Ever since the withdrawal process of American troops from Afghanistan began, the Taliban has started a purge process to eliminate the Afghan forces and overthrow the civilian government. The notorious neighbouring country of Pakistan has jumped in as well and started wielding its influence in the region by providing arms and ammunition to the terrorists and supporting their endeavour. While the world watches haplessly, the biggest stakeholder in the situation, the common Afghan people have been left ignored. However, the Afghans are now raising their voices and telling the world that Pakistan should pay the price for their current situation.
With over 3 lakh tweets, #SanctionPakistan was among the top trending hashtags on Twitter as Afghans took to the platform demanding sanctions against Islamabad for its support to the Taliban. Several influential Afghans like cricketer Rashid Khan took to Twitter to share their side of the story and ask for help.
Rashid tweeted, “Dear World Leaders! My country is in chaos, thousand of innocent people, including children & women, get martyred every day, houses & properties being destructed. Thousand families displaced.. Don’t leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans & destroying Afghanistan. We want peace”
Dear World Leaders! My country is in chaos,thousand of innocent people, including children & women, get martyred everyday, houses & properties being destructed.Thousand families displaced..
Don’t leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans & destroying Afghaniatan🇦🇫.
We want peace.🙏
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) August 10, 2021
Habib Khan, an Afghan and a former journalist with The Wall Street Journal took to the social media platform to show the reality to his 100,000 followers and the world.
Amplifying the Sanction Pakistan hashtag, he tweeted, “If the world doesn’t stop, Pakistan will invade Afghanistan and kill us all. Is there anyone to hear us? #SanctionPakistan”
If the world doesn’t stop, Pakistan will invade Afghanistan and kill us all. Is there anyone to hear us? #SanctionPakistan
— Habib Khan (@HabibKhanT) August 12, 2021
Such is the on-ground situation that locals are charting plans to escape the country and seek refuge in neighbouring countries.
One such netizen named Sara Wahedi explained how her family had been planning an exit strategy, “Today, everything has changed. My family is having discussions on what to pack, what to sell, what to leave behind, and what routes to take out of Kabul. I’ve felt ill all day, to the point that sleeping pills aren’t working. I’m terrified for all of us.”
Today, everything has changed. My family is having discussions on what to pack, what to sell, what to leave behind, and what routes to take out of Kabul.
I’ve felt ill all day, to the point that sleeping pills aren’t working. I’m terrified for all of us.
— Sara Wahedi (@SaraWahedi) August 12, 2021
Chris Alexander, a former politician and diplomat, having served as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 2013 to 2015 also supported the sanctions on Pakistan and pledged his allegiance on Twitter.
Chris tweeted, “There will be no permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan without sanctions against Pakistan. Pakistan’s ‘forever war’ must end. #EndProxyWar #SanctionPakistan”
There will be no permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan without sanctions against Pakistan.
— Chris Alexander (@calxandr) August 2, 2021
Riaz Sadat, an Afghan trade attaché to Saudi Arabia, accused Islamabad of keeping the Taliban and other terrorists safe, but not Afghan diplomatic families.
Shame on Pakistan! Where Taliban & other terrorists are safe, but Afghan diplomatic families are kidnapped.
Pakistan has crossed all boundaries of humanity in fight against Afghanistan by abducting & torturing Afghan diplomats' families in safe zones of Islamabad.#SilsilaAlikhil pic.twitter.com/lmpJRoi6q1
— Riaz Sadat (@RiazSadat) July 18, 2021
My heart bleeds for Afghanistan, for my people, for my home, for my land and for everything that exists in that country and losing my beloved hometown Herat to a barbaric group.#SanctionpakistanEndProxyWarInAfghanistan
— Horia Mosadiq (@Hmosadiq) August 12, 2021
Reportedly, the Afghan diaspora will also stage demonstrations on August 14 near the Pakistan embassy in Washington D.C. against Islamabad for tacitly supporting the Taliban. Similarly, Afghans living in California took to the streets last fortnight to protest against Taliban’s carnage.
The protest march was held in support of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), who have launched an offensive against the Taliban to retake districts captured by the insurgent group
— Aref Dostyar عارف دوستیار (@ArefDostyar) July 27, 2021
Reported extensively by TFI, Pakistan believes that by winning Afghanistan through the Taliban, it can control the region by exporting terrorists willy nilly. It falsely believes the notion that central Asia will be unlocked for it while on the West, it will be able to come harder on India on the Kashmir issue. Despite having a monster in the closet i.e., Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), that is fighting for the removal of the government, doesn’t regard the borders, has the covert backing of Afghan Taliban – Pakistan is looking the other way.
It is pertinent to note that TTP has been involved in several of the goriest terrorist attacks to have taken place in Pakistan in the last few years. From the ghastly Peshawar school attack to the Hotel attack to routine roadside bombings, sniper attacks, ambushes and the killing of residents accused of collaborating with government forces – TTP is all out to flush the Pakistani government and establish its dominance. It is even in collusion with the forces on the Pashtun border that are looking to retaliate against Pakistan Army.
While Islamabad is helping the Taliban behind the shadows, it attempts to mislead the world governments by claiming to be a victim of terrorism and thus usurps billions of dollars in funds in the name of fighting the battles against Islamic terrorism.
Even after actively supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, Pak PM Imran Khan has the audacity to guilt other nations. As reported by TFI, Khan whilst talking to international reporters remarked that the US sees Pakistan as “useful” only for clearing the “mess” it has left behind in Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting and prefers India when it comes to forming a “strategic partnership”.
Imran said, “Pakistan is just considered only to be useful in the context of somehow settling this mess which has been left behind after 20 years of trying to find a military solution when there was no one.”
US President Joe Biden hasn’t spoken to Imran Khan, ever since he came to the White House, suggesting that the states had moved past him. The rejection could possibly be the reason why the attacks have been mounted on the American embassy in Afghanistan as the US rushes in its troops to safely evacuate the diplomats.
While supporting Taliban might provide short term benefits to Imran Khan and in turn, Pakistan, every single subject expert has argued that the former would turn on Islamabad and leave it in ruins as well. And no one in the international community will bat for it at the time. Pakistan has made the bed with Taliban; it will have to pay the price for it.
However, to protect the Afghans and their freedom, the world leaders need to gather and pass strong sanctions on Pakistan. Bleeding out dry the Islamic nation appears to be the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region. India will be directly affected by the developments in Afghanistan and hence it should act quickly and lobby for sanctions against Pakistan.