The Taliban, Swat, Buner and Imran Khan

Imran Khan talks about how we can ‘clear up’ this mess.

God this man is annoying. And retarded. And a pathetic, pathetic politician.

This is ‘our war’ because non-friendly foreign elements have invaded our country. This is our war because they’re 100km from Islamabad. How the fuck can it be anyone else’s war when the Taliban have slowly started attaining more and more land in Pakistan, implementing a legal system not wanted by the people and one that contravenes this country’s constitution? Why they’re there is utterly irrelevant for they themselves seem to not care. This bullshit pervaded by so many that the Taliban would just gleefully head back to Afghanistan leaving Swat, Dir and the tribal belt is the US left is incredibly disingenuous. We gave birth to the ISI, and this line of thought essentially states that it’s okay if the Taliban flog women and behead people, as long as it’s Afghans and not Pakistanis.

We have a moral obligation as muslims and as Pakistanis to eradicate this ideology – to eradicate the taliban. They should not rule over ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world – except maybe if the Nazis were reincarnated.

Second, if the meteoric rise of the taliban was due to the order they provided, what the fuck of it then? Does order have a lexical priority over justice if it includes beheadings for ‘alleged’ spies? Is THAT order? Is order more important than ‘justice’ if it means women get beaten for their ankles being visible? And what of the justice all too often derived from this order that the taliban have managed to attain? And what of the fact that this order means a substantial amount of power for the Taliban, who can then use it and abuse it as they please? What stops them then? It’s not justice – for there are no countervailing powers against the Taliban. Do we believe the Taliban are ‘moral’ and wouldn’t abuse their power? Except that I think we can all conclusively claim that religious people do not have a more substantiated claim on morality than non-religious people.

And from where the fuck has this notion arised that the people of Swat are happy at the swift justice they now have? What swift ‘justice’? One only needs to look at the papers to realize just how ‘happy’ the people of Swat are.

I’m a bit non-plussed about Pakistani reaction to news that the Taliban are now in Buner. There are those who are claiming that it’s time to meet them head-on. Which is good, because it still isn’t too late for us to mobilize against the Taliban. But, where were these people months ago as Swat went under? The words of those who were anti-taliban then haven’t changed; their discourse hasn’t changed. It’s not as if an intellectual epiphany wasn’t always there, waiting to be touched. But it took Swat’s fall, and the Taliban’s now dangerous proximity to Islamabad to get Pakistanis into gear.

After 7 years.

That, is disappointing – to use a mild word. For far too long we’ve sat with our thumbs up our asses (thank you Generation Kill!). But, there’s a very disheartening question to be raised about what we as a civil and political society can achieve. With the Nizam-e-Adl regulation, and most Pakistani’s opposition to it, I think it’s fair to say that a non-military option does not exist to tackle completely the taliban. You can build up an educational system, implement a higher tax plan for the rich, manage to get our rich politicians to eradicate corruption, eradicate nepotism (all great, specific plans Imran Khan – if only they weren’t the same espoused by O/Level kids!), but a military operation will probably be needed.

Even if the people of Swat and FATA ‘rise up’, so to speak, after studying History, English, Physics and the like in O/Levels, will the Taliban just step aside, because the ‘people’ of those areas now want a different conception of justice and the good life? Like fuck they will.

I can only see more twatting about, till the taliban are knocking at Islamabad’s doors. Hopefully though, I’m completely and utterly wrong about that. Hopefully.

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4 thoughts on “The Taliban, Swat, Buner and Imran Khan

  1. five rupees vented pretty well at Imran Khan’s stupidity of galactic measures. Now, where are all those Imran Khan apologists who think he has his heart in the right place. (for some strange reason, quite a few Imran Khan apologists are LUMS students and graduates, if this is what they teach kids there, I wonder if they will keep their status as a premier university in Pakistan

  2. as a lums grad, i feel i should qualify tazeen’s statement here.

    a lot of the alumni like immy because his political views are just as nuanced as theirs are. as asfand noted, imran’s political critique is quite infantile, which is what a lot of lums grads espouse as well.

    like most pakistanis, they view imran khan through the lens of what his personality promises, rather than what his politics promise. the former has great potential, the latter makes obvious that the potential has so far gone to waste.

  3. kk: Spot on. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Imran Khan’s philanthrophy (specifically Shaukat Khanum) and how that sets him apart from other politicians.

    Now I have immense respect for Imran Khan concerning that aspect of his life – but a good philanthropist does not make a good politician (necessarily – and definitely not in Imran Khan’s case).

  4. to add to what KK said, I think it’s also a class thing. Upper class Pakistanis can’t believe that one of their own (and one of their best) is just a disgusting jihadi apologist scumbag, so they have to keep making excuses for him.

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