The Pakhtun, the Taliban and ignorant outsiders

The Pakhtun, the Taliban and ignorant outsiders
The News, January 15, 2009
Farhat Taj

The Pakhtun are caught up in one of the most difficult times of their history. The Taliban are aggressively attacking their lives, livelihoods, culture and history. Pakistan army, the defender of the frontiers of Pakistan, including the Pakhtun areas, is failing to protect them against the atrocities of the Taliban. Some influential outsiders continue to depict in media that the Pakhtun and Taliban are one and the same people. The outsiders have almost no or at best a superficial knowledge of the history and culture of the Pakhtun. Most of them never even care to come to the Pakhtun areas to see the realities of the people with their own eyes and still they believe themselves to be authorities on the Pakhtun. They seem to take pride in their ignorance about the Pakhtun. They do not even care to check the bases of their arguments in media discussions against the culture, history and current realities of the Pakhtun.

One such outsider is Dr AQ Khan who expresses views on Pakhtun that have nothing to do with their current realities, culture and history. An example of this is his article 'Grassroot Causes' in your newspaper dated 24 December 2008.

Dr AQ Khan portrays the Pakhtun and the Taliban as one and the same people. Actually the Pakhtun and the Taliban are not the same people. The Pakhtun belong to the areas that are presently known as NWFP, FATA, parts of Baluchistan and southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan

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