The Extremists of Pakistan

by Asif Salahuddin

 They have no tolerance. They speak, abusively if necessary, and desire little debate in return. They order and demand to be obeyed. They care not of another’s grievance or state of affairs, nor make any effort towards an understanding of such. They choose to remain ignorant of the world around and its realities that impact them. They wish their every whim to be met and every diktat to be followed by all. They are prepared to use violence – brutal, unrelenting and destructive violence – until they get their way.

 Bearded, uneducated, warrior tribes from the North West reaches of Pakistan? No. The real extremists of Pakistan are the pseudo-intellectual, liberal elite dining away and making merry in the posh settings of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

 For it is at their insistence that the might of the Pakistan army has been hurled indiscriminately at an entire civil populace, resulting in its wake the displacement of over 3 million people and the death of thousands. This now stands as the largest unsettlement of humankind caused by man since the Rwandan massacres in Africa fifteen years ago and further bigger than the migration during the Indian partition itself. All because of the US backed lie that a few thousand rag tag group of fighters could capture the capital and hence overrun the country.

 These extremists sitting at the helm of the country have swallowed every instruction and propaganda issued by the Americans and in doing so have taken Pakistan down a path of self obliteration. The entire army now stands pitted against a major ethnic race in Pakistan and this in turn bodes only one outcome for the country – civil war leading to state level disintegration akin to the loss of East Pakistan.

 Such individuals have chosen to completely overlook the fact that a major foreign power has shifted its entire focus on the region after having just meted out the same policy on Iraq where it has succeeded in destabilising the entire state and engulfing the country with ethnic and sectarian flames. They have ignored the fact that the USA has a brutal and dark track record of using its intelligence agencies to ferment such turmoil in countries and that these very agencies have now settled in Pakistan and have been given a free reign to run amok. The CIA and FBI are openly known to have offices in every main city, airport and a thorough presence in the capital Islamabad.

 Such extremists, falling into two overlapping camps, are both drawn from the sitting and opposition political leaders, bureaucrats, elements of the so called ‘civil society’ and serving and retired military leaders. The first group has continued to grip the reins of power in the country and all the perks that come with it; essentially the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the USA for the trough from which only their snouts will gorge out of. The second group is a fanatically secular band that will turn vile the moment the words Islam and society are mixed in the same sentence.

 Together, they have managed to execute quite immaculately the American plan to turn the US’s War on Terror into Pakistan’s War on Terror, since the people of Pakistan have simply refused to back the former.

 But perhaps the biggest shame is that the real intellectual element of our society has gone along with this, or at best is standing idle at the wayside as silent observers, for it has been very easy to accept the mistruths churned out by the extremists.

 The real truth – a lot harder to swallow – is that the US wishes to achieve complete domination in the region. It has to ensure that the planned oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia running through Afghanistan, down to the ports of Pakistan, remain undisturbed. Further it must guarantee that the waterways near the coast of Pakistan are never threatened by any other power and that the control of this vital Middle-Eastern oil artery remains completely under its domain. In doing so the US has concluded that the only real way to implement this is to militarily occupy the region and eventually carve up Pakistan into smaller, weaker and hence more manageable states.

 However, this is something which the Muslim community in the ‘AfPak’ region have declined to play ball with as they simply refuse to be a subjugated people; they demonstrated this with the British over a century ago, they demonstrated this with the Soviets twenty years ago and they are now making this clear to the Americans. As long as these fighters attack the US troops in Afghanistan, and continue to disrupt their main supply line which comes from Pakistan, the US will not be able to achieve its materialistic objectives in the region.

 After repeated drone attacks the US simply cannot stamp out this resistance. Nor has it been able to send its own troops across the border to tackle these elements, partly due to the immense anti-American public opinion in Pakistan. But what the US has now succeeded in doing is to get the Pakistan army to fight its war.

