On Facebook and on YouTube, Ibtidah (The Beginning), the presence appears to represent the modern argument for intellectual freedom and integrity in states in which politics have been bound to religion and the state and others control education in the cause of medieval intellectual enslavement.
Personal Note on the Issue of Education in Transitioning Medieval Societies
I shared this note with the editor of Ibtidah —
Broad spectrum of choice should yield toward reason in the dissemination and uptake of information, but as some societies remain medieval in relation to power and worldviews, the medieval within societies may choose to cling to what becomes with greater knowledge simply archaic information. That doesn’t help anyone and least of all fanatical adherents to reactionary political or religious dogma.
Our species boasts the possession of about 4,300 religions with atheism quite low in percentage against believers in God or gods. Having become conscious as human (see Genesis chapters two and three as depicted in the Tenach and read without presumptions), we appear to have come equipped with imagination and moral sense that reliably, far more than less, extends into metaphysics. If we hadn’t, we would handle bodies — or perhaps presence — as we do animal nuisances and trash. That we don’t speaks to greater consciousness in the way of awareness and self-awareness: within our separable cultures, we wish children to be born and ourselves married and buried in customary ways fit to sustained cultural and social precepts.
With such ways, we take cultural form.
We may even believe ourselves beautiful by doing so.
By comparison, science may be crude in its marriage with reality and practical issues, but given the want of a compassionate modern world, the accurate conveyance of scientific information becomes all the more important for the broad and broadly distributed services we may bring to ourselves globally.
This assassination campaign began in the aftermath of 9/11 when Pakistan allowed Taliban fighters and other allied fighters who were forced to flee Afghanistan to resettle in parts of former FATA. Over the years, these groups systematically eliminated tribal leaders and politicians who raised their voices against them. To this day, the Pakistani state has not solved any of these murders, perhaps because it has been tacitly using these unlawful groups to foment instability in Afghanistan and consolidate its influence over the region.
What follows are thoughts from the lengthiest of observations having to do with the Pashtun’s natural position between state forces and processes having to do with international development and war much, much larger than themselves.
When our President Nixon (a long time ago) initiated a new relationship with China, it was with hopes to offset Soviet Russian power and bring China closer to the normative behaviors of the modern world expressive of global compassion supported by international trade. On the topside, we do things for one another. Rather on the surface, well, we do things for money — and that makes “big picture” sense of Asian labor and western raw goods and Asian finished goods sold (for good profit — good markup — in western markets).
Mercantilism has been much the way of the world.
In the modern open democratic and liberal west, the abuses and excesses of business have been tempered through the actions of elected administrations, legislatures, and courts in the interests of electorates and justice. In the west, capitalists and wealthy have not gotten free rides from popularly elected governments even if seeding political careers and wins with their own money. There are just too many with too many differing motives for playing that game broadly.
In Asia, perhaps, money — and with China, now overwhelming wealth — does its work between elites and military behind closed door (“behind the curtains” goes the phrase fit to medieval politics) — and guess who’s in the way of the greater enrichment and glory of the disinterested or remote powerful?
It doesn’t help the Pashtun — and whoever and for whatever reason — to attack PakDef military posts (IF that is what has actually happened recently), for that gives the military excuse to bother or maraud the Pashtun community.
With regard to some Larger Forces — here, Chinese and Pakistani trade interests representing government, military, and private entities — “anomie” (worth the looking up) may be a real issue.
Don’t look to Russia for help — that state has minted defense sales using Syrians as targets for demonstration of its wares. In the AfPak region, its arms, however acquired, have helped sustain what looks to me an unfathomable misery borne of endless low-intensity conflict that has no end without financial, political, and religious insight plus political will and near immediate reconciliation.
The draconian nature of the FCR lies in the concept of “collective punishment”, where a whole tribe can be punished for the crime of one member of the tribe. It is telling that even after British India got its independence in 1947, the people of ex FATA were still facing the same colonial legal injustice till the year 2018. And while things definitely have changed on paper, there still is a long way to go before there is a change in the situation on the ground.These draconian punishments have always served a purpose, whether it was British India of the 20thcentury or the Pakistan of the 21stcentury. These laws are meant to subdue a population into giving up their rights, so that they can be sacrificed on the altar of “greater good”. Goes without saying that this greater good, has never been good for us, the people of ex FATA.
