Oct. 12, 2009—With the audacious Taliban attack at the GHQ main gate this Saturday, the very portal wherefrom these creatures came slithering out more than two decades back, the affair between the creator and the creations has come full circle. Knock knock, said the hypnotized oddballs, rudely shaking their masters out of their reverie—perhaps fatefully and finally.
Why did these killers come calling on the doorsteps of their makers? The simple answer to this question is that while the creators may be experiencing a memory dump, the creations cling on zealously to their cherished past.The masters may be trying to forget the time when back in the 80s, on the calling of the grand masters from distant lands, they were supplying almost 65,000 tons of weapons per year to these same godmen. The aims for the grand masters then: the Soviet Union had to be taught a lesson and the resources in its hinterlands accessed. And for the GHQ supremos suffering from majestic delusions, a strategic depth had to be carved out in face-off with India while having a go at the leftovers from the Manna once the grand masters had left the table.
The godmen remember the beginning when they were used and misused in Kashmir. But it was in Afghanistan where they achieved a real life form. They remember that it was on the urging of ‘grand visionaries’ from this very HQ that the JUI party in Pakistan, a political party always tight with the military, released thousands of seminary students to fortify the Taliban. They recall how the generals from within these four walls encouraged Maulana Samiul Haq to shut down his 2500+ student madrassa and send his entire student body to fight the Soviets alongside the Taliban. The next year, the same religious leader helped persuade 12 madrassas in Pakistan’s Frontier Province to shut down for one month and send 8000 students to provide reinforcements for the Taliban army in Afghanistan. That was just the beginning, they remember it.
The godmen lovingly recall times when back in 1995, just within three months, with the support of men from these same buildings, they took control of twelve of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and had captured Kabul by September of 1996. Ah! those heady times, the giddy action, the vengeful killings, the Jihadi songs, the dance of the dead men, the glorious martyrdoms, the endless funds, the deadly weapons....they remember it all.
They remember, of course, how these generals looked the other way when the Taliban started to spread their dark dogmas to parts of Pakistan. They recall the amused looks in the eyes of these ‘grand strategic thinkers’ when a little while later some Taliban groups in FATA were banning TV and videos, bombing barber shops, beheading opponents, imposing Sharia punishments such as stoning and amputation in open defiance of Pakistan’s legal system, killing Shias and forcing people, particularly women, to adapt to the Taliban dress code and way of life.
The godmen remember the helping hands from the GHQ when they were stirring the hell-broth of innovations from Sharia, Pathan tribal codes and radical Deobandi interpretations of Islam. As a matter of fact, they vividly recall when a little while later the ‘thinkers in khaki’ added to the marinade generous portions of their own of the Wahhabism of the rich Saudis and the jihadism and pan-Islamism of some other born-again religious mutants. The ‘thinkers’ were aware all along, of course, that the heady brew ferments in time into a concoction the imbibers of which would kill any one opposing their creed, religion not withstanding.
And now when fully imbibed, as the godmen are, the makers disown them? And that too on the urging of some distant ‘infidels’? Nay. Now THEY come calling.
For the affair to end conclusively any time soon, the creators will have to expedite aborting the experiment that has gone dreadfully out of kilter. For that purpose, the memory dump will have to be accelerated, the brakes on the military steamroller standing at the gates of Waziristan gathering steam for some months now gently released, and the colossus allowed to slam into the heart of darkness with full momentum. No mercy is to be shown to the murderers who have killed some 2300 innocent Pakistanis in about 280 bombings in the past one year alone.
When all is over, the epitaph on this sordid experiment may then be left engraved as a warning on the gates to Waziristan. The inscription should read:
YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A MOST UNFORTUNATE REGION. HERE AN IDEA WAS PRACTICED AS A BELIEF. THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT LIVES LATER WE NOW REALIZE THAT WHILE IDEAS CAN CHANGE, BELIEFS REMAIN STAGNANT. THOUGH THE AREA WAS RECENTLY STERILIZED, STRAY MUTATIONS MAY STILL BE FOUND. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE ARE SORRY.
—GRAND STRATEGIC THINKERS
It would be wise to tilt the angle of the warning sign a little upwards so that the drone operators can read it too. They need to know that the experiment has been called off.
Copyright 2009 by Anwaar Hussain. The writer, a former officer of the Pakistan Air Force, is now based in the United Arab Emirates. This story was originally published in Truth Spring, Mr. Hussain's blog, and is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with the author's permission. Mr. Hussain may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on October 12, 2009.