Bring in the TALIBAN (The despair of Pakistan?)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Oct 29, 2007.

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    VIEW: Bring in the Taliban —Syed Mansoor Hussain

    Without cars (did I mention no cars?) the means of transportation will be limited to motorcycles, Toyota pickups and camels or horses, more energy saved! So, I suppose I will just have to learn how to ride a horse. Drat!

    It is time for Pakistanis to accept Talibanisation gracefully and without much demurral. Those who do not like such things should in my most humble opinion retire immediately to their palaces in Dubai and elsewhere. I say this not because of any affliction by the epidemic of religious fervour spreading through the country but more so because of the fourth load-shedding instance for today.

    This government as it comes down to its last whimper is still trying to convince us that everything is just fine, and if anything is not fine, it is not their fault. As such, I am waiting with bated breath for somebody to come out and say that the two-hour load shedding planned for Lahore every day is due to the arrival of the Mohtarma in Pakistan. And, if she ever enters the Punjab, it might become a twenty-four hour deal.

    Concerning the rest of the economy, indeed the number of cell phones, cars, motorbikes and video games in use has gone up but so has the price of almost everything thing that ordinary people need to live. I recently learnt to my amazement that one of the better indicators of economic growth is that the number of toilets being sold has gone up. Yes, toilets!

    Sadly, eight years of enlightened moderation has brought us only greater Talibanisation, and perhaps that was the real purpose behind it. Indeed Allah works in mysterious ways! So, as the famous Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire song about tomahtoes and tomaytoes ends, “let’s call the whole thing off’. Or as a famous cliché goes, let us not throw any more good money after bad money.

    Now, you might ask why I, a committed secular liberal, should accept Talibanisation. Being an old fashioned liberal, I also happen to be a pragmatist and therefore accept the inevitable. More importantly, as an eternal optimist I always do try and find some good in everything. So, let me count the ways the Taliban just might be good for Pakistan.

    What is the major problem facing Pakistan today? Terrorism of course, and the creeping Talibanisation behind it, so, this one is a no brainer. Once Pakistan is taken over by the Taliban, no more terrorism! The lamb and the lion will drink from the same water hole in the ground and piety shall rule supreme in the land as Jinnah thought it should.

    After terrorism, the next problem that Pakistan faces is a lack of energy. No, not the sort one gets from an energy bar but rather the sort that lights houses, runs factories and drives cars. Here again, the architects of our economic miracle have stated unequivocally that the shortage of energy is due to the increased economic activity. Since there is no more energy to be had, therefore the obvious solution is to decrease economic activity. Duh!

    Surely when it comes to decreasing economic activity, who better than the Taliban to get it done? Gone will be the stock markets, banks, factories, mega malls, plazas, hotels and mansions that gobble up energy like the black holes in space. More importantly, no need for trains or planes, for after all, travelling in such contraptions is clearly contrary to the true spirit of Islam.

    The other major advantage of diminished economic activity is the tremendous ecological benefit that will accrue as a consequence. Little if any green house gases will be spewed into the atmosphere except for those of biological origin. Besides the immediate salutary effect on the environment, this will become extremely important when the time comes to buy and sell ‘carbon units’.

    Also we will in one fell swoop get rid of the bureaucracy, judiciary, police force and all the other instrumentalities of governmental excess. As far as the army is concerned, all Corps Commanders will become independent warlords in their areas and then will as expected of warlords embark on fighting each other until they run out of ammunition.

    Women! Well, women will be confined to quarters or only venture out fully shrouded in shuttlecock burqas. This will make life easier for our men who are always distracted from their pious duties at the sight of women. As far as education is concerned, women don’t need it. Or if they do, as Maulana Ashraf Thanvi says in his famous Bahishti Zewar, they need just enough to be able to read his book.

    Here I must admit that the women in my life are all safely ensconced in the US. However, for me personally living by myself under the Taliban might not be all bad. I just might be forced to take three more wives and possibly even a few concubines. As far as facial hair is concerned, I have always admired the luxuriant growth on the faces of our Ulema especially The Maulana.

    I could keep on waxing eloquent about the Taliban, but I must admit that there will be some problems. First, of course, is the question about financial income of the government. This will be addressed as I mention above by selling carbon units to countries that keep polluting the atmosphere. However, much more money will be forthcoming if we sell all our nukes to the US at an exorbitant price. This is clearly a twofer. We get rid of the nukes and we get the US off our back.

