Dancing with the Taliban

Published: March 3, 2013

I feel like someone is about to sign my rights away as our politicos endorse negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Again. PHOTO: AFP

I am not a national security expert – I could not intelligently drop one relevant term if I wanted to. Thanks to my mother’s geographical coordinates when she gave birth, I have a green passport (for which I signed away the religious rights of over three million Pakistanis).

I feel like someone is about to sign my rights away as our politicos endorse negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Again.

On February 14, as the world celebrated One Billion Rising (OBR), marching and dancing in protest against women’s rights being violated, a room full of (mostly) men decided talks with a terrorist organisation were ‘first priority’ in the restoration of peace.

The same day, women in Afghanistan sedately participated in OBR, at the risk of engaging Afghan security officials armed to the teeth. That Afghanistan and the US would peddle away their fledgling freedom to the Afghan Taliban in a meeting in Doha was unfathomable for these Afghan women

I think allowing the TTP to bring their demands to the table is effectively signing off half of the country’s rights – the female half.  I think cowering in front of men who feel threatened by a young girl seeking education is the weak way out - the short term fix.

When you legitimise one group of terrorists, in the next elections, the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) will not be the only banned outfit contesting the polls. We will lose the battle to the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), and any other group which I have not named or which will mushroom by 2018.

What will you do, Nawaz  Sharif,when the radical right passes a legislation which makes it illegal for Maryam to leave the house on her own? What will we all do when a LeJ-spearheaded law declares our Shias non-muslims? Will you create a larger white margin on the flag?

The TTP brazenly take responsibility for assassinating Bashir Bilour, targeting Malala Yousufzai and a few days ago, were possibly behind blowing up four schools in Mohmand Agency. I cannot count how many schools they’ve destroyed over the past eight years. In Mohmand, that toll has already crossed the 100 mark.

The last time our right, left and centrist parties decided presenting our rights on a platter to the Taliban was a viable route to ‘peace’, 19 people died in militant attacks in the stretch between Bannu and Orkazai Agency.

So it would come as no surprise when the Taliban spox Ehsanullah Ehsan rejected our interior minister’s demand that a ceasefire should precede these ‘peace talks.’

They want ‘sincere’ religious men as guarantors – enter the religious right and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). I doubt these parties actually want the Taliban’s version of the Shariah, but in times of general elections, who would not want some militant might in their corner?

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) almost marched to the lion’s den to court the Taliban. How could anyone negotiate from a position of weakness with men hell bent on depriving everyone of their hard-earned freedom?

Maybe the idea is – push them back ‘up north’. Let the Malalas there be deprived of education, and the women lashed for speaking loudly in the marketplace. Let their economy go to a darker hell.

My guess is that the government and the military have lost control over their proxy ‘warriors’; it’s not a very educated theory. I’ve already established I am no expert. But when I see our politicians run around like headless chickens, with the military seemingly stretched thin, these negotiations seem nought more than desperate applications of a topical balm.

The All Party Conference’s (APC) declaration on Thursday might be an emasculated attempt to let the terrorists and electorate see some movement and interpret it as action.

Just look at a picture of those who attended these talks – mostly males and those with means to protect themselves with bullet-proof cars and guards siphoned from the security apparatus meant to protect you and me.

Let me assure you, no one will stand up against radical, extremist groups once they are sitting in our parliament. No one will stand up against Malik Ishaq whose witnesses tend to expire prior to the best-before date.

You and I, the women, we will not even be second-class citizens as we stand today. We will be chattel, livestock with household duties. Your naked feet will be guilty of provoking lust in ‘mere men’.

And the ‘minorities’ – their fates were sealed when they were confined to the margins of our flag (a shade darker than Islamic Green) by our great founding fathers. Presently, when Imran Khan condemns the LeJ as enemies of Islam after sectarian violence, he pegs it as a crime because it is anti-Islamic.

The way things are going, the day will come when the likes of the TTP, LeJ will be our ‘lawmakers’ and their narrow interpretation of ‘Muslim’ will be enshrined in the Shariah.

How will our state heads and party leaders make ‘brave’ statements against the murder of the Hazaras or blowing up girls’ schools when their ‘this-is-against-Islam’ leg would have been amputated?

