Afghanistan, Fresh Hell Forever

Published: November 4, 2013

The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore and studied law at Lincoln’s Inn and the London School of Economics. He tweets @AsadRahim

It’s said of Robespierre, the little man that embodied Revolutionary France, that he wasn’t all that prepossessing. With weak eyes, wobbly feet, and words that didn’t quite carry, Robespierre still managed to haul off thousands to the guillotine, leaving a legacy wet with blood. Much later, Hannah Arendt came to the same conclusion watching a Nazi on trial, penning her famous Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.

To sum up, evil is often boring, the men behind it desperately dull. But Afghanistan’s Dr Najibullah, last president of a red republic, was made for the movies. They called him Najib-e-Gaw — the Ox — a weight-lifting, card-carrying commie from his high school days. Graduating Kabul University a doctor, big, brutal Najib preferred murder to medicine. Joining KhAD, the Soviets’ secret police, seemed the logical career move. Najib pushed the envelope in his new job, picking and dumping dissenters at home and encouraging acts of terror next door in Pakistan.

Blessed with ‘solid managerial skills’ (i.e., the ability to torture thousands), the Russians gifted their favourite Rottweiler the presidency in 1986. But their dream, a worker’s paradise in the heart of Asia, was unravelling. It was a bad time for a People’s Afghanistan, or frankly, a People’s anything: Reagan was in the White House, the generals were in Islamabad, and the Saudis were rich. The theme of the ’80s, it seemed, was God and Country, and petrodollars flowed to weepy, screamy psychos like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, happier flinging acid than fighting Russians.

And so, the Soviets took for the hills, leaving Najibullah behind. Shrugging his shoulders, the doctor put up one big lonely fight against all comers and long odds. With Kabul at last overrun by jihadis, Najib holed himself up in the UN compound; four years of watching Bollywood films followed. Outside, Afghans were once again mauled right and left by bigger boys: the Pakistanis backed Gulbuddin, the Saudis loved Sayyaf, the Iranians backed Mazari, and everyone hated Dostum.

But by September ’96, an as yet unheard-of band of gents had knocked out the warlords and surrounded Fort Najib, memories of KhAD’s cruelty having yet to fade. Playing to both vanity and tribe (‘fellow Ghilzais won’t harm me’), the Ox was coaxed out. His fingers were broken, his mouth stuffed with Russian currency, his body beaten by rifle butts and dragged behind a truck. He was castrated, shot, and trussed up from a traffic lamp in Kabul’s busiest city centre. Thus the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was inaugurated.

Yes, one can feel the narrative start to shift against the land of the pure, and with reason. The ’90s was a particularly bad time to be an Afghan (not counting the ’70s, ’80s, and now), and Pakistan used and abused the leverage it had. Even long before the Emirate, Islamabad staked its hopes — and Reagan his voters’ tax dollars — on Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose black beard (and black heart) was thought the cure to Najib’s pagan Parchamis.

But Hekmatyar was a wolf in snake’s clothing, massacring civilians and rocketing much of Kabul to smithereens. For too many Afghans, this heartless vulture became Pakistan’s most visible export. And this when Pakistan seemed somewhat in control: before the Taliban and Naseerullah Babar, before 9/11 and the war, before Osama and Salala.

Today, popular opinion hardly favours the older Islamic Republic. Pakistan is thought a double-dealer at best and a quasi-coloniser (quite awful at colonising) at worst.

But Pakistanis, too, have suffered for Afghanistan, and painfully. With superpowers bounding in and out, and war and messianic maniacs leaking over, it’s not the easiest of countries to coexist with. Taking in a mammoth three million refugees did little wonders for our social fabric; the drugs and guns they brought with them tore apart what was left of it. It’s not sophistry to say Pakistan’s suffered more for Afghanistan than anyone else has.

Mostly for nothing. That the only thing the Talibs and Kabul agree on is refusing to recognise the Durand Line — “A line of hatred that raised a wall between brothers,” says the Quetta-married Karzai — is policy in keeping with the only place that booed our entry to the UN in 1947.