Launched in 2015, CPEC is a logical partnership for China and Pakistan—two close allies keen to cooperate on much-needed infrastructure projects in Pakistan, while contributing to China’s strategic goal of facilitating access to far-flung markets and expanding its global footprint.
Chinese Banking and Development Worldwide : flexes China’s financial muscle while leveraging infrastructure building expertise into a gateway for Chinese labor — which accompanies its projects — and through that mechanism Chinese cultural influence agents. As much would update the Cold War Era Soviet practice of sending thousands of Communist agents into the Middle East as embedded in the labor contingents attached to development contracts in targeted states.
PakDef | ISI –> Taliban encouragement : goad to Kabul : encouragement of “Islamism” within : further marginalizing of the Pashtun as a coherent and cohesive political force.
The above two paragraphs represent my thinking in cryptic fashion. If the world were practical and less inclined to fear and threat — as well as deeply dependent on international arms sales that support manufacturing bases and untold wealth in related Research & Development competitions — the promotion of dogma into violence — or “extremist dogma” — would be less attractive. As it is, “The Terrorists” (wherever “who” has become both ambiguous and ubiquitous) have turned out handy for some elites in the world’s more corrupt and cynical circles of military and political power.
At least 40 civilians attending a wedding party were killed in a raid conducted by Afghan government forces and supported by US airstrikes on a Taliban hideout in southern Helmand province, Afghan officials said Monday.
Abdul Majed Akhund, deputy provincial councilman, said that the majority of the dead were women and children. Twelve civilians were also injured.
The Modern West has had little issue investigating and owning up to its own woeful atrocities, including the accidents it may sanitize with the term “collateral damage”.
In fact, it or the liberal democratic populations represented by EU/NATO and assorted coalitions of the willing, may be too good at wearing the mea culpa shawl of self-shaming, but that’s another matter.
For Afghanistan, and for the most part, the damage done has been much less accomplished by the “collateral damage” of the west than by the deliberate design, decision, and application of violence by the Taliban and similar actors bent on the absolute and comprehensive political and social control of targeted states and their resources.
Using Russian-supplied arms and material, Afghanistan’s Taliban have continued a program of bombings and related attacks designed to destroy Afghani civilians without discrimination, forestall peace, discourage and impede elections, and bring general ruin to local economies and lives while proving themselves handsome, protective, strong, and wise.
. . . .
True: a malign narcissism has a great deal to do with the absolute political and social control sought by the Taliban and so many others who at times conflate themselves with God and the work of God’s will on earth.
The Taliban’s demonstrated and backfiring track record in lunacy — and that of other extremist organizations operating in Afghanistan — may finally be reaching them through the mirroring World Wide Web where high-integrity reportage faithfully conveys the character of consistently cruel, crude, and very nearly mindless violence that will in the end have changed nothing but perhaps themselves.
Most who have followed the Afghanistan story in its greater context will recall the story in which Mullah Omar took revenge on a Russian tank crew and its commander — hung from his own tank barrel — for the rape of local village girls. Omar would flee that heroic ending to raise an army to battle back the Soviet invasion of the state — and America’s CIA would step in with the delivery of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to the Mujaheddin for the comparatively cheap killing of the Soviet’s brutal and expensive helicopter gunships.
One may tire — and perhaps should — of the medieval contests between too many “kingdoms of heaven” and the repeated conflations — Christian, Jewish, or Muslim — of men with God (although Judaism has been always adamant about the separation of the Divine from the mortal).
In any case, among my acquaintance, one stands out as expert on “civilizational narcissism” — his term — and the Taliban. Here is his book from 2010 —
It may be said that all were warned but with one element missing: Soviet / post-Soviet Moscow / Moscow-Tehran.
The Soviet / post-Soviet Arc of Tears (Crimea, Syria, Yemen, for a start) hews to and encourages the despotism (“political absolutism”) so far expressed by the Taliban in Afghanistan but also well on display elsewhere in the world where the deepest and most criminal representatives of civilizational and political narcissism have either set themselves or prevailed.
BackChannels suggests the Taliban may have been taken in — duped — by Russia via al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in the shadow of the Cold War and reshaped for revenge on the west with the intent of sustaining a blind and madding authoritarianism in the world, all the better to plunder it.
