Taliban can’t be bracketed with Pashtuns: Analysts

This is an interesting article but it seems to me it conceals some critical elements of the composition of the Taliban: Those non-Pushtun elements that are participating in the Taliban movement are probably mostly non-Afghan of any sort. What seems clear is that the Taliban have now become the vehicle of Al Qaeda leadership. Are the troops merely paid hands from the local Pushtun tribes? It is conceivable that many of the peoples in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Taliban are ensconced are cooperative merely because they have no other choice. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are well armed, well financed, and apparently fairly well organized. But this article at least suggests that in fact the new Taliban-Al Qaeda is even foreign to the areas where they now operate. The issues for many of those people are likely to be economic more than ideological. RLC

Pajhwok Afghan News
Afghaniyat

“Tribespeople living in the long-neglected region that straddles the Durand Line are the worst-hit by war … in interviews with Pajhwok Afghan News, observers pour scorn on the
impression that Taliban have grown out of the tribal politics of the Pashtun community”
“Such anti-Pashtun commentaries, according to analysts, are not based on credible research on the factors that fuel the ongoing wave of insecurity in the landlocked country.”
“Political commentator Wahid Muzhda opines Taliban are not the representatives of a single Afghan faction. ‘Being an ethnic Tajik myself, I have been with the movement for half a decade.'”
“Many people from the southern Kandahar province held high positions in the Taliban government, he recalls, but hastens to explain it does not mean they exclusively represent the Pashtuns. ‘For one, I will never subscribe to the point of view that Taliban can be bracketed
with any one Afghan community.'”
“Parliamentarian Kabir Ranjbar, echoing Muzhda’s opinion, makes it abundantly clear the insurgents are not born out of the Pashtun politics of tribalism. ‘Espousing an ideology called fundamentalism, Taliban have links to the al-Qaeda network,’ he elucidates.”
“Mullah Omar was stoutly supported by Tajiks, Uzbeks, Chechens, Arabs and extremists from other nations”
“‘Pashtuns themselves are simultaneously being mowed down by Taliban and bombed by foreign troops. Making matters worse is the hard fact the government is paying little – if any – heed to the reconstruction of the war-devastated belt inhabited by them'”

Homicide bombing: An act of impatience

Note the struggle that this serious Muslim is going through to deal with the abuses of other human beings in the name of his faith.
RLC

M R. Weiss
Afghaniyat

“The Quran clearly states that ‘we burden no soul but with what it can carry’ Those who resort to murder of their own body and others do not carry the burden placed on them and thus are shortcutting life’s process.”
“Six years after two despicable homicide bombers murdered one of Afghanistan’s proactive leaders, a second Afghan leader became victim to the same inhumane weapon … But, murdering innocent people through one man murderer has become the weapon of guerre for every desperate and impatient soul.”
“No words shall be able to capture the depth of the immense service the Prophet of Islam did for humanity. Nowhere in his twenty-three years of commission, did the Prophet of Islam teach that the end shall justify the means.”
“Salvation cannot come when Men justify killing innocent people in the name of injustice and intolerance. The Prophet of Islam never justified collateral damages.”
“Today Afghanistan suffers from an imposed disease – a cancer of conscience embedded into its psyche by those with vile political agendas. The people of Afghanistan seem helpless when children strap themselves with bombs and carry out the murder of innocent people.”
” I place the full blame on myself and other Afghans for abandoning time tested principles. For
allowing our ego to stand in the way of our heart and our reason; for embracing shortcuts to life’s pleasures and its appeal; for following and embracing those who betray the teachings of the Prophet of Islam; for constantly worshipping ourselves.”

An effigy of shame: The Pakistani morass

M. R. Weiss states his view of the situation elegantly. The saddest part of this seems to be that there are Pakistanis who are wondering if such a view could in fact be correct. One more statement of how unpromising the situation is in Pakistan.

RLC
M R. Weiss
Afghaniyat
“At last, after more than forty years of deceit, concealment, and fraud this effigy of shame concocted by the British called Pakistan is about to confront its own evils and answer for it. Whether it succeeds or not is no longer a factor – its effect will be felt across the world and that will make all the difference.”
“In a bizarre exercise of power, Pakistani elite forces entered the Red Mosque in the heart of Islamabad and murdered close to 100occupants. The tragedy lies not in the killings, but in its location -inside the Mosque.”
“Does the killing inside the Mosque and the subsequent repeated homicide bombing will alter the political structure of Pakistan?”
“I answer yes and provide my reasoning.”
“Driven by the ego of its alleged Muslim leader and the British’s intent to humiliate Gandhi, Pakistan unnecessarily appeared in the map of the world. The second nation created based on alleged religion, Pakistan had no agenda or goals for survival. The reason for its presence amongst the family of the nations remained obscure. Like an adopted child detested by its siblings, Pakistan was an imposed presence from the start.”
“the Generals that ruled Pakistan never legitimized their hold on power … The Generals never succeeded in delivering any services.Widespread inequality defines the social structure of the Pakistani society.”
“To escape the humiliating reality of inequality, the Pakistani people took refuge to weak and under-funded religious groups percolating on the fringe of Pakistani society … These organizations are safe avenues to express the unrelenting anger and frustration that dominates the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.”
“With active encouragement from the Generals, over the last three decades these groups grew in strength”
“The marriage between the religious groups and the Generals is no longer working. A nasty and violent divorce is imminent. In the shameful effigy concocted together by the British called Pakistan, only one must remain in charge.”
“the Generals can only use violence to quell the religious groups. For the first time in its shameful history, the Generals will use violence without using the name of Islam or the Prophet of Islam.This act will further alienate the population from an already illegitimate governing family.”

