Thursday, August 11, 2011

Farhat Taj' Taliban and Anti-Taliban

The book here...
Based on extensive ground research in FATA, Taliban and Anti-Taliban reveals the indigenous tribal people’s blood-soaked relationships with the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the Pakistani military establishment and its intelligence apparatus. The book uncovers the heroic armed and non-violent struggle of the local population against the Taliban and Al-Qaida. It also documents the tribesmen’s feedback on some of the high profile literature authored in relation to FATA since 9/11 and exposes serious drawbacks in the writings of some of the famous FATA “experts” in the world.

Tribal resistance to the Taliban and Al-Qaida has been widely ignored in international academic and policy discourse, and in media reporting on the war on terror. Knowledge and understanding of this resistance is immensely important for people in the wider world to determine friends and foes in the global war on terror. Taliban and Anti-Taliban fills the void for the first time since 9/11.

This book is a must read for anyone and everyone interested in knowing what is going on inside FATA, the region dubbed as “the most dangerous place in the world” by the US.
...and from Terry Glavin's review here.
Now, Taj has got a book out, Taliban and Anti-Taliban. It is the result not just of historical scholarship but also roughly 2000 interviews and discussions undertaken throughout FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (formerly the Northwest Frontier Province) over the past two years. A lot of nasty and violent people, along with very smart and well-situated people, are going to be quite displeased with what the book exposes, not least the nonsense that the Pakistani government would surrender the jihadist Arabs and Talib crackpots in the hill country, but the stubborn tribes just won't permit it because of that "Pakhtunwali" thing. Taj writes: "Some first-hand interactions with the tribesmen would have provided the scholars and journalists with a wealth of empirical evidence to establish that no tribes in FATA can dare to host anyone wanted by the state."

Further: "Where do Usama Bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri or other foreign terrorists fit in to this notion and practice of hospitality? Well-armed and battle hardened Al-Qaida terrorists never surrendered their weapons to the tribes in FATA. Instead they have overpowered the tribes and brutally killed those tribesmen who defied them. They entered Waziristan with full state consent and all the tribesmen who opposed their entry were killed with state collusion by the militants. Those that were left ran away or were overpowered by the militants covertly backed by the Pakistani state. If the Pakistani state wants today, no militants can ever stay in Waziristan or elsewhere in FATA.
No surpized OBL found in a house in Abottobad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Farhat Taj had unveiled the hidden facts that the world is not aware of about "war on terror" in FATA. I being resident of the area and a researcher by profession dare not to publish my work because of the fear of state's intelligence agencies. Pakistan has supported these extremists for 63 years and it is continued till date. Farhat's research about drone attacks and Pakistan' military establishment's role since cold war is accurate to the depth. Very few civilian casualties have been reported so far in predator strikes in North Waziristan, according to the local sources. Indeed, in certain drone attacks women and children and relatives of the host family have been victims of these strikes. In comparison to Pakistan security forces operation against the tribes and militants, more civil casualties happened. Media and Punjabi ruling elite in civil and military institutions have been doing the opposite to each other in Pakistan - though the cause and understanding behind actions is same i.e. to weaken Pashtuns. This fear has a history to itself since the times of Abdali, Ghaznavi and Ghauri etc. This bloodshed of Pashtuns and their reaction to this whole crisis and disaster won’t come to halt unless and until US and Pakistan understand their blunders and revisit relations with Saudi Arabia. This needs sincere actions in either wiping out or disarming the extremist forces across the Durand line. These both are possible if ISI and CIA cooperate with trust and mutual understanding, based on international law and norms.


Zaheer Abbas Mehsud
Research Fellow
Department of International Relations
Quaid-I-Azam University