That is what APCs, print or electronic coverage of abhorrent extremists guilty of mass murder, and “mainstreaming” terrorists will bring us as we shy away from “an all-out full-spectrum war” against the machinations of cancerous, rancorous  extremism.

Read more by Halima here or follow her on Twitter @Hmansoor

Halima Mansoor

Halima Mansoor

A sub-editor at the Peshawar desk at The Express Tribune who is interested in politics, art and neuroscience. She tweets @Hmansoor twitter.com/Hmansoor

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • gp65

    “I think allowing the TTP to bring their demands to the table is effectively signing off half of the country’s rights – the female half.”

    I am sorry to say that you seem to be prescient. Not just rights of women but anyone that TTP considers non-Muslims – which apart from Hindus, Sikhs, Christians would also include other kalma reciting folks including Ahmadis, Shias and those Pakistanis who listen to music which is supposedly haraam.

    I hope better sense prevails. Recommend

  • Farwa Naqvi

    The fact of the matter is that we cannot defeat the Taliban militarily. We have tried it for 10 years. It is better to give them Waziristan than to give them entire countryRecommend

  • The Khan

    WOW
    Thanks for writing this in a newspaper read 0.001% of population with a vocab that will be understood by half of that. You have been of immense help to Pakistan. Recommend

  • gp65

    @The Khan: “Thanks for writing this in a newspaper read 0.001% of population with a vocab that will be understood by half of that. You have been of immense help to Pakistan”

    She wrote a blog. What did you do?Recommend

  • Vivek

    Pakistan, along with UAE and Saudi Arabia were the only three countries to recognize the Taliban govt, when they were in charge of Afghanistan. Now, Pakistanis are apprehensive when the Taliban has a chance to be part of the Govt in Pakistan ? That does not make any sense. Pakistanis should be proud that their baby has grown up and is ready to be a responsible adult.Recommend

  • Pakistani woman

    @farwa naqvi
    If taking over Pakistan is so easy that even a few uneducated tribals with some weapon training can capture such a big area then tomorrow everyone will be doing that. Army is so effective in picking up balochs but when it comes to solving real problems like Taliban they are useless.Recommend

  • Khattak

    @Farwa Naqvi, “The fact of the matter is that we cannot defeat the Taliban militarily. We have tried it for 10 years. It is better to give them Waziristan than to give them entire country”

    They are not stupid to be confined to Wazirstan or PKP or Afghanistan, their target is the whole of Pakistan. Unless otherwise Pakistan is coverted into Islamic Hilafa & replace the Present Consitution (based on 1935 East India Act) with true Sharia, there is no way they will be contended for less. When they get Pakistan, they will start conqering the world. As a Pashtun I pray for their success, though it will be a bit tough for me but I will cope it as I will be better off this way.Recommend

  • Uzair

    Well written Halima. I will repeat what I’ve said here on ET: to negotiate with murderers is to sign your own death warrant, and our politicians and popular media who are pandering to giving the terrorists the status of negotiating parties with equal status to the State of Pakistan are guilty of nothing less than TREASON.

    Sad to say that our nation is a mass of spineless, mindless, utterly braindead people. That’s what you get when your core mission in life is to suspend your mental facilities at the altar of blind faith.Recommend

  • rational

    “Got a green passport by denying the rights of 3 million Pakistanis),Brilliantly Put Dear Writer =)Recommend

  • Halima Mansoor

    @Farwa Naqvi: Dear Farwah, thanks for commenting.

    I think we can agree to disagree? I think we can defeat the Taliban militarily, (I think military + intelligence + other security machinery can). However, we CANNOT sacrifice a people who belong to Pakistan. ‘Giving’ Waziristan cannot be, should not be an option.

    It’s interesting you should say this — we spend far more on fighting over Kashmir with India. If Kashmir became less of a focal point, our military would be spread thin less. And perhaps reallocate human and material capital to remove terrorists from Paksitani territory. That is if the establishment finally realises its proxy armies are turning against the state and need to be snuffed out — one way or the other. Deweaponisation, war, whatever works.

    Many thanks.

