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Ah, the deal

Much has been made of this NYT article on the class inequalities in NWFP that are fuelling the Taliban movement. However, I would like to ask where in Pakistan class inequalities do NOT exist. They are everywhere. By using this argument then the Taliban takeover becomes a natural conclusion as a social revolution is required everywhere to correct the exploitative structures and provide ‘speedy justice’. Therefore, our political class has to rise to the occasion and provide the kind of leadership, delivery against their manifestos and restore the fading writ of the state.
On another forum this deal was being termed as a popular demand of Swatis and here is what I wrote for those who are interested:

With due respect to the views expressed here, please do not call this deal a ‘popular demand’ of the people. The people of Swat have nothing to do with this. If you read accounts from the field and what people like Lala Afzal are saying, non-Swatis have made this deal.This has been done at gunpoint. Let us face the ugly reality. Our state has capitulated in front of an armed mafia/militia who are only using the term ‘Islam’ as a means to impose a Wahabi-Salafi ideology on the area. They have locked up Pir Baba’s shrine and destroyed Rehman Baba’s shrine. They cannot tolerate Shias, Ismailis and other sects within Islam. And, of course we know what they think of women and their place.

We just saw a 17 year old girl getting lashes in the public. I know there are many people who think that the video is fake and that an American drone dressed as a 17 year old was being beaten by Hindu Taliban and video-recorded by Mossad agents to destory Pakistan.

As regards the public view only a year ago elections were held despite the insurgency and the results were clear: The people of Swat did not vote for political Islam let alone militant Islamism. From the Malakand Division ten PPP, eleven ANP and only two JI candidates were voted in as members of the provincial assembly! And the two JI members of assembly are from Lower Dir, not Swat. The election mandate of the PPP and ANP was not talibanisation.

In a year a provincial government has taken a short term step to engineer so-called ‘peace’ and a National Assembly almost all the parties except MQM and Ayaz Amir, shamelessly voted for it without a debate, without a discussion.

If such a grim reality is not being acknowledged by people of Pakistan then I am afraid we are on a fast track towards either anarchy or a complete Taliban capture. I am quite sure that this luxury of using computers will also be unIslamic if that happens – so much for our debates and discussions here!!

The will to resist barbarity – public beheadings, bombing of schools and hospitals, floggings and destruction of civilisation – seems to be lacking in Pakistan as the country is polarised, confused and lacks leadership.

Where have we reached in 61 years. Indeed, all the world is to be blamed except ourselves.

4 Responses to Ah, the deal

  1. Raza Bhai,

    It is indeed sad to see this after 61 years but we are gloomy because its our home and identity. In a greater sociological perspective, however, I am pushed to think whether the whole idea and the ideal on which it was based was not efficacious. A genuine but inefficacious idea that is.

    I believe that the rules governing the civilizations and cultures do work on a limited scale too. Its hard to turn the cycle back once the downward slope starts. I am not at all pessimistic but that is how it is. The moment of grace is passed, in my humble opinion.

    wassalam
    -Aasem

  2. Le Mystique says:

    It was hard for me to believe my hears when the a copenhagen-based mosque’s paksitani mullah was telling us – the pakistani nimazis that we better not watch TV and read any newspapers as these are all tools of promoting obscenity.

    You can imagine what kind of mental brain wash a kid (who cant afford to enroll even in a government’s school due to povery) learns when he joins a local maddrassah (which provides him free food, free accommodation and free ‘education’).

    ————————

    No one in their right state of mind can align with taleban using the social injustices of the state as an excuse.

    The reason many, including me, talk about the above-mentioned NYT article is that it points to something is is depriving us – the patriots and the concerned – from the much-needed support of the rural populations.

    You are right when you question as to how or why this support is not seen in other areas despite the fact that pretty much whole country is suffering from the same social injustices. I really hope that the taleban never get as strong as it once was in Afghanistan and that it never gets support from anyone and everyone.