President Donald Trump says the U.S.-Taliban talks on ending the fighting in Afghanistan are “dead,” deeply unfortunate wording for the Afghan civilians who have been killed by the tens of thousands over almost 18 years. Many fear his cancellation of negotiations will bring more carnage as the U.S. and Taliban, as well as Afghan forces, step up their offensives and everyday people die in the crossfire.
“We just want to go back to our homes. We don’t ask for much, but this war has made our lives impossible and has torn apart our community.” he says. “We cant go home due to the risk of drones, but after so many years of war, our community is now at war with itself – there doesn’t seem to be any end to bloodshed.”
One could argue that the Taliban is increasingly in a position to outlast the United States and claim a decisive military victory. If today’s Taliban were as cohesive as the Taliban that managed to control Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, that might well be true. But it’s not.
This weekend, Afghanistan will hold its fourth presidential election since the Taliban government’s fall in 2001. Since the U.S. and Taliban’s recent breakdown in negotiations, the Taliban have killed more Afghan civilians than at almost any other point since the beginning of 2018, as you can see in the figure below. The Taliban has killed at least 58 civilians in the last eight days alone.
And that may be about to get worse. In earlier presidential elections, the Taliban has tried not to kill civilians when they go to vote. That may change this weekend.
The U.S. envoy’s team would not elaborate Friday on the nature of the resumed discussions in Doha, but they come after a series of deadly Taliban attacks across Afghanistan. As CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reports, while the Taliban may be talking peace with the U.S., they’re still waging a brutal war on Afghan soil.
A security camera captured dramatic video of a car bomb attack in Kabul on Thursday. The blast near the U.S. Embassy killed one American service member and another NATO soldier, as well as at least 10 civilians.
KABUL — Iran and Russia have stepped up challenges to U.S. power in Afghanistan, American and Afghan officials say, seizing on the uncertainty of future U.S. policy to expand ties with the Taliban and weaken the country’s Western-backed government.
The moves come as tensions have flared between the United States, Iran and Russia over the conflict in Syria, and officials worry that the fallout could hurt Afghanistan’s chances for peace. For years, Iran and Russia have pushed for a U.S. withdrawal.
I am tired of the people, the area, the district and the province. When I go to Wardak, I feel so tired. But what to do? I have to go there and visit their graves. It is not only one person — it is 12 family members. My four daughters, three sons, my wife, and four cousins. I lost all in one day when my house was bombed by the Americans.
I can never forgive the Taliban, but if the peace deal can stop the bloodshed, I can accept them to the country. I don’t want other families to go through what I have.
“Yes, we have reached an agreement in principle,” Khalilzad said, according to TOLOnews. “Of course, it is not final until the US president (Donald Trump) agrees on it. So, at the moment, we are at that stage.”
News of the agreement comes as violence has spiked in Afghanistan, with the latest attack occurring just hours after Khalilzad’s interview. A car bomb targeted an Afghan police station in the capital Kabul on Monday, in an area close to the heavily fortified compound where many foreign embassies and international organizations are based,
“He became known for his ability to weave through warring tribal factions and his ability to quickly get senior Afghan officials on the phone or to summon them to his office, including President Hamid Karzai,” The New York Times reported during Khalilzad’s stint as ambassador to Afghanistan — the country of his birth — from 2003 to 2005.
Robin Raphel, a former assistant secretary of state for South Asia, says Khalilzad’s appointment is a sign that the Trump administration is getting serious about a political solution to America’s longest war.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghan reconciliation, is on the verge of an agreement with the Taliban that would pave the way for the withdrawal of some 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees that the war-wracked nation would not be used as a haven for international terrorism, according to diplomatic sources.
KABUL, Afghanistan — At first, the man was just walking across the street. Then he was running for his life. He managed four steps before the blast from the car bomb caught him.
Since then, the last few seconds of Akbar Fazelyar’s life, captured on video during a Taliban attack on Sept. 5, have become one of the most scrutinized moments in Afghanistan, slowed down and watched frame by frame on countless mobile phones and computer screens.
The vote, the fourth since the Taliban’s removal from power by a United States-led coalition in 2001, comes as heavy fighting between the armed group and government forces has led to a spike in the number of civilians killed.
The Taliban has already threatened to target election rallies and polling stations, while in recent weeks the US-backed Afghan forces have stepped up air and ground attacks, raising fears of further casualties.