    Halima Mansoor Recommend

  • Uzair Shaikh

    You cant beg the same army to be your savior who themselves sponsored the upbringing of this cancer. Thanks to Zia and his jehad business.Recommend

  • Faqir Ipi

    I can not blame you neither your narrative.

    There has to be always justifications, monsters, butchers. Af-Pak puppet ruling elite have become apt in this art from their US/UK based masters. The ruling puppets existence depends on tyranny and Baitullah and Hakimullah Mehsuds. They are best guaranties for Karzai, Hotis, Bilours, Zardaris, Kayanis, Chuds, Raja, Rana, Gilanis etc.

    The ugly conscience of the Nation, broadcasts live from TV studios these days, unleashing its collective twisted intellect on us — the usual cocktail of papal passion and a delicate grip on facts, mingling with fiction. Waziristan Genocide has been there for more than 10 years.

    It’s sad that many people not only in West, Af-Pak but everywhere around the world fall for stories that are completely propaganda and are based on the interest of war industry. It goes on and on, pile up of lies, staged events and fabricated evidence. The media propagate without any shame, but for their pains the court, army, FBI, ISI, IB, human rights, NGOs, Police get no more than a gentle rap on their knuckles. Nothing more.

    Masses are supposed to believe that there are two sides to every story, say Waziristan or Tribal Area. There’s ANP/Army/PPP’s side and then there’s TTP/Al-Qaeda side, and both deserve equal coverage.

    Well, such opinion are necessary for Waziristan Genocide and KILLING MASSES FOR 10 YEARS. In fact both sides are same and need each other to fool masses. It goes on and on, pile up of lies, planted stories and fabricated calls. Now, there is inalienable right to be simple and also stupid. But please be stupid with your own life and limb…and let Waziristan genocide be stooped immediately.

    There is always the back story. Like most nameless terrorist and militants with sucide jackets are easy meat. For past 10 years, Waziristan is a victim of torture, blackmail, extortion. In the larger scheme thousands killed , babies, women are nobody. Anyone who was really interested in solving the mystery of these daily bomb blast would have to follow the dense trail of evidence that is not on offer. No one did, thereby ensuring that the real authors of conspiracy will remain unidentified and uninvestigated.

    Because after 9/11, fear has been used widely in the media to manipulate the public in favor of war crimes and genocide and turning over power to elite groups with their own hidden agendas. The nightmare vision of a powerful, united terrorist organization based in Waziristan waiting to strike is largely an illusion. Wherever we look for al-Qaeda, TTP, from the mountains of Waziristan to the OBL sleeper cells in Abbotabbad, every time we will find that we are chasing a phantom enemy.

    In the eyes of media, human rights, NGOs anyone who holds AK-47 and does something against women rights, against US backed puppets governments and NATO military forces are “terrorists al-qaeda” or “Militant group of Taliban”.

    But now that American are preparing for exist and while for next 100 years we run in circles of blame game, I hope our collective conscience for blood has been satisfied. Or is cup of blood still only half full?

    From someone hailing from nearby Wazirtsan.Recommend

  • musahib hussain

    @Khattak:
    Hahaha…..Recommend

  • musahib hussain

    How come they would be defeated when they are facilitated across the border to kill afghans and how deplorable it is to diffefenciate between good and bad taleban (afghan vs paki) when ttp openly say it follows their one-eyed ‘amirul-momineen’ mulla omar. If they are so called heroes, why don’t they stop ttp to kill its own people. Space is created for these barbaric forces otherwise defeating them is not a big deal.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @Khattak:
    “You will pray that Taliban successfully take over Pakistan”. I am sure you never had the time to think about how your sister, wife and daughter would feel about it. You are really a selfless Soul indeed ! Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @Farwa Naqvi:
    The way you want to handover Waziristan to the Taliban like it was your personal Jagir, with monsters living there. First you please hand over your street to them before handing over what does not belong to you.Recommend

  • Carl

    Interesting read – but what percentage of the Pakistani population would actually like to see something like a strict implementation of sharia? Is that percentage rising? If it’s high enough, isn’t it inevitable that fundamentalist groups will end up with at least some political power? Recommend

  • Omer Jehanzeb

    Weak expression. …..!!!!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Khattak
    HahhahahahahahahahRecommend

  • Faraz

    @gp65: As if what you have mentioned are actually not haramRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    I am a foreigner, and can not understand the concerns of people against other groups of people that they are not familiar with. I also think that it is shabby and undemocratic to speak for the so called Talibans, specialy those from the neighbouring Indian bloggers. Let the Political leadership have a dialogue with those groups who have different opinions than those which are currently in place. Listen to their demands which may not be what the smarts imagine, but a very simple process for coexistance.

