Terrorism after Bilour’s death

Published: December 25, 2012
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The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore
khaled.ahmed@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore [email protected]

The Taliban have killed Bashir Bilour, one of the top leaders of the ANP in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the aftermath, ANP leaders have said some bitter things about how Pakistan interprets terrorism in the country.

They insist that it is the Taliban we have to fight, not America. In other words, the enemy is not the trio of America, India and Israel, but the home-grown terrorists led by Hakimullah Mehsud under the tutelage of al Qaeda.

No one is going to listen. It suits all the political parties to avoid looking terrorism in the eye. In the coming elections, the three ‘secular’ allies — the PPP, ANP, MQM — are going to be targeted. Their voters may not even turn up for voting. The others don’t want to be in the bad books of the terrorists. They will insist that Bashir Bilour was killed because Pakistan was siding with America; get out of this evil connection and terrorism will go away. The media will run away once again with this miracle mithridatic potion.

Pakistan suffers from a terrible misdiagnosis of what it is suffering from. The last crutch of its ‘moral’ stance — the drones — may be taken away after America and the EU decide to retreat into the stronghold of their highly organised state enacting draconian laws against Muslim immigrants, leaving Pakistan to cope with the disease it refuses to acknowledge. The drones have killed 50 al Qaeda terrorists to date, not including some very dangerous Pakistanis turned against their own state.

pakistan

The 2013 elections will truly be a re-enactment of the Stockholm Syndrome: self-empowerment through kissing the hand of the tormentor. Terror works better than any ideology; that is why ideology often leans on ‘fear and trembling’ to get itself accepted.   ‘Terror’ in English comes from the root ‘tr’ meaning to tremble. It gives us words like terrible, tremor, tremble, tremendous, deter, etc. The dominant sense is that of fear but in the case of ‘tremendous’, it can also mean so good that it makes you tremble. In French, ‘tressaillir’ is to tremble. This root ‘trs’ has come down to us.

In Persian-Urdu, the word is absolutely the same. ‘Tars’ in Persian means fear. In such Urdu words as ‘Khuda-tars’ (God–fearing), there is no ambiguity.

Trembling is present in both fear and sympathy. When you feel sympathy for someone, you tremble the same way as when you experience fear.

In Greek, trembling is associated with pigeons. One must admit that pigeons are a frightened lot and tend to tremble all the time — hence the Greek name ‘treron’ for pigeons, which is used as genus in zoology.

But in Hindi, it is the monkey (‘kapi’) that trembles! The monkey trembles because it is full of unspent energy. Maulvi Azad tells us that in Persian, too, it is called ‘kapi’. This is from the verb ‘kanpna’ (to tremble) and is present in Urdu for trembling, ‘kapkapi’.

In Russian, a coward is called ‘trus’ or ‘truslivi’, demonstrating that there, too, the root ‘tr’ is operative. In Punjabi, the word for fear is ‘trah’; it has been derived from Sanskrit ‘taras’.

Punjabi ‘trah’ derives from the same Indo-European root. Interestingly, the Latin name of Eros, the Love God — Cupid — comes from the ‘kp’ root meaning trembling because when you are in love, your emotions are in a state of upheaval.

The ANP is right when it says that terrorism is going to increase after the Americans are gone. Pakistan is looking more and more like Afghanistan as it loses control of its territory. Fukuyama would be intrigued by this ‘decentralisation’ of Pakistan through an act of national ‘trembling’.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Logic Europe
    Dec 25, 2012 - 8:58PM

    TR in tribune,comes from trembling too and trout has tr because you tremble when you eat trout
    Montreal mont that makes you tremble
    THIS ARTICLEMIS JUST WASTE OF SPACE

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  • Babloo
    Dec 25, 2012 - 9:10PM

    The word terror, terrible etc have Sanskrit roots from the sanskrit word “trast” , which means severe harassment.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Dec 25, 2012 - 9:26PM

    Yes. Is it the first case where a State is destroyed because of trembling. Yes Pakistan is truly lost. The way Pakistan is hurtling into abyss will make the whole world ask America not to leave Afghanistan. The world cannot afford a nation of 180 millions go bonkers. It will be a very very torrid time for India. Unlike 2001 this time the world will be harsh.

