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“Taliban Aa Gayay”: Silence of the Lambs

Posted on April 20, 2009
Filed Under >Samad Khurram, Law & Justice, Politics, Religion, Society
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Sammad Khurram

Back in 2002, I was returning from Friday prayers when I saw an unusual gathering of singing and quasi-dancing Mullahs. Unusual because I had always assumed Mullahs to be against all types of art. The amused crowd were listening to chants of “Taliban aa gayay, Taliban aa gayay.”

I smirked. As if!

Pakistan is a nuclear country with the seventh largest army. We’re safe.

The Mullahs’ songs have been answered – the Taliban indeed are coming. And with them the cowards are bringing a lifestyle that destroys everything Pakistan and Islam.

Oh no. Wait! “This guy is on the paycheck of those who are trying to break Pakistan. Taliban are heroes, its America which is wrong.” Yes, this is the typical self defense mechanism coming to full force. Having nothing to lose, and having been already declared a CIA agent earlier in life I suppose I’ll continue. Continuing with a genuine fear, that these words are falling on either deaf or hostile ears. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan is over if all this chaos continues.

Jinnah’s Pakistan is a dream gone wrong. Perhaps if he knew that the dreamland for living in peace, harmony, religious tolerance and freedom was going to become arena for public flogging where laughs of sadist barbarians and the screams of minors will echo, he would not have decided on creating it. Had he known that there would be more suicide bombs in his country than any other place in the world, where fundamentalists would go around the cities threatening women, where school children would have to undergo security protocols as if they were in a war zone, would he have even bothered to work for the green and white?

Still, Pakistan is not what we worry about. All our esteemed talk shows chatter on is whether there should be 17th Amendment or not and on the statements by America and India. Yes, American drones and Indian statements are a threat to our sovereignty. Yes, the balance of power is important. But even when the Taliban have killed more people than India, American Drones or our tyrant rulers, taken over more of our land and have made us feel more unsafe than anyone else in the past thirty years? What other definition of sovereignty is there than protection of lives and property of people, maintaining writ of the state across the territory and having people feel secured? Why can’t we have some programs discussing the atrocities of the Taliban, the acts of terror that they do and how they have destroyed Pakistan?

No, it’s the “Hindu Zionists” (notice the contradiction?) working on a CIA sponsored conspiracy to break Pakistan. There are the good Taliban who fought the Kuffar off and the real issue is the CIA. Apparently, everyone has all the time in the world to devise every action we do, plan it to perfection and then make the evidence of their involvement disappear. Are we really that important for the rest of the world to worry about when they have their own countries and problems to tend to? Even if the Taliban are foreign funded should does that not mean we should double our efforts? Remember when India briefly occupied few territories near Lahore in 1965 how the whole country ran to defend it? My grandfather had stories of people going with sticks to support the army. I am afraid I will not have any such stories of patriotic resistance to tell anyone when another enemy has taken control of a fourth of NWFP and roughly one twentieth of Pakistan. Perhaps we should ban “Yeh watan tumhara hai, tum ho pasban is kay” for it seems no one really care about Pakistan, except the Zionist Hindus of course.

But no, remember the glorious days of the Caliphs? Remember the great Pakistani Fauj, who under the Ameer-ul-Momineen, Zia–ul–Haq, crushed the Russians? This is only a plan to make America taste the same fate! For a nation which already lives in denial, these conspiracy theories are all we need to turn us completely schizophrenic. Army is great and it will deal with any task assigned to it. More of the same comes from everyone turning patriotic everywhere. This automatic knee-jerk mechanism has seeped in our blood and shut off our brains.

For the love of God can anyone explain me why the great Army of Allah, whose laurels we sing from the day we are born, has still not been able to jam radio stations pouring terror in Swat? Have the core commanders not even tried asking the army engineers how radios work and how easy it is jam them without even having to be in the line of fire? Can they not even figure out if they only played “Who let the Dogs out” at the frequencies the Taliban use it would stop this vitriol? Why is it that these Taliban leaders can appear before journalists in broad daylight and roam freely without any trouble even when they claim responsibility of attacking Pakistanis across the country?

Perhaps the real question I should ask is why do I even care?

When I took time off from Harvard to be part of the lawyers’ movement I had seen a ray of hope. There were concerned citizens and lawyers who stood for what was right no matter what the consequences. We fought for a principle and won with the hope that things will slowly improve. Today the very judges we had faith in released the cleric of Lal Mosque whose crimes everyone knows about. If the judiciary was going to release people whose crimes were recorded on TV perhaps it does explain why Taliban are spreading like an incurable cancer. Imagine who would be hanging in “khooni chowk” had Mullana Abdul Aziz kidnapped a few Taliban officials or fought against them and killed their men?

Yet when you think all’s over, somehow someone comes up. Someone whose name keeps your head from drowning. Perhaps this sick torture has to be long and painful where we chase mirages of oasis, never to really reach them. Perhaps for all the atrocities we have committed to our own people require us to be made an example of so no other nation follows our path. Why do ray of hopes like Afzal Khan, who has socked it up to Taliban and refused to be removed from Swat alive, appear every now and then? However he stands to die in the rain. Alone.

Can anyone please name one Pakistani leader who has said the same? Forget that has anyone Pakistani leader said that he will go and get the Taliban to give up their arms? Will the real leader who can get rid of these monsters stand up? Imran Khan? Qazi? Nawaz Sharif? This silence is criminal!

What’s worse that these leaders of ours have unanimously approved a state within a state run, which is not accountable to anyone, absolves all crimes of the Taliban and gives a safe haven to those who are there to kill us? What sort of a Nizam-e-Nonsense is this when no one even tried to debate the issue properly and even consider for a second that giving blanket amnesty to the Taliban might not, even if it be infinitesimal, the right thing to do? No for the politicians this does not matter. All they are interesting in mudslinging at each other and more ministries. Our media and sheeple are busy devouring the latest gossip while Pakistan burns.

But unlike what people think it will not be because of Zardari’s corruption or Gilani’s incompetence or Salman Taseer’s antics.  We have survived them in the past, and so we’ll do again. But any country that falls to the Taliban will never recovered.

The Taliban are here to stay and unless we stand up against them in every possible way Pakistan will be lost – for good! It will be the silence of the lambs which destroys us. You will be responsible if Pakistan fails.

Sammad Khurram is a student at Harvard University and turned down an award from the US ambassador as a mark of protest against killings of Pakistani soldiers by US drone attacks.

169 Comments on ““Taliban Aa Gayay”: Silence of the Lambs”

  1. RAZA QURESHI says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:04 am

    Yes, these taliban and jihadis are the single biggest threat to Muslims and Islam today and the biggest killers of Muslims worldwide.

  2. Aliya says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:06 am

    You are saying what most Pakistanis are feeling. And as you have shown and as this website has always shown, Pakistanis are against BOTH the US drones and also against Taliban types. Because both are killing Paksitanis.

  3. Ayesha Mian says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:30 am

    I concur with you completely that talibans are at our door steps now; the government has failed miserably and the nation has to pay the price for its leaders ineptness. It is a doomsday scenario with no solution in the sights. The dilemma is that our leaders cannot be trusted, every institution is marred by corruption; consequently, India and US are manipulating the situation to their advantage. “The silence of the lambs” is so audible now!

  4. Sadia Khan says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:52 am

    Faulty systems are not self sustaining. Pakistanis have been blessed with great land, great climate and yet our country keeps sinking….the problem is with the thought process of the people. Faulty thinking, limited vision and not taking responsibility ………

  5. prakash says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:12 am

    this is the wake up call for all the pakistanis. pakistanis should realise that the biggest threat is the taliban and not india. we indians are always ready to help our pakistan brothers

  6. morbid fascination says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:36 am

    Perhaps if he knew that the dreamland for living in peace, harmony, religious tolerance and freedom was going to become arena for public flogging where laughs of sadist barbarians and the screams of minors will echo, he would not have decided on creating it.

    Fat chance. He needed to stroke his political ego. Since he could not be Prime Minister of undivided India, he decided he’d get his own country anyway, knowing full well the premise was a lie as well as congenitally flawed. And you guys then did the lemming thing. As they say, you made this bed, now you gotta sleep in it. And if you expect help from any quarter (KSA, China, Uncle Sam), here’s two words to ponder: “Toxic Asset”.

    Sammad, maybe you should go back to Anne Patterson and apologize for your pointless earlier drama eh?

  7. Gorki says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:39 am

    @ Ayesha Mian:

    As a non Pakistani observer, I sympathize with your pain but of course I can not feel it the way you do.
    However despair will only aggravate the problem and IMHO, saying “there is no solution” is not an option. The solution lies in what Sammad seems to be suggesting and doing:

    First break the silence, and come out very unequivocally against what is happening. If enough people take a clear and a vocal stand, then it will become impossible for the media, the right wing politicians and the army to ignore you all and they will have to take notice and act.

    Second:
    Stop blaming India and anyone else. Saying “consequently, India and US are manipulating the situation to their advantage”.
    Still seems to be a wishful attempt to have someone else to blame. It may come as a surprise to most India haters but the Indian and even the US governments are watching the situation with great alarm.
    It will not benefit India one iota but give it a great big headache if a radical fundamentalist group were to sieze power in Pakistan!!

    Why can not most conspiracy minded but good meaning Pakistanis grasp this obvious fact?

  8. Iftikhar, Rawalpindi Pakistan says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:47 am

    Talibans are murdering thugs and THE BIGGEST THREAT to our beloved country Pakistan. Nizam -e-Adal signed has given them a free hand. They havent given up their weapons instead now they are demanding more from the SCAREDGovt.Of NWFP and Pakistan.

  9. morbid fascination says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:51 am

    Nizam -e-Adal signed has given them a free hand.

    Hey Zardari got his NRO. Why can’t these poor Taliban get theirs?

  10. Qausain says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:58 am

    Altaf bhi nay to awaz uthai hay in sab kay khilaf :-p

  11. D_a_n says:
    April 20th, 2009 3:26 am

    @ morbid fascination…

    a geography altering event…colonialism….freedom…..the exodus….the tragedy….the butchering…the politics behind it….

    Im so glad you decided to ignore every single of these aspects and so much more….and reduced the reason for our creation as follows:

    ‘Fat chance. He needed to stroke his political ego.’ …

    If i werent sitting down…id swoon at the pearls of wisdom literally flooding cyberspace (your eminance)…

    It’s because of trash like this they decided to invent recycling….!

  12. See It As It Is says:
    April 20th, 2009 4:56 am

    Samad:

    THANK YOU for this piece. This unequivocal, non-apologetic, not beating-about-the-”Bush” piece. Here is the conclusion of your thought, which may be buried deep under and require scrolling so I highlight it, CAPS added by me:

    **The Taliban are here to stay and unless WE stand up against them in every possible way Pakistan will be lost for good! It will be the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS which destroys us. YOU will be responsible if Pakistan fails.**

    Translation: The responsibility lies squarely with us Pakistani! Led by a self-serving, rating-greedy, racing-to-breaking news schizophrenic media, the people of Pakistan are unfortunately taking the way of blame and wrath.

    Well, sorry, but as Samad said, people in other countries – such as USA, India, Israel, UK – do NOT grow up thinking about what to do with Pakistan. I bet ALL Pakistani children know and hate these nations, but barely a few people in these countries know what or where Pakistan is. So how come we – who don’t study, who don’t build roads, who have dysfunctional institutions, who can’t make a damn thing work – who are obviously focused on hatred and blame be free of responsibility? Go to any of these nations, by comparison, and their children and adults are busy building things. So when do they get free time to assure that each Pakistani is remote-controlled by them??

    It is a lie fed to us by half-crazy “intellectuals” – abundant in Urdu media (to which I am a life-long subscriber, btw; I am an avid Urdu reader and writer) – lazy politicians and bureaucrats, and above all, our individual selves.

    We have a choice. We even have a choice NOW. But we are choosing to give it up. Alas, this, then, is beyond a wake-up call. It is a lesson in history.

  13. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    April 20th, 2009 6:23 am

    HERE WE GO AGAIN !
    Don’t we all know what the problems are? Why does each new Post regurgitates it in its own words, style and penmanship??

    What I don’t read is some SOLUTIONS. However half-baked they may be, in order to start a serious discussion and search a way forward.
    In my own Posts on this Site I have made some attempts to that effect.
    BUT Alas, Thousands of HITS but no takers!!!!!!!!!!

    IF only we could spend 1% of our wisdom, scholarship and eloquence in that effort, I am certain we would contribute to lighting some candles, rather than continuing Cursing Darkness.
    Good Luck.

  14. sayedzeeshan says:
    April 20th, 2009 6:25 am

    You said what most Pakistanis are thinking except for those schizophrenic ones who think that Taliban are some kind of holy people.

    I think Justice Chaudhry should be given a chance.Its too early to judge what he is upto. I personally think he is no Taliban sympathizer.

  15. faisal says:
    April 20th, 2009 7:16 am

    We can do all the talk shows, do all the long marches, protest or whatever. The fact is, these Talibans don’t give a d@mn.

    They are so intoxicated by their perception of their rigtheousness that they just plainly consider anyone differing from their view as Kufr and Wajib-ul-Qatal.

    To all those who have been saying, ‘Oh, but these are our people we need to talk to them’, these guys don’t want to listen or talk. Its their way or the highway. When they commit suicide bombings and kill innocent people, well its OK, but when the Army and security forces retaliate, our media which is our biggest enemy, start screaming innocent people are dying.

    People need to realize, we are in a WAR, whether we like it or not, acknowledge it or not, and wars by its nature are dirty business, so either we should just surrender, dismantle our armed forces, state, and much more precious than anything else ‘recant our right to choose what is right for us’ and accept these religious thugs as our liberators, or fight them, fight them wholeheartedly and brutally.

  16. Patriot says:
    April 20th, 2009 8:23 am

    Acceptance, recognition and promotion of Wahabi’ism has gotten Pakistan to where it is today.

    A poor country, the government abetted or at best looked the other way as Saudi money poisoned the impoverished masses, turning many young men into mindless extremists ready to blow up at the whim of any Saudi-financed mullah.

    Solutions? Let’s start simple.

    1. Ban on Wahabi religion
    2. Ban on accepting any Saudi money by any organization
    3. Life imprisonment for all Wahabi mullahs
    4. Demolishing the Lal Masjid in Islamabad
    5. Expelling Saudi Ambassador in protest for support of terrorism
    6. Rename Faisal Mosque to Islamabad Mosque

    Any other suggestions?

  17. Patriot says:
    April 20th, 2009 8:46 am

    More solutions:

    1. Force all newspapers to publish weekly advertisements and articles condemning Wahabi’ism. Refusal would lead to closure of newspapers.

    2. Security services should register all mosques, and explicitly instruct them not to teach Wahabi material. Failure to comply would result in life imprisonment for the mosque’s cleric.

    3. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kiani should purge Pakistan army of all Wahabi officers. Officers refusing to comply would be dismissed and/or jailed. (The abundance of Wahabi Army officers is the biggest reason behind the failure of Pakistan Army to take on Swat terrorists. Wahabi Sympathy reigns supreme in Pakistan army after 20 years of Zia’s indoctrination- financed by Saudi Arabia)

    4. Barelvi moderate Islam may be promoted as the official state religion. Alternatively, a completely secular state without an official religion may be espoused.

  18. Enlightener says:
    April 20th, 2009 8:50 am

    @Patriot:

    7. Ban on Burqas. Any woman wearing a burqa shall be incarcerated for 30 days.

    8. Ban on beards.

    9. Ban on Shalwar-Kamees.

    I say, do what Turkey does.

  19. iskander says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:36 am

    Patriot, you wrote:

    “Acceptance, recognition and promotion of Wahabi

  20. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:44 am

    Mr Adil Najam….honestly where were you when the elites of pakistan were singing “americans aa gye, americans aa gye”……..taliban are a natural reaction to the americans in afghanistan………the taliban brand of islam is a mixture of wahabism and pukhtunwali and in no way contradicts the local traditions of NWFP………..this is a battle of two extremes, one extreme includes pseudo intelectuals like you who sing “americans aa gye, americans aa gye” and the other extreme are the mullahs who sing “taliban aa gye, taliban aa gye”…………can you stop being a mouth piece for american propaganda and point fingers at the real cause of all this mess which is the “extremely unpopular american occupation of afghanistan”

    I am an athiest and i am not a mullah, just in case you mistake me for the latter. Have you ever heard of pukhtunwali??….America has no state building institutions and it has failed miserably in both iraq and afghanistan. Lets give the taliban a chance and stop maligning them for once especially at the behest of your american masters

  21. Afsandyar says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:45 am

    The confusion in the Pakistani mind is that they do want Islam in their lives and not Taliban. The Taliban are playing on this by becoming thekedars of Islam, until that is tackled nothing will happen. That means they have to be exposed as the enemies of Islam and murderers of muslim women and kids that they actually are.

  22. Afsandyar says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:48 am

    Those saying that we should give Taliban a chance are using same argument we use to let military governments come in, “Lets give them a chance.” We are trading the long-term vability of the nation for short-term stability adn quite that they will implement at gun point.

  23. Zaheer Khan says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:49 am

    Thank you for bringing up the most important issue of our times to people’s attention. Indeed it is every patriotic Pakistani’s utmost responsibility to resist the onslaught on its homeland under various guises – the current one being the “Nizam-e-Adal” presented to the wary population of NWFP and other areas.

    We should all confront, anyway which way possible, all forms of “Sharia” implementation schemes as interpreted and promulgated by the apologists for whatever political exipediency.

    It is not a compromise, as advanced by the Pakistani government and its President Mr. Zardari, niether it will bring any peace or stability in the region beset by illiteracy, poverty and conservative fundamentalism for the past number of years. Moreover, this is not the first time that such an effort will be fruitless, wasteful and bring additional fractitude in the already vulnerable country. It is a sad day for the soverign nation, where the Parliament voted for this law, except one party (the Muttahida Qaumi Movement), which voiced it discontent and did not support this law.

    Lest anybody forget, Gen.Zia ul Haq, a person for whom I cannot find enough bad language, introduced such Shariat courts in Pakistan (during the 1980s) and the fallout was horrendous. There was so much mismah of rules and its application, that those who opted to obtain justice from these courts were subjected to harsh punishements irrespective of any clear understanding and difference between personal and criminal laws.

    Let’s start a campaign to all donor nations that any forms of aid should be tied to maintaining human rights and upholding of secular principles on which Pakistan was founded. Anything short of that will push the Pakistani society toward religious totalitarianism, perscution of the downtrodden, particularly the women and minorities.

  24. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:52 am

    Sorry, this was written by samad.

    Samad have you ever wondered how your education at harvard is going to affect your world view. Its good to act like pseudo maverick at times. I would have been happier if you had taken that award but rejected harvard and gone to another country like china for your studies. That way you would have been brainwashed by the chinese education system.

    Its pure hypocricy to reject an award but to allow the american education system to brainwash you. You will eventually end up adapting all their ideals.

    Have you ever lived in waziristan with a taliban government? Where is your information about the taliban coming from? At least get your facts straigth, take a break from harvard and get in touch with a tribal chief and stay in the tribal areas under the taliban government for a few weeks, and then try writing an article.

  25. shahzad shameem says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:57 am

    Here Saleem Toor has spoke the Heart of mostly Pakitanis as,

    YES, we can!

    We are living in interesting times. The last couple of years have shown the otherwise disconnected and disappointed Pakistanis the possibility that they are still relevant and can utilize their energies to change their own destiny a bit, if not all. The principle-centered lawyers

  26. Nadeem Chaudhry says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:59 am

    I was perhaps 14 when we lost half of Pakistan……and people went about their business as if nothing happened! I won’t be surprised if Pakistani’s usher in the Taliban with great festivities and jubilation. This is true “Pakistani Character”, but the best part has yet to come.

    If the people, politician’s, judiciary, establishment or the army thinks they will be able to bitch about the realities they are about to face……they should revisit their thoughts, because they are about to become the Taliban’s “bitches”.

  27. Nadeem Chaudhry says:
    April 20th, 2009 10:03 am

    @fahad
    So what’s the point. Study in China, Live in Tribal Areas, Brainwashed with American Education.Depicts Schizoid Thought Processes!

  28. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 10:04 am

    Social science is the art of bullshitism (include economics as well)

    is anyone listening. The problem with pakistan has more to do with an extremely unpopular occupation of afghanistan by an extremely unpopular United States.

    Just go and talk to a taxi driver or hawaldar and they will tell you that they want the taliban.

    Its these pseudo intellectual elite that doesn’t want them who write these propaganda pieces about the taliban when they haven’t even met a taliban in their life

  29. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 10:13 am

    @nadeem
    I dont know what pchizoid is…another strategy used by pseudo intellectuals who confuse arguments with using difficult gobbledegook

    the pukhtuns are happy with the taliban…….why the hell are you maligning them………I would never want the taliban to rule me, but the pukhtuns want them

    Pakistan is just another iran in the making if the americans dont leave afghanistan soon. And everyone knows that afghanistan was much better under the taliban. If you dont like the taliban then leave pakistan like i left pakistan. Most of pakistan is in favor of the taliban.

    Anyways we would probably have a more progressive military-mullah orthodoxy than the taliban which will take over pakistan if the current american policies continue.

  30. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 10:28 am

    wow……….there’s an article supporting Bugti on this website…..and here’s an article against Taliban. One’s maligning the pakistan army for killing a wadera and the other is maligning the pak army for not killing enough of these wadera like creatures.

    Is it only me because i am a schizoid (@nadeem: you are amazing) that i see all these pseudo intellectual contradictions

    The agenda of this website: “malign pak army, even if there are obvious contradictions”

  31. Ahmed Ali Jan says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:00 am

    If you don’t know a word. Use a dictionary. Taliban supporters won’t get this but learning is a good thing.

    But, of course, open minds are a threat to all dogma (look up that one in a dictionary too), especially barbaric ideas like those of these Taliban and their supporters.

  32. Riaz Haq says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:02 am

    Good post. I share your concerns. But the urban middle class and the “civil society” in Pakistan is too small to bring about a fundamental change in a nation ruled by a narrow, corrupt elite for over half a century. I think the change is more likely to come from a rural apprising by the unwashed masses against the feudal/tribal chiefs who make up the ruling class in Pakistan.

    Whether we like it or not, the vanguard of the rebellion against Pakistan’s corrupt leadership will likely come from the rag-tag band of the unwashed Taliban and their disenfranchised allies who appear to be highly motivated and determined and energized at the moment.

    After the existing order is destroyed, it’s not clear how the bloody power struggle will play itself out over the long haul. We may see a reign of terror like the Chinese saw during the Cultural Revolution in the 60s. If or when a Pakistani “Deng” succeed a Pakistani “Mao” remains unclear.
    But most Pakistanis would be happy to see the current power centers (feudals, military, clergy) lose their power.

    It may already be too late, but none of this is necessarily inevitable, if the current power brokers can see the writing on the wall and act in their own enlightened self-interest before it’s too late.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/04/taliban-target-pakistans-landed-elite.html

  33. Hammad Iqbal says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:02 am

    I agree with your analysis and understand your anguish. It is difficult not to feel pain for those millions of our fellow citizens who suffer, or are about to suffer, under the creeping barbaric theocracy.

    However it is difficult to see how situation can be improved. You are right when you say “unless we stand up against them in every possible way Pakistan will be lost” – but do you really think the morbid civil society in Pakistan can rise up to the occasion? How do you propose to enlighten the millions who have been taught to disregard and discredit anything that does not come with a seal of religious approval? It is not likely for any of this happen in the next few months or even a couple of years, which is perhaps the time frame we are looking at.

    It is natural corollary from this to accept the eventuality; and perhaps consider it as an antidote to the lethargy, paranoia, and ineptitude that oozes from the Pakistani society. A painful experience is sometimes a better teacher than any received instruction. Maybe in a couple of decades, the mashed up population in areas that today constitute Pakistan will lay the foundation of a new and better society.

  34. Nathan says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:07 am

    Nice article.
    Very good questions raised.

    Yes, it is alarming that none of our leaders seems to have clear, long term strategy to deal with this menace.

  35. Ahmed Ali Jan says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:08 am

    This nonsense about “Pakhtuns like Taliban” is exactly that. Its nonsense.

    I am a Pakhtun and I certainly don’t like them. Those trying to spread thsi idea are mostly maligning Pakhtuns for their own reasons. Most Taliban ae foreigners and from other parts of Pakistan anyhow.

    But that is not the point. The reason the people of Swat are quiet is that these killers have terrorized them for months. Tailors had their hands cut, school teachers were hung on trees, barbers had their ears cut off. Why? This si what terrorists do everywhere. They spread terror. So that people become afraid (very afraid) for their lives and so afraid that they do not say anything.

    That is where the “silence” of the lambs comes from and that is where the venom of Taliban sympathizers here comes from.

    By the way, the only “pseudo intellectuals” here are the ones who call others that. Its easy to call out these naaras when it is not your own family that is being blown up and use cheap tactics like the US right-wing to malign those raising concerns. It is very interesting to note that the tactics of the Taliban supporters are exactly the same as Bill O’Riely etc., attak anyone saying anything sensible as a “pseudo intellectual” and appoint yourself as the voice of ordinary people. I will take any intellectual, even pseudo ones, over idiots and killers and barbarians.

  36. Khazina says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:08 am

    @fahad
    Sammad had the courage to refuse the award and made his way back to Pakistan to join the movement unlike others who sit on the fence and criticize someones courage.
    ” Aye Mauj-e-Balaa in ko bhi zara do char thapedhe halke we
    Kuch log abhi tak saahil se toofan ka nazara karte hain”

  37. April 20th, 2009 11:24 am

    Its time, again, to urge readers to carefully read the posted Comment Policy before posting comments or throwing fits of indignation if their comments are moderated.

    Comments are NOT moderated for whether we agree with your opinion or not. Comments WILL be moderated that repeatedly abuse the stated comment policy and reader’s bandwidth. In appropriate language – even for those we do not like – is not permitted. Personal attacks on other commenters is not permitted. We do not like people spamming the site; either with multiple names or with too many comments. Write your comment, read it, take a glass of water if you are feeling too emotional, but before you click “submit comment”. Please, do read the comment policy carefully.

    Please respect us and other readers by posting only appropriate comments. It will save us teh time of placing people on automatic moderation and will save you the angst.

  38. fahad says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:34 am

    I am not maligning the pushtoons. Ask any taxi driver in punjab or sindh and you will get your answer. They want the taliban. I still remember the funeral of that idiotic cleric of lal masjid and how people from all over pakistan attended his funeral. You guyz think that because of your superior intellect you could somehow change the minds of the masses and win their hearts. I am afraid its too late.

    @samad: why were you supporting a corrupt pakistani judge.

  39. Zecchetti says:
    April 20th, 2009 12:07 pm

    @ Samad,

    You have just become another one of the several journalists writing pieces about the “invading Taleban” and how we should be afraid and what not. First of all, where was the outcry when America invaded Pakistan. That was a REAL invader invading the land of fellow Muslims to plunder wealth and spread a western lifestyle, yet your type of pro-western intellectuals did not say a peep, lest you lost your opportunity to study abroad or gain wealth or prestige, or whatever.

    Secondly, why is it that people like you fail to realise that the Swati Taleban are after all Swatis, and NOT some alien invader force. If they want Sharia in their land then they should have it. Propaganda pieces like yours try to convince people that Swat is now under siege and the people are now living in an open-air prison. Well guess what. From what appears to be unfolding, the people of Swat are taking to Sharia like a desert to water:

    http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21616

    “25,000 people in attendance to support Sufi Muhammad”

    Even the BBC hasnt stooped to as low a level of deceit as that. Read this article about the overwhelming support the Taleban recieve from the people they govern:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7959100.stm

    In fact, in the above BBC article, you’ll find that even the Taliban are accountable under Sharia, or Nizam-e-adl. Not the kind of Nizam-e-nonsense that governs the rest of Pakistan and has allowed criminals and looters to come to power to suck Pakistan dry, convert it into dollars, and stuff it into Swiss bank accounts. Where is your outcry over that? Hasn’t Jinnah’s Pakistan already been lost so long ago, to corruption and ungodliness?

    Time to get a grip and put things into perspective. If sharia does spread to other part of Pakistan, it will be because the people are craving for it. Craving for some kind of justice for such a very long time.

  40. gorki says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:02 pm

    @Ahmed Ali Jan

    Excellent post.

    People may attack the American brainwashing but atleast it is a system that lets you question it , disagree with it and even attack it.
    Try doing that under the Taliban once they come and up and set shop.

