Imran Khan cannot make up his mind about the purpose of the recently held 17th Extraordinary Session of OIC held in Islamabad. During his address to the attendees, he said that it was a ‘humanitarian duty’ of the world that they help Afghanistan with aid, yet in his second breath he claimed that it was a ‘religious duty’ of Muslims to help Afghanistan.
He said that “no country has suffered as much as Afghanistan”. Imran Khan conveniently ignored the fact that the troubles in Afghanistan were concocted in Pakistan. Was it not in order to create the so called ‘strategic depth’ against India that the Pakistani military ruler General Muhammed Zia Ul Haq (1977-88) began to arm Afghan War Lords against the left wing government of Noor Muhammed Taraki in 1978?
And is it not true that for a fist full of dollars the military generals transformed Pakistan into a front line state for western imperialism and China whose only purpose was to bog down the Soviets who had come to defend the Afghan Saur Revolution?
What about the millions of Afghan jihadi, then called the Mujahedeen, trained, armed and then sent into Afghanistan to conduct a civil war in that country?
Imran Khan sheds crocodile tears over the misery that the Afghan people face today blaming it on the previous “corrupt” governments and ignored the fact that today Afghanistan was under the yoke of the most brutal, anti-civilization, drug dealers and smugglers in the form of the Afghan Taliban who have come to power after ousting an elected government and who have since been trampling upon human rights, depriving the ethnic groups of any political representation and failing to stop the export of terrorism by the Afghan based Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan into Khan’s own country.
Not all what he said seemed untrue. For instance, Imran Khan said that “if the world does not act this will be the biggest man made (read Pakistan made) crisis”. Pleading to the OIC to help Afghanistan, Imran Khan said that it was their religious duty, and that it was “a question of…40 million human beings” yet in Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (PoJK, PoGB) 6 million of my people are currently suffering from hunger and face starvation due to lack of Wheat, water and electricity. Already we have spent half of the winter in darkness and food shortage. What about us? Are majority of our people in the PoJK and PoGB not ‘Muslims’ or human beings?
Khan sahib passionately talks about drought in Afghanistan leading to a food crisis but conveniently forgets that it is his own government that has reduced the quota of Wheat for PoGB by 20 thousand bags a month and all Atta depots in the PoJK have been shut down due to lack of flour.
One feels amazed at Imran Khan’s desperation in seeking help for his Taliban brothers when he protests against preconditions the world community has set for the Taliban to comply with before they qualify for world recognition.
He said that the preconditions that unless the Taliban have an inclusive government, human rights, women rights, and disallow terrorism from their soil are met the humanitarian aid will not flow and their foreign reserves will not be allowed to or their banking system will not be allowed to function, should not stop the world from aiding the Taliban government!
He said that the Taliban foreign minister had categorically said that they wanted to comply with the (above said) three conditions.
Well, as the IOC meeting was in session in Islamabad Afghan Taliban were attacking Pakistan army at the Pak-Afghan border between Chaman in Balochistan and Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. The Taliban held the Pakistan military personnel at gun point and dug up the barbed wire fence laid by Pakistan over the Durand Line claiming that they did not recognise the border between the two countries.
In 1893 Sir Mortimer Durand had sketched the border between British India and Afghanistan and an agreement was signed between himself and the Afghan ruler Abdul Rahman Khan.
According to the agreement, the border was to be recognised by both parties for 100 years. Hence, since 1993 the Durand line agreement stands null and void. The Taliban who took the barbed wire with them have warned that if another attempt to seal the border is made they will not refrain from using force to exert their will.
Similarly, at the time when the OIC was deliberating about humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, the host country was busy constructing concrete bunkers within the 500 meters’ buffer zone at the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. It was a shameful attempt by the Pakistan military to provoke India to respond to this breach of mutual agreement by opening fire.
Imran Khan might have thought that once India responds with live ammunition the OIC meeting would become an India bashing event helping him to drag in the so called and fabricated Kashmir issue.
It did not happen. Indian border security force used a megaphone instead and kept warning the Pakistani army to refrain and stop the illegal maneuver.
Imran Khan is a person who will go to any length to procure monetary benefit and in the end Pakistan did manage to get the OIC to agree to set up a Trust Fund for Afghanistan.
This will surely be a kitty from which Pakistan will also draw the much need cash for running of its own administration. Khan’s crocodile tears shed at the OIC did not go in vain after all.
( is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK)