Thu, Mar 23, 2017 | updated 05:51 AM IST

Targeted by Pakistani Army, Air Force thousands of Pakistani Pashtuns flee to Afghanistan

Updated: Oct 15, 2016 09:42 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Oct. 15 (ANI): Operation 'Zarb-e-Azb' by the Pakistani armed forces against various terrorists groups, especially against Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in North Waziristan along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on 15 June, 2014 has claimed hundreds of lives thus far and rendered thousands of Pashtuns homeless. They have alleged that Pakistan is looking for one or the other excuse to destroy them.

Aerial strikes and ground attacks by the Pakistan Army and the Air Force have made thousands of Pakistani Pashtuns flee their country and take shelter in Afghanistan to save their lives. They said the continued strikes by the Pakistani forces have not only affected their lives, but also inflicted huge damages on their property and livestock. They accuse Pakistan of forcing this fight upon them for the past forty years, which would break them into many pieces.

The displaced Pashtuns speak of unimaginable pain and cruelty as attacks by the Pakistan forces on their homes have killed hundreds of them and their dwellings were demolish by incessant aerial strikes.

Thousands of Pakistanis from Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) are now living as refugees in neighbouring Afghanistan after fleeing from terrible attacks by their own armed forces.

One of the Pakistani Pashtun refugees told ANI: "All of a sudden the Pakistani Government bombarded the place without issuing any alert or warning. We were not told what to do and where to go. The military and the Punjabis harassed us."

"All the villages were destroyed in the sudden attack. The Pakistani Army claimed that they were after the Taliban and on that pretext they destroyed everything, whatever came in their way. Millions of Pakistan 'kaldar' (currency) of businessmen was lost in the action. Those who could not even walk had to scatter to save their lives. I cannot even explain the difficulties I faced while crossing over to Afghanistan," rued another Pakistani Pashtun refugee.

Lambasting the Pakistani government for launching the operation in Waziristan, yet another refugee said, "You people know very well that where the so-called terrorists are hiding and operating from. They are hiding in Islamabad and Karachi. The people of Waziristan have never been on the side of terrorists, nor we have sheltered them and we do not favour any kind of terrorist activities."

He alleged, "Pakistan is looking for one or the other excuse to destroy us. This fight has been forced upon us for the past forty years and will break us into many pieces. Sometimes Pakistan fights with the U.S. and sometimes with neighbours."

Criticising the Punjabis for throwing the Pashtuns out, he said, "Why was Miramshah targeted? He was targeted because the Punjabis want to throw us Pashtuns out? For them, all of us are terrorists, whichever place we belong to. The Punjabis do not even like the sight of us. When it comes to jobs, business and education, the Punjabis usurp everything for themselves at the cost of the Pashtuns. This is because we have lost our unity. We lost our great leader who led us from the front raising the Pashtun voice."

He said when they arrive in Afghanistan, on seeing their hospitality, their pride, etiquette and Islam, they forgot the Pakistani Islam.

"Islam is present in Pakistan and law is also there, but that is British. I have seen that in Afghan offices every process is followed according to the Quran, whereas in Pakistan, they follow Britain. Jihad is not in Pakistan, but it is in Afghanistan. Why? Because here in Afghanistan, we have Pashtuns; we have nothing in Pakistan, no land, no business, no education, no law, and not even Islam. Therefore, we have come to Afghanistan. Punjabis cannot share anything like equality, job and dignity with others. They want to usurp everything," he rued. (ANI)

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