Pakistan’s glorification of Taliban triumph in Afghanistan is recipe for disaster, says expert

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 27 : The glorification of Taliban triumph in Afghanistan by Pakistani leaders’ is a savoury recipe for further disaster.
Marvi Sirmed, writing in Friday Times of Naya Daur said, “You cannot amass filth in your neighbourhood and expect it would not stink in your own backyard. This is hardly a victory Pakistan should rejoice. This is a savoury recipe for further disaster that we have so enthusiastically brought to our country.” A general wave of rejoice swayed Pakistan left, right and centre. Former military officials were the first ones to tweet in sheer rapture about the ‘victory of faith’ over the ‘imperialist west’.
They were shortly joined by the sitting ministers and religious parties’ leaders who expressed their delight over the defeat of imperialist America and the decimation of Indian ambition in Afghanistan.
Even Prime Minister Imran Khan could not stay silent for long and finally exulted the Taliban for ‘breaking the shackles of slavery’, reported Friday Times.
Describing his interactions with three major political parties of Pakistan, namely, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) during an evening get-together in Lahore, Sirmed said that none of them denied the Pakistan state’s support for the Taliban.
“One of them was a sitting member of the federal cabinet, while another one now holds an important ministry under the PTI government. I raised the issue of Pakistan’s well-documented, long-time support for the Taliban. The PTI leader was adamant that our part in the 1980s’ jihad was absolutely necessary because otherwise, the Soviet Union would have occupied Pakistan,” said Sirmed.
When asked why they did not voice these concerns in the parliament or among the government (which was led by PML-N at that time), the answer was an emphatic “no party can afford to do it”.
Ever since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, scores of Pakistani journalists are now reporting that there is peace and calm on the streets of Kabul, reported Friday Times.
When reminded of thousands of Afghans lining up at the airport to escape the country, or the revenge executions perpetrated by the Taliban despite issuing general amnesty for the consumption of international media, some Pakistani journalists would tell you how the Afghans had been leaving their country in thousands even before the Taliban surge. So, it is all hale and hearty. No big deal at all, they tell us, said Sirmed.
This is a natural consequence of decades of propaganda led on by Pakistani state machinery and a major section of media obediently follows it.
WikiLeaks made an important cable public in 2011 wherein a dispatch by the US embassy in Islamabad detailed how a Pakistani media group was engaged in propaganda that ideologically supported Taliban and was fomenting anti-US sentiments using distorted, sometimes concocted reports, reported Friday Times.
The Taliban did not fight Americans when they were deposed in 2001. There was rather a period of relative peace till 2004 when the Taliban started attacking Afghan civilians and a few of the military targets. It only happened after they were provided the support to re-group and train, said Sirmed.
Ever since then and even way before the American invasion in the wake of 9/11, the Taliban had been at war with Afghans. Their fight has been consistently against the republic of Afghanistan and every slightest symbol of modern statehood there.
Prime Minister Khan has overlooked these hard facts while cheering them for breaking the ‘shackles of slavery’, something they never even tried. In the name of his ‘anti-war’ politics, he and his supporters alongside the political and media proxies of the powerful security establishment have created an environment where criticism of state policies, prevalent social injustice, and inequalities is rubbished as ‘treason’. Political dissent is labelled as ‘playing in the enemy’s hands’, says Sirmed.
The resultant conservatism, extremist ideological leaning, and overt religiosity that has put Pakistan’s religious, ethnic, and ideological minorities under perpetual threat, reported Friday Times.
It has not only transformed Pakistani society into a barren wasteland of ideas where no creativity, no freethinking, but no unorthodox discourse is also possible anymore.
Professedly an Islamic society, the milieu thus created treats women and other gender minorities as less than dirt, where they are assaulted, lynched, and humiliated as every day’s mundane routine, said Sirmed.

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