A load of bull****

No human being could possibly think of justifying the savage attack on a 14-year-old schoolgirl. But many have tried

Today, and in the days and weeks to follow, much will be written on the subject that I will be attempting to address today. While each one of the right-honorable journalists, columnists and analysts who offer their two-cents on the subject will be more thorough and erudite than I can ever hope to be, I just want to make sure that you are listening. And paying attention. How do you argue with people who still think that the Taliban are just a bunch of ‘misunderstood’ people? Simple. You don’t. Instead, you show them images of Malala Yousafzai’s blood-soaked school uniform. If they have even an iota of humanity in them, they will need no further convincing.

Monday’s attack on the Sitara-e-Jurrat recipient is not just a grim reminder that terror knows no scruples, it is a call to arms. The government, that includes the armed forces of Pakistan as well, which has pussyfooted around the issue of dealing with these villains for far too long, has no excuse for their inaction anymore. No human being, no matter who they are or where they are from, could possibly think of justifying the savage targeted attack on a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

But many have tried.

At a time when the nation should have been united against a common foe, many were still bickering about who the bigger enemy is. The logic they present is horrendous. The United States is killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan; therefore, the Taliban are justified in seeking revenge for these deaths by killing and maiming even more innocent civilians. And besides, because the United States sends unmanned drones to bomb funerals, weddings and other gatherings; any Pakistani who does not support the Taliban automatically becomes the target of anti-US anger. And rightly so. Because they did not oppose the US’ injustices in Iraq, Afghanistan and a plethora of other geographically distant entities.

What a load of bull****.

Let me break it down for you.

Pakistan has been patronizing (with and without sanction from the US) a large number of militant groups for various purposes. These can be divided into two major groups: those who fight the ‘good fight’ in Kashmir and those who fight the ‘good fight’ in Afghanistan. On the Afghan side, Pakistan has been patronizing groups such as those of the Haqqanis, Molvi Gul Bahadur and Molvi Nazir, but they have never dared attack inside of Pakistani territory and concentrate their violence against US forces on the other side of the Durand Line. Of the Kashmiri groups, Hizb-e-Islami and its off-shoot Al-Badr, along with the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, have never carried out attacks within Pakistan or against Pakistanis. However, the Harkat-ul-Ansar and its offspring the Jaish-e-Muhammad (of Maulana Masood Azhar fame), have a stellar kill record inside of Pakistan. This is because they have linked up with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is a decidedly anti-Pakistan movement. Add to this mix the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and you’ve got yourself a recipe for bloodbaths and mayhem.

So who are the TTP and the LeJ? In truth, no one knows for certain. However, those who have reported on their activities and met with their leadership say that these are groups that are, in turn, supported, funded and armed by the Afghan and Indian governments (as revenge for all the stunts they pulled in the past). While all three states (Pakistan included) deny publicly any involvement with these ruffians, the truth is that each is using certain groups to its own advantage. Add to this mix the US, which uses drones to attack only Taliban not aligned with the TTP (with some notable exceptions in the cases of the two elder Mehsuds, who were enemies of both). The drone strikes occur on the Pakistani side of the border because all groups of Taliban, good and bad, have sought refuge here. Even the common criminals and thugs who comprise the LeJ and TTP are let off, simply because they are not a direct threat to the US. Confused yet? You should be.

There is a solution to this regional game of good-and-bad Taliban, but no side is willing to make the first move that will end this bloody stalemate. Pakistan, for one, needs to stop supporting all kinds of Taliban and abandon dreams of strategic depth through a friendly Afghanistan. The United States needs to realize that there can be no alliance until they go after all sorts of Taliban and terrorists, indiscriminately. Afghanistan and India need to stop funding and backing the TTP. But obviously, it is far easier and more convenient to keep the charade going and to let innocent Pakistanis suffer.