    Let me explain;

    . No political or non political entity has the right to use the term ‘Islam’ if it promotes offensive violence.
    . The term ‘Sharia’ is used for the legislations which the muslim represntatives of the people legislate, and reflects the values of Islam, required to administer their country. Not the copy of 7th century practices.
    . No institution has the right to excommunicate muslims, nor have the right to determine the muslimhood of its citizens.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    @Farwa Naqvi:
    Sorry, but in which part of Pakistan is your estate located?

    Rex Mnor Recommend

  • choclat85

    Very good article specially the starting “I am not a national security expert – I could not intelligently drop one relevant term if I wanted to. Thanks to my mother’s geographical coordinates when she gave birth, I have a green passport (for which I signed away the religious rights of over three million Pakistanis)”Recommend

  • Parvez

    Your original blog was excellent it should have been in the Opinion section.
    Your comment @ Halima Mansoor at 2 hrs ago where you start ‘ Summing up …… ‘ is not understood……………are you being sarcastic ?Recommend

  • ayesha

    thank you halima for writing this,you really addressed my fears and concernsRecommend

  • gp65

    @Rex Minor:
    Not sure why you describe yourself as a foreigner when it is clear from your other posts that you are a Waziristani Pushtoon. Also when you are so active in talking about gang rape in Delhi, why do you think Indians should not express their opinions here?

    @Faraz Could not follow what you thought was haram? In any event, I am not a Muslim and do not evaluate issues based on whether it is haram or halal – rather whether it is humane or not.Recommend

  • Halima Mansoor

    @Parvez:

    Hello,

    Thank you for reading and commenting. The second comment starting with “summing up” is someone impersonating me unfortunately. As you can tell, it does not follow the tone of the blog. Someone is probably out to throw some confusion in the mix, probably out of boredom!

    I am waiting for moderators to remove it at some point!

    Kind regards,

    HalimaRecommend

  • vexed

    @gp65,
    Rex Minor claims to be a german of turkish descent. BUT he’s a momin-muslim, hence he has every right to disperse his wisdom on this forum.

    ps_ If you are offended by his posts here, you should visit the other forum he frequents. Recommend

  • Zafar

    This is not a law and order issue. It is state patronage of terrorist of LEJ

    Politicians are incompetent and corrupt but this monster is state patronage and it is army that is not playing its role and perhaps even supporting them Recommend

  • Quettain

    Halima,
    After reading the article, i must say that there`s surely are very scrambled thoughts, and that unfortunately many arent aware of the actually picture that has been transcluded by baseless made-up stories by the media and the people related.
    My question to you is,
    Did you actually made an effort to do the reality-check on what the actual scenario is, or just follow the herd like many others, gathering the un-authenticated version of stories from the media realm.?
    Whats makes you so sure that those people are acting as barbarians? knowing they all hail from the region where the drone strikes are very very prone and the damage caused is way too much more than what you had seen in the pictures of the yesterdays explosion. :(
    We are humans too just like the karachiites.Recommend

  • Aurangzeb

    Thank you Halima for sharing your thoughts!
    Very well written i must say…
    But, i couldnt find anything new in the article, its just the repetition of the talkshows we`ve had on the news channels in the prior week. No offense though.
    Thank-you for the contributiionRecommend

  • gp65

    @vexed:
    I am not at all offended by his posts though I do disagree with his views. He is unfailingly polite which many other people on both sides of the border are unfortunately not. He maybe living in Germany but based on a lot of other stuff I have read I am pretty certain that his heritage is Waziristani Pashtoon. His current domicile does not change his heritage just as living in USA does not change my Indian heritage.