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  • Kaalchakra
    Dec 25, 2012 - 9:39PM

    Dear Sir, there is no such thing as Taliban. There may be a few misguided elements but we have to see who is funding them. Don’t just dismiss the suggestion that America, India, Israel are behind this violence. You have to ask: who benefits? Who could have done it?

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  • Zalim singh
    Dec 25, 2012 - 9:42PM

    Excellent article sir. It is people like you which average Pakistani on the road should look upto.

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  • Dec 25, 2012 - 9:58PM

    The simple truth is that there is a Taliban in most Pakistanis. You watch it on television every day.

    Unless we replace it with a rationalist, humanist person the country will keep sinking into a deeper mess.The additional measure to be taken is to put Pakistan on a roller coaster of economic development through big projects so that our surplus energies and rural labor is gainfully employed.

    The departure of Americans will only put a heavier burden on Pakistan, and it would be difficult to carry it.

    As far as link with Americans is concerned that dates back to mid fifties when Pakistan entered into military alliance with US in return for arming Pakistan.They now expect us to fulfill the promise of fighting their enemies.

    Pakistan’s policies have no clear conceptual basis. Recent interview of FM confirms this impression.She should know that management jargon is no substitute for a clear policy.

    The irony is that while ANP is on board ideologically, Muslim League is not. They are the one who are to uphold the values of Sir Syed, Iqbal and Jinnah.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:07PM

    We want to know solution not meanings of the word.

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  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:10PM

    A fairly unconvincing lesson on root words aside, the analogy with Stockholm Syndrome is mildly interesting. Could have been dealt with more finesse, Khaled Ahmed your mind is not on your work these days.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:30PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: ” ….We want to know solution not meanings of the word. … “

    The author is trying to reach you subliminally with his word and meaning game. He is trying to show how connected we all are really.

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  • Indian
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:33PM

    @Kaalchakra:
    Well said

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  • Maula Jut
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:36PM

    One tenth substance, nine tenths waffling. Sir jee, come back from wherever you are wandering.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:38PM

    The pti trolls lead by tsunami khan will solve all problems in 90 days! They blame all terrorism and problems on the USA and its allies.

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  • Moiz
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:55PM

    @Kaalchakra:
    the tribune was so much better without you?
    please do not spout nonsense you have no proof of.

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  • railoo
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Intellectualism = Abstractionism = Confusion
    A trilogy of keeping this nation in a perpetual chaos keeping relevant more Abstractionism and thus more Confusion.
    May we all prosper even when this nation sinks.

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  • Arifq
    Dec 26, 2012 - 2:38AM

    Khaled Sahib,as always excellent article. Bashir Bilour sacrificed his life because of his beliefs and political ideology, unfortunately for us there are not many made of the same mettle. Bashir Bilour, a man to respect and emulated, RIP.Recommend

  • Sudheer
    Dec 26, 2012 - 2:44AM

    @Kaalchakra,
    Dear Sir, there is no such thing as Taliban.
    Oh, yes, there is no such thing as Talibans, in fact, they are “ta ‘Ali bhaijans”, probably, closely related to Alibaba and fully busy fighting his enemies, the “chalis chors”!
    There may be a few misguided elements but we have to see who is funding them.
    Surely, there are few elements who may be just carrying “shoulder fired (mis)guided missiles” and the only question that remains to be answered is who “funded” or “founded” them!
    Don’t just dismiss the suggestion that America, India, Israel are behind this violence. You have to ask: who benefits? Who could have done it?
    Certainly, who else, but, India, Israel and America benefits from it, after all they are making $billions by allowing piracy of “Bollywood/Hollywood movies/dramas into the land of the pure and perpetuating “katl-e-aam”(genocide) of moral values of pious & innocent faithfuls!!

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  • K B Kale
    Dec 26, 2012 - 4:43AM

    @Khaledsahab, India has never been behind any provocations against Pakistan but Indians like me are worried that after Pakistan really becomes Afghanistan, it will start exporting terror to us to turn us into Afghanistan. Thodi taras khao!
    Anyway your sojourn into locating origin of the word terror was quite Greek-and-Latin to me bcz it was far-fetched.
    Having said that, I will say that I generally love to read your column.

