Pashtun Civil War

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby chandrabhan » 31 Aug 2008 23:34

Ramana sir &Paul,
Just a small query. In current circumstances in Afghanistan, Who controls the poppy cultivation? I mean which tribe of Pakhtoons? Is it Karzai's tribe or some of the rival Durrani's or other Ghilzai. Is US loosing this initiative due to the protection of the poppy cultivation by respective tribe members? How much area is under cultivation? what is the average yeild per acre.
till the time this cultivation continues or the American heli spray the crop the war will continue. The great game continues with all the excitement and emotions. BTW Osama had almost offshored the jehad business while rearing horses in Sudan till USS cole happened. he was happy making money and humping his wifes. He was at best doling out some monies to these jehadis. The real Kingpin is Jawahiri. He is the father mother and sorry grandfather of this current Jehad.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby asprinzl » 01 Sep 2008 06:08

An independant Pushtun state will be a multi-headed monster nobody will want. Pushtuns are very quarrelsome lot. Islam only made it worse. Now add to that this AK-47 jihadi culture!!!
They are going to fight each other for a monkey today, heroin tomorrow and women day after. What would a leader of such unstable state do? He (learning a valuable lesson from Pak_Is_Satan) would try to unify his country by channeling the unstabling energy externally -exporting jihad. Exactly like PakSatanists!!!!
Avram

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 01 Sep 2008 09:54

I am afraid I have to disagree here.

As has been said here many time before, the so called war of terror is a subterfuge for the Pakhtuns who are waging a battle to form their own state here. We need to look beneath the smoke these seemingly fratricidal struggle to disern the new trendlines forming very clearly. An independent pakhtun state will be the next rentier state as I said many time before. Khalilzad is working on this very project apparantly with Neocon blessings. What we need to see is, will Balochistan be part of this state as they need access to the seas.

historian JN Sarkar's (He was from a diff era, not a JNU historian) observations during the post mughal era on the afghan mercenaries fierce sense of clannish loyalty, their tight discipline and tactics show us that time and again afghans have rallied against their rival kinsmen in clannish struggles. These are born soldiers, not easy to govern...but if hitched properly will make you feel glad you are on their side.

Against a non afghan foe, If they can find someone of charisma and leadership skills who can rally them to his banner, they will do so unhesitatingly as they did under sher shah suri and ahmed shah durrani.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Johann » 01 Sep 2008 10:40

Even the Taliban expansion in Pashtun Afghanistan depended on co-opting local warlords through money and superior firepower.

The Taliban's control in 2001 raidly collapsed when the warlords were offered more money, and faced heavier firepower from the Americans.

The Pakiban is even looser in organisation, a collection of jihadi warlords, each with their own fiefdom.

I have a very hard time seeing Pashtunistan operating as a modern nation-state. Not all central governments will be equally weak - some will have greater ideological appeal across qawms, and some will be better organised than others.

But unless they find a way to de-tribalise and disarm Pashtun society, its going to remain a place where the central government is just the biggest and baddest warlord, the first among what are in many cases are equals.

Pashtunistan's real threat is not so much as an offensive conventional force in its own right. The technological gap is simply too wide. What they will be is a prickly, dangerous, and difficult to deter base for unconventional threats.

Ramana,

In addition to what S Sridhar has said, there are substantial cash flows directly from the Arab jihadis to commanders like Baitullah Mehsud. The jihadis in the field receive money through courriers who draw from funds either moved from the Gulf to Pakistan through informal routes like hawala, or formal routes marked for charities, madrassahs, Islamic banking/finance, export-import companies, etc.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 01 Sep 2008 11:04

But unless they find a way to de-tribalise and disarm Pashtun society, its going to remain a place where the central government is just the biggest and baddest warlord, the first among what are in many cases are equals.


Baccha Khan espoused non violent means to achieve the pakhtun dream keeping this very bane of pakhtun culture in mind.

Taliban was well on it;s way to disarm pashtun society at large, but their pesky infatuation with the AQ put an end to the plans.

I was thinking of the relationship between Mullah Omar and OBL. Is it true that they gave women from their families to each other? If so, I think that was pretty unusual as a marriage between an Arab women from and non-arab man in orthodox islamic circles is almost unheard of. It would be considered as a morganatic marriage.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 01 Sep 2008 11:04

But unless they find a way to de-tribalise and disarm Pashtun society, its going to remain a place where the central government is just the biggest and baddest warlord, the first among what are in many cases are equals.


Baccha Khan espoused non violent means to achieve the pakhtun dream keeping this very bane of pakhtun culture in mind.

Taliban was well on it;s way to disarm pashtun society at large, but their pesky infatuation with the AQ put an end to the plans.

I was thinking of the relationship between Mullah Omar and OBL. Is it true that they gave women from their families to each other? If so, I think that was pretty unusual as a marriage between an Arab women from and non-arab man in orthodox islamic circles is almost unheard of. It would be considered as a morganatic marriage.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Johann » 01 Sep 2008 11:42

Hi Paul,

+The transnational Arab jihadi movement (which I will call AQ for convenience) has traditionally embedded itself amongst a local Muslim population through marrying locals.

They did that in Bosnia, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and Waziristan.

In fact its so much a matter of doctrine for them, that this was actually the beginning of their failure in Iraq. In cases where tribes refused to approve of marriages, AQ jihadi commanders simply kidnapped women and married them. This of course sparked honour feuds that spiralled upwards.

In Afghanistan the tribal structure is actually significantly looser than in Iraq (or Saudi Arabia), plus in Afghanistan generations of poverty have meant that so long as good sized cash payments are made to the heads of families, a marriage proposal will be no problem.

While there have been many Arab men (not OBL as reports in the 1990s claimed) marrying Pashtun women, I have not heard of any confirmed cases of Pashtun jihadis marrying Arab women. All of the Arab women in the area are already married - they dont bring down sisters or whatever. Widowed Arab women either return to their families (having lost their husband's salary to support them), or marry jihadi comrades of their husbands, typically other Arabs.

+ Yes, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his descendents in the ANP do represent a different way forward for Pashtuns - but they are in conflict with the jihadis because of their radically different social values.

They represent the settled areas, not the tribal areas. Their movement has only thrived in those places where the tribes were already subdued over several generations of warfare agaisnt first the Sikhs, and then the British.

Its sort of like the cosmopolitanism of the Dari speakers in Kabul, and their limited ability to transform the rest of the country. Ultimately, even when political will exists, there's a shortage of funding and long term political stability.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby harbans » 01 Sep 2008 21:53

Johann Ji i must say your grasp of issues, customs, tribes, temperaments contemporary and past is understatably commendable. Most experts even in academia of Bristish/ Western origin display much lack of wisdom or portray biases. Personally i quite look forward to reading your analysis/ posts on these boards. :)

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 02 Sep 2008 22:55

Was General Rani, a Pathan? That could explain the Amarinder Singh -Aroosa Alam relationship.

OBL is married to Mullah Omar's daughter and vice versa. The Arab ploy of marryinng locals is true of all the Islamist adventurers in the medevial period. Its part of ensuring bonds between the interlopers and the folks they operate in. Even during Crusades and the Spanish Al Andalus phase this was going on. Nothing unique in the Alq way of doing business. The locals agree as they think these Arabs are higher in the pecking order- the Ashraf-Ajlaf thing continuing.

