Saturday, January 02, 2010

Farhat Taj: "They would welcome anyone, Americans, Israelis, Indians or even the devil."

. . .They see the US drone attacks as their liberators from the clutches of the terrorists into which, they say, their state has wilfully thrown them. The purpose of today’s column is, one, to challenge the Pakistani and US media reports about the civilian casualties in the drone attacks and, two, to express the view of the people of Waziristan, who are equally terrified by the Taliban and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. I personally met these people in the Pakhtunkhwa province, where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs), and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

I would challenge both the US and Pakistani media to provide verifiable evidence of civilian ‘casualties’ because of drone attacks on Waziristan, i.e. names of the people killed, names of their villages, dates and locations of the strikes and, above all, the methodology of the information that they collected. If they can’t meet the challenge, I would request them to stop throwing around fabricated figures of ‘civilian casualties’ that confuse people around the world and provide propaganda material to the pro-Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the politics and media of Pakistan.

"They would welcome anyone, Americans, Israelis, Indians, or even the devil," and they do, all across Afghanistan as well, and that is the reason I part company with Jim Denham and the Alliance for Workers Liberty whose position on intervention in Afghanistan I might summarize by Jim's notion that "the US and UK governments and military aren’t the best people to do that." Still, over at Shiraz Socialist, Jim keeps the old flag flying, and fair play to him: "I and my comrades believe that there is such a thing as Islamicist terrorism (without the scare-quotes round ‘terror’), that it’s a form of fascism, and that it must be fought."

UPDATE: Tribal elders in a Pakistani village where a suicide car bomber killed nearly 100 people insisted Saturday that residents will keep defying the Taliban, even as the bloodshed laid bare the risks facing the citizens' militias that make up a key piece of Pakistan's arsenal against extremism. "The people are in severe grief and fear — it is a demoralizing thing," said Raham Dil Khan, a rifle-toting, 70-something member of the tribal council.


Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

"They would welcome anyone, Americans, Israelis, Indians, or even the devil"

More or less all one and the same, no?

At least to some.

6:55 PM  

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