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Khaled Ahmed’s false binaries on Hazara Shias and Pashtuns

Khaled Ahmed in TFT offers a classical example of flawed analysis on religious extremism and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Given Mr. Ahmed’s past sterling scholarship on this topic, the present article is a disappointment. The author presents a number of false binaries, for example, when he writes: “[Hazaras] are more elevated in intellect than their Pashtun tormentors”. This is akin to Tariq Ali and Imran Khan’s logic: Pashtun = Taliban.

According to Khaled Ahmed: Hazaras and Tooris “are bearing the brunt of Sunni-Pashtun reprisal.” That’s exactly what General Pasha would like to hear, i.e., projection of Taliban as legitimate representatives of Sunnis and Pashtuns. In our view, anyone who treats TTP-LeJ as equivalent to Sunni-Pashtun not only does a great disservice to Sunnis and Pashtuns but also enables future Shia massacres.

Two false binaries in the present piece are: Sunni vs Shia, & Hazara vs Pashtun. Of course the author failed to note that LeJ was founded and is currently led not by Pashtuns, but by Punjabis. Further, it is the military state backed LeJ-TTP terrorists who are killing Shia Muslims in Parachinar, Quetta and elsewhere. Such terrorist represent neither Sunnis nor Pashtuns.

We consider it intellectually and factually inaccurate to treat LeJ-SSP as a representative of Sunnis or Pashtuns. Given that moderate Sunnis, including moderate Barelvis and Deobandis, have been killed by LeJ-SSP terrorists and given that LeJ-SSP remains an organizations still led and dominated by Punjabi speaking terrorists, the proposed equation of LeJ = Sunni Pashtun is problematic. Of course, the organization which has claimed almost all the attacks on Shia Muslims in Balochistan is the Lahskar-e-Jhangvi, Jhang is not located in Peshawar or Quetta, nor is Malik Ishaq, the head of LeJ, a Pashtun.

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Abdul Nishapuri


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  • even an ultra liberal like him falls pray of this expedient notion of equating the Taliban with the Pashtun nationalist cause. Taliban have killed and maimed more Pashtuns,particularly educated,liberal minded,writers,journalists and artists than y are hell bent on leaving their own kins bereft of any descent future, that also under the guise of ‘Pashtun dominated’ Afghanistan. Ghaffar Khan has not been forgotton by the Pashtuns but by his own descendents ( ask the well known Daily Express columnist Saadullah Jan Barq ) And yes,the motto of ‘jihad fi sabilillah’ is making mockery of Mr. Jinnah’s botched attempt at plastic surgery via his speech of 11.08.1947,of the two nations theory; the problem of which is that it is destined to become a one nation theory in the end, particularist and exclusionary. The rest will have no right to survive. The Quadris,Munawwar Hassans, lashkars and jaishes will see to that. I think Pakistan should not oppose the drone attacks, the only messure keeping the violaters of it’s sovereignty (Arabs,Chechens and Uzback) at bay. This is also favoured by the inhibitants of the area according to the we condullcted research by Dr. FarhaTajt .


  • It is indeed very unfortunate, when it comes to defending state narratives, actions or inaction regarding the row of extremism, shia genocide and misrepresenting Pashtuns as Taliban or terrorists, Khaled Ahmed, Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider sound the same.

    I remember early Days of SSP transition from a sub group of JUI to an election contesting political party, when Karachi newspapers reported statements by SSP ‘neem khwanada’ leadership that JUI is dominated by Pashtun Ulemas who are not helpful to SSP cause.

    when it comes to treating minorities and persecuted muslim sects as Ahmedis and Shias, Pashtun territories have far better track record than Punjab.

    The most important info, which the writer has stressed upon SSP influential areas, and I have to add that Malik Ishaq is neither a Pashtun nor a Sunni…he is from Salfi Ehl-e-Hadith sect, the most highly funded and fascilitated sect by Kingdom of Sauds.

  • […] In addition to misinterpreting and misrepresenting the anti-Ahmadi legislation at least in one article, TFT also published a misleading piece by Saleem Javed on Hazara genocide in the same issue. The article misrepresents Shia genocide as an ethnic one. The article is very implicative particularly when it refers to Sariab Road to give it Hazara vs Baloch ethnic colour. (Previously, TFT published another misleading article on this topic in which Khaled Ahmed presented false binaries of Hazara Shias and Pasthun Taliban.) […]

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