Pakistan’s concern over Durand Line are real- Kathy Ganoon speaks at ITU
Pakistan’s concerns, over border management in the backdrop of Afghanistan’s non acceptance of the Durand Line, are and will remain real.’ The Pakistan Army has been countering the terrorists and had given significant sacrifices, but the Army is stretched. A veteran journalist and Associated Press (AP)’s Senior Correspondent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kathy Gannon said while addressing at the Centre for Governance and Policy at Information Technology University (ITU) Punjab here today.
`She said that ‘Pakistan was not just paranoid, it has both Indian and Afghan antagonism to deal with as its concerns were genuine in view of its strategic importance.’
Speaking from a personal perspective she noted that even though she was shot at in Afghanistan, she remained undeterred and continued to work in the region. ‘The actions of one mad man will not affect me,’ she said. Reporting in conflict zones is difficult and independence of movement and work is complicated, Gannon noted, while explaining a journalist’s embedded role with the different entities.
Speaking specifically on Afghanistan Gannon noted that while Afghans were angry with foreigners on their soil and neighboring Pakistan, ‘there was overwhelming anger in Afghanistan against their own government.’ ‘The Pashtuns were glad to see the Taliban go, but were alienated by the Bonn Agreement,’ Gannon, who has covered Afghanistan for over a decade noted. She also said that there were now too many groups in Afghanistan and so the insecurity and its repercussions were real. Commenting on the Taliban, on whom she has reported since their inception, Gannon said that ‘their aim was purely political, religion does not have any direct impact.’
Gannon, a Canadian national was the only foreign journalist allowed by Taliban to cover Afghanistan. Afghan government was corrupt to such extent that even to pay your utility bill you have to pay bribe, she added.
Replying to a question, Ms. Ganoon said that she always preferred to give details in her stories to establish the credibility and the authenticity.