Last week alone, more than 150 people were killed, according to Al Jazeera tally, in Taliban attacks, US drone strikes and raids by Afghan government forces.
The air strike was aimed at destroying a hideout used by Islamic State militants, but it accidentally targeted farmers near a field, Afghan officials were quoted as saying.
“On yet another deadly day in Afghanistan, once again it is civilians who bear the brunt of the violence involving armed groups, the Afghan government, and their backers in the U.S. military,” Amnesty International said in statement.
Our principal failure, in my view, was our refusal to deal with Pakistan’s double game. Even the accelerated drone attacks in western Pakistan under the Obama administration, which were somewhat effective in the fight against al Qaeda, failed to a large extent to target the Taliban, the Haqqani Group, or Hezbe Islami.
The United States also signaled a lack of military resolve. The Pentagon made incautious public statements about the reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. At one point, the combat power of the United States dropped to a single brigade, even as the insurgent threat was rising. The evident lack of U.S. commitment gave Pakistan a green light to step up the Taliban and insurgent offensive in late 2005 and early 2006.
On 17 September 2019, two suicide bombings killed over 48 people in Charikar and Kabul, Afghanistan. The first attack occurred at a rally for presidentAshraf Ghani which killed over 26 and wounded over 42. Ghani was unharmed in the incident. The second bombing occurred in Kabul near the US embassy. In this incident 22 were killed and another 38 were injured in the explosion. Children and women are among the dead and wounded in both attacks, also multiple soldiers were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said they will commit more attacks to discourage people from voting in the upcoming presidential elections.
Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency, Pakistan, Around 2013-2015 — The operation had started against so-called militants in the valley. The army had only a little bit earlier ordered a general evacuation in advance of the fighting, so all who were not Taliban were still leaving their animals, businesses, and homes in a hurry.
The Taliban were there and would stay to fight the army.
I don’t know how many Taliban or army soldiers died in that fight, but there was an old man above 70, older than usual for the region, who told me that most were strong enough to cross the mountain but due to having less energy or power, he had thought he might be unable to cross the mountains with his daughter who could not walk. Still, he would try. He would carry her on his back.
The old man continued, “I took her on my back and started climbing the mountain, but after reaching some height, I had to stop.
“She knew what was happening — or what was going to happen — and she started to cry.
“– Baba, don’t you know what the army or Taliban will do to me?
“What do you want me to do?
The old man started crying.
“I buried her in the mountain.”
It was cold the day the old man told me his story. He had no jacket or socks.
BackChannels would suggest that memories live in aural and visual and other sense-based impressions, i.e., what we most remember are moments, not the day and hour of their making or what we had for breakfast in proximity to them — and then what makes a “moment” a long-term memory may be its elevated emotional aspects, and that made so by ethical, moral, or sensual experience.
For those living with peace, security, and perhaps some prosperity, there may be “good war stories”, ever courageous, inspiring, and noble, but, really, there are no good war stories that are not also deeply tragic and frequently disturbing — but that’s why we read them and, perhaps, choose to evolve.
Start with the cassus beli on this long journey backward to barbaric feudalism and wars founded in religious animosity and contempt.
(SRINAGAR, India) — The death toll from a car bombing on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir has climbed to 41, becoming the single deadliest attack in the divided region’s volatile history, security officials said Friday. A local Kashmiri militant rammed an explosive-laden van into the convoy along a key highway Thursday. In addition to the dead, the attack wounded nearly two dozen other soldiers, India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force spokesman Sanjay Sharma said.
Corruption and hypocrisy are part of the evil of the world, doubtless every nation, every religious institution . . . .
I am much a secular and “sex positive” American — I appreciate the body, nature, sensuality and considerate and moderate indulgence in the everyday palette of western vice — wine, women, and song (although I haven’t seen much of women lately and don’t care for men).
Not only are corrupt generals monsters but the more criminal of the nouveau riche have become so — and I have been naive as regards the interface between good and evil. Lately, I’ve gotten curious about Genesis 3 and that “Tree of the Knowledge of Good AND Evil”.
I had thought God had in mind for his children thorns (and “lions and tigers and bears, oh my”) — not Adam and Eve themselves . . . and all their generations universally.
A rabbi I spoke to on Sunday noted that there was no good without evil, but then I asked him in what proportion?