We need to realize that we are fast becoming our own worst enemies. As long as we keep kidding ourselves, a Malala Yousafzai will be shot every day in every part of the country. I, for one, will not stand for a Pakistan like that. Neither should you.

Follow @mightyobvious on Twitter for more incoherence in 140 characters or less

Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi

The writer is a journalist currently working in the development sector. Tweets at: @mightyobvious_


    • ssp786 said:

      Agreed.We have to eliminate extremism from Pakistan , otherwise they will destroy the country

      • wonderer said:

        All Indians wish you best of luck in "eliminating extremism" from Pakistan. Prayers of many girls like Malala who live in Mumbai and Kashmir will be with you. May Allah save Malala and bestow Islamic wisdom on the cowards who attached the poor child.

  1. Chaudhry Boota said:

    excellent…you have hit the nail on its head…the people of KPK have suffered enough for the wrong policies…!

  2. Jawwad Khan said:

    The Taliban's spokesperson has outlined the justifications for the attack on Malala.All the justifications are from within Islam itself,from recongnised islamic precedents and teachings.
    It's time the apologists stopped living in denial and faced upto the elephant in the room no one want s to talk about.
    These militants are truly following islam,atleast they're brave enough to admit it.the 'moderates' should stop twisting and turning to present their more palatable version of islam.It's time to face upto reality.Religion has brought nothing but death and destruction to this world.The apologists should stop living in their fairy tales & have the courage to face the truth.

  3. @farooqfaizi said:

    So you suggest that the solution to end this decade old war is more war…more brutality..more killings. You convinced me, lets do it, but wait, my uncle from Karachi is asking me that around 3000 ppl are killed by a bunch of Mafias in Karachi every year and how will it end? but now I know the answer, Kill them all by going at war with them. So soon we should start military operation all over Boluchistan, Karachi, Peshawar, Dir, North Waziristan, South Waziristam Bajaur. What an Idea sirji

    • northworth said:

      No teaching of islam allows individuals to go on a killing spree if someone rightly or wrongly disagrees with their ideas or beliefs. Supporting Talibans will not make you or your family safe as they will begin to chase you for what's your hairstyle, what you eat, mode of journey and declare all those unislamic. Then you will find yourself alone and isolated as the society, as we know today, will cease to exist then.

    • Anon said:

      Since you know a better solution and you can articulate so well …
      Never mind …

  4. Humayun nadeem said:


    It's much easier to live in the falsehoods one has created to rationalise one's addiction to religion.the lifestyle liberals and the muslim apologists want to demonise the taliban as something foreign,as soemthing non-islamic.Well,they need to open their eyes,these religious terrorists are only doing what has been set by example and teachings in history.These militants are atleast being honest and staying close to the examples set centuries ago.The letter by the taliban spokesperson available on the itnernet quotes everything from islamic history and Quran and sharia.It's the hypocritical moderates who need to summon the strength necessary to call a spade a spade.

  5. SAM said:

    a tragic incident indeed, but so are where drones rain down hell on children and innocents! may she recover soon and may she lead a long healthy active life. Those who shot her should be tried for attempted murder and justice needs to be delivered as swiftly as possible.

  6. Shahid said:

    Americans must leave Afghanistan. They must not act as policemen of the world. As for drones, they only target terrorists. Obviously, in this type of warfare, collateral damage is expected. All this does not justify TTP policy. They and their sypathisers & supporters remain a detestable lot.
    Long live Malala and the cause she upholds!!!

  7. Mubasher Pasha said:

    You know sometimes we are so enraged that words just form a jumble in your mind.. Well, your article just said most of what I would've said… I say 'most' because you left out all the obscenities I would've added when speaking about Taliban and anyone who tries to rationalize, justify or support their ideology one iota. Good on ya Mighty!