    Though not a Pushtoon myself, I know a Pushtoon friend who would run intellectual circles around anyone.
    And no he does not prefer the Taliban regime or its ideology.

  41. WORLD CITIZEN says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:28 pm

    THE QUESTION IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

    HOW TO THROTTLE TALIBAN?

    HOW TO THROTTLE THEIR MONEY POWER AND MONEY SUPPLY?

    HOW TO THROTTLE THEIR SUPPLY OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION?

    HOW TO THROTTLE THEIR SUPPLY OF RECRUITS?

    HOW TO COUNTER THEIR PROPAGANDA AND MISINTERPRETATION OF HOLY QURRAN?

    IS THEIR HOPE UNLESS THESE QUESTIONS ARE ADDRESSED?

  42. X-Pakistani says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:48 pm

    @Fahad

    Either you are intellect or illiterate, the fact is that an election a year ago elected PPP and mullah parties lost with big margins, so the majority is still rooting for moderate Islam. Related post is this article…..”I want my country back”

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=172821

  43. faraz says:
    April 20th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Well we have to accept the roots of problem and that is Wahabi brand of Islam.

    Have you noticed the “sermon” by ullema of Bralvis in Karachi few days ago who condemed the “Swat deal”.

    Punjab and Sindh adhere to “Bralvis” while in NWFP Wahabis have their strong roots. Sadly country like Saudia Arabia which is Wahabis is funding Wahabis from last 25 years and now it is time to pay the piper.

    These Wahabis don’t beleive that any reformation is possible in religion and suffism is nothing but a “biddat”.

    I don’t see any easy fix.

  44. shahzad shameem says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:02 pm

    First READ the points of the TRUCE with Taliban plz and then, pass your comments please. Below is the TRUCE:

    Dear brothers and sisters

    Assalam alaikum

    Special Broadcast !!!
    Clarifying misperception about Swat deal

    Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    A lot of uproar is going on in and outside Pakistan against the peace deal and promulgation of Nizam-e-Adal 2009 Regulations in Swat. Internationally, forces hostile to Pakistan are using this as surrender and back off by government where as at national level some commentators are declaring it ineptness of Pakistan army and intelligence agencies. Most of these uproars are result of misunderstanding and misconception about both peace deal of 16th Feb. and NAR-2009.

    To understand facts only way out is to understand the peace deal and Nizam-e-Adal Regulations 2009 so that concerns expressed at national and international level can be addressed.

    Below are 14 points which provide basis for the truce between TTP Swat and Government.
    1. Sharia law would be implemented in Swat and Malakand.
    2. Security forces will gradually withdraw from the region.
    3. The government and the Taliban would exchange prisoners.
    4. Militants would recognize the writ of the government and cooperate with security forces.
    5. Taliban would halt attacks on barber and music shops.
    6. Ban on display of weapons by militants in public.
    7. Taliban would lay down heavy weapons.
    8. Taliban would close down training camps.
    9. Taliban would denounce suicide attacks.
    10. A ban would be placed on raising private militias.
    11. Taliban will cooperate with the government to vaccinate children against diseases like polio.
    12. Fazlullah’s madrassa, the Imam Dheri would be turned into an Islamic university.
    13. Only licensed FM radio stations would be allowed to operate in the region.
    14. Taliban would allow women to “perform their duties at the workplace without any fear.”
    As far as Nizam-e-Adal 2009 is concerned it is being portrayed as a cruel justice system that would be run by Taliban. This is real dilemma that no one in media in Pakistan is ready to take a good deep look at the Nizam Adal Regulation 2009 Draft and see who things will be implemented and who will be incharge.

    More sadly, information department of government in Islamabad is not ready to reply to foreign apprehensions about these regulations. All these concerns and apprehensions are result of misunderstanding and lack of awareness due to inept information machinery of Pakistan. Private media is also playing a criminal role as it is not telling masses what Nizam-e-Adal Regulations 2009 is.
    Many misconceptions are being spread to get vested interests served by both Local and international actors.

    Main focus of this propaganda is to tell people that Nizam-e-Adal will transform Swat into Pre 9/11 Afghanistan as Qazis (Judges) will be appointed by Taliban only. Only way to address all these apprehensions is to spread the truth about Nizam-e-Adal 2009 Some excerpt from Draft is given below to clarify some misconceptions.

    Definition of Shariah (Section 2 of Draft titled as

  45. faraz says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:27 pm

    shahzad shameem Sahib;

    Well on paper there is no issue with “peace deal” if it can contain “Taliban”. Alternate is a bloody civil war.

    But Taliban have signed this deal from a “higher position”.
    1) They have not liad down their arms.
    2) They are still recruiting young guys in their army of mads.
    3) They are marching to other places on premise that they are Pakistan citizens in armed convoys.
    4) Sufi has declared that there is no “democracy” in Islam.

    What I am trying to say that either we should “fight back” with full force or “fully” contain the Taliban but we are surrending to Taliban.

    That day is not far away when we will surrender whole of NWFP and Northern Baluchistan to Taliban and it will be new “Dhaka Fall”. We do have majority of pastuns who support Pakistan but when they will conquer all NWFP Taliban will kill Pakistan loving pshtuns and will recruit rest.

  46. Jam Yasir says:
    April 20th, 2009 2:58 pm

    Talibaaan….thankyou zia-ul-haq for your wonderful gift…
    leave paast….
    simple solution to get rid of these black turbans….bring back the 3 words which describes the Pakistan…Jinnaha’s Pakistan we need to bring back UNITY,FAITH and DISCIPLINE.
    this is the only solution near me which will unite the whole Pakistani nation and we will stand against Taliban or any threat which comes accros our sovereignty.
    PAKISTAN ZINDABAAD.

  47. Monkey says:
    April 20th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Samad: Thank you.

    Shahzad: Well I don’t agree that Nizam-e-Adal is an intelligent draft but lets assume it is. The problem, then, is that it is a parallel system of justice and that is totally unacceptable. How can there be two systems of justice in one country?

  48. SHKavi says:
    April 20th, 2009 3:07 pm

    @WORLDCITIZEN I don

  49. morbid fascination says:
    April 20th, 2009 4:22 pm

    Well we have to accept the roots of problem and that is Wahabi brand of Islam.

    The root of this problem is absence of economic and social justice. 165 million Pakistanis serve at the will of the 5 million feudals and faujis (new feudals) and their families. The Taliban have won in the minds of these 165 million. They represent a chance at a more equal future. So, to the 5 million privileged (up until now) – get out now with whatever you can: the barbarians are at the gate.

    To salvage the situation at this point will require several highly unlikely events: massive and real land reform (catch Zardari, Sharif, Gilani and the faujis volunteering their zameen back to the state), at least $50B, and an Army that actually shows up for a fight. Not happening in this universe.

  50. D_a_n says:
    April 20th, 2009 4:38 pm

    @ fahad…

    you wrote:

    the taliban brand of islam is a mixture of wahabism and pukhtunwali and in no way contradicts the local traditions of NWFP

    Are you serious? I suppose if you were Pukhtoon you wouldnt have said that….
    since when did digging up the dead and stringing them up…the murder of women and children become part of Pukhtunwali?
    If the output of all your years of (chinese???) education has resulted in the output of such garbage….I’d suggest getting in touch with every play group….nursery…school…university and asking for your money back….

  51. Aamir Ali says:
    April 20th, 2009 6:08 pm

    @Fahad

    The Taliban have a policy of murdering tribal chiefs. They have killed over 200 in Waziristan alone, that is how they rise to power in these areas.

    I am afraid that a sigificant part, but not the majority of our population either sympathizes with these Taliban animals, or loves them. Combine that with a state with is internally weak, and a political leadership that is corrupt and useless, and you get the Pakistan of today.

    I had faith in the army to fix matters, but their mixed performance has now led me, and most Pakistanis to despair.

  52. Eidee Man says:
    April 20th, 2009 6:34 pm

    @faraz
    “Ask any taxi driver in punjab or sindh and you will get your answer. They want the taliban.”

    I don’t know about the Punjab, but as far as Sindh is concerned, this is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. If you take a trip into Sindh and ask people this question, I am quite confident that less than 5% will favor the Taliban. The incidents that do take place in interior Sindh are at the behest of feudal lords, and then too are purely for economic purposes, or due to political rivalries; i.e. not carried out by the average person.

    And in Karachi, I seriously doubt any supporter of MQM would be sympathetic to the Taliban.

    Back to the article; it is very well-written and I hope it is published in the print media as well.

    The PPP comes under criticism (attack) more so than any other party for all sorts of things; however, their stand against religious extremism and fanaticism has always been consistent and unwavering. With Pakistani TV screens switching constantly between annoying ads and dead bodies of policemen, the fact that NO other party has the decency to condemn these massacres, for fear of angering the radicals is downright sickening.

  53. meengla says:
    April 20th, 2009 7:28 pm

    @Eidee Man,
    Yes, PPP gets the worst treatment in media and the blogspace than any other party with the possible exception of MQM.

    But…in the case of so-called Nizam e Adl the PPP has succumbed to power-politics: ANP is scared to death in NWFP because its govt. cannot function in face of constant threats to its MPAs. ANP desperately needs the NeA law and PPP, being the coalition partner in NWFP, decided to oblige. Of course the true conservatives like PMLN and PMLQ were all too happy to vote for the new Resolution in National Assembly. But PPP should not have been cowered. Even if it meant losing NWFP and Central govts. the right path would have been for the President and the PM to go before the nation in a joint press conference and be willing to leave power unless the ARMY fights the war fully.

    One hope is that these so-called Talibans–destined to overplay their cards–finally shake up the Army to go after the militants.

  54. Neena says:
    April 20th, 2009 8:52 pm

    Brilliant Article.

    We are here because our Army has refused to put up a fight with Talibans. Civilian goverment is too weak beside them. I know there is more to it that Talibans have unlimited funds for weapons I wonder who really supports it, is it possible that Army is funding them which is kinda scary.

    Samad on a personal note you refused an award by US Ambassador but studying in an American university. Isn’t this kinda a hypocritical? Disregard my opinion if you are a US citizen, then you have every right to protest your government.

  55. zia m says:
    April 20th, 2009 9:32 pm

    Chief Justice of Pakistan should call a meeting of most prominent ulema from Wahabis,Bralvies,Deobandis and shias and lock them in a room to come up with true interpretation of Sharia law.
    I am sure after a while they will kill each other and our problems will be solved.CJ will be able to enforce the law of land under the constitution.

  56. shahzad shameem says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:00 pm

    Friends: It

  57. Usman says:
    April 20th, 2009 11:03 pm

    I suggest you run for office in the next elections in PK. We need people like you to have a say in the parliament.

    Maybe you should form a party with other like minded people who abhor the Taliban.

  58. Saba Ali says:
    April 21st, 2009 12:05 am

    I urge everyone to read this excellent op-ed by Mosharraf Zaidi in The News, one of the best new op-ed writers in ENglish in Pakistan today. And not just because it mentions Adil Najam and Pakistaniat.

    THE TALIBAN WILL BE DEFEATED

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009
    Mosharraf Zaidi

    The writer advises governments, donors and NGOs on public policy.

    The young lust that infuriates the fascist Flintstones of Malakand is only the beginning of the love chronicles that will extinguish the little ember that they mistake for a raging fire. The little ember they mistake for populist wildfire is disenchantment with the failing state in this country. Unfortunately for these comedic miscarriages of reality there is only one raging fire in Pakistan. It is the fire in the cities. Sure there are randomly distributed fascist mullahs in the cities too, and many of them have taken the choreography of Sufi Mohammad to heart. But if it was so easy to convert the madrasas of this country into the nodes of a bloody fascist Flintstone revolution, it would have already happened.

    The real love affair that the Taliban and their ilk should be scared of is the incandescent passion with which Pakistanis, religious and irreligious, love this big, bulking behemoth of a country. March 15 may be a long and distant memory in the newspapers, but its markings on the DNA of Pakistan are still fresh. The scars that it has left are still raw, and the traditional elite in this country has not forgotten the humiliation of that day. Both the feudal politicians and the wannabe-feudal military leaders in this country grossly mis-underestimated (a Bushism all too appropriate for this Pakistan) the size and heat of the movement to restore the judiciary. The Taliban, the TNSM and the Lal Masjid Brigades repeat the mistakes made by the traditional elite, for good reason. Their DNA is imprinted with the “Made By The Traditional Elite of Pakistan” label. And let’s not be blinded by opportunism, paralysed by our romance for family dynasties or constrained by our personal politics. The defence establishment in this country that has cultivated irrational public discourse under the cloak of religion in Pakistan has not been alone in the endeavour. Their feudal dance partners have been central in enabling and facilitating the rot. Controlling the mosques with their left hands, and the triggers of civilian and military guns with their right–the traditional elite have caved in to the demands for Nifaz-e-Adl because they prefer the faux wrath of a perverted distributive justice agenda to the real and irresistible agenda for reform and renewal in Pakistan’s cities.

    The MQM understands this urban agenda for reform and renewal better than any political party in the country, which is why, despite the clear and obvious threats that a free judiciary poses to the operational fidelity of the MQM, the party made a conscious decision not to allow another May 12 to transpire this March. It is also why the MQM has spoken loudly and proudly against the ridiculous handing over of Pakistani sovereignty to the Flintstones of Malakand. Most of all, the MQM’s depth of relationship with urban sentiment is evident in the starkly different rhetoric that defines engagement with the issues between Pakistan’s Gucci and Prada liberals on the one hand, and the MQM’s leadership on the other. Convening an ulema conference was a stroke of urban Pakistan genius by the party. No self-respecting secular, progressive liberal (sic) would be caught dead at such a convention. Hence the difference between the MQM (a serious power-player in this country), and cheese and cracker liberals (a loud but politically sterile minority). As much as the lawyers’ movement was an a-religious movement, it was not amoral. And Pakistan’s people (even the ones in nice cars in the city working for banks and educated in the American Midwest) still draw moral inspiration primarily from Islam.

    Since handing over the mosque to the wretched of South Asia at Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s request, Muslims here have slowly but surely abdicated their faith to a newfangled clergy. Their primary instrument in sustaining their ownership of the mosque and madrasa, and all the symbols that go with them, is a supremely confident ignorance.

