Af-Pak relations: Brothers at war

Published: July 10, 2012

Afghanistan needs to realise that allies and friends can change, neighbours cannot. PHOTO: AFP

The Soviet war, the Taliban regime, 9/11, and now the 2014 pull out. Yes, we are talking about Afghanistan, a country that has provided  justification to the US geopolitics for interventions outside the US, and fed the world media for over three decades. Ironically though, Pakistan has played the facilitator all through hosted and trained Afghan mujahideen, and also sheltered over 3.5 million Afghan refugees for over two decades.

One major question that boggles many minds is why, despite the material and political sacrifice and socio-political suffering, does Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan continue to draw negative publicity. Why do our relations with Kabul fail to normalise? This perhaps, makes a peep back into history imperative.

The untold story:

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979. They were invited by the then prime minister of Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin, for the purpose of helping their common-ideology friends who were witnessing a civil war at that time. Although Amin was shot dead and replaced by Soviet-supported Babrak Karmal, the then Afghan ambassador to Moscow, the reality of this war is still obscured by distorted facts on the evolution of this conflict.

What still remains hidden (in the words of K K Aziz – Murder of History), is the fact that the ’79 war was surprisingly initiated by the US government through an initial secret aid fund signed by Jimmy Carter on July 3, 1979. This fact was accepted by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the then US National Security Advisor, in an interview saying,

“We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would (by funding the anti-Soviet forces). The day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War… “

Not realising the importance of the eastern bloc, Pakistan sided against the USSR and, thus, the seeds for a never ending spiral of violence were sown that are still haunting the Af-Pak region. Furthermore, the anti-Pakistan sentiment started to develop on the other side of the border. This is where the relationship started to wither.

A failed campaign:

The initial toppling of Mullah Omar’s Taliban regime in 2001 proved to be a cake walk for the coalition forces, but what was in store for many is still making headlines. Recently, the NATO forces after a long struggle of 24 hours ended the Taliban siege on a famous hotel in Kabul resulting in 20 deaths. Incidents like these are becoming the ‘new normal’ for the country.

Afghanistan has now become, without a doubt, a failed campaign. It is not me, or someone from the region saying this. Rather one of the West’s own, Sherard Cowper-Coles, the ex-British ambassador to Afghanistan, labelled the War on Terror as a ‘fiasco’ during his term of service. In his account of four years in Kabul, titled ‘Cables from Kabul’, he confessed that there were billions of pounds spent, thousands of lives lost, and all that the coalition forces were doing was making the same mistakes as all others who believed they could tame this fractious nation.

Conquering Afghanistan has been a failure in, more or less, every division; be it geo-strategic, geo-political, geo-economic, diplomatic, intelligence or the military-cum-security failures. Neutralising the threat of militants ─ Taliban being the major ones ─ still remains an unsolved mystery. The result of this failure has called for greater pressures, both from Karzai and the US, on Pakistan to act against the Haqqani faction of Taliban in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. This failure and blame is resulting in further withering of Af-Pak relations as the US-influenced Karzai government has to synchronise with Washington’s call in blaming Pakistan for militant activities taking place in the country, obviously to hide the failures within. This certainly isn’t helping the cause.

The endgame:

With the Afghan endgame visible within striking distance, the situation is resting upon a proper roadmap from all the stakeholders. It seems like the coalition forces want to leave with their heads high, but the greater interest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) bloc in the region would make it hard to allow such an exit.

With this interest, Pakistan and Afghanistan need to realise the fact that further reliance on the US would prove nothing but detrimental for both the neighbours. With development work coming to a halt soon after the Nato exit it will all be left upon Afghanistan and its neighbouring friends, most importantly Pakistan, to play their part in this process. Further, succumbing to US pressure will not only worsen the Af-Pak relationship, it will also prevent the resolving of impeding issues haunting both sides of the border.

The future and the need for harmony:

It is yet again ironic, that recently both Islamabad and Kabul levied strict restrictions on visa procedures with the applicants, only allowed a single-entry one month visa and, that too happens solely after having used influential references. These bars have jeopardised not only the legitimate business seekers but has also created problems for journalists and dignitaries of both the sides.

What’s amazing is that on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of people cross the border – many of them without visa or a passport. With such a huge number of people moving about freely, though illegally, restricting the legitimate cases makes little sense.

