Played like fiddles

Is it not clear that having successfully divided us, the TTP have us over a barrel just as they knew they would?

Kamran Shafi October 03, 2013
The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

By golly, we are being played like several tuneless fiddles by the murderous terrorists: these villains and their foreigner handlers? E.g., the latest bombing in Peshawar’s Qissa Khawani Bazaar killing scores and maiming many more — no one is certain about the exact number of dead, some say upwards of 75 and counting — is not claimed by the TTP and some of us rejoice in the fact that this is another pointer that the terrorist organisation is slowly but surely ceasing its activities and proceeding towards the negotiation table. We then fool ourselves into blaming the ‘hidden hand’?

In which case, and this is just to illustrate the point, we are in more serious trouble than even I thought. Are there hundreds of explosive-laden trucks and vans in the hands of hundreds of organisations we don’t even know about? And if Pakistan’s ‘enemies’: India, Israel and the US are as active as the conspiracy theorists would have us believe, how and why is it that not one of their agents has been caught in the 20 or so years we have been the targets of mayhem and murder?

But is it not clear as day that having successfully divided us, the TTP have us over a barrel just as they knew they would? I hope to God I am wrong, but I foresee heightened terrorist activity in the immediate future, to kill whatever resolve that remains in us to make our country secure from the criminals and their foreign handlers and leaders. The terrorists will want to soften us up further while we remain confused so that we are easy pickings in 2014 when the bulk of foreign forces (which are distracting them somewhat, now) leave Afghanistan. Rs100 rides on the bet that their Afghan cousins will join them in ‘officially’ wresting a part of our country in Fata away from us. Any takers?

On another tack, do take a good look at the ‘good’ Taliban: This Mullah Nabi Hanafi, formerly of the TTP, now ‘helping’ the government fight his former friends as punishment for which his headquarters near Hangu was blown up this last Wednesday, killing 20 of his militants, seems quite a beauty himself. Accused by his own people of having a hand in the murder of the PTI’s MPA from Hangu, Fareed Khan, he has also been known to hold up trucks and extract protection money on pain of looting them and kidnapping for ransom.

Just the sort of villain to have on your side, what? Is this a ‘come-one, come-all’ situation because of the dire straits our State is in as re: terrorism, or is it ‘setting a thief to catch a thief’? Whichever it is, it just shows how very badly this country is stuck in the mire of its own creation. At the risk of having my ancestry traced, could one ask the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa why the man was not arrested for the murder of its own MPA considering his HQ is located in a settled area?

(Just as I wrote the above two paragraphs, I checked Twitter for fresh news. And what did I find? That Mullah Fazlullah aka the murderous Mullah Radio had threatened to attack and kill the COAS and the Corps Commander, Peshawar! See what I mean, readers? May the good Lord thwart the plans of the murderers and may He give us the spine to save our country from the savages!).

I do sometimes wonder if the Commando realises what a terrible crime, for it was nothing but, he committed when emasculating the political administration in Fata and handing tribal affairs to army officers who knew head nor tail of how to deal with the tribes. (I must add here that Babar Sattar’s “The revenge argument”Dawn, September 30, 2013, reminded me of this). I had written on May 5, 2009 in Dawn: “ … it was the Commando who is primarily responsible for what is happening in the Frontier because of his foolish act of replacing the political administration with the army. Witness the saga of Lt. Gen Safdar whose “eyes saw everything” and whose “ears heard everything” and Nek Mohammad!’

We are reaping what the Commando sowed: the murderers now have the gall, nay the effrontery, of threatening the senior-most army commanders. Well, serve us, all of us, right for fooling ourselves.

In the end, a complaint to whoever can help: there is an internet news source called SaachTV, which has at least on one occasion told a most blatant lie; and on the second, what certainly seems like one. The lie was when it propagated that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s family had ‘left for London’ the day he was removed from office by the Supreme Court. This was a patently false bit of news, which when I pointed it out on the social media, a person representing the source tweeted words to the effect that it was ‘rumoured’.

When told it should then be said that it was a rumour, there was no answer. The second and most recent seeming lie is only two days old: That according to the Pakistani Consulate, 40 limousines were hired in New York for the PM’s “family and aides” and a sum of $400,000 was to be spent on a banquet at $100 a plate. Forty limos for the PM’s ‘family and aides’? I doubt that so many would be needed for the whole delegation. Also at $100 a plate there would have to be 4,000 guests. Did they hire Yankee Stadium to fit in so many? Or was there a massive garden party in Central Park? Someone should do something about this JhootTV!

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2013.

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Zeeshan Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply

Amazing how Kamran Shafi bends the facts to suit his rants. He seems to be convinced the entire quagmire in Pakistan is because of the mullahs. Might I remind him of incidents like the Raymond Davis affair, where an “IT contractor” turns out to be a CIA operative, whose personal items happened to include a digital camera with pictures of civilian and military addresses around the nation (some of which later turned out to be the sites of ‘terrorist’ attacks). Or perhaps the Indian RAW agent arrested in Lyari during the recent police crackdown on local gangs? I suppose the assassination of Benazir was also an obscure Islamic group with sophisticated apparatus that includes washing the most infamous crime scene of the century with forensic dissolving foam? Please forgive Pakistanis for being a bit skeptical in the face of mounting evidence that there are foreign hands at play.

Prabhjyot Singh Madan | 10 years ago | Reply

Please declare pakistan as a suba of Afghanistan then ttp will have to fight afghan talibans or better merge with a hopeless situation, Taliban khan has becomes a spokesperson of ttp. Rab rakha

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