Patang Qureshi is proud to do his part to defend his homeland.
As a member of the 17,000-strong Afghan special forces, the young battle-hardened soldier sees himself on the front lines of rescuing Afghanistan from predatory neighbors and malicious insurgents.
“For more than a century now, outsiders have not allowed us to live peacefully in our homeland,” he told Radio Free Afghanistan. “My only wish is to see this homeland peaceful so we can rebuild it.”
Before leaving on dangerous missions that often involve night raids, firefights, and ambushes against well-armed Taliban and Islamic State (IS) fighters, Qureshi sends his son, the eldest of his four children, out to buy candy from a nearby grocery store. “I don’t want to leave them crying or knowing their father’s life is on the line.”
Speaking to Radio Free Afghanistan from the Special Operations Corps in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Qureshi said he has been on a demanding duty tour for 40 days.