 But how long will the sincere elements of Pakistan stand by and watch the country being torn apart for a foreign objective under the whims of such extremists? How long will the sincere officers in the Pakistan army continue to act submissively under the orders of their traitor commanders and continue with this utter madness that has gripped the country? They must act now and listen to the voices of reason around them that call them to a new future for our Islamic nation. They must act now otherwise very soon it will be too late and America would have won.



Filed under Pakistan

19 responses to “The Extremists of Pakistan

  1. ylh

    What the ? Excuse me. But what are you smoking Asif Sallahuddin?

  2. ylh

    Yaar Asif,

    Grow up. The taliban maim and kill others for disagreeing with them. They don’t believe in freedom of religion or letting people live.
    And you are calling people who merely want to save this country intolerant?

    Please – grow up. You are the extremist. You are intolerant, You are the bigot.

  3. jejanab

    Bhi, aap jaisey log abhee zindaa hain? main to samjhaa thaa Pakistani marr chukey hain.

    Pakistani media aur hamarey *parhey-likhey* Jahil.

    Kon hai Pakistan kaa dushman? jo Pakistan kee jarain kaat rahey hain yaa woh jo Pakistan main deen-e-Mohammad chahtey hain?

    Kon hai Pakistan kaa dushman? jo lisani nafrratain phelaa kar Pakistanion ko aapas main laratey hain.

    Kon hai jisko gher-mulkee imdad mil rahee hai? Kahan gaey unkey sophisticated weapons?

    Sacch to yai hai kah hamarey siasat-dan, hamarey haram khaur General, aur media gher mulki imdaad per chal rahey hain.

  4. ylh

    Konsi bil say baramad huay hain app je janab?

    Yaar tum jaisey logon nay Pakistan ko jahanum bana diya hai. Ab to sharam karlo aur apni bakwas band kardo.

  5. hayyer48

    I have my differences with YLH and this is a domestic matter but how is the attack on the Taliban types an attack on the Pakhtuns?
    If the Pakistani people want the implementation of deen e mohammad they would surely vote in the parties that promise to implement it.

  6. habib

    Asif Saab

    How could oppse action against the elements who bomb our country and have the audacity to come on naitonal and international media and accept it? and they claim that they are fighting for Islam? come on! i am not saying that we have a fiascist-liberal class admist us but we have to put everything in prespective.

    If they were so for Islamic Shariah being implemented, why then Swat Nizam-e-Adl did not stand the test?

    On another note, isnt it time we agreed what Shariat means???!!!!

  7. Asad

    *They have no tolerance. They speak, abusively if necessary, and desire little debate in return. *

    and ylh says :Konsi bil say baramad huay hain app je janab?
    Yaar tum jaisey logon nay Pakistan ko jahanum bana diya hai. Ab to sharam karlo aur apni bakwas band kardo.

    asif saab….now i fully understand what u r trying to say…:)

    @ habib..nizam adal didnot stand the test because it wasnt meant to!…how can isolated islamic laws be implemeted in a small part of the country whilst the rest of the country has a different judicial can we expect it to work! it was a crude joke from the begining…designed to show the world that islamic laws will only lead to anarchy.
    @hayyer48…as for islamic parties being elected in….the pakistani people r now smart enough to know (after the MMA experience) that even they can not deliver true islam!..c’mon there first concern was to make friday a holiday and making shalwar kameez the school uniform!!!

  8. nikita

    though m not in favour of the repeated drone attacks by the US, to say that the war being waged by the Pak army is nothing but an attempt to preserve the interests of the Americans in the region is a sign of immaturity. i dont know what deen-e-mohammad stands for and m no savant but what i know for sure is that if the current military operation ends up eliminating elements responsible for bombing girls’ schools, killing innocent people and implementing the most absurd rules and regulations the world has ever seen, it is bound to help Pakistan in the long run, the country will surely disintegrate if these blithering morons are not brought under control, rather than asking his fellow country men Mr. Asif should first himself wake up and take note of the voice of reason and common sense

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    Asad mian…

    Ofcourse no one will recognize that ylh has allowed this piece of crap to exist on this website…

    If Asif mian can abuse liberals etc… surely one can use the language against crooks like him.