Abdul Ghafar Khan and his movement is related to the Sarkari Pathans of Mughal era and is very different than the FATA Pathans who are tribals. AGK had a brother who was a doctor and married to an Englishwoman. He was the CM of NWFP in TSP. He got killed as he was getting too powerful.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 02 Sep 2008 23:08

Nothing unique in the Alq way of doing business


Ramana: What I meant to say was, it is unusual for OBL giving his daughter to Mullah Omar. Unless we discount the mongol invasions and their marital alliances with the arabs (The Mongols had the firepower), it always has been the arab rulers marrying local women.

I believe the prophet’s son-in-law or uncle married a sassanid princess and this helped ease islam’s acceptance in Persia. He is buried in Mazar-e-sharif.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Singha » 02 Sep 2008 23:36

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD ... wahiri.jpg

in this photo a depression is seen on his forehead?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Johann » 02 Sep 2008 23:55

Ramana,

As I said there's been no real evidence that OBL and Omar married each others daughters, only rumours.

Both parties have denied it, which makes no sense if they were really sealing that kind of mutual alliance.

There are confirmed reports of other Arab, Uzbek, etc jihadis have married Pashtun women however.

Singha,

That's a raisin on his forehead. The permanent purple bruise that the *really* pious have from *vigorously* praying five times a day, every day. That can easily be over a dozen blows to the forehead each day, depending on the exact form of prayers they are using.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 03 Sep 2008 02:52

Interesting analysis about the Kurram killings.

From Hindu, 3 Sept 2008

In Pakistan, a Shia-Sunni war to oust Taliban

In Pakistan, a Shia-Sunni war to oust Taliban



Nirupama Subramanian



According to Shia leaders and independent analysts, the Taliban control the Sunni tribes in Kurram and want to battle the Shias until they have control of the region.

— Photo: AFP

Pakistani Shia Muslims shout anti-Taliban slogans during a protest in Karachi on Monday.

Kurram is not the average tribal area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The Pashto-speaking population has higher literacy rates than in the other six agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Area. Even a Pakistan government internet site on Kurram expresses surprise that “a significant” number of people from the region are employed abroad. But perhaps the most important difference is that Kurram is the only tribal region in FATA with a significant Shia population.

The almost equal numbers of Shia and Sunni — each sect claims it is the majority — in a region with an estimated population of over 500,000 never made for an entirely peaceful place. But since April 2007, Kurram has been the scene of one carnage after another. Hundreds have been killed in sectarian fighting in the last 17 months, and all attempts to broker ceasefires have failed. The reason, according to Shia community leaders and independent analysts, is that Taliban militants now control the Sunni tribes and want to battle the Shia until they have control of the entire agency for additional access routes into Afghanistan.

Last weekend, Kurram exploded once again. The Shia Turi tribe called a unilateral ceasefire five days earlier, but the Sunni Bangash kept attacking Turi targets. On Sunday, the Turi retaliated with a powerful attack in the predominantly Sunni Lower Kurram, on the Bangash stronghold of Bagzai. The ensuing battle left over 100 dead in two days. Over 400 have been killed in the region since the beginning of August, and according to unofficial estimates, the number of dead since April 2007 is over 1,500.

After the fighting, six Sunni tribes called a unilateral ceasefire, but the Shias say they do not trust the announcement. “There have been so many ceasefire announcements. Making peace is not in the hands of the Sunni tribes anymore. They have come under the thumb of the Taliban, and they have to do what the Taliban ask them to do,” Ali Akbar, secretary-general of the Anjuman Hussainia, a Shia community group in the predominantly Shia Parachinar, the main town in Kurram, told The Hindu. According to him, the Taliban wanted to convert Kurram into “another Waziristan or Bajaur,” but the Turi would not let them. “We were forced to take action in Bagzai, and we have cleaned up the place,” he said. But, he said, the Taliban had several other strongholds in Lower Kurram.

Allama Jawwad Hadi, another Shia leader in Parachinar, said the Shia tribes would not accept any truce call by the Sunni tribes unless it was accompanied by guarantees that they will not give room to the Taliban. “[The Sunni tribesmen] have to pledge that they will not allow the Taliban into their villages, that they will not give any more opportunities for the Taliban to make their own strongholds here, or to launch attacks on the Turi. Only then there can be peace in Kurram,” he said. According to him, the Turis were the only force that was preventing the Taliban from taking over Kurram, which they wanted “to use for their activities.”

“Kurram shares borders with Afghanistan on three sides. This is why the Taliban want control of this agency. From here, there are so many routes they can use. The Sunnis must accept the leadership of the Turi because only they can stop the Taliban,” he said.

The present troubles in Kurram date back to April 2007, when according to a Parachinar journalist who did not want to be named, the Sunnis took out a rally in the main town at which, for the first time, they raised slogans against Hussein, the Shia martyr. Three days later, when the Shias took out a rally in protest, gunmen fired at them; 80 people died.

A suicide attack in August punctured an uneasy truce but the fragile peace held until November, when fighting broke out once again in Parachinar, a Shia-majority town. A week of clashes left some 100 people dead, with the Shias simultaneously “cleansing” the town of Sunnis. The government’s token efforts could not stop the fighting. Since then, Parachinar has been cut off from the rest of Pakistan. Sunni tribes have blockaded the road link from the town to the NWFP capital, Peshawar.

“Now to go to Peshawar, we must first cross into Afghanistan, and then cross back into Pakistan. The journey by car costs Rs.7,000 and takes two days. When the road was open, an express bus could take us in two hours,” the Parachinar journalist said. Military aircraft have ferried some stranded civilians to and from the town but the service is erratic.

Since the first week of August, the town has gone without electricity. Diesel, smuggled in from Afghanistan, costs Rs.100 a litre and medicines are in short supply. Traders bringing in medicines and food supplies from Afghanistan are charging sky-high prices. A 100-kg bag of atta costs Rs.5,500 — more than double the price in the rest of the country.

In June, militants attacked a convoy of trucks that was transporting food and medicines to Parachinar near Pir Qayyum in Lower Kurram. They burnt several of the trucks and killed 12 truck drivers. Independent analysts say the Taliban started moving into Kurram when the Pakistan security forces began military operations in other tribal agencies and in parts of the NWFP such as Darra Adam Khel and Hangu.

“The Kurram issue is basically sectarian, and the Taliban have weighed in on the side of the Sunnis. They are trying to gain control of a small triangle of land [in Kurram] because it gives them an alternate route into Afghanistan,” said Brigadier (retd.) Mahmood Shah, who used to be Secretary FATA, the senior-most government official administering the tribal areas. Brig. Shah said the Taliban were thwarting all attempts at brokering peace between the two communities. Those familiar with the area also spoke of the presence in Kurram of a large number of “external elements” — cadres from banned Punjabi-dominated outfits such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, who had joined hands with the Tehreek-e-Taliban.