    Another problem I foresee is that hospitals will in time dwindle and people will start dying from almost anything. Maternal mortality and infant mortality will especially go up, but then this also has a silver lining. Fewer people, fewer mouths to feed and not too many old people hanging around telling younger people what to do.

    Without cars (did I mention no cars?), the means of transportation will be limited to motorcycles, Toyota pickups and camels or horses, more energy saved! So, I suppose I will just have to learn how to ride a horse. Drat!

    Syed Mansoor Hussain has practised and taught medicine in the US. He can be reached at smhmbbs70 @
  2. A Pakistani perspective would be interesting. I was paying attention until I got to the term "energy bars" and realised it was a Pakistani expat at best and probably someone who has never lived there....

    Talibanisation of Pakistan is a very real prospect and a more informed opinion would be very interesting.
  3. Another, slightly more illuminating Pakistani perspective might come from Pervez Hoodbhoy; his perspective is that of an academic - a professor of (nuclear) physics at one of Pakistan's better universities - and his observations on how Pakistan has been going steadily down the academic plughole since 1973 have always struck me as deeply worrying. Some useful context here
  4. Say what you will, this is Political satire at it's best.

    Modernity clashing with the mentality of 7th century, there are no winners among those who dream of taking their nation back kicking and screaming into the dark ages.

  5. :D Looks like someone has been picking poppies from Afgan. Anyone who will not conform to the Taliban gets a good beating with power cables or worse. Back to the stone ages maybe thats is what is required, maybe not so much corruption. A lot of Pakistanis for U.K. get ready Gordon. :D
  6. If (when?) Pakistan falls how will this affect already fragile relations with India? Is there likely to be a shooting war between the two? How will this affect India's increasingly militant Muslim population and will reverberations be felt on the streets of Britain?

    As I understand it Pakistan's nukes are in the hands of divisional or brigade commanders - a nightmare scenario if the country starts to fall apart - does the US have contingency plans to seize said nukes?

    If America attacks Iran and Israel becomes embroiled in fighting with Lebanon and Syria there will be a conflict zone stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean coast to the Indian Ocean. If Pakistan goes down and a few years later Central Asia destabalises we really could be looking at a WW3 situation.

    Interesting times, so what about the next round of defence cuts Gordon?
  7. I agree what happens or does not happen in Pakistan in the next year will effect us all.
  8. Pakistans future I agree will definately affect the UK. From what I can see Pakistan has a shed-load of problems. Some parts are fairly wealthy and succesfull. Other parts are not. Some Pakistanis are progressive and others have a medieval mindset. Parts of Pakistan are way beyond he control of central authority and some madrassas are preaching hate and jihad on a global scale. What a bloody mix.

    To compound that IMO too many Pakistanis absolutely refuse to see a problem.

    Pakistan has nukes. If it falls to extremist control everyone should wory (be sh1t scared).
  9. John_Charity_Spring:
    Certainly would be if the US got its way.
  10. If the mad mullah's gained power in Afghanistan I would think the Indians would not tolerate them for long. There would also be a regional arms race to acquire nuclear weapons. The whole area is on the verge of serious destabalization.
  11. My Bolding

    Done and dusted Skynet. Both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons.
  12. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    Pakistan: The Most Dangerous? | Newsweek International |

    Newsweek Cover: The Most Dangerous Nation in the World Isn't Iraq. It's Pakistan.

    Pakistan is a thriving country, compared to the time when it was about to be declared as a “failed state” and was practically financially bankrupt.

    It is a historical fact that but for the US, Pakistan would not have surfaced and instead would have been taken over by the Islamic fundamentalists and also been an international breadbasket case.

    The basic problem with Pakistan is an identity crisis and this contributes to its national schizophrenic. It is a truism that it was carved out of India for the Moslem population of India. Thus, Islam was the raison d’ être for the coming of Pakistan. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and the strident exponent of the ‘two nation’ theory (It was Jinnah, who first raised the issue of partition at the Lahore Conference in 1940), realised the inherent ‘strength’ of Islam – the unquenchable ‘indoctrination’ that Islam is not only supreme to all, but the only true way to God. This is a powerful belief and can be used dangerously destructive by the power hungry (in fact, which is what has happened in the form of the AQ and Taliban).

