Ordinary Afghans have lived as brothers for centuries; however, some individuals associated with some politicians and governments sometimes discriminate against a specific ethnic group, thereby harming the spirit of unity among Afghan people. Sad to say, some political figures use ethnic card and exploit the sentiments of some Afghans to accomplish their individual interests. As politicians, they have no constructive strategy and vision, or other means to attract public support; therefore, they resort to, and abuse ethnic slogans pretending to protect the interests of their ethnicities.
While it is the responsibility of governments to preclude these individuals from sowing the seeds of disunity among Afghans, governments not only mostly fail to do so, but even government-linked individuals also sometimes harm the spirit of unity. One of the recent such instances was the mistreatment of Pashtuns vising northern provinces by Afghan soldiers. There are reports that Pashtuns travelling on the highways in northern provinces are being harassed. According to the reports, Pashtun people who have relatives in the country’s north are ill-treated in along the northern highway in Salang, Jabal Seraj and Bagram. Even some reports suggest they have been cursed, their national identification cards torn and returned back to Kabul.
As any other ethnicities, Pashtuns also reserve the right to visit any corner of the country based on the country’s applicable laws. No one from Afghan soldiers to any other political group can prevent them from travelling to any area of the country.
The National Unity Government (NUG), which is already facing a lot of other challenges, should realize the sensitivity of the issue, and not allow the problem to escalate to a crisis which it won’t be able to contain. The government should seriously investigate the issue, and prosecute those found to have been involved in the mistreatment and discrimination.