And while Pakistan is forever accused of pulling strings in Kabul, it was anti-Pakistan mullahs that were caught flirting with Afghan intel not a month ago. When accosted by The New York Times, Afghan spooks fluxed between sounding like bland business owners, “I would say we wanted to foster a mutually beneficial relationship”, to rival football club managers: “(Afghan officials) wanted Pakistan to know Afghanistan could play dirty as well. One said they would try again if given the opportunity.”

But dirty wars aren’t easy to end. The transition from Najib vs Gulbuddin to Karzai vs Omar has left thousands dead, and not a thing has changed: the latest Stooge Incumbent is pitted against Pakistan’s Least Worst Option. A withering occupation feeds a rabid reaction. The Americans may leave, but the blowback won’t get as far as Washington — as indeed it never reached Moscow.

Pakistanis and Afghans will be left to marinate in mutual contempt, by turn shaking each other’s hands and shelling each other’s border guards. They would be better served respecting each other’s dignity instead.

Afghanistan and Pakistan share a massive land border (termed ‘porous’ by the press with head banging constancy). They share an ethnic group that is Afghanistan’s largest and Pakistan’s second-largest. Via curse of history, they’re stuck with each other for life. So though it remains both spiteful and pitiful, the Afghan state may be better served providing its citizens basic facilities, than entertain the same shadow outfits that one by one blow up in its face as they did Islamabad’s.

And ‘strategic depth’, the gloss we give to using a whole country as a reserve basement if pushed up against India, was coined before most of us were born. It may be best to leave it there, if only to become a less cynical place for it.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Drish
    Nov 4, 2013 - 11:16PM

    Great stuff as always, if a bit darker than usual, good to see the author use his reputation for clearheadedness to finally critique Pak policy as well.Recommend

  • Hemant
    Nov 4, 2013 - 11:31PM

    Pakistan wants strategic depth in Afganistan .
    Afganistan through the Haquani network and Taliban has already achieved strategic depth
    in Pakistan .

    Recommend

  • faizaan
    Nov 5, 2013 - 12:00AM

    In Afghanistan nothing has changed since the times of Alexander.
    By the way the last day or rather hours, of Najib and Qaddafi should be a learning lesson for tyrants all over the world.

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  • RD Sultan
    Nov 5, 2013 - 12:28AM

    Pakistan has learned rather harshly that using terrorists (The Afghan Taliban) as strategic assets has consequences. There is no method to burn down your neighbor’s house (Afghanistan) that doesn’t involve risk to your own house. If the Bilateral Security Agreement is signed by Afghanistan and America, I suspect that Pakistan will become impatient with the “blowback” of supporting the Taliban and therefore force the Afghan Taliban into negotiation.

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  • Hermit
    Nov 5, 2013 - 1:07AM

    Taken aback by this young man’s know-how of Democratic Republic of AFG, it brought me back to a place even I thought I had forgotten. Please know though my friend, Dr Najibullah is still beloved by many an Afghan in the street for standing up to these wretches that call themselves the Emirate

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 5, 2013 - 2:00AM

    I wish Asad would write a piece on the leaders of Pakistan who are picked from Central Casting and get rotated every decade.

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  • Nov 5, 2013 - 2:42AM

    Strategic depth has now become strategic millstone around Pakistan’s neck. I am amazed how naive the Pakistani generals have been to believe that the Afghans who never surrendered their nation to anyone since dawn of times would subjugate themselves to Pakistan. Well as one of the earlier readers remarked here, Pakistan was trying to install a puppet regime in Kabul for strategic depth. Well the Afghans have already achieved strategic depth into Pakistan.

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  • gp65
    Nov 5, 2013 - 5:43AM

    So though it remains both spiteful and pitiful, the Afghan state may be better served providing its citizens basic facilities, than entertain the same shadow outfits that one by one blow up in its face as they did Islamabad’s.”

