The Pakistani government has been trying to hold talks with Taliban who have created havoc across this Muslim nation that was carved out of India some 67 years ago. The nation is facing onslaught by fundamentalists like never before.
Last week, the Pakistani interior ministry was forced to pronounce its own national capital as the most risky place for foreigners. The interior ministry was informed by agencies that Al-Qaeda and Taliban were hiding in the most secured locations inside the Pakistani capital.
Extremist Taliban have become an existential threat for Pakistan. They are against anyone who doesn’t support their ideology of hate and have been targeting people who want to see Pakistan taking moderate path of democracy and secularism. Malala, the young teenaged girl who talked of education for girl children in the tribal belt of Pakistan was attacked and injured badly.
Thankfully she survived and went on to win many prizes including a nomination for Nobel Peace Prize. The young girl has become a thorn in their side as she continues to speak for girls’ right to education and freedom. They tried to silence her and they continue to silence whoever actually speaks against their extremist stance and oppressive tactics.
They have killed thousands of innocent people. From five star hotels to hospitals and places of worship, every target is legit in their dictionaries and there is no mercy towards even small children and women. When it comes to killing, they actually don’t discriminate between rich and poor, Sunni or Shia, left winger or moderate. For them everyone is right target and killing innocent people is their most important past time.
While their counterparts in Afghanistan can claim the right to resist against a foreign invasion (read US intervention post 9/11), the Pakistani Taliban don’t have even that shred of legitimacy too.
A Pakistani federal minister in Nawaz Sharif’s government Parvez Rashid praised India for the treatment of his nation’s soldiers who were (Prisoners of War) POWs in 1971 following Indo-Pak war. He said that while India respected the right to livelihood of more than ninety thousand Pakistani POWs following the breakup of Bangladesh in 1971, these Taliban have no regards for human dignity and life.
Pervez Rashid should have known that while India is a secular and democratic nation and gives dignity to humans, these retards have no love lost for anything moderate. The way they have killed innocent children, women, patients and other vulnerable people in schools, market places and hospitals is incomprehensible for people in much of the world.
But there are some people who have lavished praise on Taliban. The siding of extremist elements with Taliban in Pakistan was understandable, but Imran Khan has stunned people across the world by his soft stance towards the Taliban. He is among very few people with moderate tag who have gone on to support a dialogue with them. To be true, Pakistani Taliban reportedly insisted on him being in their team that negotiates with Pakistani government. Though he didn’t give his consent to be their man Friday for holding negotiations with Pakistani government, his credentials have been seriously tarred.
Another worrying aspect is the fact that many religious parties are actually supporting the negotiations with Taliban and are ready to be in their team.
But there are silver linings among dark clouds too. Last year some fifty Pakistani ulama belonging to different sects of Sunni Islam issued fatwa against Taliban condemning them and asking the government to take tough measures against them. Many ulama have issued fatwa comparing them to khawarij in very early Islamic period and saying that these elements should be completely eliminated.
The life of ordinary Pakistanis has been impacted badly by the daily dose of bombings in different parts of the country. From Lahore to Karachi and Peshawar it is free for all in Pakistan as Taliban search for more places to bomb and create havoc.
Though Pakistani government has taken a tough stance against them, but the establishment there is solely responsible for creating this cancer called Taliban. Pakistani government and its army supported armed insurgency in Afghanistan and tried to prop up armed insurgency in Indian Kashmir. They are still supporting and funding people like Hafiz Saeed who are running private militias in Pakistan.
India has been trying to impress upon the Pakistani government to hand over Hafiz Saeed whose Lashkare Taiba was behind Mumbai attack on Taj Hotel. Instead of handing him and other accused over to India, Pakistani government actually funds his institutions.
But India is also not without its own version of Taliban. RSS and VHP have started a sort of dirty campaign against Muslims in India and are doing everything to actually create hatred against them. It is common knowledge as to how extremist elements from these organizations or their other sister concerns bombed many places across India. Sadhwi Pragya Thakur, Colonel Purohit et al have given enough evidence about their complicity in these cases.
Swami Aseemanand’s detailed confession in Caravan magazine has made it amply clear as to who was behind these blast. He has clearly said that RSS was behind at least six bomb blasts in different parts of India that culminated in dozens of deaths and injuries to hundreds of people.
There is clearly a need to take tough action against any individual or organization preaching hatred against others or spreading terrorism in the name of religion. Both the nations need to take a tough measure against this fast spreading menace.
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Syed Ubaidur Rahman is a New Delhi based writer and commentator. He has written several books on Muslims and Islam in India including Understanding Muslim Leadership in India.