Islamabad, Pakistan: Multifaceted, multifactor, and multilayered terrorist attacks on Pasni Gwadar and Mianwali Airbase have again confirmed state-sponsored Indian terrorism and generated several questions about the possible involvement of illegally residing Afghans in such attacks but also raised alarms over threats coming from the interim Afghan government. Meanwhile, the response of the PTI social media brigade over the martyrdom of dozens of Pakistani soldiers further indicates that this party still stands with enemies of Pakistan and has learned nothing even after facing a tough time about what it did on May 9, 2023.
Nonetheless, the series of events of last week have washed away support that some strata of society had for illegally residing Afghans in Pakistan as the threatening statements of the Afghan interim government against Pakistan; the abrupt increase in terrorist acts after the Pakistani government started crackdown against illegally residing foreigners; cheering reaction of Indian media over terrorist attacks in Pakistan and unfortunate sarcastic response of PTI followers over coffins of martyrs are seen by sane minds as beads threaded together.
On November 3 and 4, two major terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan – an attack in Gwadar in which 14 soldiers were martyred and on November 4 a failed attempt to target the Mianwali Air Base which was foiled by security forces. This new massive wave of terrorism can not be seen separately from events such as the process of repatriating illegal Afghans and the presence of these elements in recent incidents of terrorism. In these incidents of terrorism, anti-national elements like PTI have come forward openly and the nation has again seen their real faces.
Intriguingly, right after the Gwader and Mianwali attacks, Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Mullah Yaqub Mujahid passed a statement that “Pakistan should assess the possible consequences of expelling Afghans and do what it can afford later.” Mullah Yaqub Mujahid was not the only one in the Afghan interim government who passed an objectionable statement. Interim Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund also in a video message raised the issue of illegal Afghans and asked Pakistan’s government under what law Pakistan is confiscating the property of illegally residing foreigners. He criticized instructions given by the caretaker government of Pakistan to law enforcement agencies for confiscating the properties of illegal criminals residing in Pakistan. His statement was a loud and clear intervention in the domestic affairs of Pakistan as he was telling us what orders our government should give to our law-enforcing agencies and what orders we should not give them. Thousands of social media comments generated by the PTI social media brigade appeared immediately for supporting statements of Mullah Yaqub Mujahid on Twitter (now x) and Indian media launched its own well-calculated and already prepared media attack in cyberspace and social media. First, on the night of November 3, X accounts like “Frontal Force”, “Baba Banaras” and many other accounts linked to the Indian intelligence agency RAW hinted at the Mianwali attack and said that something big was going to happen, which proves that they India’s notorious RAW is surely behind the attacks.
Similarly, when the attack on Mianwali Air Base failed, the Indian media immediately took action and started this propaganda by showing pictures of May 9, 2023, and then the PTI social media brigade activated and desecrated and insulted the soldiers who were martyred in Gwadar and this propaganda took the lead in anti-Pakistan propaganda along with India. Since then, mercenary trolls from Pakistan who are affiliated with the PTI have continued against the Pakistan Army. It has again been proven that PTI trolls have no sense of the sanctity of the martyrs and their families and firmly propagate what the Indian government propagates against Pakistan.
Since things are unfolding layer-by-layer, the response of patriotic journalists, academicians, and writers has become straight and clear. Author of several books on the political history of Pakistan, senior journalist Dr. Farooq Adil in his response to the latest developments said that those who are against the deportation of illegal foreigners have a malicious and anti-national agenda and comments of Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Mullah Yaqub Mujahid who said in a statement that “Pakistan should assess the possible consequences of expelling Afghans and do what it can afford later” was a clear threat to sovereignty of Pakistan. Dr Farooq Adil considered this statement as a blatant threat to Pakistan indicating that the recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan could be linked with such kind of mentality of the Afghan government.
Editor Daily Pakistan and famous analyst Esar Rana was blunter in his comments who said that legal and illegal Afghans living in Pakistan had ruined Pakistani society, and economy and they had no respect and no love for Pakistan. He was of the view that Afghans only used Pakistan for their economic interests. He stated that Pakistan sacrificed over 100,000 citizens in terrorist acts that were perpetrated on Afghan soil. He added that the worst kind of economic terrorism had been launched against Pakistan by Afghans who had been transporting billions of USD out of Pakistan to Afghanistan and also by designing smuggled wheat, sugar, cooking oil, and other edibles to create food insecurity in Pakistan.
Senior journalist from Lahore Sajjad Anwar commented that Afghans are (were) our brothers but when illegal Afghans are being asked to return to their homeland, they started speaking against Pakistan and the Afghan government instead of realizing the situation and helping Pakistan this just action was standing with illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan. He claimed that Afghans ruined the fate of Pakistan and now the government has taken a firm and right decision but the Afghan government was supporting illegal criminals.
Senior journalist Muhammad Naushad Ali while commenting on the situation was of the view that a systematic conspiracy was developed to thwart the policy of deporting illegal immigrants. He added that there was no doubt that systematic economic terrorism was launched against Pakistan from Afghan soil which is now followed by threatening statements of the interim Afghan government when the sitting government in Pakistan controlled currency smuggling and decided to crack down on criminals. He thought that everybody irrespective of political divide should stand behind the government of interim PM Kakar.
Famous social media journalist Shanila Amar was of the view that Pakistan hosted millions of refugees for decades and faced the economic and social brunt of this policy but instead of supporting the government of Pakistan, the interim Afghan government was in favor of those who had been living illegally in Pakistan and had been involved in all social and economic crimes.
Academician Tahir Naeem Malik believed when nations defend their freedom, they have to face many difficulties. He appreciated the interim government’s crackdown against illegal foreigners living in Pakistan.
Senior anchorperson and journalist Jawwad Faizi when asked to comment was of the view that he had no doubt left that PTI is (was) an anti-state party and whatever it did on May 9, 2023, was enough to know what kind of hatard its Chairman Imran Khan had injeted in his followers. He said that PTI always made obnoxious, objectionable, sarcastic, and even insulting statements against the soldiers and martyrs and destroyed monuments of martyrs on May 9, 2023. He said that he had no doubts that a calculated economic terrorism had been launched against Pakistan and that it was done through illegally residing Afghans but it was unfortunate that the Afghan government was supporting such elements.
Author and senior journalist who covered the Afghan War Agha Iqrar Haroon stated that there was no ethnic issue in sending illegal foreigners to their countries of origin because the crackdown against illegal foreigners included people from Africa, particularly from Nigeria who had been living in Pakistan without valid documentation like valid visas, etc. He also stated that there was no issue of ethnicity even if we talked about purely illegal Afghans living in Pakistan because their illegal businesses and illegal trade primarily ruined the bonafide businesses of Pakistani Pashtuns. Giving historical references, he stated that Afghans controlled rather than monopolized the transport business that was run by Pakistani Pashtuns in the past. He expressed his disappointment over the threatening tone of the Afghan government against Pakistan.
Anchorperson Yasir Rehman was of the view that the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan not to try civilians in Military Courts would encourage terrorists. He also added that the instant reaction of Indian media after terrorist attacks always confirms that terrorism against Pakistan is planned in India but unfortunately launched from Afghan soil.