    Would you like t name these shadow outfits? Are they not the ones with whom Pakistani leaders are following over each other to negotiate a peace deal? The killing of whose leader has lead to widespread mourning in the land of the pure and driven up anti-Americanism?Recommend

  • Maria
    Nov 5, 2013 - 6:22AM

    @Jag Nathan: Long before the current games of strategic depth, Afghanistan was a willing puppet of the Indians and others. The author correclty points out that in 1947 Afghanistan was the only nation that did not recognize Pakistan. They have been actively trying to subvert and bring terrorism to Pakistan along with their Indian masters since 1947. Not surprised to see that Afghanistan is still dealing as a puppet of India and that they are still suffering due to their own short sighted double dealing. Pakistan shares a long border with Afghanistan, millions of Afghanis always travel or stay in Pakistan as a second home but despite all of that, they are still willing puppets of others. Iran has always kept their Afghani refugees in camps but at least the Afghanis don’t meddle there. They are obsessed with Pakistan to support Indian ambitions. This is the Afghani dilemma and the reason for their continuous downfall.

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  • Citizen Kane
    Nov 5, 2013 - 8:16AM

    Using the term ‘Rottweiler’ for Najib?

    Today, when the TTP bombs Pakistanis, everyone calls for military operations against them. Back then, the “Muhajideen” were beheading teachers and engineers and destroying schools and public buildings. Najib was keeping them in check. And for that, we have condemned him. Today, we are suffering from the same terrorists.

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  • Feroz
    Nov 5, 2013 - 10:55AM

    More ordinary Pakistani’s must travel to Afghanistan to understand why they alongside the Americans are the most hated in that country. The goodwill India has built among the Afghans with their development projects simply cannot be replicated. An opportunity to destroy the Taliban (good and bad) has been squandered and the price people of Pakistan / Afghanistan will have to pay for strategic shortsightedness is likely to be prohibitively expensive.

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  • Gratgy
    Nov 5, 2013 - 11:38AM

    Strategic Depth is now leading to Strategic Death

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  • Mani
    Nov 5, 2013 - 1:42PM

    Write like Asad Rahim Khan or don’t write at all!

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  • hassan
    Nov 5, 2013 - 1:47PM

    I think it would be a great idea if Afghanistan and Pakistan merges together to form one entity.

    After all, both the countries have the same religion,same culture and follow the same political philosophy. Common people of both the countries attach great importance to long dresses and long beards.

    Merger of Afghanistan is the only viable solution to prevent further bloodshed.

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  • Hemant
    Nov 5, 2013 - 3:25PM

    @Maria:
    Maria , afghan position including that if the Taliban is that Durrand line , the boundary that British drew to separate Afganistan and Pakistan is neither just nor correct . The Afgan position is that Peshawar till it was conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was always a part of Affanistan . It was the Durrand Line as the boundary that Afganistan had opposed at the UN in 1947 . Each and every Afgan Government including the Taliban that was installed by Pakistan has not recognised the current boundary line .

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  • Kafka
    Nov 5, 2013 - 3:44PM

    While it is hard to convince outside world that a section of the military establishment is running the Afghan policy, and for that matter the whole of foreign policy, the author should also highlight the fact that the rest of the Pakistani people have nothing to do with “strategic depth” shenanigans. They just want to live a simple peaceful life. Recommend

  • aww
    Nov 5, 2013 - 6:29PM

    @Maria:

    How do you look yourself in the mirror?

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  • ahmed41
    Nov 5, 2013 - 7:24PM

    Leave Afghanistan alone .

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  • Kal
    Nov 5, 2013 - 8:14PM

    Pakistan is a member of the British Commonwealth with English as an official language, uses violent extremist organizations to project authroity, served as OBL’s home until raided by the US, where jihadists are currently being trained, and where drone attacks are trying to disrupt jihadist networks and training camps, and Pakistan hosts the most fervent anti-American population in the entire region. Can’t hide those realities with flowery and disinformative articles like these. It is an article completely biased in favor of Pakistan, rather, British interests in the area.