    The language of religious discourse is dripping with Islamic symbolism. There is no reason for Pakistan to be shy of engaging the clergy with the same symbols. Indeed, it is the uncontested monopolisation of those symbols that has enabled the current rot. More often than not, the mullahs will lose the argument. Ignorant rants have a very short lease of life. Simply put, there are more Hakim Saids in Pakistan’s Muslim history than there are Sufi Mohammads. Fought properly, there is only one outcome in the battle for the soul of Pakistan–victory for the peace-loving masses, and defeat for the firestorm-fanning agents of irrationality.

    Of course, the MQM represents a deeply compromised flag-bearer for the political fight against the Taliban. Despite a much-reformed party agenda, the ethnic affiliation of its top leadership is an issue that has consistently kept it from growing beyond urban Sindh. Moreover, rather ironically, its political choices since 1999 have put it directly at odds with urban Punjab. Ultimately, the alliance between urban Sindh and urban Punjab is a natural and inevitable one. This inevitability was all too visible to President Asif Ali Zardari, and it is what inspired the unnatural alliance between the PPP and the MQM–two parties that were at opposite ends of the violence and mayhem of May 12. Despite the federalist benefits of the PPP-MQM alliance, and the dangers of a rural Sindh that has no allies in either Punjab or in Karachi, this political expedience has a limited shelf life.

    Of course, the challenge in Punjab is the PML-N’s ability to continue to be a vessel for the articulation of urban Pakistan’s political ethos. Taking on the mullah without abdicating its centrist Muslim identity is a critical challenge for the PML-N. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the natural role of taking on the mullah belongs to the PPP. Today’s PPP, lacking the brilliance of a Bhutto as its field marshal, is hurting. It is unable to seamlessly integrate the feudal tendencies of its electoral strength with the urbane (not urban) sensibilities of its somewhat exceptional cadre of highly qualified advisors. The growing wisdom and alacrity of the prime minister notwithstanding, the PPP will take at least a generation to grow into a viable force in Pakistan’s new urban frontier. Until then, to stay alive, compromise with the most unpalatable negotiating-table partners is all the party can do. This is doubly true for the ANP, which has been unfairly burdened with the blame for the deal. In fact, the ANP has done what every party other than the MQM will do in the same situation. Without a military that is willing to take the battlefield heat, political parties have no choice but to find compromise solutions to intractable problems.

    None of the Realpolitik of the day, however, alters the bottom-line truth about Pakistan in 2009. There is a big set of unresolved issues around which violent extremists are able to construct a rationale for their murderous campaign for power. The resonance and appeal of these issues is undeniable. The bloodshed at Lal Masjid in 2007, the covert sexual revolution that has taken place on the back of a massive telecom boom, and the collateral damage of drone attacks, all have serious play in mainstream Pakistan.

    But these issues are not the sole informants of Pakistaniat–to use Adil Najam’s phraseology. They are among a larger galaxy of issues. Proof of this is in the political performance of the rightwing, even as recently as the Feb 18, 2008, elections. Despite the bread-and-butter nature of these issues in urban and rural Pakistan, the religious right failed to win back the gifts handed to it by the deeply flawed elections of 2002. The key question is not whether the religious right in Pakistan can mobilise meaningful numbers to actualise its vision for a strait-jacketed and irrational Pakistan. They cannot. Even though these issues are shared across a broad spectrum, the religious right is tone-deaf, and politically irrelevant. And if the JUI and JI and their cohorts can’t win the street, the Taliban don’t have a chance.

    The key question, therefore, is not about the populism of the Taliban, the TNSM, or any violent extremists in Pakistan. It is whether Pakistani Muslims will remain hostage to their sense of religious inferiority to the mullah. In fear of violating the precepts of a faith to which most Pakistanis are still deeply committed, will the people give mullahs like Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid carte blanche to destroy this country? The MQM’s ulema conference may cause all kinds of squirming, but it answers the question unequivocally. No, they will not.

    The love affair of the Pakistani people with their country is a firewall that will hold. Violent extremists can flog the odd alleged straying couple, but they cannot flog 172 million people. They cannot win this war, and that is why they’re so angry all the time.

  59. Z.G.A. says:
    April 21st, 2009 12:12 am

    This notion that people of Swat support these thugs is totally wrong. The Taliban have scared people with their killings and their hangings and cutting off peoples noses and ears, so obviously no one dares to say anything. These Taliban are the Nazis of our times.

  60. Bilal says:
    April 21st, 2009 12:28 am

    As some one rightly said that the real cause of problem is the WAHABI/SALFI brand of ISLAM . WAHABIS only beilve in destruction , killing the innocent , playing with blood and fire , destroying cities and buildings , raping the innocent woman , behading young man , robbery ,kidnapping and every thing which makes the life of a common MUSLIM misreable, amazingly all this is done on the name of ISLAM.

    SAY NO TO WAHABISIM

    SAY NO TO TALIBAN.

  61. Eidee Man says:
    April 21st, 2009 12:55 am

    “Chief Justice of Pakistan should call a meeting of most prominent ulema from Wahabis,Bralvies,Deobandis and shias and lock them in a room to come up with true interpretation of Sharia law.
    I am sure after a while they will kill each other and our problems will be solved.”

    This is actually quite true. Before the American operation in Afghanistan started in late 2001, the various tribes were busy fighting and killing each other. Unfortunately, due to the way this operation has been conducted over the past 8 years, the various factions have been given a cause to unite under.

  62. banjara286 says:
    April 21st, 2009 1:02 am

    Deeda-i-Beena sahib, i feel ur pain and anger. do u have ur own blog, or some other venue through which we can communicate?

  63. ZAIDI says:
    April 21st, 2009 1:03 am

    The voices on this website ma well become the last sane Pakistani voices anywhere. I fear that the courageous stand against the taliban being taken by people like Adil Najam on this website is the exception rather than the rule. That most Pakistanis are giving up or giving in and becomeing Taliban apologists.

  64. Ahmed Rana says:
    April 21st, 2009 3:35 am

    The gruesome scene of a young girl being flogged in public illustrates the brutal rule the Taliban have enforced in the Swat valley, raising serious questions about the government

  65. Abdullah Khan says:
    April 21st, 2009 3:42 am

    PAKISTAN KE DOO SHAITAN
    MULLAH AUR AIN KE TALIBAN

  66. Waseem says:
    April 21st, 2009 4:07 am

    The USA and Western powers are behind Beitullah Mehsood helping them to work against Pakistan. People have to understand that the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban are 2 opposing fronts; Beitullah Mehsood had a quarrel with Osama Bin Laden a long time ago, he’s being aided by the USA, Israel and India and is brain-washing the people lower down into thinking that they really are waging a fair Jihad by attacking hotels and stuff.

    This explains why, on SEVERAL occasions, complex military equipment like C4s have been uncovered from Taliban weapon dumps; these weapons cannot be made by some Afghan in his house-hold workshop, they come from these countries. India also has a number of “cons elates” in many Afghan cities, often in places where not even NATO troops can set foot, showing their deep influence and partnership with the Taliban, Holbrooke once said “The Indian cons elates in Afghan cities are serving purposes much greater then those of just cons elates”.

    The Indians are also assisting other separatists and mischief-making groups in Pakistan such as the BLO and BLUF, which is CLEARLY emphasized by the fact that 15th August, the Indian independence day, was declared as a national holiday throughout Balochistan last year.

  67. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 21st, 2009 5:15 am

    I can help but smile when I read that one of the points of the “deal” is that Taliban will stop destroying barber shops. :-)

    Just imagine the kind of people you are “dealing” with when a Government has to specifically ask for that guarantee.

    Stay quiet my dear lambs and start making a bee line straight to the slaughter house.

  68. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 21st, 2009 5:19 am

    I guess smiling and head shaking got the best of me. My previous comment should be read as, I can’t help but………

  69. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 21st, 2009 5:26 am

    I just went through some of posts and I must say that frustration is getting the best of some of our posters.

    Ban on burqas? Ban on beards?? Ban on wahabism??? Come on guys and gals, on one hand you guys chant slogans about personal freedoms and then give suggestions like that when freedom doesn’t suit you?

    This is the confusion among the masses that have made our country the hellhole that it is.

  70. Usman says:
    April 21st, 2009 5:50 am

    @Harris Siddiqi, Does Taliban give freedom to anyone?
    They even want to impose their version of shariya on the rest of the country. There is nothing wrong with shariya but the problem is their version of implementation!

    The blame goes to all those who were against Musharaf, the only person who was doing the right thing. Every nation including America, UK, australia, india and china had to fight against their own people to unite and bring law and order in their countries. The only difference between their fight and ours is they did it a century ago and we are doing it now.

    Our support for taliban in 80s was to defend ourself from the future threat of russian invasion and now it is from invasion of illiterate Talibans who will turn Pakistan into ruins.

  71. A lawyer says:
    April 21st, 2009 5:54 am

    Yaar Sammad – Remember how our efforts for restoration of honourable CJ Iftikhar Ch. got him restored? Yaar buss in Taliban se nimatnay ke liye bhi yehi tareeqa chalay ga. Lets do a long march on Swat dude! Dekh lein ge keh ye Taliban kya bigaar lein ge hamara jab tum hamein aagay se lead kar rahay ho gay!
    Hope you can get another leave from college. You yourself say that in the end of your article that PK can recover from the exploits of Zardari’s corruption, Gilani’s incompetence and Taseer’s antics – but not the Taliban’s repression. Bus yehi time hai – aaja Pakistan and lets do a long march on Maulvi Fazlullah’s home!

  72. Fanee says:
    April 21st, 2009 6:47 am

    Damn Rite .. It surely is “Silence of the Lambs” thingy.
    Untill unless we take out .. the “Silence” part or the “Lambs” part.

    the “Silence” is us, if we can take a Long March against Tyrants then we can surely do same against these criminals.
    (by criminals i mean, The Troubling Taliban,not the people who want to restore Shariah, Pakistan has already accepted Nizam-e-Adal and we can surely take discussions to next level with them).
    Consider Whole population of Lahore/karachi/etc including children,men,women and old marching against Taliban and the destination being pursuing them village by village, city by city till the Borders of Pakistan.

    The “Lambs” part is our corrupt government who have all the power in this world but still they utilize it only to stabilize their 5 years of so called Parliament.

  73. Patriot says:
    April 21st, 2009 8:16 am

    A most glaring blunder is the criminal refusal of the Pakistan Army to take on these Wahabi mullahs, in Swat and in the rest of the country.

    If anything, the Army’s shocking apathy has done the most damage to Pakistan’s strategic interests, and has the potential of dealing a fatal blow to the country. After 20 years of indoctrination at the hands of Zia ul Haq, the Pakistan Army apparently seems sympathetic to Wahabi causes. The demonic rot has creeped in at multiple ranks of the military.

    Against this backdrop, General Musharraf’s operation agaisnt the Lal Masjid terrorists was highly commendable.

    A 200 year old cult cannot and must not be allowed to replace thousands of years of civilization in the Indus Valley. Islam was there and will continue to exist long after the influence of the barren wastelands of the Najd has waned.

  74. maqsood says:
    April 21st, 2009 9:26 am

    “(by criminals i mean, The Troubling Taliban,not the people who want to restore Shariah, Pakistan has already accepted Nizam-e-Adal and we can surely take discussions to next level with them).”

    Excuse me! I am an atheist and I do not want anyone’s sharia, gita, or bible imposed on me as the law of the land. Please go back to the original vision of Pakistan. It was not created to satisfy anyone’s religious fancies. Please keep your holy books in the sacred corner of your house (or better still – in your heart) and leave us to live our own life.

  75. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 21st, 2009 10:36 am

    @ Usman,

    My comments were directed towards people who were talking about banning burqas and beards etc. People should have the right to keep beards and wear burqas or wear a burqa while keeping a beard ( we have seen it before). lol

    Forcing someone to shave off his beard is just as wrong as forcing someone to keep a beard.

  76. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 21st, 2009 10:43 am

    @ Patriot,

    Army is not the only one to blame here. No army in the world can win a war if the general public is not behind the cause overwhelmingly.

    Pakistan Army had to fight an unpopular war 38 years ago and it tarnished their image forever.

    Listen to the Pakistani media and talk to the people on the street. More than 7 years have passed since this war started and the people are still arguing if it is right for the army to go to war against “our own people” or if this is our war to begin with.

    Unless Pakistanis are united under one flag to get rid of this menace, we are doomed.

  77. Salman says:
    April 21st, 2009 11:06 am

    Google “institute of peace and conflicts sultan-i-rome”. You’ll find a research paper “Swat: A critical Analysis” written by Sultan-i-Rome, a Swati historian. I read the paper last night and I felt that the paper is a good attempt to provide some context of the present day situation in Swat. The reader doesn’t have to agree with or accept any or all that’s written, but should be able to derive some value out of the paper.

  78. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 21st, 2009 3:50 pm

    @Nusrat

    Muslim identity need not have anything to do with the belief system. The Jewish identity applies to all Jews – atheist, agnostic or religous.

    Secularism is simply about separation of politics and religion, not of politics and identity. That would be demanding assimilation. Assimilation can be free from injustice if it is voluntary and two-way. A give and take, e.g. as envisaged in the Cabint Mission Plan, and agreed to by Jinnah.

  79. Zecchetti says:
    April 21st, 2009 4:34 pm

    @BloodyCivilian,

    What are you talking about. Please stop embarassing yourself by copying the Jews. Anyone with a basic grasp of Arabic and Islam for that matter knows that the word “Muslim” means one who submits, i.e. to Allah.

    So it can never apply to atheists, agnostics, and idol worshippers. They have another term for them, and that is “kaafir”, meaning one who conceals the truth and buries it within himself.

  80. morbid fascination says:
    April 21st, 2009 7:02 pm

    A 200 year old cult cannot and must not be allowed to replace thousands of years of civilization in the Indus Valley.

    Not so sure. Looks like the fight is already lost.

    Islam was there and will continue to exist long after the influence of the barren wastelands of the Najd has waned.

    True, but many Pakistanis behave like Islam was invented in 1947. Suckers. More loyal than the king. Being more Islamic than the Saudis, who are happy to enjoy 72 houris from Eastern Europe – now – rather than wait till later. Licking those Saudi boots for a few sad bucks – rather than associate with the rich culture to the East. No wonder the ignoramus Saudis think of us as woolly-headed – third-class – Sufis. Oh well – made the bed, now lie in it.

