Political use of Religion in AFPAK History

The writings of most religious writers are a source of extremist and intolerant behavior in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The religious writers who are pro-Sayyed-Mawdudi, pro-Sayyed-Qutub,Pro-Aljama,Pro-Hizb ul Tahrir etc are infact Arab nationalist thinkers presenting naïve utopian analysis to the masses of other nations .The writings of such Muslim writers are master pieces to those Pashtuns and Afghans who see the solution of their ills in the concept of Jihad and pan Islamism without knowing the pre-requisites of Jihad and the practicality of pan-Islamist ideas.

The AFPAK puzzle is challenging but not impossible to resolve if we know the laws of cultural engineering and keep in view the historic perspective of both the countries. In case of Afghans and Pashtuns ,it is the time in history where they need to change their direction to national goals and targets in consonance with the laws of history and strive for freedom indigenously both in Pakistan and Afghanistan instead of becoming a cannon fodder for the imperialist designs of Arabs, Punjabis or any other alien force.

Pakhtuns are among those nations who have suffered the most due to the pan-islamist utopian ideas. When Russians came to Afghanistan ,the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani military and their stereotypes encouraged Afghans and Pashtuns to fight against them while accumulated all the dollars for their own economic benefit by offering the sacrifice of "Brave and Islam loving " Afghans at the altar of Pakistani national interests. The same Pakistani military is now using Pashtuns and Afghans against American and ISAF forces in Afghanistan in the name of Taliban. In the future Pashtuns might be used against China which is the next bear to be trapped with the help of Pakistan in the great game.

In the Afghan war, General Zia played with the emotions of Pakistanis in general and those of Pashtuns, Afghans and Arabs in particular. He used Americans to get the dollars to transform the bipolar world into a unipolar, he used Punjabis to legitimise and prolong his regime by claiming to secure Pakistan (and hence Punjabi imperialism), he used the religiosity of Pakistani Pashtuns and used the bravery and resilient nature of Afghans to defeat the Russians. He used media to project Russians as infidels and atheists instead of anti imperialists. Hence it was Pakistani military in the form of General Zia who exploited religion for his own ulterior motives to prolong military dictatorship.

Pashtuns and Afghans should only think about their national interest and talk to international powers on egalitarian basis due to their geo strategic position in central and south Asia. This status of Afghans is an advantage wrongly projected as a disadvantage for the Afghan nation by Pakistani establishment.

The objective of foreign presence in Afghanistan is well defined, it is the modus operandi which needs a change. The dismantling of Al-Qaida and Taliban network is a noble cause contrary to the one defined by US for Iraq. The USA and ISAF are being projected as usurpers, invaders and imperialists instead of liberators and rehabilitators of the war struck Afghan masses, by the biased Pakistani media, military and secret agencies.

Pakistan uses the misguiding propaganda and disinformation for the justification of the war against the US troops. The result of this propaganda is the destruction and devastation of Afghanistan, failure of int'l community to stabilise Afghanistan and the role of Afghanistan to be the Chess board of local, regional and int'l players. All this culminates into the strengthening of religious fundamentalist movements for the revival of Arab domination over the world and waging a Jihad against all those who refuse to be dominated by them.

The US should hit the source of all this Jihad, Terrorism, Infiltration and instability and should pressurise GHQ in Rawalpindi and all those elements in Pakistan who were and are responsible for using Afghans for their own imperialist and malicious designs. The US should play its positive role for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan and should pressurise the Pakistani military to stop aiding and supporting all those elements that are responsible for the devastation of Pakhtun land across the Durand line.