    Jinnah was a “Shia Khoja Mohammedan” as was filed after Jinnah's death in September 1948, by his sister Fatima and then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had jointly filed a petition in the Karachi high court describing Jinnah as a ''Shia Khoja Mohammedan''. He was totally aware of the destructive divisiveness internecine divide of Shia – Sunni rivalry that has Islam in its throes. Therefore, charged with the idealism that was there during the Partition, he wanted to have an even keel between the sects of Islam and hence he, being the astute politician and lawyer that he was, used the minority issue by stating that secularism would be the platform for Pakistan, to ensure peace in Islam. It is contextual to quote the inaugural speech of Jinnah, the first Governor General of Pakistan:

    "You will find that in course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state."

    But his speech failed to strike a chord in the last five decades of Pakistan’s history. Is Pakistan, a secular country? The answer is certainly ‘No’. Neither has there been peace between the Shias and Sunnis! Thus, Pakistan is that was to be a secular state, as per the desires of the Founder of Pakistan, is not secular and nor is it Islamic where Islam is battling Islam, while maintaining the fundamentals essential to be Islamic including Quaranic laws (applicable to all including minorities)! Hence, Pakistan has an identity crisis. And, therefore, fundamentals of governance are not in place.
    However, one must also realise that there are pragmatists like Musharraf who realise the Islam cannot be the panacea of ill the issues of the country and the world.

    The fact that Jinnah desire and practicality for secularism was not heeded has led to the current conditions where Pakistan has been successively hijacked by the military and the fundamentalists. Zia, however, was the architect to the sad state Pakistan is. It is a myth that Zia was a religious person. Praying five times makes a person religious. He was a shrewd Punjabi who realised that to give legitimacy to his illegal regime, the only way was to cloak it with Islamic fervour since Islam cannot be challenged in Pakistan! Afghanistan and international geostrategic powerplay in Afghanistan was God sent for this devious man who has sunk Pakistan to dangerous levels of Islamic sectarian and sub national and sub cultural fissiparous signatures. But then, a people steeped in an identity crisis requires a mentality of denial, charged with the indoctrination of Islam being the only true path to God and totally supreme, dream the Hindu – Christian – Zionist ‘conspiracies’ as the cause of all their woes, when , in actuality, it is self created.

    The bogey of Hindu India and Akhand Bharat swamping Pakistan that kept Pakistan united during internal crisis has also been blown away as another myth and figment of imagination. The BJP lead NDA govt, which should have swamped Pakistan, was the first to establish the Confidence Building Measures in a serious manner as also did not expand the area of conflict during the Kargil War, a situation that would have seriously affected Pakistan. Though, the virulent propaganda, lower in intensity however, continues. However, there are few takers of this seriously, on both sides of the border!

    The criticality of Pakistan’s identity has come a circle. 9/11 has totally left Pakistanis in confusion. While unable to abandon Islam, yet they feel a necessity to contain the ‘runaway Islam’ of the AQ and Taliban. The identity crisis that has seized Pakistan is like that of a headless chicken, running around without direction and totally blind and headless in identity!
    Instead of finding solace with the problems of others in the world, it is time they set their house in order, if they are to exist as a nation, destroyed by their own Machiavellian tendencies.

    There is a Herculean conflict between the head and the heart; between pragmatism and Islamic supremacy!

    Pakistan is not the most dangerous nation to the world. It is a danger to itself!

    The onus to wage war against India is on Pakistan!
  13. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    In so far as Pakistan and Afghanistan is concerned, the following links are interesting:

    The Struggle for "Pashtunistan": The Afghan-Pakistan War

    The Pakistan view:

    Afghanistan — not so great games

    By Abid Ullah Jan
    The Inevitable Pak-Afghan Union

    The author opines "Whatever may be the outcome, one can safely say that Pakistan and Afghanistan will not remain as two states on the world map for too long".


    The above two articles are interesting to understand the Islamic, and more importantly, the Pakistani dream of the 'ummah' (pan Islam) and leadership of the Islamic world (as observed during the OIC (meet of the Islamic countries) in Malaysia).

    What is the central issue is that the 'dream' of Islamic oneness is obstructed by an equally powerful sentiment amongst Moslems - of being the leader (Khalifa) that is the raison d' être for the to disarray Islam finds itself inspite of the dream of the Ummah and the Caliphate. Islam cannot reconcile with this psychological handicap of besting each other. It is ingrained in the religion to be supreme and it visits individuals, tribes, nations and even the 'difference' between the Sects, mainly Shia and Sunni! The temporal aspirations of leadership clashes with horrendous signature with the spiritual!

