Aliaqa Arefi is a 22 year old Afghan enrolled in Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree at International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI).
I am Aliaqa Arefi. I am 22 years old and from Afghanistan. I was born in Jaghori District of Ghazni province in Afghanistan. I have been living in Pakistan since 2014. I graduated from high school in 2013 from Faiza High School in Jaghori, Afghanistan. After completing my high school I got an opportunity to avail a scholarship which was provided by the Government of Pakistan to Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
I am currently studying Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) at International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI).
When I came to Pakistan, I was welcomed by Pakistanis with smiles and open arms.
We are both Muslim brotherly neighbors having the same culture, geography and traditions, but unfortunately for the last two to three decades we are suffering from big problems just because of the involvement of some third party (our common enemies).
Pakistan helped Afghanistan on many occasions and served Afghan refugees for about forty years and fulfilled their every requirement according to their needs. Pakistan is also involved in many development projects in Afghanistan like infrastructure and education.
Pakistan Government scholarships to Afghan students is of immense help to Afghan youth which helps them grow in their education.
I miss my country, my people, the children, the languages, the foods, and the celebration of festivities, my neighbors, classmates, mosques, Kabul city and the provinces. I want to see it all. I want to touch hearts. I want to bring smiles back on their faces. I would love to revisit my land.
I have many dreams for my country and I am determined to fulfill them. I want peace and stability to return to Afghanistan so that people there lead a normal life as they deserve to.
To be honest, I did not face much difficulty here. I think I had a tough time adjusting in Afghanistan than in Pakistan and one thing I am still struggling with is balancing between the Pakistani and Afghan cultures. At times, they are completely contrary to each other.
It has become clearer every day that there are little to no problems between the people of the two countries. Both want the same thing; peace and prosperity.
There are over over 2.5 million Afghans living and working in Pakistan as immigrants and we, Afghans, never forget someone’s help. The Afghans acknowledge the Pakistanis’ hospitality towards immigrants of Afghanistan.
It has become clearer every day that there are little to no problems between the people of the two countries. Both want the same thing; peace and prosperity. But we have also come to know that while there are people who want peace, there are also groups of people who hold an interest in maintaining the cycle of violence. As the future of the two nations is concerned, it is our responsibility to realize that harmony is vital for both neighbors. I love the people of Pakistan and would love nothing more than Pakistan contributing to the prosperity of their neighbor and brother, Afghanistan.
About Afghan Studies Center: The Afghan Studies Center is an initiative by the Center for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad – an independent and non-profit think tank and advocacy center. One of the primary objectives of the Afghan Studies Center is to serve as a bridge between the youth of Pakistan and Afghanistan to interact with each other and join hands to become leaders of change and messengers of peace and cooperation beyond boundaries. To achieve this objective, the Afghan Studies Center invites young Afghans to share their story using our platform with the youth of Pakistan as well as the world.