By Edrees Kakar
KABUL, Afghanistan – Mourning is becoming routine among Afghans.
Two days ago, a suicide attacker killed Burhannudin Rabbani, Afghanistan’s former president and chief of the high peace council of Afghanistan formed last year to persuade and negotiate with Afghan Taliban for reconciliation.
This suicide bombing occurred during a meeting at Rabbani’s home with an apparent Taliban messenger for peace talks who brought in the bomb through his turban.
The bombing was the second major incident in Kabul since the 10th anniversary of 9/11, which did so much to shape world politics and provided the basis for international forces to oust the Taliban regime from Afghanistan for harboring Al Qaeda, the terroristic group that masterminded the attacks.
The event was marked as a global catastrophe, with victims hailing from 90 countries that made the massive loss of life agonizing in many lands.
As the Persian poet Saadi explains it in his poem which makes up the motto of the United Nations: “The sons of Adam are limbs of each other, having been created of one essence. When the calamity of time affects one limb, the other limbs cannot remain at rest. If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others, Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human.”
Only two days after the 9/11 anniversary, when Kabul residents joined the world in mourning the nearly 3,000 victims, the capital witnessed a rigorous 20-hour attack that deepened the fears of already frightened citizens.
Life in the city was totally locked up for two days while forces battled with the attackers. Though Afghanistan has suffered three decades of civil war and anarchy, the scale of civilian losses the last couple of years has grown ever more worrisome.
With the assistance of the international community in the last decade, Afghanistan has seen a huge number of enhancements in many different sectors of our life.
However, establishing peace and tranquility across the country has remained elusive – and a big disappointment.
The routine incidents of terror in Afghanistan make Afghans feel gloomy as they ache for peace and find none.
While the interference of Pakistan and Iran in destabilizing Afghanistan through various terrorist networks are the focus of much attention, many here also blame the big powers for remaining indecisive or playing a bigger game that keeps Afghanistan as a battleground in their quest for dominance.
On this year’s anniversary of the 9/11, many Afghan Facebook pages cited as their status “Your 9/11 is our 24/7” or something similar. It’s also been the topic of conversations and local newspaper articles as Afghans reflect on what’s happened since terrorists attacked the United States.
Afghans have never lost sympathy for the victims of 9/11 – and even the routine terror attacks here in Afghanistan accelerate the sympathy of Afghans toward the victims of the collapsed World Trade Center buildings.
But Afghans want the nations of the world to have the same grief toward the calamities that happen in Afghanistan as they show when terrorists strike elsewhere, to recognize that Saadi’s poem, written back when the Mongols were marauding across the civilized world, applies to Afghans the same as everyone else.
Though no single day in Afghanistan matches the scale of 9/11, a decade of frustration and failure at bringing peace here has brought far more death and destruction than Americans can imagine.
We need to achieve a durable peace in this war-torn country.