  81. readinglord says:
    April 21st, 2009 7:41 pm

    No, Sir, the problem we face today is too big for the present setup to solve or even to comprehend with their

  82. readinglord says:
    April 21st, 2009 7:52 pm

    @Zecchetti

    You say:

    “Anyone with a basic grasp of Arabic and Islam for that matter knows that the word

  83. Truthseek says:
    April 21st, 2009 8:58 pm

    “to avoid a holocaust which is looming large on the horizon.”

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was to convince the world he doesn’t exist.

    The greatest trick devil ever pulled, was “religion”.

    Humanity, goodness and the will to live-and-let-live is inbuilt in every human. No religion is required for progress, civilization or spirituality.

    Religion may become the cause of the ultimate end of humanity. No other forms of lesser evils, like greed for land, money or lust are powerful enough to wipe out humanity, but religion is, because it is guised as the greatest good, so it blinds it’s victims absolutely.

    Secularism, democracy and science have always struggled against religion. Now the time may be coming for that struggle to end in death.

  84. Abdul says:
    April 21st, 2009 11:12 pm

    Well done ATP for keeping this issue up on the boards and not letting people forget what a great mistake we are making.

  85. April 21st, 2009 11:48 pm

    This kid has finally seen the light. He was protesting drone attacks against the fundo’s- has now changed his tune thankfully. In fact, if any one is going to save us, its the americans by forcing us to do things that we dont have in us to do- like fight the Taliban.

  86. D_a_n says:
    April 22nd, 2009 12:27 am

    Now Hear This (not that it’s the least bit surprising)….

    The Swati Beards have THIS to say on the ‘deal’…..

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20094\22\story_22-4-2009_pg1_1

    @ Zecchetti and ilk….seems like the only one these beards submit to is disgrace…dishonour and Iblees himself….

    and this news just goes to show kay yeh mullay apnay Maan Baap kay nahin hotay….mulk kay kaisay ho saktay hain?

  87. Pakistani says:
    April 22nd, 2009 12:28 am

    As Mosharraf Zaidi wrote in his op-ed where he talked about this website, the Taliban will never win in Pakistan because there are ordinary people like you all who are willing to stand up to them

  88. Eidee Man says:
    April 22nd, 2009 12:53 am

    “As Mosharraf Zaidi wrote in his op-ed where he talked about this website, the Taliban will never win in Pakistan because there are ordinary people like you all who are willing to stand up to them.”

    Ameen to that. I myself believe that, although the facts seem to be pointing in the opposite direction; I just hope that we wake up before the damage becomes irreversible.

    To me it has always seemed that the common man in Pakistan tends to put the way of life in Saudi Arabia and similar countries on a pedestal, something to model our society after. But I’m quite sure that only a very small minority would tolerate actually living in such an environment.

  89. Anwar Hussain says:
    April 22nd, 2009 3:17 am

    I have faith in the pakistani people and see that on this site. But we must all speak up and always speak up against what is wrong, like Samad does, like Adil Najam does, like Pakistaniat does.

  90. April 22nd, 2009 4:34 am

    I don

  91. Umar Siddiqui says:
    April 22nd, 2009 4:42 am

    PAKISTAN KE DOO SHAITAN
    DEOBANDI AUR AIN KE TALIBAN

  92. April 22nd, 2009 4:46 am

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=173609


    “Hysteria, intolerance and ignorance are certainly not solely the hallmark of the Taliban, as I discovered last week when I defended the actual Nizam-e-Adl Regulation on television in terms of its content. Immediately, choice abuses

  93. Huzaifa Thanvi says:
    April 22nd, 2009 4:49 am

    The root cause of all this problem is the bloody wahabi mindset which tells us to destroy,demolish and abolish each and every tomb,mosque,graveyard on the surface of earth . You see every where in the world where there is destruction,fire and blood (iraq,afghanistan,pakistan,kashmir) the organizations involved in the whole game are wahabi organizations.Some Wahabi groups, often labeled as takfiri and sometimes linked to Al Qaeda, have even advocated the persecution of the Shi’a and sunnis. Such groups have been allegedly responsible for violent attacks and suicide bombings at Shi’a and sunni gatherings at mosques and shrines, most notably in Iraq during the Ashura mourning ceremonies where hundreds of Shias and sunnis were killed in coordinated suicide bombings, but also in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  94. jk says:
    April 22nd, 2009 6:33 am

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/nwfp/buner-falls-to-swat-taliban–bi

    Taliban militants from Swat took control of Buner on Tuesday and started patrolling bazaars, villages and towns in the district.

    Pakistan is being invaded and the government is making it easy for them.

  95. Ali Rizvi says:
    April 22nd, 2009 6:36 am

    Ms Thanvi and Mr Siddiqui

    Blaming “Wahabis” and “Deobandis” would not absolve us of our individual responsibilities. If anything it will widen the cracks in our already divided people.

    The only way out for Pakistanis and indeed all Muslims is to stop thinking of themselves as “Shias” and “Sunnis” and other such labels.

    We need to identify who is backing the Taliban, the Balochistan Liberation Army, the Baitullah Mehsuds and other militant factions creating havoc all over the country.

    Murphy’s law would point to those rubbing their hands with glee at the state we are in. That we choose to ignore them is our own loss.

  96. fahad says:
    April 22nd, 2009 7:14 am

    The taliban are a populous local movement and its about time that this pseudo intellectual western elite accepted them as who they are and stop maligning them. Everything thats happening in Pakistan is eerily similar to what happened in Iran. Iran had its lal masjids and sufi muhammads and their pseudo intellectuals had no idea what hit them. The dead lal masjid cleric is a shaheed in the eyes of most of the uneducated masses who cant write posts on this propaganda website. So stop maligning them and learn to work with them. Anyways, muslims will outbreed everyother nation on this planet so learn to live with mullahs. I am an athiest and i know that keeping a beard is just a minor annoyance, or getting lashed for doing something naughty is also a minor annoyance. If i can live with zardari, then the taliban are just another version of zardari with their own f&$#ed up world view.

    Anyways if i were educated in a madressa then I will buy a different world perspective then if i were educated at harvard. Thats called propaganda. Ever wondered why these fulbright and cultural programs were created, to brain wash our elites into believing a certain way and then using these people to forward their agenda. The islamists, like the americans are really good at culturally indoctrinating people, the americans have harvard while the mullahs have their madressas, same shit different makeup. The chinese have started their own cultural programs in pakistan.

    “QUOTING A PREVIOUS THREAD”
    @ Samad,

    You have just become another one of the several journalists writing pieces about the

  97. Enlightener says:
    April 22nd, 2009 8:12 am

    75% people of NWFP still support taliban. Out of 100 people that I meet here in Peshawar, 75 are taliban supporters. When I ask them why they support taliban, they say that they would love be ruled by taliban than the corrupt leaders of Pakistan (which are mostly from Punjab and sindh).

    Taliban are not threat to Punjab or Sindh. They just want to bring NWFP under their control. They have the support of Pukhtuns.

    Pakistan will live, and will get even more powerful. But it won’t include NWFP. It’s sad, I know, but it’s democracy. Democracy is a government run by the people of that area. If the people of NWFP support taliban then there’s nothing the Army can do about it.

    I was just reading an article on North Korea which was titled “North Korea: The Land of No Smiles”. I guess Pakistan too now comes under that category. I haven’t smiled for the past 2 years.

  98. D_a_n says:
    April 22nd, 2009 8:42 am

    @ Adnan Siddiqui

    This should be self evident but Im aware that people of your ilk have some issues with the obvious….

    Shirin Mazari wrote thus:

    ‘Immediately, choice abuses

  99. fahad says:
    April 22nd, 2009 8:54 am

    @DAN

    I think what you are saying qualifies as propaganda.

    We don’t know if these mullahs will rape and maim mazari like you stated. Women have been treated badly in pakistan because its part of our tradition. Mullah or no mullah, women will still be treated badly. The panchayat that raped mukhtaran mai had no mullahs in it.

    so lets give these taliban assholes a chance and see if they end up maiming and killing women. If they do then that would come as no surprise because we are already throwing acid and raping women even without mullahs.

    The afghans still remember the legend of Mullah Umar and how he rescued women from the shackles of warlords and hung these warlords on trees. Thats a piece of taliban propaganda.

  100. jk says:
    April 22nd, 2009 9:15 am

    Democracy came to Pakistan, and now it is being lost again infront of our eyes.

  101. Aamir Ali says:
    April 22nd, 2009 9:16 am

    @Fahad

    There is a difference between education and propaganda. Education is what your receive at Harvard while propaganda is what you receive in a madrassa. Can you tell me how many elections the Taliban have won, or why the mullah parties lost the elections of 2008 if indeed the people of Swat love the Taliban so much ?

  102. Ali Rizvi says:
    April 22nd, 2009 9:19 am

    @ DAN

    How many people “differing so Vehemently” with the Taliban “on national TV” have been “flogged, maimed, kidnapped, beheaded or have acid thrown” on their faces?

    Just wondering.

    @Adnan

    I agree “anti-Taliban Elements are not lesser fascists than Talibans itself”.

  103. Kareem says:
    April 22nd, 2009 10:21 am

    I agree with Fahad. It’s good to see someone discussing the core issue and not the Mantra.

    It’s kind of the Iranian or Socialist Revolutions.

    Taliban are just filling a vacuum.

    The current system is so corrupt that masses are craving for a change. Even if this change is as horrible as offered by T.

    Our pseudo-intellects better come up with real solutions. Solutions that not only remove Talibans but also Zardaris, Shareefs, Waderas, Poverty, and foriegn influences.

    And don’t depend on the Army. It is run by a bunch of crime lords who are only interested in money. Haven’t they looted Pakistan for the last 60 years? Look at the assets of Army and its personnel.

  104. Zecchetti says:
    April 22nd, 2009 11:25 am

    @ Fahad,

    Thank you for quoting my previous comment. When I posted it it was blocked as “awaiting moderation”, and when the comments then went to a few pages later, then it was published so that no-one even got the chance to read it.

    The fact is, the Taliban is filling in a large, very large, vacuum of justice. The people fundamentally want justice and the Taliban courts seem to be giving this to them. It’s exactly how it was in Somalia with the Islamic Courts Union. The people loved them, but America didn’t, and so they were bombed away by ethiopia on America’s behalf.

  105. Jusathot says:
    April 22nd, 2009 12:19 pm

    Who is afraid of the Taliban?

    1.The Taliban are the greatest threat to the Americans and, by extension, to all those who support American policies in the region.

    2.They are a threat to secular-liberal Muslims.

    3.They also pose a threat to those Muslims whose understanding of Islam is not defined by the narrow vision held by the Taliban.

    Regardless of various levels of opposition to them, the Taliban have proven to be a force to reckon with. Most western analysts are surprised at their resilience. They fail to understand that the strength of the Taliban is not in numbers or weapons, but it lies within them. It is grounded in their absolute reliance on Allah. They are distinguished by their bravery, honesty and strict adherence to Islam, and by their loyalty to what they believe in. Unlike the general populace, swayed by winds of all kinds, they have a strong vision of Islam by which they live. Had it not been their inner strength, they would have been wiped out by now. The liberals are ideologically and emotionally aligned with the western-style secular vision of life. Hence, they are afraid of the Taliban. But liberals are a minority. Therefore, even if the majority does not agree with some of the things the Taliban do, they still support them because the other side is totally unacceptable. (Source: The News

  106. jock says:
    April 22nd, 2009 1:47 pm

    Forgive me for not being swayed by the argument that “the people want them” should be good enough justification for anybody. Even if the ‘people’ do want them, the problem is that in times like these the ill-informed masses have a tendency to choose precisely that which is worst for them, they don’t seem to realise it until its too late. This has been a problem in religious as well as secular regimes so its not unique to the Taliban. The view that they’re filling a vacuum is also problematic. Serious problems do exist but the Taliban taking control of things simply means handing another group the reins of power. Where other groups have failed at solving the same problems, i don’t really expect the Taliban to succeed.

    Kindly don’t label me as pro-American. I’ve been criticising the drone attacks and the illegal occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq for a long time now. They’re as responsible for this as our internal failures which gave rise to the Taliban.

  107. jock says:
    April 22nd, 2009 1:58 pm

    The idea that the Taliban are a force to be reckoned I don’t think anyone can deny, but I think it has more to do with our meek attitudee in stopping the drone attacks and monitoring the issue than it does with any real ‘devotion to Islam’ on their part. The idea that ‘secular-liberals’ or ‘moderates’ are bringing this upon themselves is as oversimplified as the view that fundamentalism is solely responsible for it. The taliban have already shown that they have no problem in looting police stations, NGOs, schools and other civilian buildings. see the link below:

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/nwfp/buner-falls-to-swat-taliban–bi

    If this is supposed to be their devotion to Islam then i’m afraid i don’t know what to say. It also goes to show that ‘secular’ liberals aren’t the only ones who are going to fear them, but eventually any decent, hardworking person will. And i think that’s exactly what’s happened: the people who don’t like them are too scared to speak out, they’ve been paralysed by fear.

  108. concerned says:
    April 22nd, 2009 2:34 pm

    I was listening to this report on NPR yesterday about Taliban moving to the Buner district — http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103334961

  109. kkhan says:
    April 22nd, 2009 3:46 pm

    @jock.

    You are missing the point. Talibans are not Islamic. They are a reactionary force. More like Robin Hoods. They provide swift justice and address the issues of poor masses. That’s why they are succeeding. Remember masses want justice, food, respect and other basics which Pakistan has failed to provide. If the world wants to stop them, the only way is to go in there and take care of core problems such as jobs, food, shelter, and justice. Invest there and you will see the results. But be careful. It can be done but Pakistani Officials are too corrupt. They would gobbel all funds going there. These leaders are bigger looters. They are more willing to see open destruction of their land. Lessing willing to affect their purses.

  110. jock says:
    April 22nd, 2009 4:13 pm

    @kkhan

    I don’t think i missed it. I did mention that they’re attempting to fill a vacuum created a long time ago that we weren’t able to fill by providing the ‘masses want justice, food, respect and other basics’, so in that I agree with you

    I don’t where the country is going honestly. We’ve always been slow to change and always wake up at the 11th hour…:(

  111. Akbar says:
    April 22nd, 2009 4:44 pm

    Islam is not homogenous – the majority of Pakistan’s people do not subscribe to Taliban’s version of “Islam”.

    Wahabis (the sect to which Taliban belong) are less than 5 percent of the Pakistani population, although they receive massive foreign aid from Saudi Arabia (the world’s only Wahabi regime).

    Barelvis comprise over 60 percent of the population.

