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The Sheepfold and the Hungry Wolf

by Wajahat Masood
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wajahat Masood

Hermann Hesse was born in the German town Black Forest in 1877. His parents were devout Christians. Hermann Hesse could not complete his education and worked at a bookshop. In his free time, he wrote poems and stories, which were often introspective and explored the conflict between emotions and discipline. In 1946, Hermann Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but public opinion was divided, with some suggesting that America had tamed the rebellious spirit of the defeated German nation. However, Hermann Hesse is a warrior of passion and discipline within the human soul. In his era, he attempted to search for eternal truths amid the chaos of two World Wars.

Hermann Hesse’s story “The Wolf” was translated by Muhammad Saleem ur Rehman for a magazine called “Savera” in Pakistan. Many years later, Niazmand dared to translate this story again. It is a tale of a harsh winter season in the French mountains, where life has come to a standstill due to heavy snow. Even wild animals are immobilized by the extreme cold. A starving wolf enters a nearby village and finds itself in the midst of a conflict. The villagers, armed with guns and knives, aim to kill it, asserting their right to self-defense. On the other hand, the wolf is driven by its mountainous hunger. In this clash, the wounded wolf flees towards the snow-covered mountains but is eventually killed. In the final sentence of this game of life and death, Hermann Hesse encapsulates nature, strength, and the ultimate truth in a single sentence, much like the process of extracting gold from the mixture of soil, sand, and lesser metals. No matter how hard you try, some golden particles of the original language emerge.

“The villagers making noise had not seen the beauty of the snow-covered forest, nor the faint light on the high mountain, nor the shimmering moon above the clear snow and the dim eyes of the dead wolf.”

On September 27th, the Federal Apex Committee issued an ultimatum to illegal foreigners present in Pakistan, mostly Afghan refugees, instructing them to leave the country by October 31st, or else they would be forcibly deported. The majority of these illegal immigrants in Pakistan are Afghan nationals. Nearly ten million illegal immigrants could be arrested, detained, or deported, turning it into a major administrative crisis and a humanitarian issue. International human rights organizations have called for a review of Pakistan’s treatment of refugees. According to the United Nations, nearly 2.2 million Afghan refugees are legally present in Pakistan, and registered at various locations. In August 2021, after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, around six to eight million Afghan citizens entered Pakistan. The stance of these organizations can be based on humanitarian grounds, but Pakistan has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Refugee Protocol, making it legally obligated to grant asylum to foreign immigrants.

Mullah Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Afghan government, has expressed his displeasure, stating that Pakistan’s decision is “unacceptable.” “This land is ours, the country is ours, and the government is ours. You and our countries do not have diplomatic relations.” The people of Pakistan have provided shelter, livelihood opportunities, and jobs to millions of Afghan brothers and sisters for the past half-century. What is your right? According to your perspective, you have enslaved your people, who are forced to leave the country due to your oppression and incompetence. If you have a desire to govern, then also muster the courage to take care of your people. Our country is grappling with a severe economic crisis. The value of our currency is plummeting due to your kindness. In Pakistan, all the foreign currencies in circulation are nearly one-third in the possession of Afghans, who exchange dollars for Pakistani rupees at their convenience. The constant transfer of dollars from Pakistan to Afghanistan is a headache for us. Pakistan is also dealing with issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, car smuggling, extortion, and money laundering at the hands of Afghan immigrants. The present Afghan economy depends on Pakistan, so Afghanistan wants instability in Pakistan so that Pakistan gets entangled in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has a notorious reputation for drug trafficking worldwide. According to the United Nations, there has been a 32% increase in opium production in Afghanistan since 2022. In the global market, 80% of opium comes from Afghanistan. Here, 80% of terrorism and economic destruction are caused by Afghan refugees. The story of smuggling items like wheat, sugar, and fertilizer is separate. After the Taliban takeover in Kabul, terrorism in Pakistan has escalated significantly. In the Afghan territory, proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), ISIS, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), and other terrorist elements are active. The Taliban’s style of governance is limited to children, women, and the poor. Enough is enough. We need to look after our own countries. Mullah Zabihullah Mujahid and his associates should handle the land they have seized themselves. Pakistan has not agreed to pass on the taste of their power abuse. Your wolf’s hunger is your problem; we need to see to the economic, political, and cultural needs of our twenty crore people.

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