    All I was saying is that if he has a right to comment on gangrape in Delhi, why does he want to deny the right to Indians to comment here?Recommend

  • AJ

    @Vivek: Please try to understand the difference between Afghan Taliban and the TTP. Recommend

  • Halima Mansoor

    @Quettain:

    Dear Quettain,
    Unfortunately none of us know what the exact scenario is. And that in itself is heartbreaking.

    However, I by no means think all TTP, LeJ, SSP are from the region where drone strikes are taking place. I understand many of these terrorists come from Punjab, some from the rest of the provinces and some from across the border maybe — I am not aware of all their origins.

    Nor does my layperson opinion ask for a blanket bombing of any one region. I just want our security forces and leaders to war against those who are quite openly acting against you and me. People who live here. The people of Alamdar, Bara, Orkazai, Abbas Town do not deserve to die without anyone ensuring justice follows. And I do believe our intelligence apparatus can carry out meaninggful targetted ops if the leadership, both civilian and military take a consensus stand.

    Take care and thanks for commenting.

    Halima MansoorRecommend

  • leftist Osman

    today there is a news which says that Taliban are considering making a political party… how is it possible when they have a history of eliminating shias and those of the sunni fiqh, if and when they oppose them.

    hope that the Pakistani government does not make any exceptions and they are banned just like any other militant organizations are banned to be part of politics or elections even if they have a second or a completely new name Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Halima Mansoor: Thanks for clearing that up.Recommend

  • NuPak

    I see political profiteer behind this deal, who are ready to deal with devil just to defeat their opponent. Their end will not be different in the long run than the person who dance with the devil. Remember devil don’t change you will have to adapt him and change your ways. Looks like our famous historic follies have no end in sight. Why read history, when present is not any different. Or, I say: Study present to understand the history of a people. It’s only getting worst not by day, not any better. We are going in reverse__ on a steep mountain on a narrow road with fail breaks & steering, count your blessings folks!Recommend

  • andy fr dc

    Pakistan created the Taliban to control Afghanistan. Pakistan continued to support the Taliban after 9/11 to hurt the Americans while still taking their money. Now Pakistan is paying the price of it’s Frankenstein. Perhaps there is justice in the world.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Oh Zia, oh Zia..
    You are the sole reason for this tragedy. Now the child has grown up, and he wants his share of the property. Soon he will want the entire property and kick you out of the house, you old man. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Vivek:

    to recognize a doesnt mean you support them. If you will not recognize, you will not know wht thy are doing as you have no embassies and consulate in that country….Recommend

  • Nobody

    @andy fr dc:
    Might want to brush up on your facts there mate. Taliban is more or less a creation of the US when it’s attention was towards none other than Russia (Soviet Russia at the time). To aid Afghanis in their fight against Soviet invasion (thereby weakening the Soviets to bring down the only competition they had at that point), US planted seeds of violence and destabilization (supplied guns, etc) and then conveniently forgot about it until that same problem came knocking at their door step on 9/11. Best not to point fingers unless you’re standing in front of a mirror. Cheers. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Vexed,
    Gp65

    I am a European of muslim faith, have no Turkish or Pashtun waziri descent. I do admire the warriors, Armenius who defeated the Romans, the waziris who decimated the Soviets and the Yanks.

    I have the knowlege of several languages and their cultures. I fully respect yours and others opinions but do not follow when people speak on behalf of the talibans. Nor do I understand the automatic link between the actions of muslims with the religion of Islam.

    You as a woman are safer in North America, Europe and I dare say Pakistan( guess) versus living in India. We have exchanged opinions on the emerging stories in your former country. This is not to say that sexism is not practiced by machos in Europe to express power, but gang rapes was the practice before christianity.

    dialogue through talks and tolerence leads to peace. We all need this.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    @Faqir Ipi:

    You have said it, what needed to be said! God bless you! Paranoia is which controls the psyche of innocents and those who cause it are the imposters and a bunch of poitical leaders called the neocons who are innovative and invent stories to justify their military campaigns.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • http://gujrat salman

    Allah ke bande.Recommend

  • gp65

    Mods – I am responding to Rex Minor who has written to me – pls. allow.

