Original Articles

Talibanisation of the heart — by Dr. Abbas Zaidi

Dr. Abbas Zaidi has shared this intellectual piece with us for LUBP. A slightly edited  version is published in Dailytimes today, we have posted it earlier from the newspaper, Now we are replacing it with the complete, unedited and original one directly sent by the writer.(aliarqam)

In the backdrop of the public lynching and then hanging of brothers Hafiz Mueez Butt and Muneeb Butt in Sialkot on 15 August, a journalist writing in an English language daily asked the following questions about the murderers:

(i) Are they human?

(ii) Are they Muslim?, and

(iii) Are they really Pakistani?

(The writer thought none of these.)

These questions are evidence of the lowest depth of misery, hollowness, and dishonesty to which some of Pakistani journalists have taken their profession to. Of course, these murderers are human, Muslim, and Pakistanis. The hollowness of the word “really” reminds me of Kurtz’s outburst of “The horror, the horror!” in the Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Why is so much hype about this lynching in both the media and the judiciary? Is it something came out of the outer space, so we cannot accept it? Don’t we human-Muslim-Pakistanis lynch and destroy unarmed people, even animals, while the entire nation and national institutions react from blatantly cheering on to finding crooked justification for our sins and crimes because “Muslims cannot do it!”, a mantra on the lips of everyone from Zardari, the secular and Gillani, the reconciliatory to Nawaz, the Amirul Mominin to Shahbaz, the Servant-in-Chief? Think about the journalists, the Islamists, the retired and quasi-retired bureaucrats and generals and the list will go on ad infinitum.

To the above three questions, add a highly arrogant claim which we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis make without fail while raising an objectionable eyebrow at non-Muslims: “We the Muslims never disrespect a corpse!”

The Sialkot lynching is a mirror image of another lynching which we have conveniently forgotten. This takes us to 1994 when the Taliban, made and molded in and by Pakistan, invaded the UN-protected enclave in Kabul where they lynched Dr Najibullah and his brother. After lynching them publicly, just like their brethren have done in Sialkot, the Taliban hung the corpses of the two brothers and mutilated them; they even chopped off their private parts. At that time hundreds of people cheered on the Taliban as they disrespected the two corpses just like the hundreds of people did in Sialkot; the only difference being that there were no mobiles phones available at that time. Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” who last year dug up a pir from his grave and hanged, and not just hung, him.

You can go a few more years earlier in 1984 when General Zia sent his notorious lashkar led and supervised by no other than Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. Of course, this can be justified because those animals were not human, Muslim, or Pakistani.

The Sialkot lynching is not spontaneous. It is in fact a great tribute paid to General Zia who created the Islamofascist mindset with the help of Arabian money and Pakistani-sectarian manpower.

The Zia-sponsored and Islamists-created curriculum taught in Pakistan to this day has created a vision in which Muslims of a certain denomination are the only superior people in the world whose divine mission is to put the entire world on the righteous path by speech or sword depending on how quiescent or stubborn the people target for conversion are. Because Muslims can do no wrong, whatever Muslims do is right. General Zia and his accomplices created an Islam, which was unheard of in Pakistan, and since then that Islam has been creating us the human-Muslim-Pakistanis.

Thus, the very fundamental motivating principle of  human-Muslim-Pakistanis is that law has no meaning if it hinders our desires. We also know that the state of Pakistan has morphed into impotence, and accountability and rule of law are nonexistent.  From 1977 when General Zia dismissed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto up to the Sialkot lynching, very few serious crimes have been punished.

Crime has become an easy choice because people know that

(i) they will never get justice, and

(ii) crime is not punished. Unless you are hopeless poor and unconnected, you are above law.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is hanged and Benazir assassinated, and their murderers live honorably; lawyers assault journalists, judges, and policemen, but the judiciary takes no action; policemen kill innocent people and drag their dead bodies in the streets like trophies and are decorated with medals of bravery; journalists can demonize people at will and not be held responsible; murderous fatwas are proclaimed publicly and the bloodthirsty mullahs are addressed as ulema; billions are loaned from the banks and never returned and no questions asked. What message do people get?

