By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington DC [US], August 15 (ANI): Afghan Americans gathered in large numbers to stage a protest outside the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington on Pakistan's Independence Day on Saturday, slamming the alleged Islamabad-sponsored terrorism in their home country where the Taliban continue to seize more territory.
For some expatriates like Fareeda Nazibi who are living away from their home country, the situation is deeply personal and difficult. Parents of Fareeda, a first-generation Afghan living in the US sought refuge here two decades ago. However, today thousands of miles away back home the lives of her immediate family is in danger and there is nothing that she can do.
"There are families that we cannot connect with because of the Taliban. Anybody whose family member is in the Afghan Army is being killed," Fareeda told ANI.
An emotional Fareeda says every Afghan standing with her in solidarity has strong ties to the country and are feeling a sense of hopelessness and desperation watching the crisis unfold from a distance and cries for a way forward for the people of Afghanistan.
"My innocent Afghans, who are voiceless, have no place to go. They're dying, nobody cares. Their cries are getting on deaf ears," Fareeda added.
Many who gathered at the protest site say they feel as though the international community has turned its back on their home country. The diaspora said that they counted on the success of Western forces and were living with the hope that one day the United States would take action on Pakistan for its alleged duplicity and proxy war.
"We want Pakistan to realize that Afghanistan is not Afghanistan of the 1990s. Neither are the people of Afghanistan...you're not just dealing with a small country name Afghanistan, you're dealing with the whole world, because our kids and grandkids, they're Afghan Americans, Afghan Europeans and Afghan Australians," said Habib Oliomi from California.
The horrors in Afghanistan have inspired many members of the diaspora to do what they can to fight back, including a woman named, Kalah Mujahidi from Texas who has been very vocal about the Taliban and Pakistan's alleged support to the outfit.
"Boycott Pakistan, stop the Taliban and cut their funds. Each time you see anything that's made in Pakistan, don't move it forward, stop their transactions," Kalah said. He further warned that a return of the Taliban will not only affect Afghanistan but also the entire region including India and beyond.
"Pakistan is a plague to all its neighbours. They've terrorized India since 1947. India gave them a gift and look at what they're doing. Look at what they're doing to the entire region. That part of the world could be better technologically and more advanced than the European nation in the next few years, this terrorist is destabilizing that part of the world wake up my allies my neighbours," Kalah appealed.
The crisis in Afghanistan is worsening as the Taliban continues to advance across the country. In a few days, they have seized control of about 22 of the country's 34 provinces and are edging closer to the country's capital, Kabul. The militant group recently captured Herat, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif, the country's second, third, and fourth-largest cities.
On Saturday, President Joe Biden authorized an additional 1,000 US troops for deployment to Afghanistan, raising to roughly 5,000 the number of US troops to ensure what Biden called an "orderly and safe drawdown" of American and allied personnel.
The Afghan diaspora is frustrated and speaks of American betrayal. Each one protesting outside the Pakistani mission in Washington fears the collapse of the Afghan government and full-blown civil war back home. They worry about Afghanistan again becoming a haven for terrorists backed by Pakistan.
Khalida Nawabi, a prominent Afghan voice in Washington said the country has been at war for the past several generations and that hope for a solution is fading.
"The international community are hearing our voice but they are not taking any action, they should take an action as soon as possible. Pakistan is a terrorist country. It produces terrorists. Pakistan's ISI is supporting this group for more than years but no action from the international community," Khalidi added.
"We want India the neighboring countries to push pressure on Pakistan to stop this war in the region, otherwise it will be a big problem like 9/11," Kahlidi said. (ANI)