  8. shamsudin said:

    let imran khan explain malalas' murder attempt.the man has no vision but selfish,arrogant,enemy of poor,noit bothered of poor problems.he has proven friend of coalition tola and enemy of 18 crore poor

    • Raza Khan said:

      slap urself awake my friend..If u think Imran Khan is the enemy of Pakistan and its people then u r not just in a deep slumber but u have ur head up , in u know what part of the anatomy.
      If u think IK is not bothered for the poor, and lacks vision then I would love to see you or the politicians u support to build a Cancer Hospital for the poor, a state of the art university in the most impoverished part of Pakistan and yeah devise a strategy to stop Drones.
      You live in an idiots world, and good luck to you for that.

  9. Bisharat said:

    It's all about the money. War is a multibillion dollar industry. The U.S. alone makes more than $200 billion a year from a war-related economy. Look at Pakistan; 75% of our budget goes to the military in the guise of Kashmir. This issue can easily be sorted, but neither Indians nor Pakistani want to solve it because they know that funding for the military would stop. Why would anyone want to end war when it is what is making their wallets fatter?

    The problem is, that even some of us can understand that, most of us don't. Most of us live very short-sighted lives and don't really think about the bigger overall picture. People like us don't matter to those "up there," deciding that it is fine to bomb/kill/shoot the Talibans/Malalas because it does not matter a single iota to them, as all these things make them rich.

    Of course, the bad Talibans are the scum of the world. There is no justification for their actions for shooting the poor brave girl. But saying that it is ok to bomb the s*** out of them is not correct thinking either. I read a Facebook meme that said something like, (and I paraphrase) "Fighting for peace is like having sex for virginity." How is bombing/killing the Taliban justifiable, if you say that this will bring peace.

    If you and I get into an argument, say about an apple. We both want the apple and keep fighting over it. You have a few options: You can either knock me out, take the apple – but in this case, when I wake up, I will come knock you out, or worse kill you; you can kill me and take the apple; or you can talk to me and we can sit together and say, ok, you can take this apple, I'll take the next one, or that we can divide the apple in half, or forget it, let's give this apple to that child over there. My point is, instead of being violent against the violent, entering a dialogue is a much better option, as that gives way to more options.

    Of course, this will take time. It will take many more lives and many more sacrifices to get there. But the first option should be to take the non-violent path. Try to talk this through. Make them understand, because right now, neither do we understand the Taliban nor the Taliban really understand us. There is a lot of confusion, a lot of misguided resentment and emotions. All these need to be sorted out and talked about.

    But that's never going to happen. The "powers that be" want war. They want everyone to keep fighting so that they can keep producing and supplying guns, tanks, armor, missiles, bombs, mines, gunpowder, drones, nightvision goggles, etc. etc.

    It's a multibillion industry that is here to stay.

  10. dialogueforpeace said:

    If you criticise Hinduism for its advocacy of caste system in Indian society then why do you fall silent on Sariah inspired terrorism in Pakistan?

  11. IndianDude said:

    LOL! LOL!
    Your assertion that India supports TTP compromising of LeJ and Jaish-e-Muhammad (of Maulana Masood Azhar fame).Yes same Masood azar that fought against the indian troops in kashmir……Thats "A load of bull****" alright!

    What's with pakistanis and utter lack of common sense?

    • hassanbelalzaidi said:

      The Taliban also fought against the Soviets in the Afghan war. Does common sense dictate that they cannot have gone against Pakistan too?
      Your common sense is lacking…

    • M Ali Khan said:

      Ever heard of the term "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" pappu?

      • stupid said:

        khan saheb by this logics, america also is our friend becuase they killing taliban who killed our people..

  12. Jonathan said:

    Meanwhile… the Pakistani surgeon who helped find Osama bin Laden (and where was he found?) has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason.

  13. Pro Malala said:

    Very logical writing! Time has came that we should all condemn our enemy as a nation. There should be no second opinion about this enemy of the nation. Taliban are anti Pakistan elements and there should be no doubts about it, we should stand united on this stance.
    Our all energies and forces should work to eliminate them to save our lovely country Pakistan.

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