Maybe I didn’t ask him, but whatever the answer, where is the balance, the equilibrium?
We’re part of the good.
Regarding porn and prostitution in general, I would counsel the approach of some European states to vice where emphasis has been place on “Harm Reduction”. The truth, however, may be that the customers and consumers — and most purveyors — need changing.
They need conscience.
And the economies need to account for the lost, the thrown away, the wandering, the sad, and, perhaps with the young (18+ young), the brave.
The generals who have done and continue to do as they please without boundaries, without limits: bastards!
Inspiration for the above comments and republished here with permission: Waseem Altaf’s observations regarding the general of “East Pakistan” (today’s Bangladesh). Altaf initially published the piece in “viewpointsonline.net” in 2011. BackChannels has only very lightly edited the old piece for ease of reading (via paragraph separation) and for easy copy catches. The first paragraph sets the atmosphere and the point of the argument:
Brigade Major Munawar Khan testified before the Hamood-ur -Rahman Commission (The Commission) that the Commander Brigadier Hayatullah had brought some girls for entertainment in his bunker on the night of 11 & 12 December 1971 in Maqbulpur sector while enemy shells were falling on his troops.
The Nights of the Generals By Waseem Altaf
Brigade Major Munawar Khan testified before the Hamood-ur -Rahman Commission (The Commission) that the Commander Brigadier Hayatullah had brought some girls for entertainment in his bunker on the night of 11 & 12 December 1971 in Maqbulpur sector while enemy shells were falling on his troops.
Brigadier Jahanzeb Arbab (later Lieut. General) as SMLA Multan had demanded 100,000 as bribery from a PCS officer who was chairman of Multan Municipal Committee. The PCS officer committed suicide while leaving a note behind which read that he had only earned rupees 15000 while the SMLA was asking for rupees 100,000, informed Brigadier Abbas Beg to the Commission.
The same Jahanzeb Arbab as Commander 57 brigade in former East Pakistan had looted rupees 13.5 million from the National bank treasury in Siraj Ganj.
The Commission concluded that Major General Khudadad Khan Adjutant General Pakistan Army had illicit relations with General Aqleem Akhter Rani whom he helped in suppressing some martial law cases.
He also minted money in a number of business deals during martial law.
General A.A K Niazi had amorous relations with Ms Saeeda Bukhari of Gulberg Lahore who used to run a brothel house by the name of Sinorita Home. She also worked as a tout for “Tiger” Niazi for receiving money and getting things done when he was GOC and later Corps Commander at Lahore.
Saeeda Bukhari also colluded with Niazi in the smuggling of paan from East Pakistan.
Shamim Firdaus was another notorious character from Sialkot who did the same job as Saeeda Bukhari but at a different location.
Major Sajjad-ul-Haq of 604 field intelligence unit told the Commission that dancing girls were frequently brought to a house in Dacca where they would entertain the generals. He further informed that ‘Tiger’ Niazi would even visit some dancing girls in his staff car bearing three stars and the corps flag.
Lt. Colonel Aziz Ahmad Khan told the Commission that the troops said “When the commander himself was a rapist, how could they be stopped”?
General Niazi also shamelessly defended the rapists by declaring that: ‘You cannot expect a man to live, fight and die in East Pakistan and [not] go to Jhelum for sex; would you?’
Yahiya Khan was extremely fond of women and wine. Some of his girl friends were wife of an IG Police, Begum Shamim K.N Hussain, Begum Junagadh, Madam Noor Jehan, Aqleem Akhtar Rani, wife of a Karachi-based businessman Mansoor Heerji, wife of a junior police officer, Nazli Begum, ex wife of Major General (retd) Latif Khan Mst Zainub, ex-wife of Sir Khizar Hayat Tiwana with the same name i.e. Zainub, Anwara Begum, an industrialist from Dacca, Lilly khan and Laila Muzammil from Dacca. In addition, there were actors Shabnam, Shagufta, Naghma, Tarana and countless others. A number of generals and other army officers would accompany their wives and other female relations to presidency and then leave while the ladies would remain behind.
The report contains names of more than 500 women who spent time with the most licentious ruler of this country and in return extracted countless material benefits at the expense of the State. The wives of Generals Naseem, Hameed, Latif, khudad, Shahid, Yaqoob, Riaz, Peerzada, Mian and several others were Yahiya’s regular visitors.
