Understanding the 'good Taliban' and 'bad Taliban'

She said, "Our government failed to conduct fair negotiations. You will regret attacking them.”

Sultana Haider June 17, 2014
Just as social media flooded with a surprisingly positive wave of military operation support, there were a few who did not quite seem happy. One of them, ironically, happens to be my friend.
“Don’t be so happy, Sultana. Our government has failed to conduct fair negotiations with them, and with this operation, there will be far worse consequences. You will regret attacking them.”

The remark came as a surprise. It made me pause. I stood frozen with a smile from the last moment of unity left hanging in the air.

Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable. I felt I was standing face to face with a different, young and fresher breed of ‘good Taliban’ as they have been recently referred to. I struggled, cleared my throat and asked meekly,
“But what about all the innocent people that they have...”

She stopped me midway and said,
“What do you think this operation will do?”

“...including my own uncle, my friend’s father,” I tried concluding my brutally interrupted question.

She enthusiastically continued to narrate tales of Taliban’s innocence and how they have been victims of military, astoundingly and swiftly ignoring all the attacks claimed by them.

It is then that I realised, there are two kinds of Taliban in this country.

-          One who proves to be an infidel and wages jihad against me; the other who chooses not to comment on it.

-          One who attacks the airport and holds people hostage; the other who supports negotiations with them.

-          One who threatens to kill more with the launch of the operation against them; the other who defends them actively on social media.

-          One who openly says they are not my friends; the other who shakes my hand and convinces me for negotiations.

-          One who sits in North Waziristan; the other who sits here, right beside me in my friend’s circle.

All the meanwhile and in between, I lose my friends, my family and my people one by one. They tell you to express less or leave the country.

There are two kinds of Taliban in this country.

One who say that they are Taliban; the other who says any operation against them is wrong. I am eligible to be killed by the first. The second stays silent at the thought of speaking against military operation. We are combating the first one in North Waziristan today. The second one resides in our mind, in our history books, gradually imparting ideological hegemony of their beliefs on me.
Sultana Haider Is currently pursuing an MSc in Media, Communications & Development from the London School of Economics. A business graduate by conventional definition and social sector enthusiast by accident. She tweets @shaiderj (https://twitter.com/shaiderj)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


shah | 10 years ago | Reply Anoop, thanks for validating Two nation Theory. Thankfully at least Pakistanis don't have to sit and justify themselves to hatemongers like you everyday.
Sahrish Ahmad Gul | 10 years ago | Reply What about the ones who raise a lot of hue and cry when a famous locality in a big city is hit, and don't say a word when a village is bombarded with many innocent's left dead? And what about the people, who were made to flee their residences in Swat, and only to be left helpless by the government. 80 percent of IDPs of Swat Operation were forced to make their own arrangements because the government was not effecient enough to handle the humanitarian crisis triggered by war. That aired anti-state sentiments in the locals. Not being in support of military operation does not make a person Taliban. May be they are just far-sighted enough to see the mess it is going to create.
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