    I might be totally wrong about this being a lay man and not a political or a military analyst but… right now Talebans groups are pre-dominantly guerilla groups… even if they are not if/when (God forbid) they decide to invade the much settled areas of Pakistan, they will surely need guerrilla warfare tactics.

    For such guerialla activities they will definitely need the support of the local poor lot to be able to carry out the activities.

    Right now our mental state as a nation is such that we are prone to accepting extremely fundamentalist or extremely liberal fascist idealogies. Both are wrong. Moderation is the key. And
    we need to reach to the root of the problems in order to be able to stop people from falling pray to extremist philosophies.

    If there is justice in the country, no one will ever be manipulated by any anti-state elements.

    Religious extremism is at least a 2 decades old problem. Hence we need a short-term strategy for coping with the talebans, and we also need a long-term strategy for nurturing moderate and modern thinking in the whole nation.

  3. Le Mystique says:

    The zillion rupee question is: ‘who will bell the cat’?

  4. Thanks Raza for bringing that up, the reactions which i have seen to NYT report are “scandalous” to say the least. We have known this fact for the long time, Rahim Ullah YousafZai had written on it long before. Thats how a movement is explained. I gave a long comment somewhere else i think its appropriate to revise it here as well
    “Regarding the NYT report and the accompanying fuss and passionate denials by some progressives[for the fear of staining the good name of class struggle], its rather ironic to note the ignorance of most of the Pakistani Left and intellectuals about Left wing ideas and politics. No insurgency or political agitation can take place without class contradiction. All history is history of class struggle, Marx himself self said but not all history is progressive is it? Its this dogmatism of Pakistani left which fails to see this point. They dont know anything about Fascism. Fascism is a genuinely popular movement according to Left wing theory as oppose to artificial phenomenon, Fascism has its base in Petty bourgeoisie and lumpan proletariat, the slums , fascism is obsessed with National pride , is absolute enemy of communism and social-democracy and Left wing labor movement,is supported by conservative democratic parties, Army, state and most importantly Big businesses and Capitalism. To have a firm base it always has a “socialist rhetoric”, Mussolini started as a socialist and name of Hitler’s party was “National Socialist Party”. This must clearly be understood that its always a rhetoric, fascism annihilates all socialist tradition and labour movement , it in name of national honour and rapid progress advocates class collaboration , guarantees cheap labour , rhetorically make labour a hero for giving sweat and blood for the “nation” but keeps him a exploited laborer. Fascism always rises when the traditional people’s parties and reformist social democrats adopt a collaborationist stand , refuse to enforce economic redistribution and adopt policies of popular fronts [alliances with capitalist bourgeois parties to stop fascism etc] which paralyzes them , stop them from following their socialist agenda and follow bourgoies agenda, than fascists appear “radical” and “socialist resisters” to a middle classes and section of primitive lumpan proletariat who gives the movement a popular base, Fascism takes control democratically, by eroding authority of weak popular alliance governments, situation deteriorates , state start conceding authority, till time comes when government is offered to Fascists by Army and conservatives and bitterly divided left [accusing each other of being social-fascist] to save the nation, to bring it out of humiliation, to restore its sovereignty, to save nation from corrupt politicians who are agents of imperialism. Thats exactly how Fascism comes, thats how it came in Italy and Germany and as you can see clearly is coming to Pakistan as we speak, fill in names PPP, ANP on one side, civil society , the ex stalinists [bitterly fighting with eachother, calling each other fascists], PML-N, JI and their pro taliban rhetoric, bitterness in urban middle classes [country has gone to dogs n Zardari has sold the nation to USA] , Mantra of Pakistani nationalism, honour and pride , defeated and demoralized reformists conceding state authority , the ingredients are there. Who funded Lal Masjid? traders and who fund Madrassa, our Industrialists. National Bourgoies supported Hitler for they needed peace n stability, control of communist unions–]

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