There have also been allegations that Iran and Afghanistan are assisting the Shias with money, manpower and weapons. A group called the Reforms Committee of Parachinar told journalists in Peshawar recently that the two countries had supplied two Shia militant groups with large quantities of medicines, mortar launchers and other weapons. Brig. Shah said the area involved was so small, and the government’s priorities in the region were so many that thus far, it was being treated as a “local issue,” even though the political agent, the official in-charge of the agency, had been knocking at the doors of the federal government for help. The government deployed the Frontier Corps in the region two weeks ago, but that had no effect on the fighting.

“If the government can apportion some force — a brigade would do — it can bring the area under control,” he said adding that presently, security forces had only a “token presence” in Kurram. But he also stressed the need for an overall policy to tackle militancy in the entire region, and following up on that, an area-specific policy. “There is a need to put pressure on all sides, and then take up operations on priority,” he said. Otherwise, the former official said, when the security forces hit in one place, the militants would simply set up camp in another, as in Kurram.


So it was a sectarian fight as we suspected here.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 03 Sep 2008 02:55

In parchinar, it is a time honored tradition to settle water disputes using rocket launchers, MMGs and dragunov rifles. Such was the state of affairs even whenthe jihad against the CCCp was on.

This is truely la la land. where if your opponent pulls out a knife, you pull out a gun. They send you to the infirmary, you must come to send them the morgue. The Turis and the bangash have been at each other's throats for a long long time.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 07 Sep 2008 10:54

The emerging Indo-US jugalbandi is timely and will be very helpful in crafting a joint strategy to ensure the blowout from the emerging islamic emirate with taliban as the head and their Pakiban flunkeys are contained on the radcliff line as much as possible. India cannot do this by herself.

More on this later.

As time goes by and borders start getting softer, expect to see the old description of the Indo-Pak border - Radcliff line ie to start remerging in discussions and writings. This is what is happening as we speak on the Pak-Afghan border dispute where it is referred to as durand line

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 08 Sep 2008 07:48

Paul, Here is the Ralph Peters map.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... ideast.jpg

It has the before and after. And I guess that gives us an understanding of his Point of View.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 20 Sep 2008 23:44

This map tells us the strategic importance of Parchinar ( in Khurram agency) . Khurram is the part of NWFP jutting like a knife into Afghanistan. The outer tip of this region is not more than 100 miles from Kabul. This is why the Taliban wants this piece of real estate so bad. Taliban can launch harassing missions against kabul from here with minimal exposure.

The only hitch is, this is a shia (turi) dominated province and the Taliban wants to change the demographic makep of this province.

It is a repetition of the Afghan Mujahideen tactics in the 80s by the grizzled talibani commader Jalaludin Haqqani.


http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ce-in.html


Added later: Read the comments to understand the depth of the hatred Shias and Sunnis of this region have for each other.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 05 Dec 2008 10:21

X-posted...
Rudradev wrote:
shiv wrote:...

What this scenario fails to address is what happens if India does attack Pakistani troops are moved top the East and there is war.

What would happen in FATA then?

Here are my thoughts

1) FATA would become quiet because Pakistan can no longer support the Taliban and jihadis too would move East. So war with India would be desirable for the US.
or
2) FATA would become a "free for all" in which the Taliban take over areas in Pakistan. The US would feel less pressure in Afghanistan, and it could freely conduct raids to keep Afghanistan clear. Here again an India Pakistan border war would be advantageous to the US

The only condition in which the US would lose from Pakistani troops moving out is if the Pakistani army is really doing a good job in FATA. .


I've been thinking the same thing.

An India-Pakistan war, while it would stir things up along the Durand line in the short term, would in fact have beneficial results to the Americans in the medium to long term.

It would enable the Americans to pursue what is in fact their best bet for accommodating Pashtun ambitions and achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. That is: channelizing Pashtun discontent, which is currently finding its outlet in Saudi/ISI-backed Talibanism, towards the altogether healthier (and less dangerous for the rest of the world) pursuit of Pashtun nationalism.

The ISI's real coup in the 1990s was to turn Pashtun nationalists into the Taliban, so that their Pakhtoonkhwa irredentism (dangerous to Pakistan) was traded for Islampasand Talibanism (dangerous for the rest of the world); also, the Pashtuns' frustrations became expressed as hostility towards the other peoples of Afghanistan, instead of towards the Pakistanis who are in fact illegally occupying Pashtun lands. We hear all these Western talking heads endlessly regurgitate nonsense about how "no foreigner has ever occupied Afghan lands since Alexander the Great"... what $hit.

The British occupied significant Afghan lands south of the Durand line during the colonial period. By an accident of history those lands were passed on not to their Pashtun owners but to Pakistani usurpers. Those Pakistani usurpers have in fact occupied these lands since 1947, and this is the whole crux of the Afghan problem.

It follows that the only way for America to solve this problem is to turn it on its head. Convince the Taliban to trade in their Islampasand cause, for good old Pashtun irredentism which is in fact directed against the real root cause of their unhappiness...Pakistan. The ONLY route to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is the accomodation of ALL Afghan peoples' aspirations. For the Hazaras, Tajiks and others that means subsuming their ethnic identity in favor of an Afghan identity. For the Pashtuns, it means regaining control over lands that are now under the illegal military occupation of a foreign army. Not the US army-- the Pakistani army.

I wonder if, at some level, the US has realized this.

I wonder if, while going through the motions of making it appear that they are trying to avert an India-Pakistan war after the Mumbai attacks, for the usual spurious reasons that Shiv has debunked... the Americans are in fact working with Delhi TO precipitate an India-Pakistan war that would most effectively serve their purpose. That war, as Shiv said, would cause the TSPA to move East... clearing the way for the currently Talibanized Pashtuns to regain control of their rightful lands south of the Durand line. This would effectively end Pashtun grievances and enable them to come together in lasting peace with Hazaras, Tajiks and others in a modern, prosperous Afghanistan. One in which the aspirations of all its people have been fulfilled, and their grievances addressed.

Another reason strikes me for why the US might, in fact, be planning a war against Pakistan with New Delhi. The Americans have made no secret of whom they would rather see running the GOI... MMS/Sonia onlee. The ones who signed the nuclear deal, after all.

The last thing the Americans want to see is the BJP coming to power in the 2009 general elections... a possibility which has evolved from a likelihood (given the economic slowdown under INC) to a near-certainty (in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks).

The Americans have a long history of meddling in the democratic processes of other nations to help their preferred parties get elected. Witness Yeltsin 1996, for instance. This is a tendency especially pronounced under Democratic administrations.

I don't think it's too far-fetched to imagine that the Americans are working to facilitate an India-Pakistan war to end in a resounding victory for India... including the liberation of the Northern Areas and POK. Such a victory would hand the INC the 2009 General Elections on a platter. Concurrently, the Pashtuns would descend on Pakhtoonkhwa and liberate it from the clutches of TSPA distracted by a two-front war. Thereafter, with the root cause of their discontent addressed, the Pashtuns would have no grievance to feed their Islampasand Talibanism, and would be able to integrate into the civilized world as part of a Greater Afghanistan. A US-friendly Greater Afghanistan that directly connects, via the Northern Areas, Central Asian Resources to US-friendly Indian ports. China checkmated. Russia checkmated. Iran encircled. Afghanistan solved. And the price to be paid? One used condom.

