‘Good’ Taliban ‘Bad’ Taliban

It looks like the entire media has become dumb. How can they accept the fact that those Taliban of Afghanistan who they constantly relate with all the terrorism happening in Pakistan, in order to make their American lord’s happy or due to being pro-western or simply due to their personal biasness? All the dark linings in the 50 years modern Afghan history has been pushed to be labeled under the name of Taliban. How can they accept the fact that those same Taliban released Shehbaz Taseer, son of murdered Salman Taseer, from captivity without getting any ransom and even sending him safely to Pakistan. They travel from those treacherous roads which are haunted by American and Afghan forces to land him to safety.

Even those who call themselves experts in AFPAK affairs, and try to convince the masses that Afghan Taliban and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). These experts don’t accept the fact that Shehbaaz was kidnapped by TTP and shifted to different places and then bought by various TTP local commanders and Uzbek commanders and they ask for mammoth amount of ransoms. However, as soon as these terrorists were defeated by Afghan Taliban and Shehbaaz Taseer was in their custody then Mulla Akhter Manzoor gave strict order his release and safe passage. Wasn’t this action in complete contrast of the picture that has been sketched in the last 15 years. Media is dumb until it gets some fact news that worsens the reputation of the real Taliban who are fighting for the independence of Afghanistan from captive forces.

The area through which Shebaaz Taseer travelled towards Quetta and reached Kachlak is an area that has witnessed all the things that have happened in Afghanistan since 1980. In these 36 years, the people living in these areas have seen many ups and downs and have been greatly affected by what happened in Afghanistan. Zabl, Kandahar and Helmand are three Afghan provinces adjacent to Balochistan province of Pakistan. Meanwhile Paktika and Nemrouz also have some area adjacent to corners of Balochistan.

The distance between Kandahar and Chaman is equivalent to the distance between Quetta and Chaman. Chaman has been greatly affected by the political activites and revolutions coming in Afganistan over the past 36 years. People of adjacent districts in Pakistan like Zhob, Qila Saifullah, chaman, Noushki and Dilbadeen have got sigh of relief from other side of the border in only six out of thirty-six years. This was the time between 1995 and 2001 during which the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Before that, during the Russian Invasion of Afghanistan, there were just bomb blasts or kidnapping for ransom occurring in these districts of Pakistan. These areas were famous for auctions of goods especially cars and bikes stolen throughout Pakistan and then sold to be further used in Afghanistan.
During the 1980’s, I worked with a UN organization for some research regarding opium growth and sale. I worked alongside a German national. We observed large scale production of poppy seeds and then we looked into the areas of various cities in Pakistan where opium and other drugs derived from it were used. This profitable business flourished during Russian Era and continued during the civil was. When coalition govt. was made by Mujahideen, they were mingled in tearing down each other which lead to record production of poppy seeds. However, during three of the five years of Taliban government, their Leader Mullah Muhammad Umer completely banned the production, buying and selling of opium. The country which produced 90% of the Opium production, suddenly went to zero percent production. The trend of criminal fleeing different areas of Pakistan to safe haven of tribal areas was over. Even people who stole personal belongings of others were punished and the stolen goods were returned back. I saw one such case in which few people whose goods were stolen and taken to Afghanistan asked Commissioner of Quetta to find culprit present in Pakistan so that they can give culprits to Taliban who will provide the justice they deserve.

The people of Quetta and adjacent areas where Shehbaaz Taseer was released, were reminded of memories of Taliban era when there was peace and justice was served. When Shehbaaz was released, I contacted various people in that area and all of them were aware of the situation. They completely denied that there was ever an exchange of ransom and confirm that Shehbaaz was released by goodwill.

In the area of Qilaat Ghalzai, Taliban were fighting a force created by American, Indian and Afghan intelligence to counter the Taliban. They were not directed by ISIS nor their leader Abubakr Al Baghdadi. However, they chose to keep themselves under the umbrella of Daesh in order to get more prominence. After defeating these hate mongers, Taliban captured the area and eventually Taseer was found. This is when you can see the difference between the Afghan Taliban and TTP (or other radical terrorists), where Taliban did not used an innocent citizen for the sake of ransom or other benefits. Taliban had to travel in difficult terrain for safe passage of Taseer. They cut through tall mountains and through the surveillance of American and Pakistani forces. To avoid drone strikes, Taliban don’t use mobile phones, so internal communication as near to impossible. Howeverm they took this task in good faith and to take care of their friendship with Pakistan.

It can be easily said that the presence of Taliban ensures peace in the region, but the media doesn’t want you to hear this. These modernists want you to believe that there is only “Bad” Taliban. However, good and bad people are present in every nation, so why not there can be “Good” Taliban. Just imagine what could have happened if Shahbaaz Taseer was captured by Baoch or Sindhi Nationalists or by extortionists from Karachi. But, no one will ever talk about it. After all, it is not easy to swallow the bitter pill of lies that has been served during the past 15 years.

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