According to Ansar Abbasi’s column in The News, recent accusations of American officials claiming that ISI has supported the Haqqani netork of militants is ‘a blessing in disguise’ because this has united the nation and given the opportunity to end all extremism and terrorism. Let’s set aside for a moment the ridiculous claim that somehow the statements of Admiral Mullen are going to end militancy and extremism in Pakistan. What we are more concerned about is something else that Abbasi says.
Ansar Abbasi rejoices that the US “is receiving dead bodies of its troops in Afghanistan more than before” and praises Taliban militants by saying “over a hundred thousands of US-led Nato troops, equipped with the modern weapons, have been reduced like rats by merely thousands of Islamic warriors within Afghanistan”. Again, passing over for a moment the shamefulness of rejoicing in death of anyone, we should consider just who are these “Islamic warriors” that receive Abbasi’s praise.
The Afghan Taliban has shocked independent human rights groups by using children as suicide bombers to attack NATO forces.
A tactic pioneered by al-Qaida but almost unheard of in Afghanistan until 2005, suicide bombing is becoming more popular with insurgents attempting to meet the massively intensified Nato campaign with their own surge of violence.
In one recent case a 12-year-old boy in Barmal district in Pakitika province, which borders Pakistan, killed four civilians and wounded many more when he detonated a vest full of explosives in a bazaar.
“They are relying more and more on children,” said Nader Nadery, from the country’s Independent Human Rights Commission, who thought the Taliban were struggling to recruit enough adults. “When somebody runs out of one tool they go to use the second one.”
Children are not the only ones killed and mutilated by Taliban. Women, too, are treated worse than farm animals. When 18-year-old Aisha tried to escape the abuse of her husband and his family, she was captured by Taliban and her face butchered to set an example to other women not to dare try to live with an ounce of dignity.
When Malim Abdul Habib became headmaster of Shaikh Mata Baba High School that educated girls, the Taliban took more than just his nose and ears.
“Four armed Taliban came to my uncle’s house at 1am,” said his nephew Abdullah Hakim, 25. “They told him he had to go with them. When he refused they stabbed him in the stomach in the yard and then cut off his head.”
Taliban militants forced Habib’s wife and children to stand and watch as they butchered him in front of their eyes.
These are the “Islamic Warriors” that Ansar Abbasi prays will defeat the US-led NATO forces. But what Islam is this that butchers women and children in cold blood? What Islam is this that forces a man’s wife and children to watch in horror as he is beheaded before their very eyes?
This question must not only be asked of Ansar Abbasi who is entitled to be a Taliban sympathiser if this is his belief, but it must also be asked of Jang Group which chooses to pay Ansar Abbasi to write columns that term the killers of women and children as “Islamic warriors” and then publishes them for the masses to read. Editors and publishers of The News may think that adding the disclaimer of “Viewpoint” is enough to absolve them of any responsibility, but their Ansar Abbasi is not merely an individual offering his ‘viewpoint’ rather he is paid by Jang Group to write these pieces. With freedom comes media responsibility and accountability. If Jang Group does not support this position, why are they paying for it?