  10. Pingback: How do Salafi groups worldwide view the Pakistani Taliban? « Eye on Pakistan

  11. Quddus Wazirzada

    Asif Salahudin I admire your critical analyses. Obscurantist ideas have seeped very deeply in the Pakistani society. This retrogression in our minds and in our thinking is not in a particular section of the society it is somehow ubiquitous. I have experienced this with very educated people…I have experienced this with the Pakistanis abroad as well. We are generally very intolerant in our opinions; we are inflexible in religious interpretations and if someone disagrees with us we will immediately declare him a Kafir. When it comes to the rights of women we want them to follow a certain regimen that defies the Quranic teachings and the essence of Islam. Many members of the Parliament have defended the cases of honor killings in Pakistan. You call them pseudo-intellectual, liberal elites; I call the ‘Taliban within’. This ‘Taliban within’ is our greatest enemy. We can defeat the ‘declared Taliban’ in Fata area but what is really upsetting our nation’s apple-cart and depriving us from moving forward in this world and achieve salvation in hereafter is this insidious ‘Taliban within’. If we really want to get rid of obscurantism and move our nation to enlightenment and prosperity we will have to kill the ‘Taliban within’. We can save our coming generations from the gloom and doom of the ‘Taliban within’ by a complete review and reform of education syllabus which needs to correctly reflect our culture and our history and identify our place in this world.

    What Pakistani Army can do is not questionable. Can a regular Army effectively fight an insurgency is the question. The situation in the areas controlled by Talibans is very complex. Poor and illiterate people who are fed up of the miserable state of affairs in the country feel that the Taliban’s way is the only way they can redeem themselves. Boys as young as 14 are joining the Taliban as their parents can hardly afford to feed them; especially with the on going insurgency and army action all the usual means of livelihood is severely affected. The more we crush the Taliban the more there is sympathy created for them and the more recruits it will draw. One must understand that the Army cannot fight when it does not have the support of its own people. East Pakistan is a good example. Also, the cross border attacks by the American Drones are doing the quite opposite. There is more sympathy created for the Taliban in the tribal region and its surrounds and more hatred for the Pakistani government and the Pakistani Army who are seen as accomplices to the foreign powers. This is the most dangerous thing that can happen. History has shown that even the most powerful armies have been defeated when it lost the respect and regard of its people. Then what is the solution….if not a military one?

    The US and NATO with all their air power has failed to eliminate the Taliban…in fact they seem to have grown more strong. Now the Taliban did force the hand of the government by defying the writ of the government and by their ascending criminal activities. The government should have used the well known counter insurgency techniques…Use your Intelligence…..find out who are they…how they are operating and then go for their leaders. Also, find out who is sponsoring them….cut their supply channels and funding. What we have achieved now is 3 million people who are living in their own country as refugees…we can say that we have cleared the Taliban from Swat…although that is debatable; even if we have…can we allow the IDPs to go back? most probably the Taliban are hiding in the mountains and will come back as soon as we look the other way….as the army cannot possibly perform this duty for ever.

    Just like unhygienic conditions bring Cholera and Typhoid; similarly; insincerity, corruption, exploitation, injustice and hypocrisy brings about chaos, instability and lawlessness which is an ideal ground for terrorism to flourish. Any sensible person would agree that any short term tactic to get rid of extremism has to be well integrated with a long term counter insurgency strategy. This long term strategy will have to include discussions with the local people of the area; developing the area, providing education and health facilities and encouraging the people to help in making the place secure from the Taliban.