In January this year, Prime Minister Gillani said on the floor of the parliament that despite the Supreme Court and the parliament, the Army cannot be held accountable for anything. Aren’t we repeatedly told and taught by the media, mullahs, and textbooks that we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis are soldiers of Islam? Haven’t a few top channels been running a vociferous campaign whose theme is “Hum Sab Sipahi!”: We are all soldiers!

The writer is a researcher and has a PhD in sociolinguistics. He can be reached at hellozaidi@gmail.com

About the author

Ali Arqam


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  • good article, good taliban in Afghanistan are famous for brutality, there are number of incidents where they have beheaded people and also Bad Talibans in pakistan are equally cruel

    Very Good JI and its terrorist wing in Universities names Jamiat Talba is also famous for such incidents, recent examples are attack on Professor Iftikhar Baloch in Punjab University by IJT mob and death of a student in Peshawar where another IJT terrorist mob showed there true colours

    Godo article and religious fanatics should be exposed more and more

  • Anti-terrorism strategies need to be holistic and pragmatic as must not address the militants but also the societal causes that which contribute towards extremism in society. Serious efforts are needed to de radicalize the society and promote secularism, pluralism and values of peaceful coexistence.

  • Hum Sab Sipahi! with the Best Military Hardware in the World with the people [mostly in Rural Areas] living in 18 Century and worst is the Mullahs as an Strategic Weapon of Generals and Ideological Brigades who wouldn’t allow Mullahs in their own Drawing Room but defend them even at the cost of “Sovereignty” of the country.

  • The Zia-sponsored and Islamists-created curriculum taught in Pakistan
    Jamat-e-Islami, General Zia & Procession of Naked Women.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/04/jamat-e-islami-general-zia-procession.html Where was Jamat-e-Islami, Munawar Hasan, Professor Ghafoor, Mian Tufail Muhammad and Qazi Hussain Ahmed when under their very nose this ‘SAD INCIDENT’ took place during the so-called Islamic General Ziaul Haq??? When Naked Procession of Women was forcibly taken out just for the sake of revenge. The tormenting memory of Nawabpur By Omar R. Quraishi 12 October 2004 Tuesday 26 Shaban 1425

  • mutilated them; they even chopped off their private parts. [AZ]
    Some reports suggest that they have put those parts in their mouth. This wild Deobandi Mindset who also claim to be Islamic “conveniently” forget that it is Haram to mutilate dead bodies.

  • Very well written, thought provoking article. I am amazed how media is presenting the Sialkot butchery as an oddity in Pakistan; this hype is artificial and the wave of sympathy is short-lived and myopic.

  • Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” [AZ]

    THE MASSACRE IN MAZAR-I SHARIF On August 8, 1998, Taliban militia forces captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in northwest Afghanistan, the only major city controlled by the United Front, the coalition of forces opposed to the Taliban. The fall of Mazar was part of a successful offensive that gave the Taliban control of almost every major city and important significant territory in northern and central Afghanistan. Within the first few hours of seizing control of the city, Taliban troops killed scores of civilians in indiscriminate attacks, shooting noncombatants and suspected combatants alike in residential areas, city street sand markets. Witnesses described it as a “killing frenzy” as the advancing forces shot at “anything that moved.” Retreating opposition forces may also have engaged in indiscriminate shooting as they fled the city. Human Rights Watch believes that at least hundreds of civilians were among those killed as the panicked population of Mazar-i Sharif tried to evade the gunfire or escape the city. REFERENCE: AFGHANISTAN: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/afghan/

  • Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” [AZ]

