Friday, March 4, 2011

Talibanistan: What a nonsense!

Though I have never had a favorable opinion of the mainstream American media, but the crap that the Foreign Policy magazine published in its March 04 issue is disgusting. However, it confirms that the elitists in the U.S. are amenable to every kind of warped view if it can give them a face saving.
Mr. Saleem H. Ali gives a bizarre idea of creating a Talibanistan in the heart of Pakhtun mainland, which according to his myopic view, has always been a bastion of extremist Islam. Ridiculously enough, he conflates the Taliban with Pakhtuns by giving a disconnected referencee from history.

Even going back to the 1930s, Waziristan's rallying flag against
the British was a simple white calligraphic "Allah-Akbar" (God is Great) on red fabric.

Historically, it may be correct. But, one fails to understand Mr. Ali's logic that how does raising such a flag against the British colonials amount to the local people's extremism or religious fanaticism. Mirza Ali Khan, popularly known as the Fikir of Ipi, raised the red flag t
o challenge the British forces. His was a liberation movement, not one for imposing the so-called Shariah like the Taliban want to haunt the whole region with. A religious figure like the Fakir of Ipi's struggle to evict the imperial forces from his homeland had never been unprecedented or one of its kind.
In Latin America, the movement against exploitation and colonialism had been spearheaded by the Church. For this 'crime' many priests have lost their lives, but can we call it Latin American's love for fanaticism and extremism?
By giving such out-of-context historical references, Mr. Ali tries to give an impression that as if Pakhtuns are congenital extremists. If the people of Waziristan had raised such a flag to evict the British forces, then Pakistan as a state has this fanaticism in its very foundations: it was founded in the name of religion.
Extremism that has swept Pakistan and Afghanistan has its roots in strategic goals of Pakistani civil & military establishment. It has always been the goal of this strategic (please, read warped) thinking (myopic) to keep the tribal areas of Pakistan impoverished, deprived and underdeveloped by keeping them isolated.
What people like Mr. Ali see in the badland of Waziristan, in fact, resonates with people sitting in the heartland of Pakistan: Punjab. Waziristan is home to terrorists of their kind because they have been lodged there as a strategic asset for future use. Surprisingly, Mr. Ali sees extremism in the Pakhtun land but looks the other way when the streets of the liberal Islamabad are bathed in blood in the name of religion.
For Pakhtuns, religion is an aspect of life; for their masterminds across the Indus, it is a new-found identity. Those like Mr. Ali that equate the Fakir of Ipi with Osama Bin Landen need revisit the history anew. The Fakir was son of the soil who wanted to liberate his homeland. Bin Laden is a stateless terrorist who wants to ignite a clash of civilizations.

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