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  • Kal
    Nov 5, 2013 - 8:32PM

    @hassan: I have lived in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are two completely different worlds.

    BTW, Pakistan is already married to another country – GREAT BRITIAN – member of the British Commonwealth. Afghans have never had a master servant relationship with attempted colonizers.

    Anyway, when OBL was killed, Afghans were not demonstrating in the streets mourning this death. Pakistanis were grieving, and even arrested the fellow who found OBL.

    There are a world of differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan, including racially. In the US, Afghans are classified as White while Pakistanis are identified as Asian. They are very different people.

    Culture is different – AFGHANS ARE FROM IRANIAN CULTURE WHILE PAKISTANIS ARE PART OF NDIAN CULTURE. Perhaps Iran and Afghanistan can merge while Pakistan is returned to India?

    You are comparing apples to oranges. You will never be an Afghan!

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  • Stranger
    Nov 5, 2013 - 8:38PM

    Pak doesn’t owe anything to Afghanistan. pak is more close to India . Pak and India should start rebuilding their relationships to get closer.

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  • x
    Nov 5, 2013 - 8:55PM

    @gp65:
    Mourning for the failure of the peace talks.Complete ceasefire is a pre requisite for peace talks. What other solution can you present if u see this as ‘surrender’ by the state? Didnt the British negotiate with IRA? UnitedStates, the mighty, has failed in this war despite its huge army and superior technology. Drones kill more civilians but even despite that, what do they achieve? Kill one terrorist and create 1000 more instead? Of course these poor, illiterte, young orphan kids will be radicalized, they don’t know any better, they don’t have happiness or many options in life. Baitullah was killed, did peace come? Hakeemullah took his place, now hehas been killed, will peace come? Smeone will take his place, the ‘sajna’ who is also a chip of the old block. WHAT do you propose? Please all thse criticizing pakistan and imran khan please provide some answer?

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  • Raza
    Nov 5, 2013 - 9:26PM

    Superb article. Its really quite amazing how plain silly Pak foreign policy has been for decades with regard to Afghanistan. India is not a threat any longer (its too big and powerful to care much about us anyway); we face bigger internal issues such as militancy, terrorism and the likes. Afghan influence and Taliban are significant issues of all of that. Its high time that we stop bothering about what happens in Afghanistan and focus on repatriating the IDPs, closing our borders, and fighting the TTP. Of course, none of it will happen; since the political will and military guts are all missing; and we’ll just be stuck whining about it forever.

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 5, 2013 - 9:26PM

    The writer should be taught reverence towards dead people. I don’t think Pakis would appreciate an Afghan writing an irreverent piece about Benazir Bhutto and her father.

    Dear writer please write a piece on how your first Prime Minister was assassinated and how ZAB was imprisoned and then sentenced to death, Zia ulhaq mysteriously died in a plane crash and how Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and yet nobody questioned what happened to these people and why.

    Stop picking on Afghanistan write something about your crappy country.

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  • Bari
    Nov 5, 2013 - 10:43PM

    @Zalmai
    ‘crappy country’?
    I didn’t know they had Internet connections in Kabul.

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 5, 2013 - 11:47PM

    @ Bari

    We have fiber optic cables and 3G, you ignoramus.

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  • Bari fan
    Nov 6, 2013 - 1:38AM

    @Zalmai
    That’s great! Enjoy high-speed broadband during the next civil war!

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:22AM

    @ Bari

    Typical Pakistani response, keep on dreaming. Worry about the TTP and the civil war that is raging in Karachi.

