process does not start in Afghanistan, if the process of fighting starts instead of dialogue there, then Pakistan will once again have to be prepared for the effects of the civil war in Afghanistan. Over the past ten years, a large number of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan have returned to Afghanistan. Now Afghan citizens come to Pakistan legally on medical and business visas for passports and visas. If the power struggle in Kabul continues
The political leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also joined hands to avert the dangers posed by the unrest in Afghanistan and a long meeting has been held in Islamabad in this regard and queues are being formed to avoid possible dangers. Prime Minister Imran Khan has clearly stated why he should be part of the civil war. He has also refused to give airports to the United States. But the government will have to take steps to stem the tide of threats from the western borders. The country’s economic situation does not allow the burden of Afghan refugees to be borne. In this regard, the government must take all the political parties into confidence and in the national interest, the political parties should also support the government. We need to move forward now for the time to come.