If you were to question an Afghan about Australia’s past in their country, they would almost certainly bring up the atrocities committed by Australian troops for fun. The people of Afghanistan will remember this long after the last Australian departs. Including the global media, Australian soldiers have admitted to fellow coalition members that they killed Afghan civilians for sport.
But the Australians shouldn’t forget the Afghans who drove camels in the Outback between 1860 and 1930; they made enormous efforts, and service, and showed incredible grit. They deserve our gratitude for the honourable service they have provided to Australians. In times when the country lacked many of its modern resources, Afghans made substantial contributions to Australia’s economic development by importing goods. Once upon a time, many different products were sent to Australia, including food and medicine. Afghans contributed significantly to the economic progress of Australia.
Tragically, modern-day Australia has abandoned the Afghan cricket team, Tragically, if you look at contemporary Australia, you’ll see that the country has turned its back on the Afghan cricket team rather than supporting the Afghan people. When it comes to politics, Australia has doubts about the legitimacy of the Afghan de facto government. If Australian troops fought like civilised soldiers and ceased slaughtering Afghan civilians, Afghanistan would be a very different place.
Australian troops there opted to massacre locals rather than face the Taliban, and that contributed to the Taliban’s success in regaining power. I may bring up the war crimes done by Australian forces in Afghanistan as cited in the Australian media, but everyone is aware of them since they are common knowledge. Here, I don’t want anyone’s health to be negatively impacted by reading about the terrible atrocities done by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
Not playing matches on the International Cricket Council’s schedule would be unfair to the Afghan cricket team and would likely infuriate their fans (ICC). Let the Afghans know you mean no harm by your actions. If there is a problem, you and your Afghan colleagues should work out your disagreements politically.
Afghanistan has been a war-torn nation for forty years. The whole globe, including Australia, has been in this country for the previous two decades. If we had spent the previous 20 years rebuilding education instead of war, the country would be a better place now. The Afghan youth who stayed uneducated for the previous two decades would not be on the side of the issue now. Therefore, there would be less hardship in this nation.
But just as you are turning away from playing with Afghanistan’s brilliant cricket team, which is the only achievement of the previous 20 years, you also assume responsibility for the challenges the nation has confronted now and over the last two decades. Therefore, do not seek retribution for this issue from Afghanistan cricket or cricket supporters.
Investigative journalist and veteran of international reporting Hanan Habibzai has written extensively on the US invasion of Afghanistan, the collapse of the Taliban rule, and post-Taliban events, such as the emergence of militancy in the country.
After earning his Master of Arts in Global Journalism from Coventry University, Hanan began publishing articles about the conflict in Afghanistan and regional politics in various outlets. These include the BBC Afghan Stream, Pajhwok Afghan News, Reuter’s news agency, the Washington Post, Veterans Today, and other regional and international publications.
Hanan, fled Afghanistan in 2008. He attended Coventry University in the United Kingdom and graduated with a master’s degree in Global Journalism in 2011. Currently, Mr. Habibzai is a doctorate fellow in educational studies and educational leadership at Unicaf. He spent nearly a decade reporting from Afghanistan for the BBC and Reuters (2002 to 2009). Notably, he covered the invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban government in 2001 for international media outlets.
From 2009 to 2013, he also worked as a journalist for Radio Free Europe out of London. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when he was young necessitated a move to Pakistan. His years of hiding in hiding paid off when the United States spearheaded an invasion that drove him back to the United Kingdom.
As a journalist, he traversed the length and breadth of Afghanistan, seeing first-hand the widespread hunger and suffering of the Afghan people, especially women and children.
UK-based organisation Helping Orphans was established by Hanan Habibzai in 2016. He took charge of the organisation freely since he knew that helping others was his true calling. The orphans and the disadvantaged people of Afghanistan benefit from his charity’s sustainable development programmes, and he hopes to one day be financially independent.