    A new day will dawn in Pakistan when we realize that we have to help ourselves…we can no longer play the blame game. We need to address the crucial issues that are eating the nation like cancer from inside. We are responsible for our own fate. We have to take charge of the situation otherwise uneducated and paganistic people will interpret Islam in a draconian way. We have to unite and weed out the ills in our society. After 62 years of independence people in Pakistan still do not have their fundamental rights. Corruption is rife and the few affluent ones have always decided the fate of the multitude. So what is the multitude doing? The silent majority can no longer remain silent. We need to address these basic issues first. Rest everything will fall in place and terrorism will vanish automatically. We can do this if we really want to save the country.

    If anyone has the slightest notion that the Taliban stand for bringing an Islamic government and that all the above ills will be abolished by them they are terribly mistaken. The adage ‘Neem Mulla Khathrae Iman’ applies here. The Taliban are mainly uneducated and ignorant about the dictates of Islam. They have no definite ideology, no principles and no sense of balance. Islam is not a draconian religion, Islam is not all about punishments, Islam means the ‘middle path’, Islam is about fairness, Islam is about giving benefit of doubt, Islam is about forgiveness and Islam is about peace for mankind on this earth and submission to Allah. Islam is the beacon of light for mankind…..but how can we allow some brain washed individuals to hijack it for achieving ‘political objectives’. They are the most ignorant about Islam and to say the least they are doing a big disservice to Islam. Our inaction, our exploitation of the poor people, our mismanaging the affairs of this country and our own misunderstanding about our religion for such a long time is helping the Taliban do what they are doing….destroying our country and destroying our religion. Can we standby and let this happen? Or do we have the determination to unite and address the reasons behind all this. Fight the reason for the disease and not fight the symptoms.

    Inter alia, every one of us has to reflect inside and ensure that we know our religion well. We need to know enough so that we are not driven by crazy and brainwashed Mullahs. Illiterate people misinterpreting Islam are dangerous….but if educated people with knowledge and experience do not understand their religion and agree with the interpretation of the illiterate it is far more dangerous….There is a lot that we the more knowledgeable and educated people can do to help out in the present situation. We need be clear about what our religion preaches and be open minded and tolerant in our views. Islam is for all times to come. We cannot afford to be inflexible in our views. If we are inflexible; we are part of the present problem our Nation is in and not part of the solution.

    We do not need to blame others……We do not need anyone’s help. We know the problem and we ourselves have the solution. We have to address the reasons for what state we are in….then no country will dare arm the insurgents, finance them and violate the sovereignty of the country by sending drones to Pakistan whenever they wish. What sort of government and what sort of defence service will allow all this to happen? Only that one that is subservient to foreign masters. Only that one that is busy making money, only that one that does not care whether Pakistan stays or is destroyed.

    May sense prevail and may Allah help Pakistanis to come out of this affliction that is threatening the existence of this country. I have faith in the youth of Pakistan. The Nation has shown time and again that it can come out of any calamity.

  12. Ms.Saliha

    Asalamoelekum Asif,

    I believe what you have written is a true eye opener for the people of Pakistan and if they are not able to see the truth of what you mentioned in your brilliant article ..then they themselves are crippling ‘Hope’ for our nation!

    As hope lies with the people but if the people themselves are not open to a different point of view (which makes perfect sense for the sensible) then its truly ironic.

    The problem lies mainly lies with our people.They have formed sects of what they believe about the matter following people such as ‘Zaid Hamid’ and other likely speakers,following them as their leaders and don’t want to hear anything but that one person’s appealing view point.Why do people do this anyway..its because the lack of unity in out our nation and its because of the un-united and corrupt people that run our country!

    The people who are commenting negatively on your article, are the kind of people that are all around me and these people don’t want to listen to anything that goes against the idea of sending troops.They talk of the media propagated ‘Taliban video’ of head chopping and women beating..which is propaganda itself.They just don’t want to talk about a different idea.