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  • Khaled
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:50AM

    @bari

    Afghanistan and civil war, well if you open your eyes civil war has been going on in Pakistan for years now.
    I heard someone saying that Islamabad the great capital of great Pureland enjoys only 4 hours of electricity in 24hours…. How funny it is while a country is in energy crisis the military is testing missiles and the ordinary “bright youth” is writing about their neighbors…

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  • Fareeda
    Nov 6, 2013 - 12:26PM

    I found this article very irrevelant of what is happening in Afghanistan a very poor analysis of Afghanistan situations.., it is just job of copy and paste from the histroy of Afghanistan and I wonder how Tribune publish this since it doenst comply with any standards of journalism other than insulting and blaming Afghans. On the other hand it sadly shows how mentality of ordinary people were changed as a result of military compaign against Afghanistan and India..

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  • J T
    Nov 6, 2013 - 4:24PM

    Nice write-up and interesting perspectives from the writer.

    @Kal:
    While you have made some valid points in your post (the 2nd one), it would have helped if you avoided the explicit racist overtones.

    P.S. Just like you are deriding the Pakistanis who try to find commonalities between your two races/cultures, I have come across a few Iranians who wouldn’t take too kindly at being bunched together with Afghans. And for the record, I’m Indian.

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  • mind control
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:23PM

    A. And while Pakistan is forever accused of pulling strings in Kabul, it was anti-Pakistan mullahs that were caught flirting with Afghan intel not a month ago

    Just to put things in perspective. Did this ‘anti-Pakistan Mullah’ belong to the organistaion headed by Hakeemullah Mehsud? And, do you know where did they find Hakeemullah himself?

    With the Pakistan army headquarters for restive North Waziristan just a kilometre away, locals thought of Mehsud’s compound as the “safest” place in a dangerous area.
    Its proximity to a major military base recalls the hideout of Osama bin Laden in the town of Abbottabad, on the doorstep of Pakistan’s elite military academy.

    http://dawn.com/news/1054033/the-120000-farmhouse-where-the-ttp-chief-was-killed

    Funny, this ‘flirting with Afghan intel bit.

    B. But dirty wars aren’t easy to end. The transition from Najib vs Gulbuddin to Karzai vs Omar has left thousands dead, and not a thing has changed:

    I think this Gulbuddin v/s Najeebullah is not history at all. In objective history Gulbuddin was known for terrorist activities long long before the Godless Russians came to Afghanistan. In fact he had served time in Afghan prisons as early as 1973. You can find more of him if you study the activities of General Naseerullah Babar as Governor of KP in 1975-77.

    Anyway, Gulbuddin never laid a finger on Najeebullah the glorious deeds of Castration, Dragging the Body in the Streets of Kabul and Hoisting the dead body on a pole for weeks, were performed by the merry boys of Mullah Omar, perhaps at the behest of his patrons elsewhere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulbuddin_Hekmatyar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naseerullah_Babar

    Let us not keep on ‘inventing facts’ like water cars.

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  • Ghaniche
    Nov 6, 2013 - 8:09PM

    @ j t

    Nice try mate..

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  • Ghaniche
    Nov 6, 2013 - 8:10PM

    @ j t
    nice try mate…

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  • observer
    Nov 6, 2013 - 9:06PM

    @Asad Rahim Khan

    The transition from Najib vs Gulbuddin to Karzai vs Omar has left thousands dead, and not a thing has changed: the latest Stooge Incumbent is pitted against Pakistan’s Least Worst Option.

    Any idea,where is Mullah Omar being Sheltered, Fattened and Primed for this showdown?

    And,

    Does that make him someone’s stooge too?

    Just Wondering?

    And, Who says ‘not a little thing has changed’. Apparently the Afghans are holding their ground against the Taliban, while the 7th Largest Nuclear Capable Army is grovelling for ‘peace’.