Even when the situation in East Pakistan was degenerating Yahiya Khan used to visit Lahore and stay at the Governor House where the aphrodisiac Madam Noor Jehan used to meet him at least twice or thrice a day- in different dresses, makeover, and hairdo. At night, she made sure that she was there. General Rani told ex-IG Prison’s Hafiz Qasim that once she herself saw General Yahiya pouring liquor over the body of Malika-e -Tarannum Noor Jehan and then licking it, while both were sitting naked on the bed.
This was happening when East Pakistan was burning.
Begum Shamim K N Hussain would come to see Yahiya at night and would leave early morning.
Later, Shamim was appointed ambassador to Austria while her husband was sent as Pakistan’s ambassador to Switzerland. Both husband and wife were not from Foreign Service with no experience of diplomacy.
The father of Shamim, Justice (retd) Amin Ahmad was appointed Director National Shipping Corporation when he was 70 years of age.
Similarly, when Noor Jehan went to Tokyo to take part in a music festival, she got hefty allowances in foreign exchange in violation of rules while many of her family members were sent to Japan on state expense. When Nazli Begum, one of Yahiya’s mistresses was not sanctioned loan by the MD PICIC, Yahiya dismissed the officer.
The address 61 Harley Street, Rawalpindi, a house owned by Yahiya was built and decorated with funds obtained from Standard Bank.
Yahiya and his Chief of staff General Abdul Hamid Khan used to have fun with their mistresses in the guarded premises of this house. General Rani in one of her rare interviews described Yahiya’s idiosyncratic behavior ‘One night Agha Jani came to visit me and was somewhat agitated. The moment he entered, he inquired if I had heard the song ‘cheeche da chala’ from the film ‘Dhee Rani’. ‘I smiled and stated that I had no time to listen to songs’. He then called the military secretary and ordered him to have a copy of the song delivered to my house at once. It was two o’ clock in the morning and the MS had to specially have an audio shop opened up in order to obtain the album. Nevertheless, the command was obeyed and within an hour, Agha Jani was blissfully listening to the song, informed Noor Jehan.
Another widely circulated anecdote during the regime of the philanderer General Yahiya Khan was about actor Tarana.
One evening a woman arrived at the presidential palace and demanded admission, ‘I am actor Tarana,’ she told the security guards. ‘I don’t care what Tarana you are, ’replied the guard, ‘you have to have a pass to go in.’
The woman was incensed and demanded to speak to the ADC to the President.
The guard rang up the ADC and was told to let the woman in. Two hours later when she was leaving, the same guard sprang to attention and saluted her. ‘What change in your behavior!’ remarked the woman very sarcastically.
’Honorable ma’am, when you came, you were the actor Tarana; now you are leaving you are Qaumi Tarana (national anthem), and so I must salute you.’ replied the guard.
General Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan continued to live a peaceful and happy life at 61 Harley Street, Rawalpindi while drawing full retirement benefits including pensions as Army Chief and as President. When he died on August 10, 1980, he was honored with a full military burial. Sources:
Supplementary Hamood-ur-Rahman Commission Report completed in 1974
General Aqleem Akhtar Rani’s interview published in the Newsline of May 2002
Verbatim from source but redacted to spare the family a perhaps too broad and tragic notoriety: “We Remember Army Public School Incident December 16, The pain is endless. Mother of Shaheed ______ (APSACS Student) ______ was the only son of his parents. After his death in APS massacre , his mother used to visit his School for 3 Months and waited for his son to come out till packup time.When all the students left the school she used to cry and shout for his son to come back! Now she has been tied with chains so that she can’t go out to find his martyred son.. Their pain is endless.. May Allah give them patience. Ameeen. She lost her mint. The psychological effects.”
Killed: 144 (minimum as reports vary)
Predominant Age: 12-16.
Pakistan’s Black Date appears set in myriad videos — news reports, memorials, reenactments.
What is too little?
What is too much?
And what has one to add to so heinous a crime — some “big men” armed to the teeth creeping through a cemetery to climb over a wall and enter a sanctuary for decent education with the sole purpose of butchering children in their studies?
These are my three select — a day-after news report; a reenactment with a song (English in subtitles); and a children’s memorial:
In the above slideshow, Khaliji Qaumi Ittehad tribesmen in Quetta, Pakistan protest the threat of expulsion to Afghanistan posed by Pakistan’s government and military, according to BackChannels’ contact in the region.