Afghanistan needs to realise that allies and friends can change, neighbours cannot. Whatever happens, Pakistan will remain a neighbour; one that hosts more than three million of your nationals and deserves special consideration in the policies being made. Such a neighbour should not be defamed in the world media on wishes of the allies to hide explicit failures. Kabul also has to make sure that its neighbour’s territorial integrity is not violated through uncalled for attacks from its side by the Nato forces. Such surgical strikes have never helped in the past.

Read more by Farooq here or follow him on Twitter @faruqyusaf

Farooq Yousaf

Farooq Yousaf

A research analyst, programme consultant and content editor at the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad, along with pursuing his Research Studies in Public Policy from Germany. He tweets as @faruqyusaf (twitter.com/faruqyusaf)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shuweikh Haqqani

    It makes me happy to see this blog, full of reality, telling us not to rely on the US anymore, as they have failed in every aspect. As a US military official who visited Afghanistan called it, “failure on virtually every level”

    It is a dirty secret, an awaited reality that the Afghan puppet security force, Afghan National Army (ANA) is a sham. Rife with corruption, they are starting to look like Pakistan’s NRO Government. It does not suit our interests to let NATO supplies pass through to a divided force, which will disintegrate to anti Pakistan ethnic militias as soon as the US leaves.

    Pak-Afghan relations were never better than when there was a Taliban Government in Afghanstan. The Taliban never spoke about the Durand Line or any other controversial issue. Compare this with the US puppet Karzai, who refers to Pakistan as “the historic enemy”.
    When Taliban came to power, they stopped the drug trade and did not allow any anti Pakistan forces to operate from Afghanistan. Compare this with today, drug trade is flourishing under the protection that CIA and US forces provide it. (CIA’s role in the global drug trade is no secret, check what they did in Vietnam)Recommend

  • Cynical

    Afghans, either invaded this land (Pakistan) or helped the invaders of various denominations since 711 A.D. No friendship with people who murdered our forefathers, dishonoured our foremothers and plundered their wealth.Building a wall on Durand line is the answer.Recommend

  • Iqbal

    I am not agree with the writer of this article who put forward two reasons that mostly trigger negative publicity of Pakistan. The real story begins when your establishment started devising ways that would result in weaker and unstable Afghanistan. Your establishment is in pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan, seek to loot the mineral wealth of the country, make it its fifth province but all these would never come true and would be dream as it is.
    You people always say that you accommodate 3.5 million Afghans as refugees but you never counted on those dollars your country received in compensation and then with those you developed Atomic Bomb. Now bulging the eyes to Afghans with intimidated tunes. We being neighbor are two independent country and it is our basic right to whom we should keep relation and with whom our interest are safeguard. Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    The author conveniently neglects to mention the various nefarious activities Pakistan has engaged in Afghanistan since 1979 . This narrative, the Pakistani one is so old and cliched only telling one side of the story. Afghans and Pakistanis are not brothers never was never will be. Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    @Shuweikh Haqqani

    You are parroting the typical Pakistani narrative, which would like to see the ANA fall apart and splinter into anti-Pakistan militias and have a weak and pliant Afghan state. Keep on dreaming.

    Afghanistan is a nation with an enduring ethos unlike your country made up of Indians and Afghans without a national ethos. Projecting yourselves as anything but Indian and stealing our national heroes because you cannot conjure one up from your past Indian heritage. Recommend

  • mountie

    I dont like to call those people who back stab me my brothers. Afhanistan has been the reason for all the unrest in our country. Their land has been used to invade Pakistan. Recommend

  • http://na deep

    My advice to the author is first move away from one mantra often heard on pakistan television – Yeh Jang hamari thi hi nahin.

    I believe way back in 1973, the first seeds of discord in afghanistan were being sowed by bhutto and his ilk – check this bit of history out. They wanted to oust the King.

    It is no accident that the afghans hate pakistan – you have always treated the country as a proxy state – and what has been driving this agenda – the searing hatred of India.