    Some people just can not see beyond their agenda.

    http://dawn.com/news/1054035/fighting-alone-afghans-said-to-hold-taliban-back

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  • sterry
    Nov 6, 2013 - 9:23PM

    @Kal: I am surprised that ET allowed your racist rant to be published but maybe it shows you how comfortable Pakistanis are in deflecting your negative comments. So you think Afghans are classified as White in US and Pakistanis are Asian. You are probably just confused since my Pashtun and Chitrali family looks more white than Afghans, especially Hazaras but we are proud of being Asian and don’t have the inferiority complex you have. You are right Pakistanis are not Afghans and I would say to you that an Afghan can never be a Pakistani. Just take a look at how Pakistanis are settled in the US and what kind of work we do in comparison to most Afghans in the US and how they live. I don’t need to tell you how most Afghans go to Western nations and under what circumstances. If ET allows your comment to be published they should allow Pakistanis to respond too.

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  • Kal
    Nov 6, 2013 - 10:12PM

    @J T i am sorry you and others find then the reference to race classifications in the US as racist. It is meant to show how the US, and the world, perceive differences between the two cultures.

    I just had dinner at an Afghan’s home. The family looked like they belonged in Sweden. In fact, I am an American, and impressed by how handsome the invincible Afghan people are. Sorry it ruffles feelings, but that’s reality.

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  • Kal
    Nov 6, 2013 - 10:35PM

    @J T: Iranians do not like Afghans either. They tell their children the AFGHAN will get you if you don’t go to bed early. Tajikistan calls fierce windstorms AFGHAN WINDS. Yes, our neighbors don’t like us for some reason. Jealousy? Too much attention paid to Afghans – finally?

    Or just a darn strong race of Aryan men who can crumble empires?

    Many Bollywood actors are of Afghan origins.

    Iranian women love Afghan men, as do European women love Afghan men. Many European women NGO workers married their Afghan drivers or guards.

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  • sterry
    Nov 6, 2013 - 11:04PM

    @Kal: I see that ET has allowed itself to be hoodwinked by a child who is posting childish comments – this is unbecoming for a newspaper. Please note and examine the remarks being made and ask yourself whether his comments deserves print. So he went to some Afghan’s home and felt they belonged in Sweden? He is supposedly an American? His remarks smack of bravado from some teenaged Afghan refugee living in the US. We all know most Afghans in Europe and North America are refugees who smuggled themselves in to clain asylum. Most of them live on social assistance or at the poverty level since they went as refugees. I don’t know whether Iranian women love Afghans – does that explain why the Iranians have kept the Afghan refugees in camps? I don’t know who says European women love Afghan refugees who have smuggled themselves there for asylum. The list of questions can go on but does it behoove the paper to priont such comments?

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 7, 2013 - 12:17AM

    @Sterry

    Chitralis are not from the same stock as the Pakistanis of Indian descent. Afghans whether they are Pashtun or any other ethnic group are generally fairer compared to Pakistanis of Indian stock and there is no denying that.

    My family immediate and extended all have fair skin, light eyes, and light hair but there are tons of Afghans who are olive complexioned as well. The fact is Afghans are different than Pakistanis and Indians and that is what Kal is harping about.

    Afghans in the US have higher education and good jobs and they are mostly successful. I know many Pakistanis that are toiling away in low paying jobs here in the US but that does not mean they are all poor. Let’s not generalize here.

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  • irony
    Nov 7, 2013 - 6:02AM

    Pakistani’s are intimidated by Afghans with every fabric of their being yet they want to claim superiority. Here in the U.S. some of my Afghan friends would have clans of Pakistani foot soldiers ready to take their orders. They would be more than content with simply being associated with Afghans.

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  • Kal
    Nov 7, 2013 - 8:14PM

    @irony: Pakistan suffers from acute identity crisis. Afghanistan, on the other hand, is a country very comfortable in its identities. So, is there some inferiroity complex going on in Pakistan? After all, East Pakistan is gone, and Pakistan likely needs Afghan lands to make up for this loss of territory to support its over-populated flood plains. In the end, everyone knows what’s wrong with Pakistan: West’s problem child and Britian’s strategic tool in the region. Gosh, Pakistan and Israel, newbie countries, are giving the world lots of unnecessary challenges.

