The Pashtun demographic and an eye on the future part 2
1/30/20 -Jezail.org continues this post of Amrullah Saleh in the hope that it gets noticed by policy makers and planners.
In the 1950s with direct assistance from the United States of America, using the excuse of containing communism, pacifying the tribal areas and preventing infiltration from western neighbor Pakistan created the Special Services Group (SSG). For decades this military division has been providing training to radical outfits & terrorist groups to de-stabilize Afghanistan other than serving its initial purpose.
After 9/11 Pakistan once again demanded military and financial assistance from the United States for the aim of expelling Al-Qaeda and Haqani networks from tribal areas. Usma Bin Laden was found and killed near Islamabad and Haqqanis are living and operating out of garrison city of Rawelpendi to this date. Neither Al Qadea nor the Haqqanis have had structural links to the tribal areas. Yet the Pashtun tribes paid the heaviest price and lacked a voice to represent themselves. Looking at it from outside, this strategy is dead and rotten but GHQ hasn’t discarded it.
Today a young and charismatic Manzoor Pashteen, clearly and loudly says that the Pashtun tribes are the victims not the culprits. He wants to know the whereabouts of the thousands who have perished not because they were on the side of Al-Qaeda but for opposing the malign and adventurous campaign of the establishment.He has given his people a much needed voice. He says we get killed in the name of fight against terrorism whereas the real terrorist are the boys in Khakies. Behind every terrorist is a uniformed army man, is one of his party’s moto. We want to regain our destiny he says. Without state sponsorship he asserts there would have been no terrorism and no radicalism. He calls on Pashtuns to unite, find back their roots and expose the wide intelligence networks which have stereotyped Pashtun tribes with degrading labels such as supportive of terrorism, anti-modern, anti-democracy, un-governable and so on. He rightly presents himself as a victim and as a witness telling the true story of a people challenging the established line of the army and the broader establishment which for years and even decades benefited massively by selling this falsehood in and out.
The narrative of the PTM shakes the military and shreds the narrative of the establishment and exposes it to global scrutiny from within. It wants and end to containment, division and persecution of the Pashtuns in Pakistan. It advocates for dignified place of the Pashtuns in their own geography and land. He exposes the malign and bloody scheme behind suppression of Pashtuns and support of terrorism in their name at the same time. He does all of it without violence. His logic, softness and articulation are his strengths. He isn’t a rebel in the hills.
We in Afghanistan suffer from the same evil scheme and conspiracy. We share the victimhood of the PTM. Thus extending moral, political and media support to Pashteen and PTM is not a project or hallow sloganeering. . It is a conscious call rooted in our common agony and pain.He struggles in Pakistan and under the Pakistani law but speaks of the same pain and sufferings we have been shouting off from Pamir to Nimroz and from Herat to Nengarhar. He therefore resonates across Afghanistan. He talks of a pan human dream – peace and civility.
I don’t know him in person. I haven’t met him. But when I listen to him or see him on screen he doesn’t seem a stranger, he comes across as a political soulmate and a comrade of our resistance born in Waziristan. Pashteen is yet another name for our resistance too. Inshallah.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.