During the last thirty years of wars in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians have had one safe place to escape to: Pakistan.
They fled the Soviet invasion. They fled civil wars. They fled US bombing. Pakistan took care of millions of these Afghan refugees.
Now that safe haven with its lush green valleys is burning with bombs. And the hosts, the people who themselves welcomed Afghan refugees, at times literally into their homes or into campsites on their farms, are on the run. They are streaming out of Swat, Dir, and Buner, and registering as refugees in Mardan and the fertile valleys of Pakistan. The UN says about two million Pakistanis have been displaced during the last year of drone attacks, bombing and fighting.
Pakistan is bombing its own land and its own people who are caught between the Taliban and the Americans.
Whomever I talk to among Pakistanis, it seems, there is an emerging consensus. They hate both the Taliban who blast schools and the Americans who bomb Madrasahs. Both kill civilians.
The Soviets could not win by bombing Afghanistan, although even today, bomblets and mines left over by the Soviets kill and injure 60 Afghans a month. Read article