The Taliban claim responsibility – do you?

Published: September 29, 2011
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It is time to own up to our sins and claim responsibility for committing them.

If we get over our narrow-minded view of the world for a moment, there are many things that the Taliban can teach us. One, these fellows run a pretty tight ship and seem to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, unlike us. Two, they seem to have a strong sense of responsibility, unlike us.  

About the former, I know nothing, about the latter, I want to say a few words.

So this is how it goes. Somewhere in Norway a crazy caucasian gentleman blows up a building and then calmly proceeds to kill a few dozen kids on a nearby island. He shows extraordinary skill and tells a thing or two about preparation and homework with the fact that he had a manifesto of hundreds of pages ready to be released with his act of terrorism. However, as soon as the act is done, an obscure terror outfit, Ansar ul Jihad al Alami comes forward and claims responsibility – or so we were told in the initial reports. Maybe they actually did claim responsibility, just in case. They could have thought:

“What if nobody comes forward and owns up to this act of mass murder, we can’t have a terrorist act dangling in mid air, becoming a mystery and annoying the hell out of a modern Sherlock Holmes – no sir, we must claim responsibility, just in case ya’ know. All terrorists are brothers anyway.”

And so on.

Such unbridled enthusiasm to accept responsibility for wrongdoings is outright commendable. Same goes for our Taliban. They accept responsibility for every attack in the region promptly. However, it is sad to say that their honesty is not appreciated. For example, when it comes to the Taliban, the newspapers always report that they “claim responsibility” while the rest of the world usually “accepts responsibility” for actions. It makes one think that the reporters are doubting the honesty of the Taliban, which is sad because not once have the Taliban ‘claimed responsibility’ falsely. We have never had a situation wherein there is a dispute between two terror outfits regarding the responsibility of an attack. This alone should be enough to convince us that the Taliban are honest, hard working individuals who really want to receive recognition for their efforts. However, journalists never trust anyone. Someone wise once said that the biggest drawback of being a liar is that you stop trusting other people.

Furthermore, nobody has ever thought that there could be other reasons for the Taliban claiming responsibility so promptly. Maybe they don’t want an innocent organization to be falsely accused, and possibly punished for their actions. Maybe they are afraid that the Edhi Foundation or the Red Cross or the Fatimid Foundation will end up getting blamed. That is just plain wrong, and knowing our law enforcement agencies intimately, I think they know it is extremely plausible. Therefore, being responsible people, they accept responsibility immediately and notify the relevant authorities.

I am also curious about how one goes about the whole process of claiming responsibility. What forms does one have to sign and if attested proofs are needed or not. Where does one call to claim responsibility, is there a number in the directory? And if one manages to find a number, what should one say?

“Hello, I am Taliban and I claim responsibility. Thank you please. Goodbye and Eid Mubarak.”

Are these conversations taking place somewhere? Unbelievable though it must seem, these conversations really are going on. Sometimes, the foreign newspapers report that the Taliban claim responsibility via a jihadi website. I have often wondered about jihadi websites, how they are run and where are they hosted. Is there any list of jihadi websites available? I have tried to find them and I have failed. People refer to these websites, but never share the links. I wonder why.

Anyway, after this exhausting research, I felt a sharp tingle of sudden inspiration inside my heart. I am not ashamed to admit that I may have been inspired by the Taliban. I think the Taliban have taught us a very important lesson in responsibility and how it is important to own up your actions as soon as possible. They have also taught us that things may go horribly wrong if you don’t. Therefore, I will dedicate the rest of the blog to ‘claiming responsibility’ for my own actions.

Application to Claim Rightful Responsibility

To whom it may concern,

Dear Sir or Madam,

I hereby accept (or claim) complete responsibility for the following actions and request that my name be cited whenever and wherever these specific actions are mentioned:

1. Being apathetic. For the past 26 years or so I have been staunchly apathetic regarding my surroundings and only recently, when the newspapers and the TV started shouting, I became aware of the suffering around me. However, after repeated exposure, these media hysterics induced a state of empathy for increasingly shorter durations. Especially for Peshawar and Quetta and other obscure remote areas, I feel no sadness.

2. Bolstering corruption. Whenever I have come across any situation where I was expected to pay a bribe, I have immediately obliged. I take money out of my wallet while the traffic cop walks from his bike to my car. I waste no time. Also, I like to think that me paying bribes left right and center has no effect on our society, even though I know I am wrong.

3. Remaining wilfully ignorant. I know all about the football clubs of Europe, about the juicy details of celebrities’ personal lives, about new shiny cars, about Indian cinema etc but I know nothing about our history, the nature and roots of our problems, and their possible solutions.

4. Not doing my part. I am aware of the fact that if tomorrow, every individual in the country decides that “I will do my own job perfectly instead of criticizing other people and I will do whatever I do honestly and diligently no matter what happens around me” the country will be on the way up within a year. However, I will not do that. I will continue to criticise people around me while personally looking for ways to reduce my work and enjoy more.

I am afraid that the list may go on. These are just some of the things I am responsible for and may be blamed for safely in all public and private discussions.

Thank you.

To the reader: The Taliban are criminals and so might we be. These acts (most probably) cost hundreds of lives every year. They definitely are a huge cause of our problems. Actually bigger than the Taliban are. But the Taliban claim responsibility, do you?

Please use the comments section below to ‘claim responsibility’ if you want to.

waqas.ahmed

Waqas Ahmed

A graduate from IBA University who blogs at tesseremos.wordpress.com/.

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