    It is absolutely not possible for a micro-sect to rule over the majority of the Pakistani population. This must not be allowed at any cost. The Army must take notice of this demographic reality when formulating their defence strategy.

  112. Mazhar says:
    April 22nd, 2009 5:15 pm

    hi
    In pakistan our basic problem is to educate the people in right way according to humanity basis not according to relogeous basis. if we are a good human then we will be good muslim but most of us think that if we are good muslim then we will be good human. this is wrong perception first of all think about your country your people’s development, their independence, their education, work hard for the betterment of the country and prove that we are a nation who can develop their country then preech your thinkings and teechings of islam when world see that we are a powerful nation.if you beat women, you bann girls education, you threaten people and other things like that but you are not developed you need money from other countries and your country run by the foriegn aid then how can you face the world?

  113. jk says:
    April 22nd, 2009 6:30 pm

    Taliban are only a force to be reckoned by the pak army who are failing pakistan.

    This whole issue is very fishy.

  114. fahad says:
    April 22nd, 2009 7:26 pm

    @aamir

    When did democracy become a yardstick to measure anything.

    Hitler was elected in a completely democratic election. China has never seen democracy. And we all know what elections in pakistan are all about. They have nothing to do with ideology or good governance. Votes are cast based on baradari, thats the reason why the islamists are so popular in the streets but never get votes. The people of pakistan don’t know what voting is all about.

    The last time i was in pakistan i was hearing amazing tales of swift justice given by the taliban. The taliban support on the street was tremendous. The comparison with robin hood is quite true.

    Lately i had the displeasure of meeting Stephen Cohen. He was acting like an expert on pakistan but had no idea what the hell was going on. After failing to answer my numerous questions on pakistan and exposing his shallow thinking, i was politely booted out of the conference room. If US foreign policy is determined by these closed minded fake intellectuals who have mastered the art of bullshitism then no wonder the US is failing so badly internationally. Our pseudo intellectual self serving elites are taught by these very same people in US universities.

    And has anyone studied in a madressa? Do you know that i visited a madressa in mansehra and they were teaching philosophy there. I even found books on hegel and nietzche there. People are allowed to disagree aswell.

    Harvard is comparable to any madressah in pakistan. Their methods for brain washing are just slightly more subtle. I am not talking about technology but social sciences.

    Here is an experiment to prove that harvard is just as close minded as any madressah. Try to act like an al qaida supporter or a taliban supporter at harvard and see the reaction. I have acted like a US supporter in many madressahs in pakistan and what resulted was a healthy debate.

  115. ShahidnUSA says:
    April 22nd, 2009 10:06 pm

    Pakistani govt. must listen to balochis point of view even if it is an extreme one, instead of killing their leaders. Bad bad example.
    About Talibans issue. If you raise and observe a child in a deserted island, after 20 years you would notice that child who is grown up now has more animalistic behavior than civilized.
    Talibans are the ignored and neglected children of yesterday, who have become the product of Mullahs “sick fantacies”.

    “khooni chowk” is a message from Taliban that dont show any mercy on us because we did nt to anyone who has different point of view than us.
    I suggest complete psycological counciling to any child who witnessed the “khooni chowk”.

  116. maqsood says:
    April 22nd, 2009 11:30 pm

    “Pakistani govt. must listen to balochis point of view even if it is an extreme one, instead of killing their leaders. Bad bad example.”

    There is no “balochi” point of view. All you hear is Indian point of view coming out of balochi mouths.

    Mr. Bugti is on record that India is their friend.

  117. Hamza says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:00 am

    Inshallah Inshallah someone wakes up in the Aiwans in Islamabad and does something sensible to solve this problem before this barbaric lunatic-cult overruns our country — Allah’s blessed us with a land to call our own where Muslims (and non-Muslims) of all ethnicities and sects would find enfranchisement and opportunity and instead we have created this broken nightmare, a failed state where our faith’s become “political” and our identity’s become some misplaced pseudo-ethnic sense of nationhood — Now’s the time of reckoning. I would think of myself as a Muslim and believe in the idea of Pakistan but I would choose living in India or Bangladesh any day over living under these belligerent self-righteous Jaahils who’ve now taken over Buner. There’s no point to Jinnah’s Pakistan in that case — it was supposed to be a land for Indian Muslims, not a land for mountain fourth-grade Mullahs.

  118. Calculating_Misfit says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:08 am

    A wonderful interview by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria of Ahmed Rashid.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/04/19/gps.ahmed.rashid.intv.cnn

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/04/19/gps.ahmed.rashid.intv.cnn

    One wonders what Pakistan will look like in 5 years…

  119. D_a_n says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:37 am

    @ Ali Rizvi…

    Okay. Maybe not on National TV but take the example of …oh I dont know…SWAT…??

    (PS: Please give me examples of people who come on Geo and speak against the Mullah’s AS VEHEMENTLY as Mazari as I havent seen ONE..eg, would like to see how much guts Ali Ahmed Kurd can muster on TV…stroke his hair and let loose on people who call hus very profession Kufr..but he’s too afraid…)

    How many people involved in local politics…Provincial politics…..civil servants…Nazims and Policemen have been killed by the beards????? Countless ….but since Sufi Mohammed says that Sharia doesnt allow discussion of the past so I guess you cant go off in that direction….
    What about Afzal lala….who is safe till now from what I can only imagine is Allah’s divine intervention…but thats in the past as well so I can understand your limitation as the Talib’s Pope has said so and thus it must be obeyed…
    We could go on and on and on and on and on…….but I wont make you go against Papa-e-Swat….

    and how many Mullah’s/beards have been killed by say…an Engineering student from FAST? or a graduate of LUMS working in Unilever?? Bet you cant name ONE!! and not because your Pope has disallowed it…but because it didnt happen…
    Is there any ‘liberal’ person threatening Pakistani’s with 2 x Suicide attacks a week? (that was in the past as well so you maybe blocked that out)

    @Fahad…

    We have years and years of evidence of what life would be like under the beards…and We’ve seen Swat and the bearded Pope there as well….yet you still say that what I say is Propoganda…..HEY…wait a minute…what I said was in the past…so how dare you discuss it? Isnt Papa-e-Swat going to ex communicate you?

    and Yes…..the ‘Legend’ of Mullah Umer WAS Propoganda….thanks for seconding me!

  120. jock says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:43 am

    @Fahad

    You sound like an interesting person. I think we should meet some day and exchange views on Harvard and Madressahs…:)…but plz do tell me, if madressah students read Nietzsche and Hegel and engage in healthy debate why is it that so much intolerance comes pouring out of some of their students.

    Cheers

  121. ALI says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:46 am

    @fahad

    That is absolute nonsense. What were you smoking when you went to the madrassah.. reading philosophy… are you an idiot or do you think everyone else is…. if you are going to make up stories, make up a believable story…. do not insult other people’s intelligence. You obviously have serious inferiority complexes which is why you keep spewing nonsense against anyone intelligent and colleges… seek help and please stop wasting our time and your breath!

  122. S.T.H. says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:48 am

    @ Fahad… nice one :-)

    Please tell us teh name of this madrassah you went to and where it was. I too have been to many madrassahs (as a working journalist in Pakistan) and I have NEVER ever seen anything like what you describe.

    Give me details and I will like to confirm if this is true (which I seriously doubt).

  123. April 23rd, 2009 2:09 am

    *grin*

    and as I say that How anti-Talibans element never miss the chance to silence the voice of opponents, people on board didn’t disappoint me at all. I can see how Mr.Fahad has been grinded by bunch of enlightened souls who are showing their enlighteneded side by abusing him. Fahad said something about Madrassahs and everyone attacked on him just like Jews attack on those who deny Holocaust. Amazing my friend! by this attitude you can surely beat Talibans in grounds

  124. Tania says:
    April 23rd, 2009 3:09 am

    I think as long as our ‘Pakistaniat’ lives we will live too. That is why people like Samad and sites like ATP and legends like Adil Najam are so very important to our future. Maybe more than the Army and government it is patriot Pakistanis who will make a difference and keep speaking out.

  125. SM says:
    April 23rd, 2009 5:54 am

    Well, a lot of criticism, but still no solution? Is this our national mentality?

    Mr. Chaudry is back in his seat, judiciary is restored. Even at this forum, everyone supported this. So now the question is, How long more we have to wait to have a good justice system in Pakistan?

    In my view, this is the only way out left for Pakistan and Pakistanis to keep Taliban away from taking over the government. In tribal area and sawat, speedy justice is the only plus point these mullahs have (though in an un-humane fashion)

  126. D_a_n says:
    April 23rd, 2009 6:48 am

    @ Fahad…

    tsk tsk….stooping to lies so soon?

    and even if those books were there….did you make a check to see if they werent being used for Toilet paper ?(for the time when someone ‘commando-ed’ the resident lota)

  127. Ghaus says:
    April 23rd, 2009 8:38 am

    These are tough ays but I am sure they will also pass and we will rise resilient

  128. Aamir Ali says:
    April 23rd, 2009 10:52 am

    @Fahad

    The Taliban provide justice ?! How do they accomplish that? By flogging women, beheading policemen, looting NGO’s, sending suicide bombers to attack jirgas and blowing up businesses?

    The Taliban are themselves are bunch of obscurantist criminals. That is why when people are exposed to the reality of Taliban, like the Pakhtoons of today, they hate the Taliban. When the Taliban invade Punjab, where the majority of their support resides today, you will find all these supporters or Taliban in politics, media and this forum suddenly disappear.

  129. jock says:
    April 23rd, 2009 12:47 pm

    @ Adnan Siddiqui

    Actually regarding Fahad, i think there was only 1 person who attacked as such, the other 2 (including myself) just asked for clarification or proof…:)…when Jews attack someone for Holocaust denial they tend to go all out…:D

    After all wouldn’t you like to read a Maulana who’d read Nietszche…:D

  130. April 23rd, 2009 2:15 pm

    @Jock: I was actually referring Makhdoom Ali Sahib who shared words of wisdom on the same page where you have shared your comment. Makhdoom Ali Sahib said to Fahad:


    That is absolute nonsense. What were you smoking when you went to the madrassah.. reading philosophy

  131. Durrani says:
    April 23rd, 2009 8:45 pm

    Only one solution. Separate state and religion.

  132. walking_by says:
    April 24th, 2009 2:29 am

    @Durrani: “Only one solution. Separate state and religion.”

    True. And yet easier said than done. After all, it is the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan.

  133. Jawad Khan says:
    April 24th, 2009 11:40 am

    Am tired of these Rhetorical Statements. Pakistan needs true Pakistanis, not some hired hands from USA like Moeen Qureshi, Shaukat Aziz, Shaukat Tareen. If we are really bothered about Pakistan,then come forward and take it back from Talibans, CIA agents, American backed mullahs, politicians, corrupt Army Personnel and pseduo intellectuals. My message is clear and simple , COME BACK TO PAKISTAN AND OWN IT. Reading Mr. Sammad Khurrams comments, if American allowed him to study, it would allow him to comeback so all those Sammad Khurrams in USA, stop complaining and come and push of these innane mullahs and corrupt individuals and let the true deserving individuals run this country. Its our relutance to face the truth that we are not ready to own it up…There is never tomorrow,only today.

  134. Xameer says:
    April 24th, 2009 11:47 am

    Let us never stop the pressure, even if it seems like we are not winning, we must keep trying and defending our homeland.

  135. Zecchetti says:
    April 24th, 2009 2:42 pm

    This short video coverage by Al Jazeera dispels a LOT of propaganda. Whoever says the Taleban are a foreign force need a reality check.

    http://tinyurl.com/dygtg8

    They are recieving overwhelming support even in Buner. Think about it, how else can they be so successful?

    Samad Khurram, I really do hope you watch this and chill out.

  136. Gorki says:
    April 24th, 2009 7:05 pm

    @ Zecchetti

    I saw the entire video links that you posted and see your point.
    Actually many other media outlets, commentators etc. (including the NY Times in a recent article) have made this point that the Taliban are exploiting the class differences and the failures of the Pakistani government to provide protection of the state institutions to expand their own appeal among the ordinary people.

    I can understand how in the short run, their form of instant justice would appear to be preferred by the people themselves (as opposed to the corrupt local police and legal authorities etc.)
    However, one has to look past the immediate solutions to see where this will lead the people in the long run.

    When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they indeed provided peace but this came at a heavy price.

    For example their destruction of the more than millennia old Buddhist statues not only destroyed an irreplaceable international landmark, it also harmed the religion in whose name they were acting.

    Thus non muslims around the world mistook this wanton act of desecration not an ignorant act of these Talibs alone but an Islamic value itself.

    Even if one were to overlook the damage that they did to the Afghan heritage, look at what the Taliban rule did to the Afghan nation; no development, no industry, the already dismal indices of health care and education worsened under their arbitrary rule.

    Thus it should be clearly understood that their Robin Hood like exploits may sound good in story books and legends, they nevertheless make for terrible economics.

    If all one is promising to do is to rob the rich and redistribute their wealth then it is not much of an economic plan once all the rich men have been killed or run out of the country.

    Even if one were to accept the argument that adulterers being whipped and thieves having their hands cut off is good for justice; keeping girls illiterate is certainly not.
    Neither is a hypocritical selective rejection of science and technology. (The music cds are banned under the Talibs but FM radio broadcasts are not. Western weapons are widely welcome but art and literature is not!).

    Pakistan; inspite of all its current troubles is a young and a dynamic country with a huge potential.
    Out of 48 Muslim countries in the world, this is the only one that has ever produced a Nobel Prize winning scientist.
    If the Taliban take over, it may literally whip out small time criminals and crime may dissapear in the short run but they may also fatally stunt the growth of this nation over the long run.

    Thus the answer to Pakistan

  137. Umar Farooqui says:
    April 24th, 2009 10:47 pm

    Taliban understands only one language and that is of gun , if they dont understand the language of negotations than whats the point talking to them , just crush them , abolish them and demolish them.

    LONG LIVE PAKISTAN ARMY
    LONG LIVE PAKISTAN.

  138. D_a_n says:
    April 24th, 2009 11:38 pm

    @ Zecchetti…

    you spewed: ‘They are recieving overwhelming support even in Buner. Think about it, how else can they be so successful?’….

