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Talibanization" or the Turkish Model ?

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    Talibanization" or the Turkish Model ?

    " Talibanization" or the Turkish Model ?
    Omar Mirza, Hempstead, N.Y .

    After performing Umra with my parents in Ramadan, I was seated in the departure lounge waiting for the commencement of boarding on the flight from Jeddah to Karachi. It was then that I happened to exchange views on the Indian Airline’s Hijacking drama, then going on on the T.V., with a Sindhi businessman. Our conversation turned to the question of illegal immigration to Pakistan, and the gentleman, a longtime resident in Saudi Arabia, told me that the majority of the “Pakistanis” beheaded in Saudi Arabia for drug smuggling offenses and other crimes, were, in fact, Afghans, who had illegally acquired the Pakistani National Id Cards (available for up to Rs.3,000), Pakistani Passports (Rs.15,000) and Pakistani citizenship. When caught as drug traffickers, they are dubbed “Pakistanis”, and thus Pakistan gets a bad name.

    We then discussed the influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants to Pakistan. My father interjected to say that PIA is fined thousands of dollars by the (U.S.) INS every time someone travels to N.Y. on a fake passport on board the airline. He then narrated an incident of two elderly Afghans who traveled to N.Y. from Karachi on US passports as Mr. and Mrs. John Whitaker of Virginia, U.S., which were such poor forgeries that even an eight-year-old could detect them. They could not speak a word of English but only Pushtu. It was obvious that Pakistan’s illustrious FIA had been paid off to let them on board. PIA was fined $6,000 at the time. And this was only one incident among the countless that occur regularly.

    Outraged on hearing this, I stated that Pakistan is a poor country, with a low per capita income, whose bankrupt national carrier cannot afford such luxuries. I told the Sindhi gentleman in the lounge that all such Afghans, Bengalis, etc attempting to travel on forged Pakistani passports should be sent directly to jail, and deported immediately to their countries of origin.

    I also said that the cold war was long over, the Russians had left Afghanistan, and whatever was going on in Afghanistan currently was the internal matter of the Afghans, and they should now return to their own country. As for the Bengalis, they had embraced their Bangabandhu, got their own country, and they should not be allowed to settle in (West) Pakistan. I also expressed some anti-Taliban sentiments, based on their well-known (and anti-Islamic) retrogressive views and actions.

    At this point, a gentleman with a long white beard walked across the room, and shaking with anger, addressed me in pidgin English. He was later joined by his wife in his emotional harangue. He said that he had been listening to my conversation and I should know that “Pakistan had looted the Afghans.”

    Further, that Pakistan had received a lot as a result of the Afghan war from the United States. Much U.S Aid meant for the Afghans was gobbled up by Pakistan. Besides, “Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, and therefore, the Afghans had every right to live there”. Shaking his finger violently in my direction, he asked, “You know who Taliban are?”

    As I attempted an answer, he pointed to his son in the other corner of the lounge and said, “My son is a U.S citizen, and he is going to Afghanistan to join the Taliban. We are proud of him.”

    I congratulated the “proud” parents, and asked them in turn, “Why is he going to Afghanistan? To kill fellow Muslims?”

    The reply I received was, “No, he is going to Afghanistan to wage Jihad against the United States.” Furthermore, I was told in pidgin English, that “your grammar is very poor. Neither can you speak English, nor can you speak Urdu.”

    At this point my parents and I had a good laugh, and I gave the gentleman a befitting rebuttal to set him straight.

    Livid at the suggestion that “Pakistan had looted the Afghans,” I replied that Pakistan had provided them with food, shelter and humanitarian assistance for 20 years, that Pakistan was bombed by the Russians , targeted by the KGB and KHAD, and threatened by India. Therefore, whatever Pakistan got from the U.S, it is still paying for it early. The U.S. Aid stopped over a decade ago, but the Afghans are still in Pakistan. Pakistan may have been created with Islam as the rallying cry, but its raison d’etre was the fully justified fear of the Muslims of the subcontinent of the economic hegemony of the Hindus in Akhand Bharat. However, Pakistan, in the Quaid’s vision, was never intended to be a theocratic state. In the last 52 years, instead of following the Quaid’s message of ‘Unity, Faith, and Discipline’, Pakistan has followed the path of ‘Bigotry, Intolerance, Sectarianism’. The process of so-called ‘Islamization’ in Pakistan has led to its logical culmination; the brazen attempt by the Would-be-Khalifa-Pious-Nawaz, to amass all the power of the state within his person, and destroy even the mere husk of democracy in Pakistan.

    Either Pakistan can be a democracy, or a theocracy, for both cannot co-exist. The choice must be made unambiguously, between Talibanization and the Turkish model.


    but how can true democracy exist in Pakistan..

    lack of education means that a large percentage of the population has little grasp of the social, educational, international and defense policies of the people runnign for office.

    the whole lqandlord-serf system ensures that the cousin of the chaudhry saab of a village gets the votes from that region as he needs since the farmers are "advised" to vote for chaudhry/vadera sahab's cousin.

    so, who gets elected and how? what do they contribute after their election, it goes unanswered and the common citizen concerned about personal safety, keeps quiet.

    with 50 gazillion political parties, its a free for all..numerous parties with different views and agendas (except for the agenda to amass illegal wealth) have to form coalitions to rule...

    since people have the fear of a backlash and dont stand up for what they feel is right...politicians keep hoarding national wealth..and do nothing for the infrastructure.

    I would have opted for the turkish model, but current conditions dont allow for it. I for one think that we should follow the French model...a la..french revolution.

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


      No models! Let Pak evolve from within itself.

      Fata Morgana


        no evolution

        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


          Gulf News

          Threat from extremists

          From Our Correspondent
          According to a recent news story, two groups of religious extremists headquartered near Lahore, have devised plans for a Taliban-style revolution in the country. The well-armed groups are made up in large part by trained fighters, some with experience in Afghanistan and are strongly motivated, seeing themselves engaged in a mission.
          Such stories have long been doing the rounds. The activities mapped in the offices of such organisations have usually been discarded as the work of the few on the fringe of national affairs, who have no real following among the majority.

          But now, concern, particularly among the educated elite is on the rise. Frightening details emerging suggest the militant groups have access to a array of weaponry. More significantly, some of them, divided on finer points of strategy, now appear to be linking up ­ having apparently decided that putting aside their differences is in their own interest, for the greater good of their cause.

          In a nation where religious groups have barely gained any representation whatsoever in assemblies, it seems the threat from extremists, spurred on by the example of the Taliban, is now looming.

          The voice of genuine scholars well-versed in the many dimensions of religion and its interpretation in today's world is being drowned out by the zealots educated in the 'madaris' ( religious schools) which have cropped up across the country. Often the promise of a free meal is enough to persuade impoverished parents to send their children to such schools, where the curriculum is often narrow and limited.

          Recently, the violent voice of Maulana Masood Azhar, one of those freed on the demand of the still unknown hijackers of the Indian aircraft in last year's drama, has been added to that of other fanatics. He too calls for a revolution within the country. Everywhere in Lahore, recruitment centres can be seen ­ willing to teach young men the art of warfare for the cause of 'Jihad' (holy war).

          Even in posh residential areas, the boards are clearly visible, and with them comes the reminder of the threat that in a comparatively liberal society in the Islamic world, the kind of changes inflicted by force on people in Afghanistan could be attempted.

          This is especially so if the present set-up led by the military fails to deliver on its promise of initiating real reform in the country and a better life for the thousands now willing to turn to any force which can promise them some improvement in living standards.