Participants at a seminar on extremism in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) maintained that Taliban are not representative of tribesmen, but serve to fulfil the “malicious intent” of forces trying to take control of the region.
The seminar titled “Extremism in Fata, a students’ perspective” was organised by Fata Research Centre (FRC). Headed by FRC Executive Director Saifullah Mahsud, the seminar was attended by students from various universities, including International Islamic, Quaid-e-Azam, National Defence and Iqra universities. FRC Director Mansur Khan and a large number of locals of Fata also attended the seminar.
The speakers said that the Pashtuns are facing a holocaust since 1979 and the world community’s silence on the matter is encouraging the forces with vested interest to label Pashtuns as terrorists and criminals.
The speakers underscored that Pashtuns are the most humble, cultured and hospitable people and do not harbour terrorist or extremist views. “These menaces [of terrorism and extremism] are being imposed on them due to the geo-strategic position of the tribal areas,” a speaker concluded.
FRC Executive Director said that people talk about issues of Fata but they are unaware of the ground realities. “Fata is not exporting terrorists, but terrorists are being exported to Fata,” he said.
He said that the Taliban operating in Pakistan are terrorists and are even not the real Taliban. The real Taliban, he said, are those fighting in Afghanistan against external forces.
The students opined that the root cause of extremism in Fata is the United States’ attempt to counter the invasion of Soviet Forces in Afghanistan by involving Muslim youth of the entire world in the war on the pretext of Jihad.
They said that the “menaces” of drug production, Kalashnikov culture and prostitution in the tribal areas as well as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were the fallouts of the war. They blamed the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) for encouraging war-lords of the time to start cultivation of poppy to manufacture heroin.
Elaborating on the causes of extremism, the students said that the people, particular the youth of the tribal areas, were forced to adopt the path of extremism as they were deprived of education, job opportunities, and economic activities, and all the while were barred from utilising their capacities productively.
The speakers observed that before talking on the issue of extremism, it is imperative to understand the history, culture and traditions of the area. They also called for projecting the “real soft image and traditions” of Fata to the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.
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@iftikhar hussain: Vienna,May 22,2012 Kunar and Nooristan are well attended as much as the rest of Afghanistan.Soon they would be taken care of by the Afghan National Forces exclusively.But the fire base is in Pakistan territory.Recall when uncle Zia ul Haq lived and witnessed fire in Rawalpindi itself not on NATO trucks but Pakistani trucks heading Afghanistan Nooristan+Kunar included.An isolated and surrounded Pakistan,if chooses to remain shut even from the filtered fresh air, that of course is your Pakistani business. Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India --Kulamarva Balakrishna
Reply to Feroz my questions are why NATO is not taking action in Kunar and Nooristan? and why they dont want to fence the border?
Blaming everybody and not accepting any responsibility for my actions cannot solve any problem. If I shelter terrorists in my house and the same guests ravage the area, can I claim innocence ? There are many poor people in this world who lack food, water, clothing, shelter and education - why are they not choosing terrorism ? Once again participants in their seminar were trying to mislead by drawing a line between real Taliban and fake Taliban(if the stray dog bites my neighbor it is a good dog, if it bites my family member it is rabid). Trying to distort facts will not work, try changing the mindset.
There is no safe heaven of terrorists in Pakistan. If US actually wants to curb terrorism then:- - They must seal the Pak - Afghan border with fence. - They should get hold of entire Afghanistan specially the areas of Kunar and Nuristan Provinces. - Merely using Pakistan as escap goat wouldnt work this time.
FATA tribal folks have been used, misused and abused by Pakistan establishment since its birth in 1947. There is no development. No ordinary Pakistani visit this area as a tourist. Arm bazars are in the open where you can buy anything you want in terms of small and medium capacity arms from looted NATO supplies.
No one should forget that Pakistan used FATA tribal in 1947 to attack Kashmir state and they started plundering and pillaging Kashmir with a nod and wink from Pakistan army.
Why even after 65 years of independence, Pakistan constitution is not applicable in the entire region? Because Pakistan wants to keep these brave Pashtun Tribal as "strategic assets" to be used in case of war with kafir India.
Mullah Omar considers TTP to be real Taliban. Why shouldn't we?