How an Afghan major became a beggar?

The Frontier Post, September 15, 2000

Former Afghan army major, Noor Mohammad, is a beggar today in Peshawar PESHAWAR- The photograph accompanying this write-up shows a man crossing the road with crutches support and a small child hanging him from his back. If seen carefully it also reflects from this photograph that the small boy is fastened with a piece of cloth used as rope, around the waste of this lame man.

The story of this man is in fact the ordeal of tens of thousands of Afghans who have become victims of anti-personnel or land mines blasts in their homeland from 1979 till present.

This lame man was a major in the regular Afghan Army. He studied military science and received military training as a professional solider in various former Afghan army owned academies and schools. He served Afghan army for many years. Later, he defected to Pakistan like many other Afghan army soldiers who found Soviet army officers masters rather than their friends. Later, he joined Jehad along with Afghan irregulars and it was perhaps the beginning of his ordeal. He lost his left leg while fighting against the invading Russian troops in a land mine blast inside Afghanistan. Until the Jehad was in continuation, he had the support from either NGOs or from his other Mujahid colleagues. But, once the Jehad was ended, and unending chapter of miseries was opened up for him.

Former Afghan army major, Noor Mohammad, is a beggar today. He can be seen begging on Peshawar Cantonment roads frequently. He has eight children including one who is riding on his back in this photograph.

He has no source of income except to beg for cooling down the appetite of his family members. No Afghan philanthropist, not a signal NGO nor even the Afghan social welfare bodies meant for looking after Afghan street children and women have so far reached Major Noor Mohammad to share his miseries.

His pitiful apparent condition is a vivid proof of the fact that neither the former Afghan Army Servicemen Association in Pakistan nor the NGOs working for rehabilitation of Afghan refugees are true to their so-called cause. Whatever they are doing, it is simply aimed at squeezing maximum money from various sources particularly abroad to enjoy luxurious life.

This single photograph can be considered as a representative photo of the plights of other Afghan land-mines victims. Not just one, two or three but land-miens victims in scores can be seen begging everywhere in Peshawar. It should be eye opener for those foreign donors who have been funding various land mine victims rehabilitation NGOs and organizations.

There is a dire need that they should at least arrange a survey through any authentic agency or source to ascertain the facts in this regard and then to set their priorities for funding those organizations.

h t t p : / / w w w . r a w a . o r g