    Really all the problems of current day pakistan can be reduced to – the enduring and self-defeating hatred of india perpetrated by the establishment – other than harming your country at every level from the Taseer murder to the murder of history in text books it is now to JUD’s joy beginning to bear fruit in India – the increasing indifference of middle-class indians to pakistan verging on hatred.Recommend

  • Samrat

    Its good to see you crying. You cannot blame anybody for what happened to you. You helped US at soviet era to have US on your side and create a deterrence against India. You influenced an war which in turn fueled terrorism (well you were hoping that you could use those talibans against India). By then you should understand that fire cannot identify borders while it is on move and also US only needed you as local manager of anti soviet campaign, which is now over. You again gave them opportunity to use you at 2001 for which you really don’t had any national interest other than few billion bucks.
    Now US want India to create local opposition for China. But looks at India, they are only concern about their national interest. So US so far have not been allowed to influence India’s stand against China anyway. If they forge an allience with US, they will do so for their national interest. Not like pakistan like to be used as slave for money and some international support. India will probably soon get the position and by influence from US which you never got by acting like US slave for more than 3 decades. Permanent membership of UN security council. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    The sheer arrogance is appalling – a country that is the 12th most failed state in the world is giving another nation advice on what it needs to do. You still have not managed to answer the question posed in your blog – if you have sacrificed so much for the Afghans, hosted 3.5 mn refugees, created this pinnacle of Islamic civilization called the Taliban, single-handedly destroyed the USSR and installed the US as the world’s sole superpower, made the most sacrifices in the war on terror (losing 40k people and $80 – 800 bn depending on who is talking), went out of your way to support NATO – why in God’s name are you so unpopular? Is there any other country in the world which fits this description? Well, not even Iran and N Korea have been so insistent to help their neighbors or to destroy them in the process. My friend, if the US is an unscrupulous superpower then you are a willing mercenary, not some innocent kid who got led down the garden path. You also have the amazing gift of creative hindsight – clearly not just 20/20. You cannot solve your existing problems so you cook up myriad stories to convince your people as to why they cannot be solved – and all those reasons lie in nations outside your control; this allows you to wallow in self-pity mixed with a generous wallop of schadenfreude at terrorist attacks in Afghanistan or poverty in India, instead of giving up on all these excuses by taking a good hard look at yourselves. Recommend

  • NO JOY

    the alacrity with which Pakistan jumped on anti soviet bandwagon in 80s with all its guns blazing is nowhere to be seen in present WoT.Pakistan is dragging her feet in this war as it is being fought against their sympathizers in Afghanistan.Pakistan reckons the importance of these religious zealots to grind her own axe in AF.although their utility after the endgame is highly suspicious.as @Shuweikh Haqqani is gaga over the erstwhile Taliban regime in Af and steadfastly declaring Karzai,a puppet,he is simply mirroring Pakistani establishments emotions.now Pakistani establishment is in a fix.every drone strike which kills some Taliban fugitives is like a thunderbolt on them.but they have to maintain a facade of a US ally.it is really a very unenviable position for Pak establishment.from Indian point of view it has been a win win situation so far.i don’t think any Indian who had seen Indian airlines flight IC 814 on the eve of Christmus in 1999 ,being hijacked by Pakistani terrorists and facilitated by their Taliban comrades would have any sympathies with these gentlemen.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    Current dislike of Pakistan is no mystery and you most certainly don’t have to dig through the annals of history to reach it. The facts of the present and present state of minds are enough. Most of the NATO allied countries, especially the US, would like nothing more than to see Afghanistan being run by the Afghans themselves, not some sadistic group like the Taliban who sympathizes with others who would also like to act out sadistic policies towards the common Afghan.
    Yeah, there has been drama like the recent Quran issues. But, quite honestly, if I had my life endangered by people who hold that book up like it’s not a religious book, but instead a guidebook to killing my friends, I’d end up with a pretty nasty disposition towards it too. I’ve seen enough Muslims talk to know how it would offend them no matter what, but it still doesn’t change the fact that there is the goal of the common Afghan to have control of their country and lives.
    Get your nose out of their business. The only reason ours is still there is because of people still trying to harm them and concerns of their ability to stand up for themselves efficiently. I guarantee you one thing though. The Afghans eventually will be able to, and all your ill intentions are going to come back to bite you even worse than they are now.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    It seems like the coalition forces want to leave with their heads high, but the greater interest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) bloc in the region would make it hard to allow such an exit.
    Unfortunately, the writer chooses not to read comments in his previous blogs; he had come up with a ludicrous theory on some new role that the SCO is going to play in Afghanistan which will send NATO packing after which Pakistan can clamber to the top of the heap; this was questioned by many well-meaning contributors (including self). As I can see, there is some similar mention in this one as well. There is nothing that the US (and India, for that matter) wants more than to see broad-based engagement in Afghanistan – the more countries that Pakistan will annoy by continuing its double-faced game, the better; the latest donors conference is a clear example. You can also see how much SCO members were willing to contribute out of the total kitty.Recommend

  • Adil

    I would say that history of Pak-Afghan relations should be observed not just in post-Soviet invasion or post 9/11 era but throughout the period of 1947-79 as well.We had the issue/dispute of Durand Line with Afghanistan even before our nation got into the quagmire of religious fundamentalism.Not to forget the slogans of Pashtunistan which came at the surface immediately after creation of Pakistan, and assassination of our country’s very first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan which was carried out by an Afghan national.