    @Nobody: “Might want to brush up on your facts there mate. Taliban is more or less a creation of the US when it’s attention was towards none other than Russia (Soviet Russia at the time).”

    Not true. The Afghan mujahidin WERE the joint crreation of US and Pakistan during Afghan jihad – not even the Afghan Taliban let alone TTP. After 1989, the jihadi infrastructure could have been wrapped up just as mukti bahini was wrapped up after 1971. Instead Pakistan CHOSE to keep it alive to send people in Kashmir. This was 100% a Pakistani decision with no inputs from US. When post Kargill and post parliament attack on Kargill, Musharraf was forced to withdraw support to these jihadis, some of them rebelled against Pakista army and became TTP. Thus TTP has nothing whatsoever t do with US. Also there was a civil war in Afghanistan for several years after US left and it was Pakistan who backed Afghan Taliban. During the 5 years that Afghan Taliban ruled, only UAE, Pakistan and KSA recognized them – no other country did including USA.

    @Rex Minor: “gp65: You as a woman are safer in North America, Europe and I dare say Pakistan( guess) versus living in India. “

    With respect, I would certainly like to differ in your assessment that women in India are worse off than in Pakistan especially when it comes to sexual violence. Based on the anger within India which led to world wide reporting, you have concluded that women are less safe in India than in Pakistan. The fact that a rape does not create the same noise in Pakistan does not mean it does not happen. IT just means far fewer are reported compared to- which is understandable in a country where laws require 4 male witnesses to support a woman’s claim of rape or else she is prosecuted for zina. This is the same as the fact that based on reported stats, US has far more rapes per milion than India but I do not feel unsafe in US and recognize that in India rapes are underreported as compared to USA.

    When an elected Pakistani MP said that a woman being buried live was part of tribal culture a couple of liberal shows criticized that but that was all. When the President’s o who is himself an elected MP in India made a disrespectful coment there was a furore and he ha dto apologize.

    While Delhi and many parts of Northern India have a problem of eve teasing, most parts of India where I was raised and lived do not. Unlike Pakistan, it is common for unescorted women going about their business on their two wheelers or in mass public transport not just in a few large metros like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chenai and Hyderabad but also BAroda, Ahmedabad, Pune, Nagpur, Surat, Kochi, Mysore, Mangalore and so on. This freedom is not available to women in Pakistan – not just based on what I have read here but based on my conversation with friends of Pakistani heritage. WOmen’s literacy in India is much higher than Pakistan and the gender gap in literacy between men and women is much lower in India than in Pakistan. The labour participation of women in India is much higher than in Pakistan.

    There is no ground for complacence since and there is a long way to go to improve the status of women in India but I certainly do not believe women are worse off in India or less safe (once they are born – since India unfortunately does have a poor record of female foeticide).Recommend

  • gp65

    @Rex Minor:
    Do listen to Hamid Mir’s show on MArch 4. They talked about 2-3 girls being kidnapped daily, raped and ten being let go i Karachi alone. One politician from one party talked about it, the other politician from another party confirmed that this has been going on for 2-3 years and less than 5% of people actually report these incidents.

    I am not gloating here and my heart breaks when I hear things like that. At the same time I do want to reiterate what I said earlier – just because there is less noise coming out from Pakistani cities does not mean women are safer. It could just point to a larger degree of underreporting.Recommend

  • Mumbai Jazz

    @Halima Mansoor : Good article dear, these are strong questions which decides the fate of Pakistan and this sub-continent. In yet another article in “The Nation” there is a column written by Katju from India. Though the title may not be liked by many Pakistanis the content is quite genuine and true.
    I always wished ( eve though it would be a divine miracle if it ever comes true) that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh re-unites again as one secular country and uproot all the religious bigots and fanatics and give every citizen men and women equal rights. This sub continent has talent and resource to become most progressive nation, economically, technically and socially.
    How many votes for such an idea?Recommend

  • Blog_please

    @gp65:

    Could you please start blogging.Many of us would be spared your pearls of wisdom that you disperse hidden behind an anonymous name.
    Knowledge has limitations but the way you castigate bloggers and other commentators, Encyclopaedia Britannica can hire you as an editor! Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    come on people chill … look at the brighter side … Taliban in Afghanistan, then Pakistan and then “we” take over India also … its a “WIN” situation over India at least !!!! and we shall all be equal then … all women in Burqaas and all men with long beards … No peer pressure !!!!Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Blog_please