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  • Anonymous
    Dec 26, 2012 - 5:07AM

    @Moiz:
    Why ur angry? Idon’t know who is he? But his satire is true feeling of a Talib or their helper. I

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  • Feroz
    Dec 26, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Terrorism kills and love of it can destroy any country. When terrorism comes and attacks you, nobody needs any enemies since it is capable of creating greater havoc than any other force. Join hands with secular parties like the ANP, MQM and PPP to uproot terrorism from the soil.

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  • Gratgy
    Dec 26, 2012 - 8:38AM

    At the rate Pakistan is falling, it will soon reach “Strategic Depth”

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  • zaid hamid
    Dec 26, 2012 - 9:03AM

    @Babloo:
    as i said, its India behind all terror in pakistan

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  • Haany, F.
    Dec 26, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @Gratgy:

    “At the rate Pakistan is falling, it will soon reach “Strategic Depth””

    Yeah, as last night in Banglore.

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 10:50AM

    Pakistanis talk of strategically placed geography, where Super Powers come to play. They should call it tragically placed geography for the same exact reason.

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  • Haany, F.
    Dec 26, 2012 - 10:52AM

    @Author:

    I don’t know how people having less than quarter intelligence of a commoner are allowed to write in a national newspaper just because they can writer in English. Never ever in the history of mankind, an organization had dared to fight against even the weakest and smallest of the states, let alone a state as big and strong as Pakistan, without an outside support and backing. If you know any examples, please enlighten us the readers in your next column.

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 11:01AM

    @Haany, F.:

    Are you seriously comparing the fall of the Pakistani state to the marauding Taliban, to the close fought match where India lost to Pakistan, in an inconsequential T20 game?

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  • Gratgy
    Dec 26, 2012 - 11:09AM

    @Haany, F.
    Yeah, as last night in Banglore.

    Yeah, India made loads of money yesterday from International television channels such as ESPN and Star. The question you should ask is “Why not Pakistan?”

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  • Haany, F.
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:10PM

    @Gratgy:

    “Yeah, India made loads of money”

    You made lot of money, we earned lot of respect and honor.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:14PM

    This is confirmed and harsh reality we all have to acknowledge and admit that only the US’ presence in Afghanistan and interference in Pakistan’s internal matters and policies shall always the cause of more and more terrorism and terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan…..

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  • Dec 26, 2012 - 12:28PM

    @Haany, F.:

    **”Never ever in the history of mankind, an organization had dared to fight against even the weakest and smallest of the states, let alone a state as big and strong as Pakistan, without an outside support and backing. “**

    Here, are few from the top of my head
    1) India against the British.
    2) Americans against the British.
    3) Russians in Stalingrad against the Nazis.
    4) Marathas against the Mughals.
    5) Rajputs against the Mughals.
    6) Spartans against the Persians.
    7) Balochis against the Pakistanis.
    8) East Pakistanis against West Pakistanis.
    9) South Africans against the Apartheid regime.
    10) Black of America against the discrimination.
    11) French Revolution.
    12) Russian Revolution.

    If you give me time, I’ll give a history lesson of a more thorough nature. For now this will suffice. Don’t you think? :)Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:39PM

    @Haany, F.:

    You made lot of money, we earned lot
    of respect and honor.

    And that ought to wipe 1971 and Kargil off the slate!

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  • Something Clever
    Dec 26, 2012 - 12:57PM

    @Anonymous:
    It shows you don’t know who he is by calling it satire. Those are the things he really believes. He was pretty much the representative of the dense and hopeless in tribune comments for more time than most probably welcomed him.

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  • sabi
    Dec 26, 2012 - 1:03PM

    Author.
    Pakistan suffers from a terrible misdiagnosis of what it is suffering from.
    You too?
    life of the genie of all terrorism reside in constitution of Pakistan.How unfortunate is that in thirty eight years,since the 1973 constitution,nation has not diagnosed the disease.How long we will mis the target.

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  • Gratgy
    Dec 26, 2012 - 1:26PM

    @Haany, F.
    You made lot of money, we earned lot of respect and honor.