    MASSACRES OF HAZARAS IN AFGHANISTAN This report documents two massacres committed by Taliban forces in the central highlands of Afghanistan, in January 2001 and May 2000. In both cases the victims were primarily Hazaras, a Shia Muslim ethnic group that has been the target of previous massacres and other serious human rights violations by Taliban forces. These massacres took place in the context of the six-year war between the Taliban and parties now grouped in the United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (the “United Front”), in which international human rights and humanitarian law have been repeatedly violated by the warring factions. Ethnic and religious minorities, and the Hazaras in particular, have been especially vulnerable in areas of conflict, and Taliban forces have committed large-scale abuses against Hazara civilians with impunity. In this report Human Rights Watch calls upon the United Nations to investigate both massacres and to systematically monitor human rights and humanitarian law violations by all parties to Afghanistan’s civil war. The massacre in Yakaolang district began on January 8, 2001 and continued for four days. In the course of conducting search operations following the recapture of the district from two Hazara-based parties in the United Front, the Taliban detained about 300 civilian adult males, including staff members of local humanitarian organizations. The men were herded to assembly points in the center of the district and several outlying areas, and then shot by firing squad in public view. About 170 men are confirmed to have been killed.

    The killings were apparently intended as a collective punishment for local residents whom the Taliban suspected of cooperating with United Front forces, and to deter the local population from doing so in the future. The findings concerning events in Yakaolang are based on the record of interviews with eyewitnesses that were made available to Human Rights Watch and other corroborating evidence. The May 2000 massacre took place near the Robatak pass on the border between Baghlan and Samangan provinces. Thirty-one bodies were found at one site to the northwest of the pass. Twenty-six of the dead were positively identified as civilians from Baghlan province. Of the latter, all were unlawfully detained for four months and some were tortured before they were killed. Human Rights Watch’s findings in this case are based in large part on interviews with a worker who participated in the burials and with a relative of a detainee who was executed at Robatak. These accounts have been further corroborated by other independent sources. With respect to both massacres, all names of sources, witnesses, and survivors have been withheld. Mullah Mohammad Omar, the head of the Taliban movement, has stated that there is no evidence of a civilian massacre in Yakaolang and blocked journalists from visiting the district, until recently accessible only by crossing Taliban-held territory. On the night of February 13-14, 2001, however, United Front forces recaptured Bamiyan city, the provincial capital. The offensive secured an airport and a road link to Yakaolang. On January 19, 2001, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement expressing concern about “numerous credible reports” that civilians were deliberately targeted and killed in Yakaolang. The secretary-general called on the Taliban to take “immediate steps to control their forces,” adding that the reports required “prompt investigation” and that those responsible should “be brought to justice.”1

    REFERENCE: 1 Secretary-General, United Nations, “Secretary-General very concerned about reports of civilians deliberately targeted and killed in Afghanistan,” January 19, 2001, as posted on Relief Web, http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf
    (accessed February 16, 2001). Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif NOVEMBER 1, 1998 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1998/11/01/afghanistan-massacre-mazar-i-sharif November 1998 Vol. 10, No. 7 (C) AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/afghanistan/

  • Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” [AZ]
    On February 16, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson called for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch is concerned that such a commission would take too long to establish; the need is for a small team of experts that could be deployed immediately. The Taliban’s denial of responsibility for the Yakaolang massacre, and its failure to hold its commanders accountable for these and other abuses against civilians by its forces, make it critical that the U.N. itself investigate both cases. There have been preliminary discussions within the U.N. on the feasibility of investigating the Yakaolang massacre; a similar discussion also took place after the Robatak massacre, although no further action was taken. These discussions should be resumed. In doing so, however, the U.N. should not repeat the missteps that resulted in an inconclusive 1999 field investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, into the 1997 killing of Taliban prisoners by United Front forces in Mazar-i Sharif and the reprisal massacre of Hazara civilians by Taliban forces the following year. To allow an effective investigation into the cases documented in this report, the U.N. should adopt the measures outlined below. REFERENCE: 1 Secretary-General, United Nations, “Secretary-General very concerned about reports of civilians deliberately targeted and killed in Afghanistan,” January 19, 2001, as posted on Relief Web, http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf
    (accessed February 16, 2001). Afghanistan: The Massacre in Mazar-I Sharif NOVEMBER 1, 1998 http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1998/11/01/afghanistan-massacre-mazar-i-sharif November 1998 Vol. 10, No. 7 (C) AFGHANISTAN February 2001 Vol. 13, No 1(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/afghanistan/

  • Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. [AZ]