    *Many of us would be spared your pearls of wisdom that you disperse hidden behind an anonymous name.*

    Looking at the sentence above, I smell a strong whiff of hypocricyRecommend

  • mind control

    @Faqir Ipi:

    **Wherever we look for al-Qaeda, TTP, from the mountains of Waziristan to the OBL sleeper cells in Abbotabbad, every time we will find that we are chasing a phantom enemy.**

    OK.

    So ‘phantoms’ did Karachi and Quetta.

    And

    Phantom hands were wielding the swords that beheaded the captured Soldiers in the TTP video.

    ‘Phantastic’ Must say.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Gratgy: Thank you.Recommend

  • Mansi

    Very astute blog Halima, thank you for an excellent read.

    As a woman I can relate to the scare you must be going through if the likes of Taliban are given a say in political affairs of the state. I wish you and your countrymen wisdom to overcome this extremism monster.Recommend

  • Dr,A.K.Tewari

    @mansi , Halima in her first response has exhibited the determination as her grip on root cause of the condition of the nation is very clear . Yes, Pen is mightier than sward .

    Halima….

    “‘Vijaee bhawh” Recommend

  • Halima Mansoor

    @Mumbai Jazz:

    Thanks for commenting and reading! I guess there must be many theories on a reunited subcontinent. But I am not well read on that topic. I wonder though, if the countries were to reunite in some alternate miracle world, how would the western world feel.

    I am not sure if the colonial mindset to divide and rule would kick in faster or China would intervene before that!

    Thanks for posting!

    Halima MansoorRecommend

  • Lord Vader

    Your state created the monster and your people do not have the will, the determination or the foresight to defeat the monster. Pakistan has lost and you have no one else to blame but yourselves. May god have mercy on all your poor soulsRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    GP65,

    You are a relataviser! I have answered your comments in detail, but Et lost it in transit. They have too much post to moderate and release. They should revise their strategy. We are in the 21st centry knowledge society to communicate not only our opinions but our knowledge to one another. I am prepared to do my bit without any charge, but ET in the mile should faciltate.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    @Lord Vader:

    Tell the people of Pakistan, how one defeats the so called Monster, if the super power with all its allies could not defeat the Talibans you call monster. Any advice?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Khattack,

    No one should wish the Talibans in the direction of India, the problems they faced in Kashmir in separating muslims from non muslims will be multiplied. There is no straight litmus test, men and women in certain parts of India wear similar dresses, unless ofcourse muslims are asked to dress up in green.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Mufazzil

    I am very much convinced with the fact that Talibans are not weaker. And its not about Taliban alone. The incompetent policies made by the impotent politicians and Beaurocrats are the real problem. The authorities need to make serious efforts not only to think but take decisions. And as a nation we need to respect the differences.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Khattak: When they get Pakistan, they will start conqering the world.

    Muslims can’t conquer the world with terrorist attacks. Stop dreaming. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Halima Mansoor: I think we can agree to disagree? I think we can defeat the Taliban militarily, (I think military + intelligence + other security machinery can).

    Pakistan army & intelligence agencies control many of these terrorist organizations and use them to cause problems in Afghanistan and India. Terrorism brings in billions of dollars in Pakistan. Without terrorism and anti India stance Paki army and ISI will not be able to hold a tight grip on Pakistan government. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Carl: but what percentage of the Pakistani population would actually like to see something like a strict implementation of sharia?

    You mean Sharia like that was implemented by Pakistan’s proxy talibans in Afghanistan. Every Muslim wants Sharia, but most Muslim governments don’t follow Sharia. Implementing Sharia means letting talibans/mullahs rule.Recommend

  • Hashim

    @Halima Mansoor:

    Remember the slogan Pakistan ka matlab kiya? La ilaha ilAllah.

    The taliban seem to have stolen the narrative. We need an alternate. Where is your alternate? Our failure to provide one is indicating that they might win. Because Only ideas can counter ideas.Recommend