Talibanization is not a mere threat. It is a clear and present danger that has already hit our cities and villages alike.
by Mohammad Ali Mahar, Austin, TX, USA
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was reading a book, “Three Cups of Tea”, which is based on the true story of a mountaineer who got lost in the wilderness of Himalayas in the early 1990s and ended up being in a small village named Khorpe – the last Pakistani settlement at the feet of the mighty mountain range . I am not going to repeat the whole biographic account of Greg Mortenson, the mountaineer, here. However, it was at that time that he saw the scourge of Talibanization worming its way into the Pakistani society. If a complete stranger could see it coming, and predicting the outcome, was it merely an intelligence failure that Pakistani security agencies could not see Taliban building a strong foothold in the country?
Drive from Karachi to Rohri on any given day and you will see busloads of Afghanis with turbans and beards, and who knows what in their luggage, driving into Sindhi cities. Go to Sohrab Goth area and you would think you were in Kabul. Sometime back, a Pukhtun (an Afghan refugee, and, who knows, a Taliban?) even tried to grab a previous piece of land on the Gorakh Hill!
Also, please read Dr. Manzur Ijaz’s column to see how these Taliban are making inroad to even the far flung areas of Thar.
I would be blind if I could not see Taliban’s intentions of taking over Sindh, and the rest of the country, authorities permitting.
But is MQM sincere in crying wolf? Far from that. Someone just raised a very valid point of Indian Muslims migrating to Sindh everyday with MQM’s connivance. If we thought the reason for MQM’s new found love for Sindh was for the sake of Sindh, then we would be living in a fool’s paradise. MQM is right now banking on PPP’s failure. They can clearly see Sindh falling in their lap should Sindhi people get disenchanted with the party. Should PPP lose an election, they will be free to manipulate the smaller parties and form their own government, or bring a puppet to power, a la Arbab.
The reason MQM is against Taliban because right now Pakhtun’s are the only force countering their terror in Karachi. And by taking this opportunity, they want to expel the only threat to their authority in Sindh, especially Karachi, in the name Taliban. Afghan leaving, they think they will be free to enforce their own version of Shariah, Altaf Bhai being Imam of which, and run the province according to their own wishes.
If Talibanization is a menace, which definitely it is, MQM is even bigger a threat for Sindhi society. While Taliban are destroying our cultural fabric, MQM is behind the very existence of Sindhi. If you thought MQM’s maneuvering during Jam and Arbab’s tenures were bad for Sindh, you aint seen nothin yet .
Babur Ghauri, in the first tenure of Mohtarma BB’s tenure, had said on the floor of Sindh Assembly that they hated Sindhi language. He again reiterated his hatred towards Sindh and Sindhis when a delegation of Sindhis, led by Dr. Safdar Sarki and Suhail Memon, , according to a column written by the latter, met with him in Dallas. He is the face of MQM in Pakistan. We ought to remember that.
While keeping an eye on the one, let’s not close our eyes on the other.