    I do acknowledge that ISI has also been playing a very negative role but Afghan intelligence and their government always get a clean chit by blaming everything on Pakistan amidst presence of NATO forces all across the nation.

    Those Afghans who have lived in Pakistan or interacted with Pakistanis could probably have a better understanding of Pakistani society and people than those who just hate Pakistan without looking at incidents and history from a neutral standpoint. I have watched facebook pages,YouTube videos and channels, and forums of Afghans and they do display a racist attitude towards Pakistanis and Punjabis in general. We have a history of bad relations with India too but there have been Indians such as Jaswant Singh who read about Pakistan Movement and try to know our perspective too,and they could show some admiration for Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah;but such a gesture has never been observed on behalf of Afghans and many of them continue to call Pakistan an illegitimate and artifical state, and Jinnah a villain and a British agent.

    By Pakistan they often use the word Punjabi rule and I have seen their maps where Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a number of times even Balochistan is shown as a part of Greater or Loya Afghanistan.They continue to talk about their centuries old legacy,rule of Mahmud Ghaznawi etc…..and as per them Pakistanis especially non-Pashtuns (Punjabis and Muhajirs/Urdu Speakings etc….)are inferior creatures or race infront of their stronger Aryan race.And one could read comments by Zalmai at the top to realize that.Recommend

  • Adil

    In addition to what I said earlier,one can easily the following videos. It’s not about Talibans or ISI alone,agenda of Loya Afghanistan is not dead yet and Afghan nationalists will never forget about us while sitting behind Durand Line.Many of them still have not recognized Pakistan and/or Durand Line yet, and their criticism against Quaid-e-Azam who has got nothing to do with Talibans or extremism is not a secret either.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0wH2V-J14A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkDKiw4aYaQ&feature=plcp

    Was it fault of Jinnah or Pakistan that a treaty was signed way back in 1893?Was it Pakistan who asked Henry Mortimer Durand to draw that line?I hope if some Afghan puts light on such issues and ideas too.Recommend

  • amjad

    @Zalmai: I think that the author needs to remind himself that from 1947, the Afghanis have been willing puppets of the Indians and having working with them hand in glove to cause problems in Pakistan. It is in the nature of Afghanis to blame their problems on others. In most Western nations, you will see Afghani asylum seekers and refugees mostly existing on social assistance or state khayrat but they still curse those very nations that gave them asylum. The only solution is to deport the millions of Afghanis who live in Pakistan and build a big wall to divide the 2 nations so that the Afghanis don’t try to come back after they resume fighting among themselves when ISAF moves out.Afghanistan by its very nature is a multi ethnic state of different groups who all hate each other and their game is to pretend that their self hatred is due to the work of others. No one believes this game of theirs so it is best to let that nation stew in their own future.Recommend

  • Adil

    @Cynical:

    If you notice,then reknowned columnist Hassan Nisar never shows appreciation for any Muslim invader in the Subcontinent except Sher Shah Suri who really spent his time in constructing roads and infrastructures,not to forget the famous road that starts from Kolkata and stretches all the way to Kabul.Other than that Nisar,never admires anyone,instead he criticizes rulers like Mahmud Ghaznavi,Ghauri and Ahmed Shah Abdali who are considered as national icons and historical legends in Afghanistan,simply due to whatever atrocities these emperors commited everytime they would enter Punjab before moving further.The senior columnist also condemns the way people of Pakistan names their missiles after foreign invaders rather than remembering any local warrior or legend during past many centuries.
    Maharaja Ranjit Singh could be called Sher-e-Lahore and considered a national hero in Upper and Central Punjab but same will not be the case in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan since Sikh forces destroyed Afghans/Pathans under his tenure.Abdali, if I am not wrong, is a villain in the eyes of many Indians too.
    Based on current tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan,Iran-Iraq war in the past,crisis in Syria and whatever happened in Libya during last year;one can only agree with Nisar that history is distorted in Pakistan Studies textbooks, and entire history of Muslim for past many centuries include massacre and battles among Muslims themselves.Recommend

  • Samrat

    @Cynical:
    I don’t think Pak economy can afford a 3000 Km long wall. Recommend

  • alicia

    Afghans are hardly brothers. I once by chance stumbled upon this website called pashtoon forums online.
    As I browsed through it I was extremely surprised to see the hatred of Afghans towards Pakistan. Even the ones that hate India still want Pakistan to die at its hands.

