Monitoring Desk: “The Supreme Court of Pakistan’s October 23, 2023 decision against the trial of civilians in military courts would play a pivotal role in boosting the morale of terrorists who have resources to scot-free from civilian courts, resulting in a recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan”.
These observations came from experts in a state-run PTV talk show “BAKHABAR” here on Saturday.
The show was anchored by senior anchorperson Yasir Rehman and participated by Dr Farooq Adil, Agha Iqrar Haroon, Tahir Fateh Malik, Sajjad Anwer, Muhammad Noshad Ali and Shanila Amar.
The participants of the show were of the view that a propaganda campaign had been launched against the state of Pakistan that it was sending Afghan refugees back to their native country while in reality, Pakistan was sending only illegal foreigners out of Pakistan irrespective of their countries of origin because majority of such aliens had been found involved in illegal activities such as smuggling of US$ currency, wheat, sugar, edible and also had been involved in economic terrorism against Pakistan.
Author of several books on the political history of Pakistan, senior journalist Dr. Farooq Adil was of the view that those who are against the deportation of illegal foreigners have a malicious and anti-national agenda and he also strongly criticized the 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.”
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.
It is pertinent to mention that 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.
Senior journalist Sajjad Anwar was of the view 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 for this just action was standing with illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan. He stated that Pakistan’s policy of the 80s of “Strategic Depth” 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 stated that a systematic conspiracy was developed to thwart the policy of deporting illegal immigrants. He maintained that there was no doubt that systematic economic terrorism was launched against Pakistan the sitting government made the right decisions to save Pakistan from further disasters and everybody should stand behind the government.
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 kind of 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.
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.
When asked by anchorperson Yasir Rehman would the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan of not trying civilians in Military Courts would encourage terrorists, Agha Iqrar Haroon was of the categorical view– Yes– it would encourage terrorists. He stated that SC gave the verdict that military trials of civilians are unconstitutional but it is tacit history that terrorists got bail from civilian courts in the past and he mentioned a known case in which one terrorist namely Hazrat Ali was arrested with explosives outside Manawan Police Training college that came under terrorist attack. Hazrat Ali got bail from a civilian court and he was killed in another suicide bombing after three years in a “Karachi pressure cooker suicide bombing”. Agha Iqrar claimed that whenever Pakistan tried to fix smuggling, a massive wave of terrorist attacks started in Pakistan and whenever any terrorist was arrested alive, the law enforcing agencies came to know he was Afghan. He further claimed that Afghanistan had become a launching pad to launch all kinds of terrorism against Pakistan.
It should be noted that at the beginning of October, the government of Pakistan had ordered the foreigners residing illegally in the country to voluntarily leave the country by November 1, 2023. A crackdown on illegal aliens was launched on November 1, 2023. The Ministry of Interior announced that they would be arrested and deported and their properties confiscated. According to Pakistani officials, more than 100,000 Afghans residing illegally in the country have gone to Afghanistan and this process is still going on.