    Open your eyes people! What is the honor in killing your own brothers! The evil needs to be nipped in the bud and it was not!Now our government sending our brave troops to fight a war that our superiors created themselves.The irony is that the Army also thinks that they are doing it for Allah and the Taliban/criminals also think they they are doing for Allah. Both are emotionally driven for the cause of their version of Islam.Who is the real ‘shaheed’ here??who?! I think ‘NO ONE’.

    ..and where was Zardari all along? I think he is the biggest disgrace to our nation and the people must protest about this issue rather than opposing Asif’s view point!

    Bravo Asif!

    @Qudus: Well written!

  13. yasserlatifhamdani

    Are you guys for real?

    Can someone give me a single worthwhile argument here? Is it the liberals who behead people, blow up schools, stop women from going to school or pursuing careers…

    Asif Sallahuddin wrote an article that does not make sense. It was a rant… which was as usual all over the place… culminating in a rant against American imperialism.

    Please stop it for god’s sake. Stop killing this country … stop encouraging people like Asif Sallahuddin by refusing to call a spade a spade… a ridiculous article a ridiculous article.

  14. Asad

    @ Quddus and Ms Saliha…..very good points!
    @ yasir… quddus, ms Saliha and myself r clearly pointing out that the people who “behead people, blow up schools, stop women from going to school or pursuing careers…” do NOT represent the true face of islam atall…and the liberals as Asif Saab pointed out interestingly ” will turn vile the moment the words Islam and society are mixed in the same sentence”…hence both of these groups donot represent the idealogical basis of Pakistan….and so these r the groups responsible for killing pakistan! however, we the educated people can play a very positive role in the reconstruction and revival of this great ideological state…we need to start by opening our eyes to reality… our criteria for thought and action needs to be islam… only then will we be able to c why pakistan is in a mess, what is the cause and the solution to our problem.

  15. Dr Aisha Rashid

    Thank you Mr Asif, Asad and Ms Saliha for your comments…..

    ‘The people who “behead people, blow up schools, stop women from going to school or pursuing careers…” do NOT represent the true face of islam at all…and the liberals as Asif Saab pointed out interestingly ” will turn vile the moment the words Islam and society are mixed in the same sentence”…hence both of these groups do not represent the idealogical basis of Pakistan….and so these r the groups responsible for killing pakistan!’

    Agreed 100%….

    The Taliban version of Islam was not Islam, just the treatment of women is an example of the fact that they were mixing culture or their own traditions in with the religion.

    Bombing innocents, killings, suicide is not allowed in our religion at all and it does not represent our religion.

    You must note that although i understand the ‘lets meet with West and understand each other and bring ourselves to agreement’ arguement that the liberals use you dont realise that the people at the top of the world food chain DO NOT WANT this, they are not listening, do not care for us, whatever type of muslims we may be…

    They like the fact that we now are defending the fact that we are muslims and trying to justify ourselves as reasonable people from a reasonable religion…

    Remember this, just like historically the Americans paid for and created the Taliban as they were useful for their purpose at the time, now they are being used as a scapegoat by the Americans to portray the image that Pakistan is falling to bits and must be governed in some fashion (strangely enough, by them somehow), all for the purpose of their plans to create oil & gas pipelines through Pakistan and to keep the new routes intact.

    These people have think tanks planning for the next 50 years, looking at maps, oil and gas routes, revenues etc, making sure that they do not get left out and other countries, continents do not become stronger or in a position to dictate to them or even say no to a ‘command’ from them, as they are in a position to dictate to everyone around them.

    We unfortunately have become the new target for America and they will not stop until they have achieved their objectives (i would suspect that 75% of the bombing are done by them). Just wait and see what happens to us over the next five to ten years.

    We are in a sad state and people like ylh do not understand that we are all being used.

  16. YLH

    “we are all being used”

    Ah… the mantra.


    Asif’s caricature of the “liberal” has n0thing to d0 with the fact.

    It is the liberals who say that Taliban do not represent the true face of Islam… not Asif.