    They most certainly did not receive any such support…They fought a battle with a local lashkar….in the end captured 3 policemen and 2 of the lashkar men and promptly executed them… (yes, true Mujahids I know)…

    Just because you make up things in your mind doesnt mean that they are true…..and even less true that we must believe them as well…..
    want us to chill out? stop the damn lies…

  139. Taimur says:
    April 25th, 2009 3:41 am

    These clouds will pass. These taliban murderer will not be allowed to succeed. But we all must be united against these great enemies of Pakistan.

  140. April 25th, 2009 5:49 am


    They most certainly did not receive any such support

    @D_a_n: Dil ko Behlana ko Ghalib ye Khyal acha hay *grin*

    @umar farooqi sahib: Mujahid and soldiers like are required in real battle field rather than in cyberworld to tackle Talibans. yahan shor machana se kuch nahi hoga :D

  141. Zecchetti says:
    April 25th, 2009 7:17 am

    @ D_a_n

    I take it you didnt even bother viewing the video link I gave – perhaps your connection is not fast enough to support video…

    It clearly shows support and appreciation for the implementation of Islamic law. As for the so called lashkars, if the population is vehemently opposed to the taleban as you claim, then the lashkars would far outnumber the taleban and the taleban wouldn’t stand a chance. But instead, as you can see in the video, the taleban are being welcomed with a red carpet.

    Face it. The only people opposed to the Taleban are the secular, “educated”, pro-western liberal elite, who stand to lose the freedom to copy the west. This class of people only make up perhaps 1% of the total population of Pakistan. It is this class that has access to luxuries such as the internet, and thats why you see so many of this class commenting and whining on ATP. You and your kind do not represent Pakistan. The vast majority of Pakistan wants justice, and the Taleban, to some extent (yes, they may have mistakes) are giving them the justice that you the elite failed to provide.

    So face it. This is not an invasion of foreign afghans, tajiks, or uzbeks. This is effectively an uprising of the people against the corrupt, morally bankrupt elite that has for long usurped the rights of the people.

  142. Yasmeen says:
    April 25th, 2009 11:18 am

    These Taliban are the enemies of Islam and of Pakistan. I am amazed at how anyone can be defending their barbaric practices. I guess there are lots f people who want to destroy Islam and they are doing that through these Taliban.

  143. suhail ahmed bukhari says:
    April 25th, 2009 12:50 pm

    does anybody has any solution?

  144. adeel says:
    April 25th, 2009 6:26 pm

    @Zecchetti
    You have perhaps correctly identified the 1% elite who have “access to luxuries such as the internet”. But don’t you feel that in the process of tabulating the figure, you missed out the large percentage of those (I can’t come up with a number unfortunately) who just want to get on with their lives? These people only want a decent living and a hopeful future for their children. They would never become rich enough to be considered ‘elite’ nor would they have the drive to stand up to call for ‘enforcing of the good and prohibition of the vice’. They don’t have any grand plans of saving the world. They just want to live with dignity.

    Now taking this demographic into consideration, would you call them a ‘representative of Pakistan’? Aren’t these the same people who are always exploited? Sometimes by the blood sucking elite, and sometimes by the gun-totting, throat-slitting Taleban?

    The point is, these people neither want the elitist infrastructure nor do they want to live according to the whimsy ideas of a bunch of mullahs. You can’t call this an ‘effective uprising’… a hijacking of control perhaps, from one brutal force by another equally brutal one.

  145. G.S.M. says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:05 am

    The statements form the Army chief give me confidence. No matter what the politicians do, teh Army wil not let these murderers win.

  146. D_a_n says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:05 am

    @ Adnan Siddiqui…

    Let me clarify something for you…

    I am from Mardan…….Im from that soil and from the very people that you want to see subjugated….and whats more…..I actually KNOW people in Swat and Buner…..and to top it off….i actually get to TALK to them….

    dil kay behla…??? have you no limits man? your told facts to you face…and despite have NO…i repeat NO idea what it is that your talking about and yet…typically like a Mullah think that you have a God given right to declare what is right…true and what is wrong….

  147. April 26th, 2009 5:53 am

    @Bukhari Sahib: yes. WE Pakistanis stop supporting extremist elements of both pro-religion and anti-religion like seculars and Liberals.

    extremism is mindset rather a group of people. Extremism is all about imposing the views on others. When I see people here chant Kaafir then I find no difference between then and ppl on ground. You do not need a weapon to impose an ideology. , You can even use a TV or Papers to impose your views on others as I see how media(both print and TV) is busy to impose the liberal version of Talibanization but this does not hurt because anti-Taliban forces always loved it as for them progressiveness is all about exposure of bodies,music and Dance masti. Even west does not consider it part of their advancement but then our desi elite class always embrace the residue of West and preach it here and there by getting dollars in form of NGOs and what not. We have to getrid of such mind set otherwise nothing can be done.

  148. Mauryan says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:43 pm

    There are lot of good people in Pakistan. Everyone deserves a good life and follow their faith. Islam in Pakistan is mostly based on Sufism. Pakistan’s problems came from short sighted policies of its leaders who did not think far ahead and work towards laying the foundations necessary for a nation’s future and growth. The end result is the all efforts have been one dimensional. The only thing that has achieved any growth is its military and the nukes. It is not surprising that the military is the only thing people look up to for every solution and it has become the only thing that Pakistan has.

    If you compare India which won its independence at the same time, there are certain things that its leaders went after and it is bearing fruit today. India took to socialism and secularism as the law of the land in the 1950s. It had no other choice because of its diversity in every possible way. It tried being non-aligned. But cold war geo-politics pushed it to lean on the USSR. India got rid off the feudal lords within 20 years of its independence. There is no elite class in India. And there is no single ethnic community that dominates its military or politics. Its leaders diligently set up institutions for higher education, scientific research and exploration. Now India has management and engineering institutions that rank within the top 100 in the world. Nation building needs a concerted effort.

    Pakistani leaders squandered away all the advantages the country had – one religion, smaller in size, plenty of resources and highly intelligent population. Impatience and enmity with India spoiled all that. An unnecessary obsession with Kashmir and contempt over India have helped Pakistani leaders to mislead its people for the past 60 years. India’s goals are not Pakistan specific. However, everything Pakistan took up was Indo-centric. Even its participation in the war against the Soviets was Indo-centric. Get the CIA to help in every possible way to hone the skills of the Mujahideen. Once they were defeated, there was this enormous pool of war hardened veterans who could be unleashed into India to continue the never ending proxy war with India. And Radical Islam was the fuel that was needed. Pakistani leaders made a huge blunder in 1989 by trying to take on India. Within a couple of years, India opened up its economy. Twenty years later, the stark contrast between India and Pakistan show. India has progressed to such an extent that it is being looked at with respect in international circles, despite its drawbacks. Pakistan has nukes and Taliban and the monster does not like to feel trapped. So it has begun to eat Pakistan from within. The military is confused because Taliban was its creation in the background of the Afghan conflict. If the military engages against the Taliban under international pressure, it will only help strengthen the monster and help it spread even more. The military is having to choose between the devil and the deep blue see now. What they choose will decide which way Pakistan will go. Pakistani public have been inactive for too long. The long march will not help as the public have failed to assert themselves right from the beginning. Pakistan is facing a civil war that will lead to further erosion of its foundations. This is unfortunate. But it is only a matter of time.

  149. meengla says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:33 pm

    @Mauryan,
    Some of what you say has merit. But please you and others read the following excerpt from Farrukh Saleem’s latest article and ponder: Is there any chance Pakistan is going to launch a conventional attack on India in near or mid-term future? How about the converse: India ‘cutting Pakistan’ into half? Is India helping the peace in the region by make Pakistan concede Kashmir to India under the threat? I think not. Except for a couple of apologists for the Talibans in this blog, you can see that, elite or not, the ‘chattering classes’ of Pakistan are overwhelmingly opposed to the Talibans. And yet it is hard not to think from within the shoes of Pakistan’s army strategists. Why can’t India give the breathing space to Pakistani military, without asking for Pakistan to concede permanently, to take on the militants? Please re-read Dr. Saleem’s article before you or other respond.
    Peace.

    Here is the excerpt.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=174334


    At least 11 per cent of Pakistan’s landmass has been ceded to the Taliban. Where is the Pakistan army? I Corps is in Mangla, II Corps is in Multan, IV Corps in Lahore, V Corps in Karachi, X Corps in Rawalpindi, XI Corps in Peshawar, XII Corps in Quetta, XXX Corps in Gujranwala and XXXI is in Bahawalpur, In effect, some 80 to 90 per cent of our military assets are deployed to counter the threat from India. The Pakistan army looks at the Indian army and sees its inventory of 6,384 tanks as a threat. The Pakistan army looks at the Indian air force and sees its inventory of 672 combat aircraft as a threat. The Pakistan army looks at the Indian army and notices that six out of 13 Indian corps are strike corps. The Pakistan army looks at the Indian army and finds that 15, 9, 16, 14, 11, 10 and 2 Corps are all pointing their guns at Pakistan. The Pakistan army looks at the Indian army and discovers that the 3rd Armoured Division, 4 RAPID Division and 2nd Armoured Brigade have been deployed to cut Pakistan into two halves. The Pakistan army looks at the Taliban and sees no Arjun Main Battle Tanks (MBT), no armoured fighting vehicles, no 155 mm Bofors howitzers, no Akash surface-to-air missiles, no BrahMos land attack cruise missiles, no Agni Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, no Sukhoi Su-30 MKI air superiority strike fighters, no Jaguar attack aircraft, no MiG-27 ground-attack aircraft, no Shakti thermonuclear devices, no Shakti-II 12 kiloton fission devices and no heavy artillery.

    Pakistan is on fire and our fire-fighters are on the Pakistan-India border. To be certain, none of those Indian tanks can cross the Himalayas into China so Arjun MBTs must all be for Pakistan. Thus, the Pakistan-India border has to be defended. Then, what about this hyperactive insurgency that is snatching away Pakistani physical terrain — bit by bit? There certainly is no easy way out. America wants the Pakistan army to neutralise threats to the mainland US. The Pakistan army, on the other hand, has to defend the Pakistan-India border. The need of the hour, therefore, is for all organs of the Pakistani state — the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the military — to put their heads together and devise a National Counter-Insurgency Policy.”

  150. Mauryan says:
    April 26th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Meengla,

    I read the article. Thanks for providing me the reference.

    I am amazed by the details that many Pakistanis know about their military, its arsenal and its operations. This gives me an interesting perspective. Military has dominated so much of Pakistan’s history that this is all its people talk about. And one cannot justify all this without an enemy. And that enemy is India. I’d like to say that India is not such a nefarious country. If you look at history, all attacks against India have come from Pakistan, Mumbai being the latest. If India had done what Pakistan had been doing, what would Pakistan’s reaction be?

    India is not pointing its guns at Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. These are also independent nations sharing borders with it. Why would it treat Pakistan separately? The reason is that most of the antagonism has come from the Pakistan side. Indian military takes its order from the civilian government. And the government has changes many hands with varying ideologies. Every nation has to protect its borders. India did take Pakistan’s hand whenever peace initiatives were offered. But then Pakistan’s leaders engaged in back stabbing activities – Kargil in 1999 when Indian Prime Minister had worked with Nawaz Sharif on peace building. Musharraf changed his mind and began to understand the truth that India is not so much of a monster and he introduced back channel diplomacy. It was to pave way for long lasting solution. Mumbai attacks happened and Pakistani establishment had to be arm twisted by Western powers to admit the truth. How would that bring any trust in Indians or their military towards Pakistan?

    The bottom line is this. Pakistan’s military rulers have used the paranoia about India as a threat and have misled its people to consolidate their hold. Now in Pakistan, the military has a country.

    Pakistan has one of the world’s most talented people, be it sports or arts or journalism. Your country could have become like a Western nation 50 years ago if your people had been given a chance. It had American alliance all these years and look at countries like Japan, Singapore etc that were also American allies. Pakistan could be at par with them. Taliban is a sign of backwardness. Indians are not the enemy. It would do a lot of good if moderate Pakistanis read international magazines and books and educate themselves about how they have been misled. We Indians do not want war. Our security set up is only made for response for an attack. We have too many issues to deal with and we want to progress. We’d like Pakistan to compete with us in arts, technology, education, sports, business and constructive activities. We could be competing for contracts for ship building or steel making. It is so unfortunate that you people have been hijacked into believing that Islam is under threat, Pakistan is under threat and so on. There is no such thing.

  151. meengla says:
    April 26th, 2009 3:35 pm

    @Mauryan,
    Thank you for the prompt and civil response. Some what you say, again, has much merit: The Khaki-class in Pakistan has too much control. It is the virtually untouchable holycow of Pakistan.
    And yet I fail to see how can Pakistan ever launch any conventional attack against India to warrant such an aggressive posture by India? I mean, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ in Kashmir post 1989 or the Kargil ‘betrayal’ or the Mumbai tragedy not but ‘tactical’ moves/blunders but by no means Pakistan has ever come close to dealing a ‘mortal’ blow to India.

    Indian response is aggressive. Too aggressive even for the ‘provocations’ coming from Pakistan. And Indian response is extremely short-sighted: By giving space to the Pakistani military to hype up India-threat, India puts Pakistan’s ‘peace lobby’ of which Dr. Saleem (and I) are unofficial members. That also leaves more room for the Talibans to play around with because they don’t encounter the full force of Pakistani military.

    I don’t want to go into India and Pakistan’s threat perceptions vis a vis their neighbors. I will only say that both have a fair amount of justifiable distrust. But at this crucial stage–considering how many casualties the Pakistani Army has taken over past 12+ months–it is best suited for the peace in the Subcontinent that India gives we Pakistanis some breathing space for everyone’s sake.
    Peace.

  152. ashok says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:18 pm

    meengla

    this is the Indias security concern.
    State sponsored (or shall I say, ignored) terrorism has been going on unabated from across the border. The same Islamists are trying to take over Pakistan now. You reap what you sow.There can not be good and bad terrorists. Elected reps like parliamentarians should be the lawmakers as they are called.Judiciary should implement law with its extended arm of law enforcement authority. Army has a different role cut out.
    Another Mumbai like attack- the entire international community will stand behind india. The same that US enjoyed in the immediate aftermath of 911. I hope it will not happen. The indian public opinion is unanimous with mumbai. It will grow one million times if mumbai is repeated. Yes, retaliation in some form will take place, especiall if Pak civil administration gets into its favorite denial mode again.

    I have no hope that many good people of pakistan will be able to prevent/contain a small number of bad people from repeating mumbai. It is scary indeed trust me.