Note, I said I don't think it's too far-fetched to imagine that being the case. I'm done imagining now. :P

and

VikramS wrote:Rudradev:

I agree that the US would welcome a freer hand to deal with the Taleban with the TSPA back on the Eastern Front.

I am not sure whether the US is willing to go all the way to implementing Ralph Peters plan, right now. It is not clear how much the US would trust a Pashtun dominated greater Afghanistan after the Taleban experience.

It is indeed ironical that in about 20 years, instead of the Russians threatening the TSP from Afghanistan, it might be the US which finally finishes what they started. Poetic Justice, even if it is all imaginary.


and

Rudradev wrote:
VikramS wrote:Rudradev:

It is not clear how much the US would trust a Pashtun dominated greater Afghanistan after the Taleban experience.




VS: the point is, it wouldn't need to be Pashtun-dominated . It wouldn't need to be dominated by anybody because it would be a WHOLE Afghanistan, including all its rightful territory and resources which are now illegally occupied by Pakistan. There would be plenty to go around. The existence of scarcity is a pre-requisite to zero-sum games... and it is that scarcity which would be redressed by returning to Afghanistan its rightful territory south of the Durand Line.

Right now we're used to thinking of Afghanistan as Northern-Alliance-Dominated, or Pashtun-Dominated... a country in which various ethnic factions are locked in mutual combat because power is a zero-sum game. Either the Pashtuns win, OR the Tajiks/Hazaras win. That's because what these various parties are fighting each other for control of, is itself a truncated nation.

There is nothing intrinsic to Pashtuns that makes them Islampasand Talibans. That was entirely the ISI's doing (and it was a brilliantly executed piece of social engineering by any standards). The Afghans, from 1936 to 1980 were NEVER Islampasand... not the Pashtuns, not the Northerners, not the Shias, none of them. They were, if anything, closest to Nehruvian Socialists in philosophy.

The only way to return them to that state is to return to them their lands and resources. That will ensure that the fundamental scarcity of a truncated Afghanistan is no longer the prevailing determinant of their political destiny.

In this light it's probably better not to talk of a "Greater" Afghanistan as Ralph Peters calls it (sorry, my fault for calling it that in my previous post)... but rather of a "Whole" Afghanistan, as opposed to the Truncated Afghanistan of which a large part is currently under Pakistani occupation.

-----------
This is why this thread was started so long ago. And folks doubt our wisdom!

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby neelkamal » 05 Dec 2008 11:01

Johann wrote:Ramana,


Singha,

That's a raisin on his forehead. The permanent purple bruise that the *really* pious have from *vigorously* praying five times a day, every day. That can easily be over a dozen blows to the forehead each day, depending on the exact form of prayers they are using.


I have seen that on the head of an Afghan who had a woollen clothes business in Bangalore. He also told me the same thing, "because of praying."


We could be a little idealistic here folks - Why this talk of being 'bania' type. We were not bania type when we freed Bangladesh right ? We created a new country and let her go, be free.

This time around we need not wait for the massacre to happen (or continue and worsen) and really help Pakhtoons, and Balochs in advance. The Bengalis suffered a very very cruel handling by Pakistani army. A similar trend is happening to Pakhtoons and tribal areas with no one to help them or even listen to their woes.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 05 Dec 2008 11:08

neelkamal/Gji, You are going to see the biggest dhamka party by new year. Rice got threatened.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Prem » 05 Dec 2008 11:10

ramana wrote:neelkamal/Gji, You are going to see the biggest dhamka party by new year. Rice got threatened.

Who threatend the Basmati?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby amdavadi » 05 Dec 2008 11:11

ramana sir,

please can you explain...I see basmati making two diffent statement, also her tone change while speaking in terrorist land.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby neelkamal » 05 Dec 2008 11:21

ramana, I hope they are not going to massacre large number of innocents just because they got a threat call. PAK army will have no compunction in killing innocent pakhtoons.

I truly hope and pray some kind of peace descends on Pakhtoon land. Even whole of Afghanistan for that matter. PAK must be allowed to dissolve and let the individual nations within come out. That will be the only way there will be peace in that region. Here is my prayer with wings flapping fast!

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 05 Dec 2008 11:29

Neelkamal take it easy. Its not those guys. And its not kumbaya with these guys.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Anujan » 05 Dec 2008 12:04

ramana wrote:Neelkamal take it easy. Its not those guys. And its not kumbaya with these guys.

Ramana-saar,
Are you talking about what Acharya posted in the TIRP dhaaga ? How credible is it ?

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Rishi » 19 Jan 2009 21:22

x-post

Did anyone watch Raggeh Omar of Al Jazeera give his report on the Paki offensive in the Bajour agency? Really worth watching (all 4 parts, abt 10 min each)

Pakistan's War: On the Front Line

Part 1 http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=kQB-IgktV ... re=channel
Part 2 http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=u43ngbDH6 ... re=channel
Part 3 http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=2WmQTxwXr ... re=channel
Part 4 http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=6k3XGlO7rWI

You get to see Paki (FC) infantry in action. Notice the use of station wagons as APCs. Part 4 talks about the irregulars i.e. lashkars used as a local militia. Also, almost all Paki troops sport a BPJ, and have either the G3 or an AK-47. Also note the use of the Cobra and massed artillery.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby sum » 20 Jan 2009 20:22

Unbelievable to see such well armed men retreating on news of a ambush!!!!

Wonder what the IA would have achieved in J&K if allowed to use such heavy weapons in standoff situations(instead of having hand to hand days long encounters and losing precious officers/jawans in those situations) and each soldier and para-mil being so well equipped....

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Rishi » 20 Jan 2009 21:00

sum wrote:Unbelievable to see such well armed men retreating on news of a ambush!!!!

Wonder what the IA would have achieved in J&K if allowed to use such heavy weapons in standoff situations(instead of having hand to hand days long encounters and losing precious officers/jawans in those situations) and each soldier and para-mil being so well equipped....


:mrgreen:

One reason to run maybe to be clear of the massed arty fire. Of course the speed of retreat talks volumes about confidence in the accuracy of Paki arty :P

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 05 Feb 2009 09:38

X-posted from Afghan thread
original by RajeshA...

Interests and Allegiances in the Insurgency by Massoud Quiam: Kabul Press

An article on Ghalzais vs Durranis.

Worsening attacks against Afghan government officials, coalition forces, humanitarian-aid workers, and the civilian population do not simply reflect a regrouping of existing Taliban forces. The insurgency has significantly broadened because of public reaction in Afghanistan to the Karzai government and its NATO-led coalition backing. Opposition to Karzai is growing along tribal dividing lines with the elevation of Karzai’s Durrani sect resulting in rebellion by rival Ghalzai tribesman. Moreover, continuing civilian casualties from coalition combat operations are stoking Afghan anger and lending support to those blaming instability and injustice on foreign forces. The future is perilous as the Taliban also remains a force with a new crop of commanders who are more extremist and bent on violence to achieve their goals. While the government and NATO-led coalition have substantial organized military and law enforcement resources at their disposal, the insurgency has nonetheless intensified.