    Yet, it is an interesting commentary to find a lot of articles on the dream of one Islamic nation and equally interesting is the fact, incongruous issues are cranked in and 'dressed up' equally forced, to present a plausible solution!

    The Pathans and Pakistanis are as close bred as Chalk and Cheese. The Pathans are looked down as rustics and bumpkins and hence there is the turmoil on the western front of Pakistan, inspite of aerial bombings and a large military presence.

    Pathans, in comparison to the Pakistanis, are ruthlessly cruel against their enemies and hence it is not surprising that the Pakistani Army two companies minus surrendered without a shot being fired!

    The only solution is that the Pashtuns should be allowed to have their own country wherein the Pastun parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan become one country, but as Afghanistan finds itself landlocked, such a country will be landlocked and dependant on its neighbours.

    The Pashtun and Tajiks are Sunnis, Hazaras are Shias. Even so, Persian is taken as the language of sophistication and of the educated over Pashto!

    Afghanistan as a country of different ethnicities has always seemed to be troubled with its identities, yet another taboo topic amongst the people. The threat of being called a “traitor” and a “foreigner” hangs over those who dare tread upon the topic of national identity.

    The region was called Khorasan for 1500 years and the name was fairer and represented the state as well as the people better. It clearly doesn’t favor one ethnicity over another. As Khorasan, the region was once an advancing civilization and embodied many ethnicities. However, as the Pashtun nomads entered and invaded the regions, they scattered and spread over, imposing their existence as well as a need for a country.

    Here is a commentaries on the issue:

    Afghans hurt themselves through tribalism - Reports from The Birmingham News -

    The factionalism in Islam cannot be better understood that this article, where though they are of one country, with one religion and of the same sect of Islam trust is absent:

    Musharraf Contends with the Pashtun Element in the Pakistani Army
    Musharraf Contends with the Pashtun Element in the Pakistani Army

    Therefore Pakistani writers seems to lack perspective of Pakistan, a country at sixes and sevens with itself, and is yet to discover their identity as a nation that was carved out for the Moslem identity, wishes to bite more than it can chew - by dreaming of a partial ummah of Pakistan taking over Afghanistan!

    It would also be fair to state, that though a large number of Pakistani intellectuals tend to what appears a incongruous 'dream', there are also those who are pragmatists as Musharraf. While he is as good as a Moslem and a Pakistani as the most 'patriotic' of them, he is well aware of the shortcomings and the strength and keeps Pakistan over Islam, even though that is contrary to the Moslem concept, where Islam is above nationality!

    The fact that the Durand Line is such a contentious issue in Pakistan indicates the worries of the pragmatic amongst the Pakistani leaders that given the fierce independence of the Pashtun mind, Pakhtoonistan may be the real roadmap the Pashtuns, including Karzai is pursuing.

    For Pakistan, Afghanistan is critical to the existence as a country and not as merely to obtain "strategic depth" vis a vis a conflict with India. The biggest fear is that if Pakhtoonistan takes root, then the subjugated sub nationalism that has been kept under control by the extensive use of Islam as a glue, as also by repressive measures of using artillery and air against their own people and also by changing the sectarian composition in the Northern Area and Balwaristan with the aim of changing the Shia majority to Sunni, would erupt!

    Therefore, every method including indoctrination of Islam as one and more so, by crushing the Taliban which is becoming the fountainhead of separatism requires to be undertaken if Pakistan is to remain one!

    Those who are the Islamic fanatics in Pakistan are the real enemies of Pakistan.

    Instead of the ummah, they will herald the end of Pakistan!

    It is also in the interest of China and India, that Pakistan remains stable or else the Islamic fundamentalists will create immense problems, not only in the Moslem majority areas, but also wherever there are Moslems in the their respective countries.
  14. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    Breaking News

    Blast near Pak Army HQ at Ayub Park.

    It is time to rethink if Islamic fundamentalists using Islam to their advantage should be allowed.

    Mullahs and madrassas must be controlled!

    Pakistan must come before Islam, even though Islam is taken ahead of nationality or nation!
  15. And of course that is why we must have clear aims in Afghanistan and a NATO were all members pull their weight. If we fail to prevail in Afghanistan then the tail lash will be felt in UK and Europe and with bigger implications for the Pakistan region.

    If we are going to prevail in Afghanistan then we must have well motivated armed forces who are able to stay the course of the long distance runner. With present policy I do not see how that is going to happen.