    Now I ask you… since we agree that Taliban do not represent the true face of Islam… could we then agree that it is a good idea to defeat them and their ideology that masquerades as Islam?

    No liberals are responsible for “killing Pakistan”. It is only these Taliban types. Unless you get it in your head that having ideas that you dont like is not the equivalent of beheading you….

  17. Malik

    I throughly enjoyed reading this article … Am not in agreement with any point writer tried to make … but still this article represents and reflects the general mindset of Pakistanis. This article shed light by presenting writer in focus, on the reasons why we are in this deep mess, what attitude is dragging us deeper in this mess, and how much we like to deny the fact that there is need to do something to eliminate the reasons that are causing the problems around us.

    i can understand why you are so irritated by this article and some comments in support of this article … believe me your irritation and your anger isn’t going to change the mindset of such people … By “Liberals” they actually mean anyone who thinks without consulting religion or without wearing religious spectacles.

    Believe me if you try to talk to them by defending religion (Islam specifically) on one side and attacking their ideology on another, they wont listen to you, they will present verses, sayings and whatnot to defend their illogical, impractical, inhuman position and antics … You talk sense to them and you are Liberal and once you are Liberal in their dictionary, you are worse then Taliban, you are worse than people who are beheading people, who are bombing schools, who are dragging bodies out of graves and damaging them, who are flogging women, who are imposing themselves on others by using “Terror” … Yea for them you are worse because you talk sense, you talk about peace, you talk about things that are probably not allowed in their version of religion and they are proud of it.

    These “Liberal haters” will kill their kids, will flog their sisters publicly, will stone their wives to death if they somehow consider it “order given by God” or “Prophet said it somewhere” … for them there is no place for logic, thinking on your own, doing something on its merit … and if someone commits such sin of finding answers in logic, doing things rationally, raising questions that are in fact against “general belief” they will chant slogans against you calling you “liberal” … Enjoy that moment instead of being irritated … Be happy they are excluding you from the group of insanity 🙂

    You support operation that is for eliminating people who are killing, beheading, flogging other people … that means you are worse than such people … see i don’t know Yasir why don’t you enjoy being such person ….

    They will learn eventually …

    This article is great … it made me proud of what i am … a Liberal.

  18. Asad

    @ Dr Aisha….very good analysis of the current situation…
    @Malik… u correctly define the word Liberal “anyone who thinks without consulting religion”…nothing to be proud of if u r a muslim!!
    pls clearly see that we r drawing a clear line b/w the people who misinterpret islam and r causing unrest in the country and the religious educated people who wish for a peaceful islamic revival…nobody here is supporting the taliban….infact i dont think anyone in the country would say that the ‘taliban(whoever they r)’ r correct in whatever they r doing now in pk!
    u people have very little faith that Islam is capable of delivering peace and tranquility and at the same time keep up with the changing times and relate with foreign nations. if whenever islamic laws r mentioned and u visualise flogging and beheading…then definatly u dont know what Shariah is all abt…it is way way more than just few laws, its an absolutely comprehensive system detailing the intricacies of political,economic and judicial structure and practice, has a complete guideline to attain a tranquil and highly educated society.

  19. Quddus Wazirzada

    You are one person who has given the most balanced and sensible analysis. What Asif refered to as ‘liberals’ are the particular brand of people who will sell their souls, sell their country for personal benefits and manitenance of their life styles…with this definition…liberals are the ones who are damaging the country…and Malik’s interpretation of Liberals also does not help the cause of ‘real liberals’….The correct definition for liberals should be…people who are non obscurantist, are progressive, listen and contemplate on new ideas and try to live in harmony with the world…I welcome such liberals…and for the record I would say that the Taliban are presenting the worst image of Islam…there is no place for them in Pakistan…we want our country free of them…at the same time we want to define our own course and not be led and bled by external powers…we need to wake up and work together…Puhtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis and Balauchis…for bringing our country back to its respectable position in the comity of nations….Let’s not waste time on meaningless semantics..