A key to understanding why and how the Taliban are making a comeback is evident in the tribal structure of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most Afghans are Pashtun speakers; the major tribal subgroups are Ghalzai and Durrani. While the Ghalzais are the larger group in Afghanistan, the Durrani tribe has held power for most of the past 250 years. The Ghalzai tribe enjoyed political dominance and rule only during the brief period from 1978 until the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Hamid Karzai and family are part of the Popalzai subgroup within the Durrani tribe. Thus, with the installation of the Karzai government, the Durrani were returned to power.

However, the Karazi government, while firmly in control in Kabul, struggled less successfully for nationwide authority. As the Karzai government attempted to solidify control, it shifted power to the Durranis including many relatives of Karzai, and weakened the position of the Ghalzai sect. This consolidation of national power extended the government́̒s influence in the South, Southwest, and East of Afghanistan during the early years of the new administration. However, longer term, it has also turned disenfranchised tribal groups away from the government and toward the insurgency. Looking at a tribal map of the turbulent areas of Afghanistan since 2003 confirms that the Ghalzai have fought a rebellion against the new Popalzai/Durrani government.

This is significant because the Ghalzais are the majority in Afghanistan, and number in the millions in Pakistan as well. The Ghalzais represent a far wider constituency than the Taliban or Al Qaeda circles of influence. The Ghalzai populations participation in the insurgency and collaboration with the Taliban has been fuelled by government and coalition policy and action. For example, sending elders of the Ghalzai tribe to Guantanamo prison camp was viewed as suppressing the Ghalzai tribe in the name of fighting terrorism. Additionally, the assassination of Taliban leaders (often Ghalzai tribal elders) by coalition forces has also had some unintended consequences. Followers in the larger Ghalzai community have been angered, and the inexperienced replacement commanders are extremists who do not shy away from any kind of violence to support their cause. They are also far less likely to tolerate cooperation between local Afghans and government or coalition forces.

Another disturbing occurrence, the killing of innocent civilians in the course of coalition raids or aerial bombings, shocks local populations. The Karzai government has raised protests against the civilian deaths in the course of attacks on Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, but has not stopped coalition forces from taking military actions that place civilians at risk. Widely publicised tragic deaths give stimulus to Taliban recruiting and Al Qaeda fundraising. Blame is cast on the Karzai government and coalition forces.

Dominance of the Durrani tribe within positions of power in Afghanistan has also met with claims of corruption and abuse. Provincial governors who are Durrani have allegedly suppressed local police and judges. The 35 billion dollar (US) narcotics trade has change hands from Ghalzais to Durranis. The big merchants of opium that were Ghalzai are spending their lives in U.S. prisons. Only a scant amount the opium traffic benefits tribes that support the Taliban, yet the Afghan government is not as determined to eradicate poppy production now that it is a source of income for their tribal branch, and a common interest in opium commerce has brought the Taliban and criminal elements of the government together.

All of these concerns have been fundamental to the Taliban’s appeal. These issues have resulted in significant support for the Taliban from non-Durrani members of the Afghan population. Mr. Karzai̒s situation has become so bad that he has invited Taliban, including Mullah Mohammed Omar, to the negotiating table, but has been rejected. The next presidential election does not bode well for Karzai or for the Popalzai/Durrani tribe. The other tribal groups within Afghanistan are talking about toppling Karzai and sending the Durrani into exile. Thus, Karzai is under great pressure to do anything required in order to win the election and stay in power.

From the Taliban perspective, uniting Afghans of various tribes and regions in a mission to achieve a strict Islamic state is familiar territory. Emerging in Kandahar in 1994, the Taliban originally grew out of a crisis of broken political structure and civil war after the collapse of the Soviet-installed communist regime. The group was composed of a young generation of Jihadis who believed that their leaders had become corrupt. The Taliban offered a return to a strict Muslim society and an end to warring factions, government corruption and lawlessness. While various Mujahedin warlords had proclaimed Jihad and liberation during the civil wars, thousands of civilians died in mass killings and oppression.

In the capital, Kabul, alone, an estimated 60,000 people lost their lives during this period. Since the Afghan people were weary of the crimes committed by the Jihad leaders and their followers, the Taliban quickly won public support. In fact, the Taliban were received as saviours. Anecdotes spread about their purity and sacredness. It was said that angels from heaven assisted the Taliban in their fight against the strayed Jihadi groups.

Mass killings, lootings and other oppression at the hands of the Mujahedin ended under Taliban rule. Islamic laws were strictly applied and the public sent their sons to join Taliban forces against its enemies. Security and peace were tightly maintained in regions under Taliban control. The Taliban was successful at uniting different tribal groups behind their leadership and went on to conquer 95% of Afghan territory. Remarkably, this was only a decade ago.

The Taliban changed with the arrival of Osama Bin Laden in 1998. Bin Laden was knowledgeable about the Islamic groups in Afghanistan from his participation in the Afghan wars against Russian occupation during the 1970s. While Bin Laden ostensibly hid in Afghanistan after the 1998 Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, his presence transformed the nature of the Taliban. The Taliban became a strong ally of Al Qaeda and took on more of an international political approach. From 1998 until 2001 the Islamic fundamentalism of the Taliban was blended with the extremism of the international terrorists and the income sources of the group multiplied. In fact, the group became, willy-nilly, part of the Al Qaeda’s strategic framework against the West.

Entertaining the idea of forming a multinational Islamic army, Al Qaeda saw the Taliban and the Afghan situation as the realization of their ideas. Training camps flourished. As Al Qaeda expressed support for the Muslims in Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir and railed against foreign troops in the Middle East, the Taliban proclaimed the rights of Muslims worldwide. The number of non-Afghans from international terrorist groups increased among the Afghan fighters seeking to conquer the last 5% of Northern Afghanistan. Afghanistan became a hub of terrorist groups from Chechnya, Central Asia, Pakistan and the Middle East. Ultimately, Afghan training camps took recruits from throughout the Middle East and beyond and provided insurgency training.

After the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington D.C., the attention of the world was focused on the international ramifications of the extremist operations in Afghanistan. The United States invaded Afghanistan before the end of 2001, and the Taliban government quickly collapsed. Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders fled to the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S.-led coalition was close on their trail. Had the U.S. continued an all-out pursuit, it might have captured or killed both Taliban and Al Qaeda officials making a serious challenge to their ability to recover. However, the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders might have disappeared successfully into sympathetic local communities regardless of the efforts to find them.

In the beginning, Pakistan was the sole regional power supporting the Taliban and was crucial to its financing. Pakistan sought to create a week traditional system in Afghanistan to reinforce Pakistan’s strategic position against rival India. Pakistan also had an interest in plans for an oil pipeline through Afghanistan from Turkmenistan. Support came from the Pakistan Army, the ISI (Pakistani intelligence service), and Pakistan’s terrorist circles. Once the Taliban were able to obtain funds through a variety of sources such as Al Qaeda, they became more independent from Pakistani influence. However, the tribal and strategic connections remained.

A central tenant of the Bush administration’s war on terror included demanding that Pakistan and other nations that habored or supported terrorists join the fight. The U.S. committed substantial foreign aid to the government of Pakistan and officially, at least, Pakistan is a partner in the war on terrorism. Undoubtedly, Pakistan has increased actions taken against Taliban and extremists. Unofficially, there is still reportedly support at the level of the intelligence service and generally throughout the border villages inhabited by or traversed by nomadic Ghalzais. Locals are not aligned with Karzai’s Durrani tribe. Instead, as in Afghanistan, tribal loyalties sometimes lean towards the Taliban.

