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What Punjabi Taliban?

Posted by yourpakistan on September 9, 2011

Many US think-tanks act as ‘idea incubators’ for US government, military and intelligence. These think-tanks are often funded by various US government agencies. They also are home to what is know in intelligence parlance as ‘assets’; people that the US government, military or intelligence consider useful for strategic reasons.

Recently, two young American-Pakistanis were funded by a little known think-tank in Washington DC to travel to southern Punjab in Pakistan and write an alarming report about the famed Punjabi Taliban. [One more thing: Assignments by most of the DC-based think tanks are designed to serve larger US policy interests. Which is a good idea, but this little known fact should be known more widely because it affects transparency and motives behinds recommendations and conclusions.]

By Ahmed Quraishi –

I read the report and then read the comments below it, posted at a website for an American news publication.

I reproduce below a comment left by a reader, possibly a Pakistani citizen. The reason I am sharing this here is because it exposes the myth that is Punjabi Taliban, a group that has no address or presence in Pakistan but the US media and ‘Pakistan experts’ are confident that it exists [apparently they know our country better than we do:)].

Here’s the comment:

“An excellent report. I have one question to the budding young authors: Can you pinpoint to me where exactly the famed Punjabi Taliban exist in southern Punjab?

The fact is the term ‘Punjabi Taliban’ was invented in the mainstream US media, especially in those publications that are renowned for publishing conspiracy theories that quote no names and are often the work of focused minds in US intelligence.

It is academic dishonesty on the part of the authors of this piece to talk about ‘Punjabi Taliban’ without mentioning to the readers that you won’t find a single person in entire Pakistan who says, ‘Yes, I am Punjabi Taliban.’ There is no such thing. CIA analysts and a few American think-tank types have come up with this term to basically malign pro-Kashmir activists and groups that are based in Punjab. They are there for natural reasons. Pakistan’s Punjab province is geographically contiguous to Indian-occupied parts of Kashmir and a large number of Kashmiris have settled in these areas after they escaped Indian atrocities on the other side over six decades.

The US has taken upon itself recently to drag pro-Kashmir groups into its Afghan ‘war on terror’ as a favor to India. US diplomats and media have been feverishly trying to incite the peaceful Sufi denominations of Islam in southern Punjab to go to war with other denominations that are involved in volunteering to fight foreign occupiers in Kashmir [and Afghanistan]. “Around five years ago, US diplomats and CIA agents posted as diplomats in Pakistan tried hard to spy on the pro-Kashmir groups in the region. These diplomats and fake diplomats would meet local and federal Pakistani officials and demand action against ‘Pakistani Taliban’. But they would never call their targets by their real names: pro-Kashmir groups.

American policy is smart. To convince Pakistan and its military to start seeing Afghan Taliban as enemies, some CIA agents in Kabul came up with the brilliant idea of creating and funding Pakistani Taliban, which was born after the Americans landed in Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban, the real Taliban, say they don’t trust this new Pakistani version, whose sole claim to fame is to kill ordinary Pakistanis and soldiers in the largest numbers possible. There is also information that CIA in Afghanistan has used these terrorists as a tool of revenge against a Pakistani military that refuses to act as a proxy to American and Indian interests in the region.


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