The recent events in Pakistan have shown that the state of Pakistan is entering a new phase which may be called “the Takfiri State of Islam”. You may replace “Islam” by “Islamism” or “Islamofascism,” but it will be a lexical choice. You may even say, “Not yet,” but it will be an academic exercise. And this should be surprise no. The intimations of Takfiri immortality have been there since the American-planned, Saudi-financed, and ISI-executed “jihad” began in the early 1980s. Some would date it much earlier, which is not unreasonable. But if you look at what is happening now, the Afghanistan “jihad” was the beginning of the end of Pakistan as a modern state.
Why have we at LUBP arrived at such a drastic conclusion?
Had the darkness not been so visible and silence so ear-splitting, we would have not made such a heart-breaking enunciation. But the APC document and its unqualified support by Pakistan’s ruling elites make a very explicit statement. Yes; it is this very APC document signed by Pakistan’s political parties and the Army, and actively and tacitly supported by the media and the judiciary, respectively, which marks a watershed unprecedented in modern history: A state has allowed itself to liquidate itself into a fascist arrangement in which law and constitution will based on the whims of not a majority, but a powerful minority which rules through extreme violence.
A lot has been written about the APC declaration about holding a dialogue with the Taliban, and there is no need to recapture it in detail. Just a comment will suffice: An overwhelming majority of articles, columns, editorial, etc., have endorsed it; the only dissenting few voices found their way into English language publications. Period. Some of the significant pro-Taliban voices have ratiocinated thus:
1. “This war has no front and no rear [Which means the Taliban are everywhere and cannot be isolated.].”
2. “In a plethora of narratives, the realities have got lost even for educated people.”
3. “Conflicts ultimately are settled or ended through talking.”
4. “The Taliban will be our asset once the Americans have left Afghanistan.”
This is pure balderdash. We all know who the Taliban are and where they live. The Taliban are themselves not queasy about their identity and whereabouts. Everyone in Karachi knows what the no-go areas are where the Taliban have imposed Shariah. Everyone knows where the likes of Mullah Ludhianvi, Aurenzeb Farooqi, Hafiz Saeed, Munawar Hassan, and Sami ul Haq live and what venom they spawn. Everyone knows which mosques and madrassas, protected by the police and intelligence operatives, proudly promote murderous ideologies. Here no realities are lost. Our neighbours like India and Sri Lanka wiped out Sikh and Tamil terrorists without negotiating with them. China is not willing to hear a word of even conciliation from the Uyghur militants. And Iran has decimated the Pakistan-based Jandullah without giving it any legitimacy. The Americans are not going to give the Taliban a free hand even if they leave.
A very basic principle of political science is that a state is not just a sovereign entity, it is indeed the only sovereign entity to the extent that no other institution can challenge its authority and/or legitimacy. There is no entity or institution which can speak to the state on the basis of parity. The state is supreme; the rest are details. But the APC declaration of peace is not based even on a State of Pakistan-Taliban parity. Take a look at what it says:
“Thousands of precious lives of innocent men, women and children and defence and security personnel have been lost in the war, the illegal and immoral drone attacks and the blow-back from actions of NATO/ISAF forces in Afghanistan. There has also been colossal damages to social and physical infrastructure and huge consequential financial losses and adverse effects on our economy. . . .
“We have noted with concern the continued use of drone attacks by United States of America in spite of clear and unambiguous protests by the democratically elected Government of Pakistan. We are unanimous that the use of drones is not only a continued violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts of eliminating extremism and terrorism from our country. . . .
“We therefore, repose full confidence in efforts of the Prime Minister in this behalf and call upon the Federal Government to initiate the dialogue with all stakeholders forthwith and for this purpose, authorise it to take all necessary steps as it may deem fit, including development of an appropriate mechanism and identification of interlocutors.”
Now the “illegal and immoral drone attacks and the blow-back” is there, but who killed thousands of Pakistanis? What about the illegality and immorality of the killing of thousands of Shias by the Deobandi Takfiris aka Taliban/ASWJ-LeJ? What about the forced kidnapping, conversion, and rape of Hindu girls? What about the burning down of Christian neighbourhood by the Takfiri-led mobs?
The government is one stakeholder. But who is the other stakeholder on the other side? Is terrorism let loose on the people of Pakistan is tantamount to a business or academic venture where stakeholders come together to fix things and iron out differences? The Takfiri war unleashed on non-Deobandi Pakistanis who make up over 90 percent of the population of the country is a bloody game on the part of the Takfiris, but for those who are killed regularly and routinely, it is a trauma of unfathomable and endless pain and sorrow. The APC document does not seem to be even a collaborative work with the Taliban; it seems to be one dictated by the latter.
The Nawaz Sharif-initiated and Army-sanctioned APC offer of dialogue to the Taliban is no more than a Document of Disgrace. It lays down no terms of reference, no procedure, and conditionality vis-à-vis the Taliban. On the contrary, the Taliban will not talk until their brethren are released from jail. Thus mullah Baradr has been freed whose hands are soaked in innocent blood. It was Shahbaz Sharif who called the Taliban “Our Brothers” and true to his claim, the PML-N has been the greatest champion of these “Brothers” because “They are our people”. This is why, it is no surprise that the new peacemaker on the street and the darling of the talk shows is no other than Javed Paracha who has openly supported the Shia genocide. He is a PML-N leader, its former MNA, and a Nawaz Sharif confidante. Paracha has blurred the line between the Taliban and the Rest.
Even after the APC offer, the Taliban have continued to kill people including army officers and have proudly owned the killings and promised to kill more. But be it Nawaz Sharif or General Kiyani, the word “Taliban” is absent from their lips even when they vaguely show displeasure over someone killing someone somewhere in Pakistan.
Why is it so?
The answer is: From Nawaz Sharif to General Kiyani to media dons to the higher judiciary, they are all Taliban at heart. Perhaps they think that it the likes of the Shias, Christians, Hindus, and Sufi Muslims who will continue to be cut down, and their own scions and interests will be spared. Besides, their assets and families are based abroad, or can be shifted abroad when and if the going gets though. Who can forget a jubilant Kalsoom Nawaz when the House of Saud secured a reprieve for the Sharif family? Within minutes of the reprieve, she was ready with hundreds of suitcases, servants, cooks, flunkeys, and family members as she announced to the media, “We’re going to Saudi Arabia!”
We are disappointed and sad. May be we are helpless. But we are not hopeless. It is legal and moral responsibility of all non-Takfiri Pakistanis to do all they can to stand up against the Takfiristanization of their country. At this stage, winning or losing do not matter. The story of the ruling elites of Pakistan with reference to the Taliban is something like “We came, we saw, we surrendered, and then we joined.” But ours has to be “We stood up and fought.” Let it be a matter of future who won or lost.