The Karzai government has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting attacks inside Afghanistan. The border is porous and funding and supply through Pakistan and international channels can easily be connected with the Taliban fighters. The main hub of the Taliban is now the Pakistani border areas. If the government and NATO want to destroy the main operations of the Taliban, they will have to start there and go beyond borders. Is it not a world war against the terrorists?

Massood Qiam

current affairs Tolo TV

massood.qiam@tolo.tv

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 09 Mar 2009 22:29

X-posted....

The search for good taliban is in effect an effort to separate the Pashtun nationalists from the Pashtun Islamists. As we on BRF had postulated Pashtun nationalsim was thwarted by the creation of TSP and that it morphed into the Taliban with Islam as the basis. Another factor is the factional divide among the Pashtuns with the Ghilzais joining the Taliban. I don’t see who the US plans to support Pasthun nationalism while still supportin the TSP state. Tribal heirarchies might induce some non Ghilzai tribes to opt to become good taliban, but the bad Taliban who are the face of the TSPA’s Islamist faction will remake the tribal heirarchies. One way is to create an autonomus Pashtun region in Afghanistan to assuage the Pashtun national aspiration instead of all those provinces which though they comprise Pastun region are not formally recognised as such. This can be part of re-structuring Afghanistan on federation basis. However this only takes care of Pashtuns, west of Durand Line who constitute one third of Pasthun population. The majority of Pashtuns live in TSP. And thanks to the inaction of US and action by TSP the Durand Line is effectively erased. So even the Pashtun regions of TSP need to be constituted into an autnomous region which has open borders between the two countries. The Ghilzais are mostly in the TSP areas and can gain some significant role in Pashtun governance. This way the Pashtun nationalism might be assuaged while keeping Westaphalian borders of TSP and Afghanistan. The Pashtun Islamists will be reduced in numbers and should be tackled along with all the other militant factions in TSP as part of a pacification program.
--------
Note: I use taliban for Pashtun nationalists and Taliban for Pashtun Islamists.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Paul » 22 Mar 2009 05:13

Ramana, Niazis are a subtribe of the Lodhis...loosely related to the Ghilzais and their rivals. They settled in the plains long time ago. Any relation to the pakhtuns of NWFP is just a notion on their part....like for the rohillas or the pathans of Bihar

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 29 Apr 2009 01:22

X-posted...
Airavat wrote:
shiv wrote:Today, parts of the province (which voted to join Pakistan in 1947) are adopting sharia law, but in the 1930s a secular Muslim movement had grown up there, led by Ghaffar Khan and his brother Khan Sahib. They joined the Congress Party and won successive election victories from 1937 onwards, defeating established Muslim parties.

But the Raj pictured these secular Muslims as dupes of the wily Hindus. The only consolation for Sir Olaf Caroe, considered to be the supreme Raj expert on the local Pashtuns, was that they would soon come to their senses, “It is hard to see how the Pathan [Pashtun] tradition could reconcile itself for long to Hindu leadership, by so many regarded as smooth-faced, pharisaical and double-dealing . . . How then could he [the Pathan] have associated himself with a party under Indian, even Brahmin, inspiration . . .”


The Pashtun tradition was always one for independence. And they found that only the INC was actually fighting for Independence while the Muslim League and Punjab Unionists were puppets of the British, therefore an alliance with the Congress was inevitable. Secondly Gandhi's support to the Khilafat Movement endeared many "global ummah" Muslims, including the Pasthun tribes, to the INC.

After the Khilafat movement failed the Ulema declared India as Dar-ul-harb and advised Muslims to migrate to Dar-ul-Islam; many Muslims from the frontier, including Ghaffar Khan, therefore migrated to Afghanistan. Ghaffar Khan later came back to NWFP and formed his Khudai Khidmatgars for reforming Pashtun society, encouraging female education, ending the tradition of Badal (revenge, blood-feuds), and promoting Pasthun unity, but he still had contacts with the Ulema in Deoband and other places.

Ghaffar Khan merged his Khudai Khidmatgars with the INC but retained its separate identity. In all elections and governments formed in the NWFP he and Dr. Khan Sahib had complete control, without any interference from the INC leadership. Nehru the idealist entirely misunderstood the Pashtun support for Ghaffar Khan as their enthusiasm for Congress, resulting in his disastrous visit of 1946 which Sardar Patel had opposed. The pragmatic Sardar Patel wanted Dr. Khan Sahib and Ghaffar Khan to handle the communal propaganda of the Muslim League and their growing influence in NWFP.

When the British came up with the grouping clause, where Muslim-majority provinces in North-Western India were grouped together, Ghaffar Khan strongly opposed it as the scheme would bring the Pashtuns under Punjabi domination. The Muslim League propaganda was that British rule in the center would be succeeded by Hindu rule under the INC, which the Pashtuns were not enthusiastic for, and the better alternative was Pakistan.

Dr. Khan Sahib then brought out the idea of "Pakhtunistan" as an independent nation to counter the Muslim League's communal Pakistan. Despite the tiny minority of Hindus and Sikhs in NWFP they were targeted in communal violence by the Muslim League, resulting in their wholesale migration. Sarila in his book says that these people only believed in Dr. Khan Sahib, as he was truly secular, while Ghaffar Khan was willing to look the other way to prevent infighting and bloodshed among Pashtuns. These Sikh and Hindu refugees later built the Khan Market in Delhi in memory of Dr. Khan Sahib.

It was a similar misreading of Pashtun aims that led Nehru to accept Mountbatten's proposal for a referendum in NWFP, with the choice between joining India or Pakistan, while the Pashtuns under Ghaffar Khan wanted independence/autonomy. They boycotted the referendum leading to a vote for Pakistan by the narrowest margin.

The article which describes them as part of "a secular Muslim movement" that joined the Congress is mistaken. Their adoption of non-violent methods was remarkable but they functioned under absolute autonomy and aspired for independence, while the influence of Islam and the Ulema has always remained prominent among the Pashtuns.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Arun_S » 29 Apr 2009 03:46

My father-in-law once told me how his father saved Nehru's life when he went to Pakhtoonwali (in spite of strong advise not to go there around 1946) and survived an ambush to assassinate, but for my great grandfather-in-law who in time blocked and diverted his entourage away from the road that had ambush laid down the mountain. IIRC it was in Malakhand district (near Swat).

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Prem » 29 Apr 2009 03:56

Arun, Guess once a while everyone make mistake . Has your great Grand father in law known the future he might have acted differently . Had Chahaca achieved martyrdom in the name of peace, most probably we could have Sardar Patel as PM and no loss of Tibet, Kashmir and schackles of socialistic economy .

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby anupmisra » 29 Apr 2009 06:41

Prem wrote:Arun, Guess once a while everyone make mistake . Has your great Grand father in law known the future he might have acted differently . Had Chahaca achieved martyrdom in the name of peace, most probably we could have Sardar Patel as PM and no loss of Tibet, Kashmir and schackles of socialistic economy .


