FATA-How a whole area became a terror sacnctuary with State Policy
Let the pictures speak as the first part of this summing up of a sad chapter of history !
When I started preparing for my first major bid in Afghanistan " Naghlu-Kabul" Electric transmission line I went for pre bid survey on Kabul Lataband Road.The locals all Pashtuns told us that they were paid 100 USD per tower for destroying a pylon in Soviet Afghan War !
Extremism is a very Pakistani export to all neighbouring countries.
Off course the US was also a monster in this situation as were the Pakistanis who were the US vassals.In course of my 8 years in Afghanistan I discovered that major damage of Afghan war was in Pashtun belt as it was closer to Pakistan and it was easier to logistically support the characters destroying pylons.
As I travelled north I discovered that the north was literally undamaged as it was farther away from Pakistan ! I leave it for experts in Pashtun history to judge whether Pashtun area was damaged in order to keep Pashtuns backward or it was a coincidence !
It would be wrong to brand a Pashtun as a born lunatic !
The greatest poets in the sub continent starting from Nawab Shefta Khan Bangash ,Josh Malihabadi Afridi Akhtar Sheerani and Ahmad Faraz were Pashtuns !
Indeed the most progressive Afghans and Pakistanis have been Pashtuns ! Without Aslam Watanjar the indomitable Paktiawal or without Said Gulabozai the Saur Revolution may have totally failed in Afghanistan !
My dear Zazi lady friend from Khost smoke the maximum joints and drank more vodka than any man that I met in Afghanistan and preferred being intimate with the curtains open !
It would be correct to term Pashtuns as victims of geography , of being divided in two states , being regarded as a political threat by non Pashtuns in both Pakistan and Afghanistan ! Being more adventurous and brave than any race in the region , thanks to geography , historical circumstances and I hate to say some racial factors !
The Pashtuns were thus regarded as cannon fodder by Iranians, Mughals,Turks ,Sikhs ,British and Pakistanis and a useful reason to remain in Afghyanistan by the USA !
When the German Kaiser wanted a revolt against British in India the only ones who cameto rise in revolt were thetribal Pashtuns !
A Pashtun tribe Afridi is the only tribe in history where the British Emperor awarded a Victoria Cross to one cousin and the German Kaiser the Iron Cross to the other cousin ! Both fighting in the same area !
The Mughals imported Iranians against Pashtuns and were ultimately betrayed by the Irianians when the Marathas and Nadir Shah attackedthe Mughals.
The backbone of Nadir Shahs armys were the Abdali Pashtuns ! The best Mughal army soldiers apart from Uzbeks were Pashtuns !
Yet this race was regarded by fear and apprehension and throughout history used to fight proxy wars ! Just because it was though politically dangerous that they remained free and grew politically and economically !
There is no denying that a Pashtun is formidable in any role ,be it a leftist Khalqi or a Taliban ! This is so because he is brought up to be totally committed to an idea that he believes in ! This may be an anthropological or sociological explanation !
A Safi or a Zadran or a Kharoti is formidable reagrdless of the fact that he is Rahmatullah Safi with the ISI or a Watanjar who was a die hard leftist or a Gulabozai who was Afghanistans best Interior Minister and yet polled the highest number of votes from Khost in 2005 Elections.
My friend a pro Pakistan Pashtun to the core heading an ISI sector confessed that even the best dogs used in dog fight are bred in Pashtun areas ! It may be ironically symbolic but true.
My personal observations indicate that the Pashtuns were regarded as cannon fodder to be used in Kashmir and Afghanistan by the Pakistani establishment . Thus ironically while the most progressive section in Afghan socoety were Pashtun Khalqis without whom there would have been no leftist coup in Afghanistan ,the Pashtuns suffered the most in Afghan war and the non Pashtuns gained the most , politically and economically !
Demography is cruel ! It is devastating and Pakistans demography is changing !
Karachi is the largest Pashtun city in the world and we are at a watershed when Pashtuns may not be manipulated any longer the way they have been manipulated in the past !
As they say the wheel turns in history !
Posted By Blogger to Understanding Each Other, Diversity and Dissent at 3/22/2011 02:16:00 AM