    Their racism and feelings of self-grandiose is beyond belief. They regard Punjabi’s and Mohajirs as a inferior race. The Pashtoons cannot tolerate their fellow Tajik, Uzbek countrymen. All they want is to somehow erase the Durand line and recreate Pakistan’s border at Indus River.

    The best we can do it is to create a wall at our border and leave them to it. Maybe after not getting the smuggled sugar, fruits and flour from Pakistan for a few months they will open their eyes. Recommend

  • Shyam

    @Cynical

    No friendship with people who murdered our forefathers, dishonoured our foremothers and plundered their wealth.

    Do you think the Afghans will be friends with the people who murdered their fathers and dishonoured their mothers and destroyed their country? The present state of Afghanistan is partly due to the imperialistic idealogy of “strategic depth” of Pakistan which seems to be heading towards a spectacular failure. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Interesting read.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Shyam

    You didn’t get the hint, it was not even very subtle.
    Read between the lines.Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    @Amjad

    First of all the people of Afghanistan are called Afghans and they don’t hate each other, you are confusing Pakistan with Afghanistan. As far as Afghanistan being a puppet of India since 1947, we all know that is not true and you are just being belligerent and dismissive. Indians are not interested in Afghanistan enough to impose their will or ideology on Afghans.

    Your comment about Afghans living on Khayrat in the West is another propaganda and misinformation campaign. I am sure there are tons of Pakistani people collecting checks from the government and engaging in fraudulent practices in western countries.

    Your proposal to build a wall along the Durand Line will probably be a welcome idea for most Afghans as well, but you know that will never happen. You can dream lofty dreams but you won’t realize them.

    @Alicia

    Long before Pakistan was created Afghanistan was able to feed its people and Afghans never suffered from a shortage of food stuff and no matter what Pakistan does we will be okay. As far as the Durand Line is concerned only a handful of people care about that and it is a non issue for most Afghans mainly because the Pashtuns that live on the Pakistani side are no longer considered as kindred spirits by most Afghans because of their alliance with Punjabis.

    Lastly, most Afghans don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur that distinction is reserved for you and that too at the expense of our heritage and heroes, which Pakistan has co-opted as theirs, even the Karakul hat that your founder sported is of Afghan origin. We are not as proud of Mahmud Ghaznavi or Ahmad Shah Abdali but you guys sing their praises whenever you need heroes.

    We can dissect and deconstruct this a million ways but the bottom line is Pakistan is made up of Afghans and Indians and as such it has no enduring ethos or identity and that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Recommend

  • NO JOY

    @Shyam@Cynical.
    remember Ghazanavi,Ghori,Abdali etcRecommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    @Amjad and @ Alicia

    We can dissect and deconstruct this a million ways but the bottom line is Pakistan is made up of Afghans and Indians and as such it has no enduring ethos or identity and that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The rest is all posturing, chest thumping, saber rattling and smoke and mirrors. Recommend

  • amjad

    @Zalmai: Agreed that we can deconstruct this a million times but the reality is that Afghanistan is a multi ethnic state where the Farsiwan rule the southern Pashtuns which is creating all the tensions there. You want to say Afghanistan is only made up of Afghanis who can be Uzbek, Hazara, Pashtun or Turkmen ? Why then are there many Persian speakers there today that say Afghani Pashtuns are a minority in Afghanistan and why do they want to rename the nation Khorasan? You think you can hide the sun with two fingers? As they say, Aftab ba do angoosh put na mishe. Pakistani Pashtun know all the problems of Afghans. Just because I am Pashtu speaking does not mean I want to be part of a Persian dominated Afghanistan which has only been around for 2 hundred years. You want to say Pakistan as a multi ethnic state has no enduring identity or ethos when your multi ethnic state has an ethos or identity? It seems to me that you have learned the Indian version of South Asian history very well. Did the Indians neglect to tell you that Muslims ruled all of South Asia for over 1000 years before the British came and gave them a country called India? The same British who made a deal with King Abdur Rahman and named a country called Afghanistan. Do you forget that Abdalla was born in Multan in Pakistan. Learn some history and get back to me. People in glass houses should be the last to throw rocks.Recommend

