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Citizen Voices

The Sufferings Of Citizens In Afghanistan Must End

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Soviet Union was forced to kneel down and retreat in 1989 by the then friends of the Americans, the mujahidin, the so called Taliban of today. But tables have turned this time too as America’s “endless” and longest war has come to an end. This rugged mountainous terrain is yet again witnessing monumental withdrawal of a superpower.

Undoubtedly, with indiscriminate bloodshed, endless mayhem and devastation, this land has been witness to infinite loss of life.

Afghans first fell prey to the Soviet scavenger hunt and then the American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used by the United States Army to hound the helpless Afghan women and children.

Facts speak louder than words when it comes to terrible tragedy of the Afghan people. Bruised and battered by Soviet and American invasion, this land and its valiant children could not be cowed down by invading forces.

It’s a hard fact that between 2010 to 2012, when the US for a time had more than 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, the cost of the war grew to almost $100bn a year, according to US government figures. Unfortunately, the human cost which Afghan people bore during this war wrangling of Washington was one of the worst in human history. Sadly, that human cost had never been a cause of concern as America was preoccupied tallying its own dead soldiers.

This picturesque paradise has endured through generations, the “graveyard of empires”, according to sources, is worth over $3 trillion in mineral resources. But this wealth became a curse with chaos being a historical norm of the land.

Alien solutions brought through foreign interference excluding the people hardly ever flourish or perpetuate. One of the enduring aspects in the geo political world of today is that the resolution can be made possible through the dialogue “including” all the stakeholders. So, an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution is the only way forward.

It is to be noted that destruction ensued an era of endless disaster in the land of Afghanistan despite the fact that there was no Afghan involved in the New York attacks of September 2001. This nation was thrown on the war path after the US-led forces invaded shortly after the tragic incident at home. Revenge, vengeance, or restoring democracy? What was the primary motivating factor or aim? As has been stated by the US officials, destroying Al Qaeda and killing bin Laden were the primary objectives of this war. But in the process, the Pentagon pushed the limits of patience of Afghans, and freedom fighters-now turned-insurgents.

The Bagram base today with its bare landing stripes bears overshadows receding superpower that once had over 2,100 military personnel on this base alone. It was this very Bagram which was used as a base of operations by the US-backed mujahedeen, whom the US President Reagan called “freedom fighters”. A decade later, a group emerged as a product of “freedom fighting” – Taliban. A place like Bagram which was constructed in 1950s has an immense symbolism. It was used by the Soviet Union in 1979 when it invaded Afghanistan to back the communist regime there. The US forces leaving Bagram air base implies the ultimate US departure symbolizing the end of American occupation. It is the second time a foreign military left the Bagram airfield once used as a primary base of operations against freedom fighters and insurgents.

Lamentable reality is that the champions of freedom and democracy have retreated, leaving the country in the midst of crises and civil war.

The land so rich in resources has lured invaders for centuries but neither the Mughals, the British, nor the Soviets and now the Americans could succeed in dampening the enigmatic spirit of the sons of this soil to unite to fight off foreign occupation. However, we need to keep our hopes high and pray that may peace and prosperity return to this land, the people, and especially the Afghan women who suffered the most.

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Naya Daur