Pakistan must end cross-border terrorism, say protesting Afghans in London

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [U.K.], June 25 (ANI): Accusing Pakistan, especially its armed forces and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of promoting a willful campaign of cross-border terrorism in the region and the border areas, scores of Afghans took part in a protest march in Central London, and demanded that Islamabad stop its policies of spreading instability in their country. Over the past six months, the leadership in Afghanistan has repeatedly and stridently charged Pakistan with cross-border terrorism and of funding terrorists, and even gone to the extent of rejecting Islamabad's recent offer of 500 million dollars for development projects in Afghanistan. It may be recalled that Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has gone on record to tell Pakistan that it should use this substantial sum of money to contain terrorism emanating from its soil. Many of protesters shouted slogans, asking Islamabad to stop intervening in the internal affairs of Kabul. "The neighbouring countries are trying to interrupt policies within Afghanistan to create a cultural gap in order to get to their objectives. My message through this to Islamabad is that Afghanistan has witnessed continuous war for the last 40 years and most of the times it is being said that intentions of Pakistan is to intervene in the internal affairs of Afghanistan," Hamid Sahil, political and educational activist and President of UEL Afghan Society, said. "By destruction or insecurity in Afghanistan nobody will benefit. If we struggle or suffer, they have been times that the same war makes a u-turn towards Islamabad and its surrounding states," Sahil added. Gharghasht, president of the Afghan Voice Radio, said there must be a comprehensive and practical support from the international community to help strengthen Afghanistan establishments. "Basically, a threat is dealt sooner the better. We need practical and comprehensive support from the international community to tackle this otherwise, it will not leave Afghanistan for decades to come. My thoughts are that if Afghanistan is in peace then world is in peace, so we want to sympathise and cooperate with the world," Gharghasht said. Among the prominent people who supported the march were Noor Ahmad Sapand, political activist, Gulwali Pasarlay, political activist and Author of Lightless Sky, Pritpal Singh, Afghan Sikh community leader and activist, Hamid Jan Kakar, political economical and educational activist, Ramzy Noor, President, Afghan Diaspora, and Bashir Gharwal, President of Coventry Afghan Society. The leadership in Afghanistan has said these significant and severe security threats affect not only their nation, but also have implications for Asia and the rest of the world if not countered firmly. President Ghani has said that the United Nations has already listed the names of about 30 terrorist groups that are trying to establish a base in Afghanistan, and added that huge number of casualties caused by terror attacks is just not acceptable. Pakistan has a 1,500-mile porous and politically complicated and sensitive border with Afghanistan. In the north, ethnic Pashtun communities straddle both sides of the Durand Line drawn by British rulers in 1896. Afghanistan insists, however, that the real border lies deeper in Pakistan. They have long accused Pakistani authorities of allowing insurgents to slip across, stage attacks and retreat to safe havens. Pakistan is now trying to remove all such ambiguity by installing thousands of steel posts and scrolls of deadly razor wire to prevent illegal movement of people. Afghanistan has strongly objected to these new measures, saying they will disrupt normal, necessary cross-border traffic and unfairly punish families and communities on both sides. They claim also that such steps by Islamabad give no guarantee that cross-border movement of insurgent groups sponsored by Pakistan's security agencies will be stopped or hindered. (ANI)