Monday, July 02, 2007

Taliban: An exploration from Books.

If we search "Taliban" on any search engine, there will be huge list of news and articles popping up in front of us written by writers who never went to Afghanistan, never met any Taliban nor any current local leader. A short look over these articles will create a picture of Taliban as barbaric and inhumane. If we look at the US media than it specially paints the picture of current local rulers of Afghanistan as angels and Taliban as cruel bunch of people. If we analyze these claims from some books written by famous writers, than we find some different story. Here I want to share some parts of these books and let us see will they answer your or my questions?

Are Taliban barbaric and murderes?

The Taliban’s interpretation of shariah or Islamic law demanded the execution of the murderer by the victim’s family, but not before a last minute appeal is made by the judge to the victim’s relatives to spare the murderer. If they granted mercy the victim’s family would receive blood money or monetary compensation. But how much of this interpretation of Islamic law by the Taliban is owed to shariah and how much is owed to the pashtun tribal code of behavior or Pashtunwali, is what is disputed by many Muslim theologians, both inside Afghanistan and beyond.

By now some 20 male relatives of the victim had appeared on the pitch and the Qazi turned to them. Raising his arm to sky, he appealed to them to spare the life of Abdullah in exchange for blood money “You will go to Mecca ten times if you spare this man. Our leaders have promised to pay a huge sum to you from a bait ul mal (Islamic fund) if you forgive him”. He told the relatives. As all the relatives shook their heads in refusal, the Taliban guards pointed their guns at the crowed and warned that they would shoot anyone who moved. There was silence in the stands.

Page 4, From Taliban: Islam, oil and the new great game in Central Asia By Ahmed Rashid

Are US allies in Afghanistan symbol of liberty, democracy and freedom?

He wielded power ruthlessly. The first time I arrived at the fort to meet Dostum there were bloodstains and pieces of flesh in the muddy courtyard. I innocently asked the guards if the goat had been slaughtered. They told me that an hour earlier Dostum had punished a soldier for stealing. The man had been tied to the tracks of Russian-made tank, which then drove around the courtyard crushing his body in to mincemeat. As the garrison and Dostum watched…Dostum is a bear of a man with a gruff laugh, which, some Uzbeks swear, has on occasion frightened people to death.

Page 56, From Taliban: Islam, oil and the new great game in Central Asia By Ahmed Rashid

What was the reason of Afghanistan invasion? Is it Terrorism or something else?

Raphael’s call for engagement with the Taliban attracted support outside the Clinton administration, especially from Unocal. Marty Miller and his colleagues hoped the Taliban take over of Kabul would speed their pipeline negotiations. Within week of the capital’s capture, Unocal formed a new financial partnership to build the pipeline, announced the creation of an advisory board made up of prestigious American experts on South and Central Asia, and opened a new office in Taliban’s heartland, Kandhar. Marty Miller insisted publicly that Unocal remained “fanatically neutral” about Afghan politics, but it was clear that the Taliban’s military victory would be helpful in reducing the number of parties to the Unocal pipeline talk.

Republican and congressional experts also declared that America should give the Taliban a chance. ”it is time for United States to reengage’, wrote zalmay khalilzad, one of the American government’s leading Afghan specialists, soon after the Taliban takeover of the Kabul. “The Taliban does not practice the anti-US style of fundamentalism practiced by Iran. It is closer to the Saudi model.” This remained the common prism of American thinking about Islamists political movements: Saudi Arabia was conservative, pious and non-threatening, while Iran was active, violent and revolutionary. As doctrinaire Sunni Muslims, the Taliban vehemently opposed Iran and its Shiite creed, and in the sense they were allied with the American interests. Khalilzad was soon invited to join Unocal’s advisory board, along with Robert Oakley, the former US ambassador to Pakistan.

Page 338-339 FROM Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 BY Steve Coll

One of the most interesting name from above mentioned text is of Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad who later become US ambassador in Afghanistan and was thought to be real ruler of Afganistan under US occupation. Unocal, rumsfield ,Zalmay khalilzad , American invasion and control of land, what else is left in a puzzle?


Talha Aziz said...

'great research' bro .. u shud include references from more than one book to make it an 'awesome research'

btw... i hav added a link to ur blog on mine.. ok?

IftikharAlam said...

Bohat Shukriya..