  153. Sridhar says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:24 pm

    Meengla,

    Kargil was very much a conventional war, launched entirely by Pakistan with the belief that it could capture and hold on to territory, at least long enough to invite an internationally imposed ceasefire. So I don’t know how you can make the claim that Pakistan does not conventionally threaten India. Further, it was not so long ago that Pakistani generals spoke about having morning tea in Jaisalmer, breakfast in Ajmer and lunch in Delhi. Delusional perhaps, but a widely held opinion. And to clarify, they were certainly not talking about spending their vacation as tourists in India.

    Second, there isn’t an overwhelming conventional superiority on the Indian side. The total number of soldiers in the Indian Army is about 1 million, Pakistan has roughly half the number. But this ignores the fact that India has a much longer border against China to defend against. This border has seen a full fledged war, and continued skirmishes till relatively recently. Nobody in the world trusts the Chinese leadership and certainly not in India. Thus, almost half of the Indian army is trained for defending against a Chinese invasion – they are mountain divisions deployed largely in the Northern and Eastern frontiers.

    Further, the Indian army has a higher tail-to-tooth ratio due to its bigger landmass than the Pakistan army (i.e. greater proportion of non-fighting personnel to provide logistical and other support). Thus, there is in reality parity between India and Pakistan in their conventional forces.

    India does not threaten Pakistan. Yes, there is an increasing impatience with the fact that Paksitan continues to use terrorism as a means to destabilize India. But there is no desire in India for war and no illusion about the capacity of the Indian military to sever Pakistan in two. Such a capability does not exist, even if there were any desire to do so. The strength of the forces have only declined over the years – the highest India ever spent on defence was about 3% of its GDP and it has been less than 2% for the last two decades (this compares to about 7-8% consistently for Pakistan and 3-4% for most developed economies).

  154. ASIM says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:39 pm

    I don’t think the Taliban are a threat to Pakistan as a state but they are a symptom of just how bad things have become.

  155. Qaiser says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:42 pm

    Tactically, the Taliban may have bitten too much when they went into Buner. They had to retreat and that has angered people and teh army so much against them that now the tide is turning against them.

  156. meengla says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:45 pm

    @Sridhar,
    Respectfully, I beg to differ. Not only was Kargil not a ‘strategic’ or mortal blow to India but also there is no conventional-war parity between the two. Also, there is a LONG list of grievances from Pakistan’s side too that can implicate India in both overt and covert acts of ‘terrorism’ inside Pakistan.
    Let’s not get into that same-old blame-game. There are plenty of Zaid Hamid likes on this blogspace who can gladly take over where I don’t want to go into. But this blogspace is highly critical of Pakistani Army generals and yet, even peaceniks like Dr. Saleem can see as to why the Army would be in hesitancy about going after the militants.
    Again, there is no parity except the dreaded parity of the nuclear holocaust in the Subcontinent. And Pakistani Army needs to fully concentrate on tackling the children of the Jihad of the 80s within the borders of Pakistan.

  157. SAEED says:
    April 26th, 2009 4:46 pm

    I have faith in Pakistani people. We are surrounded by enemies, inclduing Taliban, who wish you use these dangers to advance their agenda, but we have to tackle these demons ourselves and not get distracted by their spin. This is a Pakistani problem and needs a Pakistani solution.

  158. Mauryan says:
    April 26th, 2009 8:16 pm

    Hi Meengla,

    You said, “how can Pakistan ever launch any conventional attack against India to warrant such an aggressive posture by India? ”

    I guess it is very difficult to perceive India as not as a threat from Pakistani view point. And the Pak military has capitalized on it.

    In India our government is under enormous pressure to stand up to events like Kargil or Mumbai. I am sure every country has similar responses. If the US President had taken to negotiations after 9/11, he would have lost in the next election. Public sentiments play a heavy role in how the leadership acts. No one in the US wanted the Iraq war. India has held off in the recent developments in Sri Lanka. If India is a such a bully, they would have invaded India to save ethnic Tamils who are sizable in number in India.

    India has close to 500000 troops in Kashmir to thwart insurgency. Siachien war is a waste of money and lives. But both countries are fighting this for prestige. India’s democratic system does not allow the military to make its own decisions. In Pakistan, sometimes the civil government has no idea what the military is doing. So India does not trust the Pakistani military. There is always a fear that a rogue pilot and his sympathizers might mount nukes on to a plane and drop it somewhere in India. And the establishment in Pakistan can say that he acted on his own.

    In general, like most Pakistanis, Indians are not into wars and weapons. We like to watch cricket, listen to music, go to places and have a good time. I think we all must work for that. Taliban is definitely not India’s creation and what Pakistan is facing today internally is its own doing. I sincerely hope that democracy takes root in Pakistan soon.

  159. Aamir Ali says:
    April 26th, 2009 8:47 pm

    @Mauryan

    India didn’t attack Pakistan after Kargil, Mumbai etc. because it is frightened of Pakistani nukes. The 500K Indian troops in occupied Kashmir are mean to keep Kashmiris in check, not insurgents.

    Unfortunately nukes do not deter the Taliban,and Pakistan lacks the internal tools to tackle militancy, as well as a segment of the population which supports these animals.

  160. Ehsan says:
    April 26th, 2009 10:17 pm

    Why is the Pakistani main media not speaking more about this like this website and others are?

  161. Gorki says:
    April 27th, 2009 12:18 am

    @Meengla, Mauryan, Sridar and Amir Ali,

    All one has to do is to read your exchanges and realize how difficult it is for the nationals of India and Pakistan to discuss issues of security and trust (or lack of it). Here you are, four, reasonable and extremely well informed people regarding the security related matters, in a civil discussion. While none of you appear to be an aggressive fanatic nationalist yet all of you understand the defense doctrine of your own nation and find it hard to see fears and compulsions of the other side.
    The lack of consensus in your discussion very neatly lays out the trust issue that has been hard to address by our leaders even when well meaning initiatives were undertaken (which was not often enough I must add). Similarly it highlights the problems of having a constructive discussion between people from the two sides even on the civil forums like the ATP.
    I feel therefore that any meaningful discussion can only take place if the framework of discussion is changed, and invite you all to comment on this view.
    1. The contest in South Asia is changing (if it has not happened already). Thus it is less of an existential battle of a nation against nation and more between the extreme fanatic ideologues versus the moderates on both the sides.
    2. India and Indians have to realize that when they say Pakistan, they are referring to three different groups, all with different views of what kind of Pakistan they would like to see. The only thing that unites them is the fear\antagonism of India.
    3. There is a Pakistan of the Sufi and the Baitullah kind; a small minority of extreme elements who are currently driving the agenda in Pakistan but their goals and interests are not necessarily those of the other two. This realization is slowly sinking in. The second is the Armed forces. It is patriotic and wants to defend itself and Pakistan against India against which it is heavily indoctrinated. Its thinking is heavily influenced by the 1971 war and this in my opinion led it to make two major strategic errors; its Kashmir policy and the search for strategic depth in Afghanistan. Its goals do diverge from the civilian leadership at times due to the fact that it has usurped the government from time to time and as a result has become very politicized and has developed vested interests as well. The third (and the majority) are moderate people like Meengla and Dr. Saleem who love their country. They don

  162. Cyrus says:
    April 27th, 2009 12:29 am

    Breaking news in THE NEWS:

    TNSM suspends talks with government

    Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi(TNSM) has suspend talks with government after start of security forces operation in district Dir.

    The spokesman of TNSM Ameer Izzat Maqam said no talks will be held with government until end of operation. Meanwhile provincial government said no operation is underway in Dir and security forces retaliating militancy.

    NWFP Information Minister Mian Muhammad Iftikhar said, the security forces are retaliating militancy in Dir.

    Security forces operation has entered into second day in Dir. Heavy shelling carried out overnight at militant hideouts in Madan and Kal and other areas of district Dir.

    Indefinite curfew has been imposed in Lal Qila, Islampura, Kal Kot and other adjoining areas. Security forces tool control of Lal Qila, a key territory in tehsil Madan. The locals welcomed the action of security forces.

    DCO Dir Ghulam Mohammad has issued the circular of closure of government schools in tehsil Madan. All markets are also reported closed in the Madan area.

  163. TAHIR ZAHEER (MUGHAL) says:
    April 27th, 2009 7:14 am

    Taliban____Naheen Aagay. I as a responsible citizen request all of the media especially TV channels, kindly not become a part (conciously or mistakenly) in creation of a ‘hype’ which Enemies of Pakistan would like to.

    There are so many problems & Topics for discussion, rather than Talibanphobia. Please stop more discussions in this matter. If a media perona feel his national respomsibility, he can understand the sensitivity of my sincere & honest advice.

  164. Qureshi says:
    April 27th, 2009 8:56 am

    The news from Dir is very good and this is teh type fo aggressive steps we need to be taking.

  165. Mauryan says:
    April 27th, 2009 3:53 pm

    Gorki,

    Thanks for a very sensible analysis. Six decades have gone by. Only mutual antagonism has remained.

    We sense the following perspective from Pakistanis in general:

    1. India is a Hindu country and BJP is the most dominant force.
    2. India’s policies are Pak-centric.
    3. India’s Muslims are treated like holocaust victims.
    4. India is made up of slum dogs where poverty, illness, illiteracy etc infest the landscape.
    5. India is constantly working towards maligning Pakistan.

    When we sense the above in most Pakistani postings, it evokes strong emotional responses. Just like Indian perspectives of Pakistan from the outside is wrong, so is the Pakistani’s perspective of India.

    We are too diverse in every which way to have a concerted view of anything. There are people who support Pakistan inside India. Read Arundhati Roy’s articles and they will sound quite anti-establishment.

    Pakistan does not occupy the minds of most Indians. We know in general that our relations have not been good. I cannot say for sure how much India occupies the average Pakistani’s mind either.

    In general most Indians are docile, moderate, selfish, and have our own immediate issues to pursue. The mention of Pakistan will not unite all of India, the way India’s mention can unite all Pakistanis.

    The one thing people should realize is that in terms of size, structure, people, diversity, outlook, population, ideals and so on, there is no comparison between Pakistan and India. The two countries should not be equated and compared at all. Pakistan is a relatively small nation. India is a huge nation and compares in many aspects to China. One is called a Dragon and the other an Elephant. We are paired up in terms of nuclear capability. So we do not step on to each others’ toes. So we have begun to compete economically and it is a healthy competition. Many Indians do not like our country to be equated with Pakistan. I think this is where the ego gets tripped. Indians look at Pakistan the way they look at Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma etc which also share borders with our country. So we do not understand why Pakistan, amongst all our small neighbors is so bold and belligerent. We are a big nation and therefore every step we take will be big. Pakistan should not try to match up with each step. It has to go by its own priorities. Even a small move by us will appear hostile because of our size. But in reality we have no nefarious deals against Pakistan.

    People have to look at the reality and understand facts. That way a matured outlook will develop. Until Mumbai attacks happened, most of us happy with the way things were going and did not worry much about Pakistan. Now suddenly everything has been turned around. The way Pakistani establishment has tried to cover the facts up has ticked many Indians off. There was an opportunity to work with India and nail those who perpetrated the crime. But that was busted. So trust becomes thin.

    Anyway, I guess the tension in the area will take a long time to go away. Until then mutual suspicion is going to be present. It is unfortunate. But we are all victims of our circumstances.

  166. Umar Siddiqui says:
    April 27th, 2009 11:16 pm

    Today the Tableghi Jamat also rejected the Taliban and there GUN POINT shariya , now the whole country is standing against the TALIBAN , now its PAKISTANI MUSLIMS v/S TALIBAN TERRORISTS , see the following link :

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/12-tableeghi-jamaat-leaders-denounce-gunpoint-sharia–bi-12

  167. Wakeel says:
    April 28th, 2009 1:52 pm

    I have full faith that the Taliban will be defeated. People are awakening to their murderous ways.

  168. rajnish says:
    May 3rd, 2009 2:04 pm

    Go below your skin and you shall realise that we are same . Have DNA tests and gene sampling you would know that we have the same roots. Talibanis are against the music but music of the Indian subcontinet which is the soul of our culture rests on the shoulders of those who belive in one the allah!.A.R. Rehman gave us Jai Ho!, I go in deep meditation hearing the tablah of Zakir hussain and Sufi music of Nusrat Fateh brings tears in my eyes and ecstacy of being part of existence . Ghulam ali and Mehdi Hassan show me the depth of Love and its spiritual significance .
    All this animal behaviour shall stop . How can a man kill a man ? Are we the most developed species on earth or an disease causing virus of solar system.
    This ego to kill your brother if he does not agree to your interpratation of any aspect of life . Just think of it signifacance of earth is less than a cell in your body when seen in relative of milky way galaxy our solar system is part of .
    I am of the firm opinion that India should support Pakistan in every possible way to get out of this problem and shall stop going in history for finding excuse for not doing so .Pakistan shall be given military support , financial support and whatever else is required to get out of this mess and Americans shall be asked to focus on the fraudsters of street who have created the present global financial mess.Can’t we give pakistan 15 billion dollars ? can’t we send trained 50000 army men having expertise and experience of fighting psychopaths like Talibani’s and help Pakistani army in getting back the area these neurotics have captured and are puting humanity to shame . We can’t afford to loose Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Hassan . India has to push aside its ego otherwise history will not forgive us.

    With love and assurance to pakistani brothers and sisters that this civilisation will prevail and this land of sufism will overcome the onslaught of barbarians.

    Rajnish Mishra

  169. Salman says:
    April 20th, 2010 12:59 pm

    Taliban cannot be threatened into retreat..

    threat as a weapon against crime is successful only if the perpetrator considers himself a criminal..

    but if the perpetrator of the crime considers himself exalted while alive.. and even more if killed.. then it would be quite STUPID to bomb them… and think they would retreat..

    the Taliban are successful only because we are stupid.. our policy makers all the way to the top.. are STUPID.. We are bombing them only in reaction.. while it is actually FEAR in us that is driving the current war.. and they are winning it every day…

    The Taliban are the only ones wholeheartedly practicing their beliefs.. no matter how criminal they be.. they are not it war.. they are the ones at peace with themselves..

    This war cannot actually be won until we seriously examine our social structure and its foundation.. even if it would be “blasphemy” to do so according to scripture.. our prevalent belief system is just a pick-and-choose version of the Taliban’s belief system..

    and this hypocrisy will take us down.. Inshallah..

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