Recent reports that the Taliban have become more visibly operative in the streets of Karachi are laughingly dismissed by some, angrily derided as pure invention by others and viewed, with the upmost concern, by those who have occasion to know the meat of the matter for, like it or not, this long ignored truth has come home to roost.
The price to be paid for rooting ‘it or them’ out - no easy matter now that they are firmly entrenched - will, undoubtedly, be both high and bloody, and - if allowed to fester further - could be well nigh impossible if, that is, it isn’t already.
It is also a shockingly bitter truth, especially for the blinkered idiots who continue, ridiculously in the face of accumulated evidence, to deny that the Taliban are Pakistani at all. That whilst this particular brand of ‘militant Islam’ may have started off as a primarily Pakistani-Afghan Pashtun movement, this for reasons best known to the criminally venturesome countries funding these blood-thirsty ‘warriors’ but possibly because they were and remain ‘highly vulnerable’, this is no longer the case as the ‘infection’ has spread way beyond any purely tribal or linguistic boundaries.
Its ranks are now occupied by a polyglot assortment of self-serving rogues and mercenaries recruited, via a variety of methods, from right around the world. This latter statement might - no doubt - be questioned. But it has long been known that the Taliban of ‘foreign’ origin are right there in the ranks too with Chechens, Russians, Uzbeks, Tajiks and nationals of Arab states, along with a smattering of British, Australian, German, Dutch and others being evident too.
To further underline this volatile mix of ‘international extremists’, one only has to consider the Syrian fiasco in which, according to the new information just made public by a Dutch source, nationals of the following countries are engaged in their own ‘Talibanised’ war against the Assad regime: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Chechnya, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Yemen are known to be actively participating. And no, they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, all of either Syrian or Asian ancestry, but include an escalating number of Europeans as well. That, when given due consideration, should be the cause for extreme concern as - what the hell is going on?
Syria may sound, at first thought, to be a far and distant war that has no bearing whatsoever on the attempted Talibanisation of both Pakistan and its northern neighbour, Afghanistan. But, the only perceptible difference is that, so far at least, the Syrian imbroglio was primed by its instigators, who are anything but Syrian, for immediate explosion, while, for a variety of reasons, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been allowed a much longer fuse - possibly in the hope of the two countries losing their Asian tempers and turning on each other. Thus, ‘saving’ the foreign instigators standing on the sidelines, until they can claim both victors’ laurels and the profit that goes with them, without having to stretch themselves any more than they already have done.
This, by any account, is, at least in Afghanistan, now much further than they originally anticipated. To save face at ‘home’, therefore, they have mounted a much publicised ‘we are pulling out’ tamasha when, in real terms, they are doing nothing of the sort. But are organising the massive and extremely profitable environmental rape that has always been their target.
Where - you will be forgiven for asking - does the Karachi situation come into this?
It is quite simple, really: as long as the majority of the Pakistani populace persist in viewing the Taliban as a northern border ‘problem’ only, this movement to effectively topple central government - replacing it with rules and regulations of the Taliban’s own twisted invention - no way was the prospect of Talibanisation going to be taken seriously.
Hence, to hammer their point and agenda home, it was necessary to spread out and - aside from the ‘hit and run’ policies of suicide bombing - to force people to sit up, to pay attention and then, if they resist, to do what they are doing right now. That is to take Talibanisation to the streets and where better place than the mega-city of Karachi itself, the commercial and economic hub without which the rest of the country cannot function. The ‘taking’ of Karachi is, indeed, just one item on their backers’ extremely convoluted agenda.
An agenda not just for implementation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but - as soon as feasible and no matter the bloodshed and cultural devastation - for the region: Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and, probably, Turkey being included somewhere along the line with, as a result, the drawing up of a completely new map. One based on profitable natural resources, including water and food production that will, in short, render us all totally subservient ‘slave-lands’ for the ‘Great Satan itself’ - the U.S. of A.
Orwellian as this no doubt reads - a decade or so down the line - it will, unless there is massive change ‘by the people, for the people’, this is exactly how it will be. And yes, getting back to Karachi, the current situation is simply another move in the modern ‘Great Game’ in which the Taliban too are, once they and their ilk have been used up, a disposable part. That - this must be stressed - does certainly not mean that they should be ignored. The country must eradicate these ‘foot soldiers of foreign hell’ before they, at their masters behest, eradicate ‘us’.
The writer is author of The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org