Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Afghanistan: The Misinterpreted Land of Gaffar

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Afghanistan: The Misinterpreted Land of Gaffar

Exclusive for the Daily Outlook Afghanistan

Sitting at home and switching TV channels here in India , curious for international , national, regional issues, many times the only news about Afghanistan, we are bound to watch is about Taliban. The only scene, we used to see, is the desert and the jeep full with rifles. Is it the real / natural position of Afghanistan? Is it only Taliban that reflect the culture of Afghanistan? Or even Afghanistan is bound to live in same? Is it the natural situation or it is any deformed news? It is there just as a part of life or it is imposed to them and so on…. Many such unanswered questions are there, while we, at India, always want to know the facts and to explore the values and culture of our neighboring country.

This situation cannot be said nice, because no culture, no religion and no values permit you to behave with cruelty. Moreover, if Afghanistan is bound to live in this situation, since many years, then the real Afghanistan should emerge out to gather support. Everyone should know that once this land was famous for its rich culture, quality education and politeness.

Many people traveled this land to get knowledge, many others crossed this country to spread message of peace and harmony among other parts of the world. And even after all such positivity, people of this land are facing a war at every moment, and the pity situation is that, the war is not limited to geographical borders, but it also entered inside them, because now a major challenge for them is to rebuild their identity, an identity towards the values they have.

The land of Gaffar that means 'merciful' reflects the real culture of this land. In recent times Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan of this land started a people's movement with the name of Khudai Khidmatgar. The movement spread as fire and many people joined him as a volunteer. It was Gaffar Khan who made Afghanistan famous through this initiative and sent a message to the world.

It can be observed by the fact that during Afghan war both sides announced ceasefire to allow burial of Badshah Khan (people called him by this name). The message of Afghanistan, sent through this move was not limited to just a message and welfare of their own; instead it crossed the boundaries and hand shacked with Indian movements. Bonding between India and Afghanistan, through Badshah Khan can be seen in such a way that on one side he was famous as Fakhri Afghan, while on other side, he also received the highest award of India 'Bharat Ratna'. Who will not be impressed by such example, where you can see a life dedicated towards people?

At the same time, India was blooming with Mahatma Gandhi's non violence practices and thus the two persons made the history by not just recognizing the need of the hour, but to set an example, an example to work for humanity and non-violence, an example to work on the path of truth and to give recognition, value and love without recognizing the geographical boundaries and religions.

Was this message not enough to tell that Afghan people have every right to be recognized as peaceful? Has the term Taliban become so powerful that it is overshadowing the values of Afghan? People of any country are just people, a human being and hence, it cannot be believed that they belong to certain type of nature. If their nature is different, it is mainly because of the external factors. Afghanistan, in this context, situated at a very strategic location, has effect of neighbor's politics and affect of global strategy of political polarization. The extremism, the internal conflicts, external attacks, and neighbor's actions on it; these all made this land full of sufferings.

Though, it is true that we cannot change the scenario overnight, but it should be noted that the change is required and it is required from the side of people. Initiatives of political platforms are many times restricted due to their limits, but it is the common people who can contribute a lot towards the change. Afghanistan is already a member of SAARC, it has a record of good relations with India in past and thus now again the need of the hour is to establish and to promote the people's association. Its objective should be to spread message of love and peace among people on the ground of humanity because if this objective will be worked by heart, relations between countries will become better automatically.

Many initiatives are running over these promotions, however due to its conceptual association with Afghanistan, Faisal Khan led revival of Khudai Khidmatgar in India, symbolize the contribution of Afghanistan towards humanity. We, in India, now at least are able to know something interesting about Afghanistan that it was the land of Gaffar.

I can experience the emotions of a common Indian, who never hate with Afghan, instead they all want to communicate and want to know more about Afghans. Here, many individuals and organizations are ready to collaborate with Afghan people and organizations, for a common cause of spreading message of friendship and peace. Some of the initiatives are still running while many such moves are required and especially to join common people of both sides. Political restrictions are there, but still our each step, together can become stepping stones of this bonding.

I see the Talibanism as a temporary and less important phenomenon in Afghanistan and hope that we all (people of India and Afghanistan) will move together towards establishing a new phase of relationship. The land of Gaffar will get its real glory by the message of humanity and to achieve this, a collective effort is required, by heart of the people of both countries.

Ravi Nitesh has written this article exclusively for the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He is an Indian based writer and working in the field of human rights, peace and communal harmony and environment. He can be reached at ravinitesh@gmail.com

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