October 5, 2011

Good Taliban, Bad Taliban

If it were merely blithering idiots giving us the good Taliban, bad Taliban story, we would simply laugh and move on. But that's not the case. The good Taliban, bad Taliban is deeply embedded into the minds of our intellectuals and journalists and hence this rhetoric finds its way onto the mainstream. Which is problematic for two reasons: 1) it creates confusion amongst the masses, and 2) it keeps the Pakistani establishment hovering two feet above the air when it needs to be brought back down.

Why does the Pakistani establishment keep floating in the air when this rhetoric is flowing though? The answer is simple. They are the ones who have fooled us into believing in this rhetoric in the first place. While the Afghan Taliban are good Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban are the bad Taliban. Unfortunately for the Pakistani people, the Taliban refuse to distinguish themselves as the Pakistani or Afghan Taliban. To them they are just the Taliban. Hence the Pakistani Taliban claim that Sirajuddin Haqqani is a commander of the Taliban while the Pakistani establishment believes that because Sirajuddin Haqqani is an Afghan, he is good for Pakistan.

I have questioned repeatedly and vigorously as to what benefit the Pakistani establishment sees when it tries to enforce upon the masses that creating a strategic depth in Afghanistan is paramount to Pakistan's future. However no answer has ever been forthcoming. So, we don't know what good will come from having a war torn and destabilized Afghanistan on our west border with the Taliban in the government's seat other than somehow it will help us against India.

Reverting to a point I made earlier regarding Pakistani intelligentsia's fallacy of falling for the rhetoric that is spewed by the establishment, it becomes doubly dangerous because this propaganda is passed off as facts. When national newspapers become the playgrounds of manipulation, the concept of objective journalism evaporates. It is indeed the need of the hour that the Pakistani journalistic community get its act together and pushes for an objective viewpoint that questions the intentions of all parties involves and condones transparency and the point of views that are beneficial for Pakistan as a whole; not simply for those pulling the strings.