The Need for Regional Cooperation Against Terrorism
Kabul and Peshawar, due to their close geographic proximity, have a significant influence on each other. Had the Durand Line not been drawn, the two cities could have been part of the same state. However, political events have turned the two cities into hostile entities, with guns pointed at each other. Peshawar is home to Pakistani corps that have been training terrorists and plotting to destroy cities in Afghanistan. Figures such as Faiz Hamed have been working in this corps, whose job was to assassinate influential Afghan figures during the Jihad against the USSR and provide safe havens for terrorists over the past 20 years. The political distance between the two cities has created a false perception that events such as war, destruction, poverty, bloodshed and radicalism in Afghanistan have no impact on Pakistan. The Pakistani establishment and media celebrated the fall of the Afghan government, viewing it as a victory and a new chapter in the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the reality today is far different from what was projected and propagated by the Pakistani media. Bloodshed has spilled over into Pakistan, and news of terrorist activities surfaces on social media almost daily. While some educated Afghans may be happy, they are unaware of the dangers of the collapse of the Pakistani government and the potential for the entire region to be consumed by terrorism.
Recent insecurity in Khyber Pashtun Khwa (KPK) has been attributed to the strategies of Pakistani Generals, which were disguised as “Pakistan strategic depth in Afghanistan“. These strategies aimed to bring Afghanistan back to a time of servitude, where schools were closed, women stayed home, and the government was run by uneducated people. The Generals believed this would keep their loyal suicide bombers and terrorists in Afghanistan, to be used if necessary. However, this plan backfired, and insecurity and radicalism spread to Pakistan.
Afghan politicians have failed to take advantage of the resources, time, and opportunity to create regional and international cooperation against terrorism. Furthermore, populist leaders have been unable to unite the people of Afghanistan and create solidarity among them. With the lack of a government, media, civil activists, and educated people must take the initiative to spread awareness of the need for solidarity against terrorism. Our region cannot continue to be hostile to one another, and it is time to put aside our differences and work together to combat regional terrorism. Let us help each other out of this difficult situation.