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  • sterry
    Nov 7, 2013 - 9:42PM

    @Zalmai: Chitralis and many Northern Pakistanis may be from Dardic stock but we are proud citizens of Pakistan. You see many ethnic groups live in Pakistan but we don’t identify our citizenship based on colour and features. Yes there may be some racism but not as severe as Afghanistan. Incidentally there are more Pashtun in Pakistan than Afghanistan. Pakistani Pashtun identify with Pakistan too. You need to understand that Punjabis, Pashtuns, Baluchis, Sindis and Kashmiris as well as Indian origin Muhajirs in Pakistan may all look different but we don’t call some of the citizens “Indian looking” or “Middle Eastern looking” or “Central Asian looking” even though all these race features are in Pakistan. I am no stranger to Afghanistan and I know there are many different looks there too. It must be hard to be a Mongol looking race in Afghanistan from your comments. Many Haazaras, Uzbeks and Turkmen appear Chinese. I know of many dark Afghans from Paktia, Kandahar and Logar but do you hate them too? You need to appreciate all Afghans no matter how they look – be they dark or Chinese looking. Just so you know most social workers in Canada and US will confirm that Afghan refugees settled in North America not only have amongst the worst levels of poverty but also poor education and employment. This is fact and no senseless boasting can change that.Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Nov 8, 2013 - 1:55AM

    @ Sterry

    I personally don’t know any Afghan living in California that is uneducated or poor. New immigrants may be poor and not highly educated but it does not take long for them to climb up the food chain, whether it is done through education or hard work and the school of hard knocks.

    There are approximately 150,000 Afghans in the US and the ones that have been here since the 70s and 80s are educated, wealthy, progressive, integrated and mainstream.

    Racism is inherent among most people and that is something that exists everywhere. I know tons of Pakistani Pashtuns that don’t associate with Punjabis and vice versa. There are plenty of economically disadvantaged Pakistanis here in the US and their outlook is still backward and provincial.

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  • Fareeda
    Nov 8, 2013 - 6:08AM

    @ Sterry

    Speaking of Afghans dealing with poverty and poor education let me ask you something, what do you think about the millions of pakistanis doing low paid jobs in the middle eastern countries specially in Saudi and UAE… How do you mark their education and the level of their employment? Let’s forget about US and European countries cause man I am sure you don’t wanna talk about them now..or now that you have started this discussion why dont you visit this link below..

    http://dawn.com/news/718842/pakistani-canadians-falling-below-the-poverty-line

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  • Kal
    Nov 8, 2013 - 8:48PM

    @sterry: Describing a person as “Chinese looking,” shows real racial bias. That is like saying some Pakistanis, before converting to Islam, were members of the Hindu caste system, including the Untouchables. Finally, there is much more ethnic harmony in Afghanistan than in Pakistan or even India. There are no separatist movements in Afghanistan like there is in Pakistan with the Baluch, who likely would be more than happy to be part of Afghanistan. The only calls to carve out Afghanistan is from Pakistani ISI propaganda disinformation service. So, if Pakistan wants to play games with Afghans, be warned the new generation of Afghans, most of whom are very bright and gifted, and well CONNECTED, know well Pakistan’s pressure points, and this new generation of Afghans have more friends in high places than do Pakistanis – unless you count Huma Abedeen, but I think she and her hubby are finished in the dustbins of history – the country that harbored OBL, proliferated nuclear weapons technology to people who are very likely to use them – only means Pakistan is willing to compromise the globe’s security for a few fistful of dollars – and created unnecessary challenges to regional trade and economic development. There is a video called Six Secrets of Pakistan that is making its way through the halls of the center of global power as we speak, and it’s not looking good for Pakistan, even if Pakistanis falsely think they have high friends in China. The Chinese are re examining its relationship with Pakistan as well. Good luck, Pakistan, the self styled epicenter of global terrorism and the world’s most dangerous country. Get ready for a facelift, even if you don’t want it.

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