Or maybe, after surviving that ambush, chacha-jaan decided to let go of pakhtunwa and abandoned Frontier Gandhi's plans to join with independent India.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 02 May 2009 00:20

More data on Pashtun factions

SSridhar wrote:This is indeed our war

As usual, Ms. Farhat Taj reveals a lot of information and validates our theories.

The Pakhtuns do not need enemies when they have self-proclaimed friends like Imran Khan :lol: – this is in response to his article published in this newspapers on April 23. The fact of the matter is that this war on terror is very much Pakistan's own war. It used to be America's war when the jihadis were funded by the US to fight the Red Army in Afghanistan. The Pakistani and international jihadis have now made it Pakistan's war. As a responsible state Pakistan cannot allow terrorists crossing over into Afghanistan to attack Afghan civilians (who are usually Pakhtun), the Afghan National Army and US and NATO forces in the country that came there under a UN mandate.

The Musharraf government's decision to send the Pakistan army to Waziristan in 2004 was correct. But the decision came too late, too little and too half-heartedly. Following the US bombing of Al Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan in 2001, the foreign and Pakistani jihadis escaped into Waziristan. They were not welcomed by the people of Waziristan and proof of this also is that they killed more than 200 tribal leaders of Waziristan, after which the region's tribal order collapsed. The state under President Musharraf was guilty of criminal negligence for allowing the jihadis to decimate the tribal order.

Imran Khan may not know it or ignore it for political reasons but the fact is that there is a widespread perception among the Pakhtuns that the Musharraf government played a double role: on one hand it allowed the jihadis to take control of the tribal area and on the other hand showed the US that the Pakistan army was fighting the terrorists. It was during his regime that the army entered into agreements with the Taliban in FATA – and all of these failed. The agreements had two versions: oral and written. The written versions were according to the law of Pakistan. The oral versions implied that the Taliban would not attack Pakistan army and the army would let the Taliban do whatever they liked and this would include them crossing over into Afghanistan.

The Taliban also happen to be sectarian terrorists in that many of their targets are Shias. And in this regard their primary targets are the Pakhtuns of Kurram, Orakzai and Dera Ismail Khan. I think Imran Khan will be hard-pressed to go to Parachinar and tell the Turi tribe that the Taliban are Pakhtun nationalists. The Turis in Parachinar have been besieged by the Taliban for over two yeas now – all their land links to the rest of Pakistan have been blocked and hundreds have died while fighting the Taliban. If one wants to talk of Pakhtun nationalism then instead of looking at the Taliban one should look at what, for instance, the Ali Khel in Orakzai did where the Sunni section of the Ali Khel tribe stood up to the defence of the Shia when the latter came under threat from the Taliban. In addition to this, the Saralzai in Bajaur, the Khelil and Monand in Badabir and all those who stood up to the Taliban are the true embodiment of Pakhtun nationalism, not the Taliban.


The Pakhtun jihadis, together with their non-Pakuthn jihadis, are attacking the very core of Pakhtun nationalism.{Not only Pakhtun nationalism but also Pakhtunwali code itself} Almost 90 per cent of those killed, injured and maimed are ordinary Pakhtuns. Moreover, the terrorists' ideology is directly opposed to a nationalist ideology. The Pakhtun Taliban movement has all along been attacking all the symbols of the Pakhtun culture to bring the Pakhtun identity in line with that of the Arab jihadists. To call terrorism a nationalist movement is to create hatred among different nationalities living in the country especially when the people being killed as a result of terrorist activities belong to different nationalities.

The Pakhtun are experiencing a genocide-like situation at the hands of Taliban and Al Qaida terrorists . But people like Shireen Mazari, a member of Imran Khan's party, say that anti-Taliban local lashkars are in fact American sell-outs. This is most disrespectful especially since it is more a case of the brave Pakhtuns taking up arms to defend themselves in the face of a complete absence of state protection.

Imran Khan often compares the Taliban militancy with the tribal resistance to the British colonial. This is an insult to the Pakhtun history. Unlike the Taliban no tribal resistance leader ever killed fellow Pkahtun in the name of Islam of fight against the British. It is difficult to assess the impact the Taliban had in Swat due to the problems people had with the judicial system. A group of people who have never been elected – and probably will never be unless voters are forced to at gunpoint – blocking roads in protest does not automatically mean that there was a wider public support for them or their actions. Sufi Mohammad's TNSM got strength because the state succumbed to it again and again. Do not forget that Sufi Mohammad is the same person that misled thousands of young men of FATA and NWFP to go to Afghanistan to fight against the US and Northern Alliance in 2001. He managed to return safely but most of those who went to fight were either killed or captured – hundreds are still missing. Their families wait for them and they curse Sufi Mohammad every single day. Now thanks to the ANP government, he has been made a hero.

Anyone who has lived in Swat would have experienced that people of Swat are the most liberal people among the Pakhtuns due to their dependence on a tourism-driven economy. The Sufi Mohammad-style sharia has never been their choice. They would never want their primary industry – tourism – to be destroyed by those who rule over them. The argument of JI amir Munawwar Hasan that people of Swat elected the ANP and the PPP because his party boycotted the February 2008 elections is wrong. If religious right-wingers were so darling to the Swatis, they would have elected the JUI-F which was in the field.

How come so many tribal leaders were killed all over FATA and no one has ever been arrested for it? How come officials of the state and its institutions socially meet members of the Taliban? I have often met desperate people who say that the Taliban militancy has been engineered to send a message to the US and to extract more and more aid. More ominously, these Pakhtuns feel abandoned by the state.

Pakistan has to do the needful – something that it hasn't done so far. This means giving up the idea once and for all that the jihadis are strategic assets to fight proxy wars in Afghanistan and India. The next step would be to conduct targeted operations based on intelligence to destroy jihadi infrastructures all over Pakistan, eliminate their leadership and retake the territory ceded to the jihadis. Third, all those Pakhtuns who have stood up to the Taliban need to be protected. Disturbing as it may sound, the jihadis could well take over all of Pakistan, just like they have taken over Swat and FATA, unless of course the state chooses to crush them with an iron hand.

Whether the US offers financial help to Pakistan or not Pakistan has to fight this war to survive as a democratic state in the modern world.


I guess I need to add NWFP to the states that will need Indian protection.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Prem » 02 May 2009 00:43

http://www.registan.net/index.php/2009/ ... t-want-to/
Didn’t Want To
I’ve assiduously tried to avoid commenting on one of the three Robert Kaplan atrocities published this month: his (barely sourced) essay on basic geopolitics in FOREIGN POLICY that doesn’t even rise to a generic and high level literature review. I will leave aside the grander issues with it (like pretending to invent “shatter zones” while ignoring six decades of research into them, starting with Hartshorne and Fairgrieve, or talking about geography only in terms of sea power, or thinking it novel that a century-old political theory needs revision, or “the wisdom of geographical determinism,” or… oh hell, I need to stop). Here, only some things he says about Afghanistan need to be addressed.
Lordy. Let’s just go with the doozies:
There is no such thing as a trans-border Pashtunistan, at least outside of the fairy-tale ideas of a few opportunists in Kabul.
The Taliban are not an expression of Pashtun nationalism. As but one example, Abdulkader Sinno argues in excruciating depth that the Taliban were successful only because of their organization (and the disorganization of the mujahideen), and not necessarily because of their ideology or sense of nationalism. In fact, neither Afghan nor Pakistan Taliban are nationalist—they are explicitly pan-Islamist. They want an Islamic State, not a Pashtun one (their ethnicity is merely how they are organized, not motivated).
There is almost no evidence that the Turkmen, Tajiks, and Uzbeks of Northern Afghanistan are “forging closer links” aside from using their respective states as the most convenient commercial corridor. Christian explored this—and even a bit of Pashtun nationalism—quite excellently, and his comments will suffice for why this is a batty thing to argue or even imply.
It’s novel to pretend the dispute over Kashmir is being driven by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I would rather say he has that backwards in almost every single way.