I believe that the US objective is right but the methodology is fallacious if not wrong. The dimensions of fallacy being lack of military wisdom, unwise use of drone technology, misappropriated funding technique. Any effort for the ethnic divide, tensions, differences and discrimination are not going to uproot the nurseries of terrorism from Afghanistan or Pakistan because the cause is somewhere else. The cause of the problem is situated on Moll Road of Rawalpindi not in the caves of Tora Burra.The religious clergy who now own plazas and markets in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and elsewhere use to beg for their dinner meals till they were made lords by the army generals of Pakistan. The cause of the problem is petro-dollar not drug-kaldaar.The wahabis who have been bribed by the monarchy of Saudi Arabia would like to enslave the whole world to increase the number of their wives in this world too in addition to the fixed number in their dreams.

The only way for US to solve the problem and to prevent Afghanistan becoming another Vietnam is to support the merger of Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand line. Afghans by their nature are progressive minded people, they have been indoctrinated by the Pakistani agencies and their stooges in order to defend their banana republic from India. The Pashtuns due to lack of political awareness and literacy are being used for all so called ideological wars to strengthen the extremist-terrorist-sectarian Punjabi paradise called Pakistan. Politico-economic prosperity remains a dream unless a nation has strong defence. Afghanistan needs peace and its neighbors do not want it. The active anti-peace neighbor Pakistan is already facing the music herself for destroying the peace of Afghanistan and the other anti Afghan forces are in row.

Once the infiltration of terrorists into Afghanistan by Pakistan is prevented, Afghans would come up with even much better suggestions, proposals and solutions. The infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and secret agencies is the major cause of terrorism in Afghanistan. If this cause is not addressed then US and world community would keep on building Afghanistan and ISI backed clergy and terrorists, Taliban and Al-Qaida would continue destroying it.

Analysis of Pashtun Miseries

Two observations are worth noting:

1) In general, where ever you see backwardness, irrational behavior and uselessness you will find religion there too unfortunately.

2) The moment a nation become useless it starts loosing power and consequently instead of fighting for their rights they start lamenting , crying , mourning ,disowning their failures and neglecting their limitations and faults consequently falling prey to the more useful and hence powerful nation.

The Pakhtun nation, is a perfect example of this bitter reality.

We are the most religious people on earth hence nearly the most backward people too forming the largest tribal society in the comity of nation in the 21st century. Interestingly despite that we are ultra religious we have not produced even religious scholars or leaders as compared to those nations who either have been our subjects in the history or are much weaker a race than us. Pakhtuns are mostly deobandi (Qasim Nanotwai/Mahmudul hasan-India) Sunnis or Salafi (Abdul Wahab-Najdi) or Tableeghi (Ilyas-Indian) or Shias (Iranian) or followers of Maududi's JI (Pathankot - India) or Dr Israr's TI (Hisar -Indian Punjab) and so on. If religion can be of any material benefit then we Pakhtuns have made sure not even to think about it and we have made it a point to plunge into the most fruitless and futile ventures of religion like Jihad etc.

Secondly we have not contributed sufficiently to the repository of history. Our contributions are necessarily there but they are not sufficient to win us a respectable rapport while being in a majority or a distinguished status while being in minority.

Yes we can wish for a separate homeland, or a developed and stable Afghanistan or having world leaders ,scientists ,lawyers, writers and intellectuals etc in the world but that need tremendous efforts. These efforts are nothing new. Every nation has gone through the same course of history.

We are nothing demographically as compared to Chinese - an ex-opium addicted nation but still due to their hardwork they are a candidate for the next super power. We have not been nuclearly bombed (though carpet bombed) like Japanese but still Japan is considered an industrialized and first world country.So many other examples can be quoted.

Having said that we should acknowledge that we have a glorious history but a dark present. However we still have a lot of plus points contrary to other nations to achieve our collective future goals if we want. Hence in conclusion we need to take critical decisions on national / collective level as follows:

1) We need to get rid of religious obsession and get into more and more scientific approach about life and universe. I would suggest that everyone should get self education regarding what science says about life, universe, society etc.

2) We need to aim at excellence in our fields. What we Pakhtuns lament about is nothing other than the result of our collective efforts. This is the lesson of history we need to learn.

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