Asma Jahangir: Musharraf has lost his marbles and is targeting progressives

Ms. Jahangir has been one of the most active leaders of the human rights movement in Pakistan. What she sees, what she thinks, is worthy of serious consideration. To me, the most remarkable feature of this article is the failure of Musharraf’s attempt to control information. He placed Ms. Jahangir under house arrest and presumably, as he did in other cases of house arrest, cut the phone connections and jammed the cell phone frequencies. But here is a prompt report by Ms. Jahangir on what is going on in Pakistan, with her reflections on the implications. Musharraf’s coup seems not to be working.
RLC

The Independent

“The situation in the country is uncertain. There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers. A majority of the judges of the Supreme Court and four judges of the High Court have not taken their oaths. The Chief Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The president of the Supreme Court Bar, Aitzaz Ahsan, and two former presidents, Mr Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under the preventive detention laws.” . . .
“The president of the Lahore High Court, Ahsan Bhoon, and former bar leader Ali Ahmed Kurd have also been arrested. The police are looking for six other lawyers, including the president of the Peshawar and Karachi bar. The president of the Lahore bar is also in hiding. Scores of political leaders have been arrested.” . . .
“Ironically the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular- minded people while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires.” . . .

Nightmare world

The article by Al-Jazeera indicating that it was US planes that bombed Syria last September makes one wonder. Was the US really behind the bombing of Syria? And did they really drop nuclear warheads? This is fast becoming a nightmare world.

RLC

Information Clearing House
USAF Struck Syrian “Nuclear” Site
By Jpost.com Staff

“The September 6 raid over Syria was carried out by the US Air Force, the Al-Jazeera Website reported Friday.”
“The sources were quoted as saying that Israeli F-15 and F-16 jets provided cover for the US planes.”
“The sources added that each US plane carried one tactical nuclear weapon and that the site was hit by one bomb and was totally destroyed. At the beginning of October, Israel’s military censor began to allow the local media to report on the raid without attributing their report to foreign sources. Nevertheless, details of the strike have remained clouded in mystery.”

U.S. and Pakistan: A Frayed Alliance

The recent article by Joby Warrick, reveals again one more reason that affairs in the North West Frontier of Pakistan are so poorly managed.
RLC

Washington Post
By Joby Warrick

“Five years ago, elite Pakistani troops stationed near the border with Afghanistan began receiving hundreds of pairs ofU.S.-made night-vision goggles that would enable them to see and fight al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in the dark. The sophisticated goggles, supplied by the Bush administration at a cost of up to $9,000 a pair, came with an implicit message: Step up the attacks.”
“But every three months, the troops had to turn in their goggles for two weeks to be inventoried, because the U.S.military wanted to make sure none were stolen or given away,U.S. and Pakistani officials said. Militants perceived a pattern and scurried into the open without fear during the two-week counts.”
“‘They knew exactly when we didn’t have the goggles, and they took full advantage,’ said a senior Pakistani government official who closely tracks military operations on the border”
“The goggles are but a fragment of the huge military aid Washington sends to Pakistan,but the frustrations expressed by Pakistani officials are emblematic of a widening gulf between two military powers that express a common interest in defeating terrorism.”
“frustrations are rising among military officers on both sides because the aid has produced neither battlefield success nor great trust”
“U.S. officials say part of the problem is that the Pakistani government has lacked sufficient commitment to engage the enemy”
“Pakistani officials, for their part, say that strict U.S. controls over equipment and a failure to provide other equipment, such as spare parts,have impeded their ability to hunt down Taliban and al-Qaeda sympathizers.In addition to complaining about the goggles, they cite U.S.-made attack helicopters that are grounded for weeks because of parts shortages.Pakistani officials acknowledge slow progress in driving terrorists out of the frontier provinces, but they chafe at suggestions that U.S. military aid is being squandered. “
“By most measures, the country’s security problems are worsening”
“‘The billions of American taxpayer dollars to Pakistan since September 11have clearly failed to prevent our number one enemy from setting up shop in that country,’ said Sen. Robert Menendez”
“Less than a tenth of overall U.S. aid to Pakistan since 2001 has gone to support the country’s economy and social infrastructure, including about $64million for schools — a sum smaller than the funding level for education in a typical small U.S. city, said the CSIS report, written by Craig Cohen and directed by Frederick Barton and Karin von Hippel.”
“‘We just haven’t put very much into securing hearts and minds,’Barton said.’It is possible to generate goodwill. If the United States were the champion of teachers in Pakistan, we’d probably all be okay.'”