    Lol! One measly win in a game is the worth of your “respect and honor”? Pretty cheap, I must say!.

    I think you have your priorities mixed up. Maybe thats the problem with Pakistan.

    Looking for Ghairat in inconsequential things!

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  • Usman
    Dec 26, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Even if they are home grown, from where they are getting the funds, who is giving them the guns etc ?
    It is easy to say that they are home grown but should not forgot who are behind them

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Dec 26, 2012 - 4:31PM

    @Kaalchakra:
    Further to add to your comment, man did no land on the moon, the earth is not round and every thing is an american conspircacy.

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  • kokoolo
    Dec 26, 2012 - 6:18PM

    tarsidan in farsi besides to fear & to tremble, also means to shake (just hilna in urdu). taras khana, on the other hand the most common usage of taras in urdu, means to be take heart and show compassion, and this is only so because, taras khana literally means to eat fear, that is, to think about one’s own self and have mercy on the other!

    sharm tum ko magar nahi aatiRecommend

  • ashvinn
    Dec 26, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @Gratgy:
    hahaha enjoyed it

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  • Zalmai
    Dec 26, 2012 - 6:34PM

    “In Persian-Urdu, the word is absolutely the same. ‘Tars’ in Persian means fear. In such Urdu words as ‘Khuda-tars’ (God–fearing), there is no ambiguity.”

    What is Persian-Urdu? Both Khuda and Tars are Farsi words, loan words incorporated into Urdu. The author needs to be reminded that Urdu is entirely made up of Farsi, Arabic and Hindi there is nothing original in Urdu.

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  • Talat Haque
    Dec 26, 2012 - 6:39PM

    I like the image of “NATIONAL TREMBLING” ……….. so true, so sad. We will get what we deserve – still working [on a personal level] for a turn around

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  • gujranwala789
    Dec 26, 2012 - 9:13PM

    The funny thing that this newspaper website eventhough is pakistan but is more visited and commented by indians. Another thing is that the comments of indian posters also have one of the highest likes which again reinforces that more indians visit this website than pakistanis, I would say tribune.pk website should be in the Guinness book of world record for being the only newspaper website in the world that is visited and commented more by people of neighboring country than the country in which it is established, this is definitely unique in the internet world. Indians can you please educate us on how to become obsessive with a newspaper website of a neighboring country because we pakistanis are lacking this precious piece of knowledge.

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  • Zalmai
    Dec 26, 2012 - 9:51PM

    Kaalchakra must be a graduate of Quaid e Azam University School of Spin.Recommend

  • Haany, F.
    Dec 26, 2012 - 10:11PM

    @BruteForce:

    “Here, are few from the top of my head”

    Apparently you have much better intelligence than a Dolphin. You need to read my comment again, and again, and again. Then also read your examples at least one thousand times. Good luck in your efforts.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Dec 27, 2012 - 12:33AM

    @Indian:
    I think he is just being sarcastic.

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  • Dec 27, 2012 - 10:51AM

    @Haany, F.:

    “Apparently you have much better intelligence than a Dolphin. “

    Can’t say the same thing about you, though.

    I will be interested, which of my examples are untrue. Most movements, rebellions and armed struggle are conducted by the people, without any outside help. Quite unlike what you said.

    Only a smart can admit when he is wrong.

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  • Gratgy
    Dec 27, 2012 - 3:36PM

    @Haany, F.
    You need to read my comment again, and again, and again. Then also read your examples at least one thousand times.

    Ah! So this is how you spend your day

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Dec 27, 2012 - 7:20PM

    @BruteForce:

    I am pretty sure he believes what he has been told that India is funding the Baloch movement. Likewise instead of knowing that Operation Searchlight pushed millions into India creating the need for Mukti Bahini, they have been told that India created Mukti Bahini. Those are probably the 2 examples in your list that he disagrees with. Not surprisingly he completely ignores all the other examples you gave which no one disputes. Because even if one of those examples was true, his point that no such movement can exist without external support would be disproved.

    For some people the need to hate India (and now US) is greater than the need to actually solve Pakistan’s problems. IT keeps them in Series 7 BMWs and also rules chance of failure which is a potential consequence in case the actual threat is confronted.

    Recommend

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