    Real Face of General Musharraf:

    And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail – albeit as an independent candidate – won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. “It makes no sense that Benazir can’t run in the election,” says one Islamabad-based diplomat, “and this nasty guy can.” References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/12/28/pakistani-neocons-and-un-sanctions/ For The ‘General’ Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003 http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJan2003/cover1jan2003.htm – General’s Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,361788,00.html

  • Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. [AZ]


    In interviews, however, American intelligence officials and high-ranking military officers said that Pakistanis were indeed flown to safety, in a series of nighttime airlifts that were approved by the Bush Administration. The Americans also said that what was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of control, and, as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters managed to join in the exodus. “Dirt got through the screen,” a senior intelligence official told me. Last week, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld did not respond to a request for comment. Musharraf won American support for the airlift by warning that the humiliation of losing hundreds—and perhaps thousands—of Pakistani Army men and intelligence operatives would jeopardize his political survival. “Clearly, there is a great willingness to help Musharraf,” an American intelligence official told me. A C.I.A. analyst said that it was his understanding that the decision to permit the airlift was made by the White House and was indeed driven by a desire to protect the Pakistani leader. The airlift “made sense at the time,” the C.I.A. analyst said. “Many of the people they spirited away were the Taliban leadership”—who Pakistan hoped could play a role in a postwar Afghan government. According to this person, “Musharraf wanted to have these people to put another card on the table” in future political negotiations. “We were supposed to have access to them,” he said, but “it didn’t happen,” and the rescued Taliban remain unavailable to American intelligence. According to a former high-level American defense official, the airlift was approved because of representations by the Pakistanis that “there were guys— intelligence agents and underground guys—who needed to get out.” REFERENCE: The Getaway Questions surround a secret Pakistani airlift. by Seymour M. Hersh January 28, 2002 http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/01/28/020128fa_FACT

  • Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. [AZ]


    Gen. Musharraf started a policy of bringing in Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside and settling them down in Gilgit and Baltistan in order to reduce the Kashmiri Shias to a minority in their traditional land and this is continuing till today. The “Friday Times” of October 15-21, 1992, quoted Mr. Muhammad Yahya Shah, a local Shia leader, as saying: ” We were ruled by the Whites during the British days. We are now being ruled by the Browns from the plains. The rapid settling-in of Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside, particularly the trading classes, has created a sense of acute insecurity among the local Shias.” Zia became the first victim of the carnage unleashed by Gen. Musharraf on the Shias of Gilgit. Though the Pakistani authorities have not released the report of the committee, which enquired into the crash of Zia’s plane in August,1988, it is widely believed in Pakistan that a Shia airman from Gilgit, wanting to take revenge for the May,1988, carnage, was responsible for the crash. REFERENCE: Biography of General Pervez Musharraf: His Past and Present http://www.angelfire.com/al4/terror/musharraf.htm



    In 1988, there was a violent uprising of the Shias in Gilgit, which was ruthlessly suppressed by Musharraf, who was given the task of dealing with the revolt by Zia-ul-Haq. Musharraf had a large number of Sunni Pashtun tribesmen from the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) led by Osama bin Laden brought into Gilgit. They carried out a massacre of the Shias in the NA as well as the adjoining NWFP areas. It is believed by many in Pakistan that the crash of the aircraft in which Zia was travelling from Bahawalpur in August 1988 resulting in his death was caused by a Shia airman from Gilgit sympathetic to the TJP in retaliation for this massacre. To keep the Shias of Gilgit under control, Musharraf encouraged the the SSP, which had come into existence in the Punjab in the early 1980s at the instance of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to extend its activities amongst the Sunni population of Gilgit and to politically organise them against the the TJP. Since then, there have frequently been clashes between the TJP and the SSP followers in Gilgit, the latest outbreak of such violent incidents having taken place in June, 2001, before Musharraf’s visit to India for the summit talks with Mr.A.B.Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister. REFERENCE: Musharraf�s Ban: An Analysis Author: B.Raman Publication: South Asia Analysis Group Date: January 18, 2002 URL: http://www.saag.org/papers4/paper395.html


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