The Nation, April 22, 2012

US atrocities in Afghanistan

By Professor Ali Sukhanver

Two grief-stricken Afghan men look into the van where the body of a badly burned child lays, wrapped in a blue blanket
Disbelief: Two grief-stricken Afghan men look into the van where the body of a badly burned child lays, wrapped in a blue blanket. 17 innocent civilians were massacred by US soldiers on March 11, 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Photo: EPA)

I remember once I had a meeting with Hamza Khan, an old Afghan refugee, residing somewhere at a refugee camp in Peshawar. He told me that he had been in Pakistan for the last twenty years. His son Shahzeb Gul was ten years old when the family had to migrate to Pakistan; now that ten years boy is a grownup man of thirty with a family of four children and their mother. From Hamza Khan to Shahzeb Gul and to the next generation, no one ever tried to go back to Afghanistan though they always have a strong desire of doing so. I asked Hamza Khan, “Why didn’t you ever try to go back to your land?” He replied me in a gloomy depressing tone, “My land is no more mine. I have left there nothing but my memories and just for the sake of my memories, I cannot put the lives of my children in danger.” I could see the flames of indignation and revenge in the eyes of Hamza Khan. Can we call a sensible behaviour if we ransack a house, enslave the residents, deprive them of all their liberty and human rights, shatter their dreams and then expect from them the finest values and traditions of peace and tranquility.

What if I hand over a loaded gun to a hungry teenager; naturally he would turn that gun on me and run away with all that I have in my pockets. This is what is happening there in Afghanistan and in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. While commenting upon the ever-increasing flames of violence, mistakenly called terrorism, we find it very easy to shift the whole blame on to the ‘hungry boy’: no one blames the hands that hand over the gun to him instead of taking care of his hunger. The situation in Afghanistan regarding the blazing fire of terrorism is never going to change unless the hands are cuffed which mock at the helplessness of Afghan people. Whatever happening there in Afghanistan is not terrorism but a reaction and a response to the US atrocities against the people of Afghanistan. It is simply a matter of paying back in the same coin. Dear Uncle Sam! The hungry boy needs bread not gun; be kind to him; he would return you the same kindness.

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