  • stenson

    @Zalmai: The fact that you are here on a Pakistani site to tell us that Afghanistan is so great tells me about your own lack of security. Long before Afghanistan was created Indus Valley Civilization of Pakistan provided food for many regions and had cities and civilization so there is no need to speak about the age of your country. Also so you know Pashtuns on Pak side don’t think of Afghan on Afghanistan side as kindred spirits either since they are in alliance with Tajik. By the way when you say Karakul hat is Afghan, why you use Chitral Pakol which comes from Pakistan? Is it because you have to steal Pakistani culture to make up for lack of own?Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    @Amjad

    Pashtuns are a majority in Afghanistan and the other ethnic groups all have Pashtun blood in them. Pashtun culture prevails over all Afghan society. When you go to an Afghan wedding regardless of their ethnicity they all perform the Atan at the end of the reception. Pashtun names like Zmarai, Zarlasht, Gulpan, Baryalai, Turyalai, Nangyalai, Zalmai, Torpekai etc. etc are used by all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

    Patriotic songs about Afghanistan are mostly sung by Pashtuns and the most recent artist who does this is Latif Nangrahari. As far as Ahmad Shah Abdali being born in Multan that is just a figment of your imagination, he was born in Herat. Multan was part of Afghanistan at that time so it makes no difference.

    Farsiwan were mostly poor laborers such as cobblers, metal workers and street vendors and Pashtuns empowered them by allowing them to get educated and serve under them in their government. Afghanistan was created by Pashtuns and as such its ethos is distinctly Pashtun. Khorasan is a pipe dream it will never come into fruition just like Pashtunistan. Pashtuns were magnanimous enough to allow Tajiks and Uzbeks refuge in Afghanistan when their countries’ were annexed by imperial Russia and they are forever indebted to us.

    Pashtuns dominate the current government in Afghanistan and any political dispensation in the future will always concede power to the Pashtuns and that my friend is the crux of the matter.

    As for Muslims ruling all over South Asia, once again that is also a figment of your imagination. Muslims ruled mostly in northern India. Hindu civilization has existed for five thousand years and they have their own script. Afghans and Iranians don’t have their own script because our script is borrowed from Arabic, which proves that our ancient civilization has thoroughly been erased by Arabs and that did not happen to India despite repeated invasions by various invaders from Central Asia and Europe.

    Some Pashtuns always bring up the issue of Pashtunistan and some Farsiwan always bring up the issue of Khorasan and in my opinion they are both dead causes and as such not worth discussing.

    I love all Afghans whether they are Pashtun or non Pashtun and I think it is silly for Afghans to side with Indians, Iranians or Pakistanis because that drives a wedge between Afghan people and we end up talking about Pashtunistan and Khorasan instead of discussing ideas to unite and move forward and use all our neighboring countries to help us get there not split us into factions.

    Enlightened Afghans want to move forward by uniting and doing away with the proxy patron-client system that has ensnared us for the last thirty years. Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    @Stenson

    Chitralis are closer to Afghans than they are to Punjabis or the other Indian ethnic groups of Pakistan. Cheers mate. Recommend

  • stenson

    @Zalmai: Why you think you get to decide who is like who? Typically Afghan! I guess you don’t much about Pakistan since most Chitralis hate it when someone calls them Pashtun- they always make a point of saying that they are different race; Yes Pashtuns, Punjabis and other races have adopted Chitrali hat just like some Afghans (Tajik and Kandahar) but origin of Chitral Pakol has nothing to do with Afghanistan.Recommend

  • realist

    @Zalmai:
    Your comments are very reasonable. One point I wanted to mention is about the script of Iranians and Afghans. While I am not so sure about the Afghan script, Iranians should be able to find theirs (i.e. of Parsis/Zorastranians) among the Parsi lot living in India (I am not hundred percent sure though).Recommend

  • Faiz

    Zalmai, well said and spoke the truth the whole way. Let me ask a question? Israel and Pakistan were formed in 1940′s, both obviously slaughter houses … another question..where was bin laden killed? LOLL forget it, Allah said, those who don’t understand the reality is because he sealed their hearts and ears from truth. Cheers!Recommend