Source claims that Pashtun tribes have been ordered to produce “proof of locality” before 1976, and toward that end, the state has sent out notices ordering tribesmen to submit national identity cards to the government. In response, the Khaliji Qaumi Ittehad have undertaken a hunger strike — after four days of that, readers may see that the ambulance had to show up to rescue those who had essentially victimized themselves through that action — and related street protest.
Here follow a few excerpts from correspondence (lightly edited for readability and sense).
Historically all Pakhtoon are Afghans.
There were Indians and Afghans in the region.
Then the so called Durand Line was drawn in1893 that divided the Afghans…After Pakistan csme into being Pakhtoon on their own land were living. Thus assumed the nationality of Pakistan which they heartedly not accept today. However with passage of time they merged into Pakistani society. Now they are seen as alien people .
The Afghan migrated after Soviet invasion is also the factor.
It is hard for Pakistani government to differentiate between immigrants and original Pakistani tribes.
Today, as a whole, they treated like animals
Wars make a mess of cultural and social relationships, and the Durand Line region separating Afghanistan from Pakistan while sitting astride the Pashtun tribal belt has seen more than its fair share of disruption through criminal and martial violence.
Above: “This is the form of chic (STET) which requires attestation of two grade 17 govt officers. Which is hard to find two officers.”
Below: “Now despite completing the process they are still denied.”
This note comes from earlier in the conversation:
If one marry to lady, the lady also has to prove herself Pakistan and provide the evidence of 1970.
In number of families the male is considered Pakistani but his wife with so many children is declared Afghani.
Most of tribesmen have stopped visiting bazaars or the main cities and remain at hope to avoid the danger of arrest by the state security agencies
A web search for the Khiliji Qaumi Ittehad will show that the tribe has been active in anti-western protests involving drone strikes as well as anger with former General and President Pervez Musharraf, and one may find online images of the same burning American and British flags.
Source notes the following:
Pakistan still think Taliban is strategic assets for it. Pakhtoons are so dependent economically that even I can recruit thousands for any ill cause for very less amount. Most of low rank Taliban fight it as holy war while their high ranks fight for money.
We the local see that war is the most costly exercise. If they are not supported by state, they would never be able to challenge the mighty NETO — by state supported Taliban I mean those fighting in Afghanistan and those killing the Pakhtoons.
Madrassah is main factor for cheap recruitment. in madrassah they r only taught religious text. They live in a controlled environment. I live in the area where Taliban are kept and trained.
BackChannels would question the conclusion; however, here is the bottom line as regards a part of Pashtun tribal attitude toward the State of Pakistan:
Sir I’m hopeless here. How would we survive since we r short of basic needs and education. I know Russia backing Taliban. But the US role in the region is skeptical too. A country spends 700 billion dollar on defense and not able to defeat Taliban?
Quetta, the capital of Balochistan sees protest on the part of tribals live on their land even before the emergence of Pakistan.
They in all grounds of life were kept backward by state of Pakistan. They are economically poor and less educated. Since last ten years they are being deprived of national identity.
Now these tribals receive notice from govt of Pakistan to submit back the identity cards that were issued to them. Give says that the state secret agency has declared them aliens.
Now an organization of these tribes under Tribal leader Nawab Salman Khilji (STET) is observing hunger strike till death. It’s 4th day of the strike but no govt official has contacted the hunger camp. They may turn violent if someone dies in this hunger strike.
Their camp is at door of Quetta Press Club but receives no media coverage . . . because media here is state controlled
While BackChannels may relay the above testimony as regards conditions, it may not — or not yet — from its desktop independently verify all of the source’s claims. Nonetheless, comments on the depth of poverty in the region, presumptions about the character of the Pakistani State as experienced by “tribals”, and related beliefs about State — and American — culpability for terrorism would seem to ring true with other domestic and xenophobic mistrusts.
The Pashtun have been rudely treated in their remote and semi-autonomous areas, and it may be difficult for the earnest to convey a more accurate state of affairs.
With the Soviet / post-Soviet “toolkit” involving criminal activity, anti-western disinformation campaigns, and false-flag operations designed to channel political perception, it may be especially difficult for remote Pashtun to develop reliable conclusions about the political states of affairs that surround them.