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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby Prem » 02 May 2009 00:46

Interesting article. I would point out the tapestry of Pashtu Pathan tribes and the diversity among Pahshtu.

11 million in Afghanistan
30 million in Pakistan

Looking at the last Afghan public opinion poll is interesting:
A) East Afghan Pashtu are anti Taliban, anti-AQ and anti-Pakistan. East Afghan Pashtu serve in large numbers in the ANA.

B) South Afghan Pashtu are far less anti Taliban, anti AQ, anti Pakistan. 80% of all violence in Afghanistan as per the last ISAF/OEF briefing was in the South.

The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is in large part a Pashtu civil war. East Afghan Pashtu, and some South Afghan Pashtu are anti Taliban. Many Pashtu east of the Durand line are pro Taliban, as are some South Afghan Pashtu.

In several recent briefings, it is implied that a majority of ANSF and OEF/ISAF casualties are by foreign fighters. This is code for "Punjabi Taliban" and "Pakistani Pashtu," although there are also many Chechans, Dagastanis, Uzbechs and Arabs.

The second largest aspect of the war is that it a Pakistani civil war.

The third largest aspect of the war is that it is an Afghan against Pakistan war.

The 4th biggest aspect is that it is a war by AQ linked networks against the West and the West's allies (the ANSF, Gov of Afghanistan, Russia, China, India, Japan, Turkey, to some degree Iran.)

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2 ... an-and.php

ramana
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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 02 May 2009 00:52

Can someone do a Venn diagram of the above post? Thanks, ramana

ramana
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Re: Pashtun Civil War 2007-Part I

Postby ramana » 11 May 2009 21:19

X-posted...
Selig Harrison article
Harrison thinks this is a Pakjabi vs. Pashtun issue.

Pakistan's Ethnic Fault Line

To American eyes the struggle raging in Pakistan with the Taliban is about religious fanaticism. But in Pakistan it is about an explosive fusion of Islamist zeal and simmering ethnic tensions that have been exacerbated by U.S. pressures for military action against the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies. Understanding the ethnic dimension of the conflict is the key to a successful strategy for separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda and stabilizing multiethnic Pakistan politically.

The Pakistani army is composed mostly of Punjabis. The Taliban is entirely Pashtun. For centuries, Pashtuns living in the mountainous borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan have fought to keep out invading Punjabi plainsmen. So sending Punjabi soldiers into Pashtun territory to fight jihadists pushes the country ever closer to an ethnically defined civil war, strengthening Pashtun sentiment for an independent "Pashtunistan" that would embrace 41 million people in big chunks of Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Harrison doesn't get it)

This is one of the main reasons the army initially favored a peace deal with a Taliban offshoot in the Swat Valley and has resisted U.S. pressure to go all out against jihadist advances into neighboring districts. While army leaders fear the long-term dangers of a Taliban link-up with Islamist forces in the heartland of Pakistan, they are more worried about what they see as the looming danger of Pashtun separatism.

Historically, the Pashtuns were politically unified before the British Raj :roll: . The Pashtun kings who founded Afghanistan ruled over 40,000 square miles of what is now Pakistan, an area containing more than half of the Pashtun population, until British forces defeated them in 1847, pushed up to the Khyber Pass and imposed a disputed boundary, the Durand Line, that Afghanistan has never accepted. Over Pashtun nationalist protests, the British gave these conquered areas to the new, Punjabi-dominated government of Pakistan created in the 1947 partition of India.

At various times since, Afghan governments have challenged Pakistan's right to rule over its Pashtun areas, alternatively pushing for an autonomous state to be created within Pakistan, an independent "Pashtunistan" or a "Greater Afghanistan" that would directly annex the lost territories.

Fears of Pashtunistan led Pakistan to support jihadist surrogates in the Afghan resistance during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and, later, to build up the Taliban. Ironically, during its rule in Kabul the Taliban refused to endorse the Durand Line despite pressure from Islamabad. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also resisted, calling it "a line of hatred that raised a wall between the two brothers."

The British got the most rebellious Pashtun tribes to acquiesce to their rule only by giving them formal autonomous status in their own "Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (FATA). This autonomy was respected by successive Pakistani governments until the Bush administration pressured former president Pervez Musharraf into sending his army into those areas in 2002, displacing 50,000 people. Since then, Predator strikes have killed more than 700 Pashtun civilians.

So how should the Obama administration proceed?

Militarily, the United States should lower its profile by ending airstrikes. By arousing a Pashtun sense of victimization at the hands of outside forces, the conduct of the "war on terror" in FATA, where al-Qaeda is based, has strengthened the jihadist groups the U.S. seeks to defeat.

Politically, U.S. policy should be revised to demonstrate that America supports the Pashtun desire for a stronger position in relation to the Punjabi-dominated government in Islamabad.

The Pashtuns in FATA treasure their long-standing autonomy and do not like to be ruled by Islamabad. As a March 13 International Crisis Group report recognized, what they want is integration into the Pashtun Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).

The United States should support Pashtun demands to merge the NWFP and FATA, followed by the consolidation of those areas and Pashtun enclaves in Baluchistan and the Punjab into a single unified "Pashtunkhwa" province that enjoys the autonomy envisaged in the inoperative 1973 Pakistan constitution.

In the meantime, instead of permitting Islamabad to administer the huge sums of U.S. aid going into FATA, the Obama administration should condition the aid's continuance on most of it being dispensed in conjunction with the NWFP provincial government.

Al-Qaeda and its "foreign fighters," who are mostly Arab, depend on local support from the Taliban for their FATA sanctuary. Unlike al-Qaeda, with its global terrorist agenda, most of the Taliban factions focus on local objectives in Afghanistan and FATA; they do not pose a direct threat to the United States :roll: . U.S. policy should therefore welcome any new peace initiatives by the secular Pashtun leaders of the Awami National Party, now ruling the NWFP, designed to separate Taliban and Taliban-allied Islamist factions from al-Qaeda. As in Swat, military force should be a last resort.

In the conventional wisdom, either Islamist or Pashtun identity will eventually triumph, but it is equally plausible that the result could be what Pakistani ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has called an "Islamic Pashtunistan." On March 1, 2007, Haqqani's Pashtun predecessor as ambassador, the retired Maj. Gen. Mahmud Ali Durrani, said at a seminar at the Pakistan Embassy, "I hope the Taliban and Pashtun nationalism don't merge. If that happens, we've had it, and we're on the verge of that."


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