Editor’s note: A Taliban attack on January 20, 2016 at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, twenty miles from Peshawar, claimed the lives of more than twenty people. The attack began about 9 a.m. when the gunmen climbed a wall to the campus spraying students and teachers with gunfire. In this piece our writer questions who is supporting the Taliban.

The recent attack by four gunmen at a Pakistani university led to about twenty deaths and Pakistan’s military spokesman General Asim Bajwa announced afterwards that the four gunmen belonged to the Afghan Taliban.

Bajwa claimed they were trained inside Afghanistan, under the Pakistani Taliban leader Umaar Mansoor. Mansoor had been held responsible for a deadly massacre that killed 134 Pakistani children in December 2014. He said the gunmen crossed the border at Torkham and entered Pakistan to attack the innocent Pakistani students.

My question is this: What is the source of this Taliban group? Where and why were they created? How have they increased in numbers and who are their donors?

I think that in fact, Pakistan is responsible for what happened during the attack. They created the Taliban to attack Afghanistan so they could control Afghanistan. Pakistan is where the Taliban was born, grew up, and gained strength in numbers. Pakistan supported them and provided them with the facilities to empower themselves. Now that they have become a powerful group, the Taliban is no longer loyal to Pakistan and wants to establish its own government. 

Afghanistan has tried its best to have a good relationship with Pakistan. With the help of America and international alliances, Afghanistan has carried out programs to solve problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan doesn’t even try to have a good relationship with us in Afghanistan. They torment Afghan refugees in Pakistan. They support the Taliban and they weren’t ready to help with the removal of the Taliban. The Pakistani government directly rejected the American proposal to identify Taliban areas in Pakistan.

During the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, many Afghan people fled to many places, including Iran, Arab countries, and Canada. Other Afghan people, including my family, went to Pakistan. At the time I was only four years old, too young to know what was happening, but my mother later explained to me the problems we faced on the trip. The Pakistani army police asked Afghan refugees to give them money in return for being allowed to cross the border.

I remember starting school in Pakistan at an Afghan school by the name of Ariana. I was about six years old when my family opened a restaurant in Pakistan. My brother worked in our restaurant and one day when I was at the restaurant, some Pakistani police came and stole money from my brother. The next day was a terrible day. Police came and arrested many Afghan male refugees and took them to jail, for no reason.  My brother was able to escape and save himself. But the police tortured Afghan refugees and demanded money to release the refugees from jail.  They released the men whose families could collect the money. But the poor people whose families had little money remained in jail for years.

Nowadays we suffer from many attacks and many different types of attacks, like suicide bombing attacks, gunfire on people, and bomb attacks. A few days ago, we saw the Taliban attacking TOLO TV staff’s minibus, killing seven employees and injuring twenty-five employees. Before that we saw the Taliban attack Kunduz and many other provinces, some of which, even now, are under Taliban rule.

From my point of view, the best way to stop Taliban attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is for us all to fight against the Taliban together. Pakistan should allow the U.S. military to find all the Taliban members in Pakistan and kill them. This will be possible when Pakistan stops supporting the Taliban.

I deplore the horrible and inhumane university and school attacks that occurred in Pakistan. But Pakistan should know that if they continue supporting the Taliban and do not stop them from increasing their numbers, there may be even more horrible and bloody attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

I hope that as neighboring countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan can have a more friendly relationship so that together we can struggle against terrorism.

By Freshta B.

Photo by Team Sarwar