It was fascinating and disappointing at the same time to see Mr Ghamidi a religious scholar of his calibre trying to answer a political question in his show on Samaa Pakistan TV channel. Mr Ghamidi tried to explain Taliban beheading of 23 Frontier corp soldiers in the view of tribal culture and its people as primitive and savages, where a 7 years old boy will have no hesitation of beheading another human being .
Mr Ghamidi tried in his show to explain tribal societies which according to him all over the world are violence prone barbaric, hence throat cutting or beheading is a part of the violence rituals practised by these tribal humanoids.
He also condemned the Pakistan Govt for keeping Pakistan tribal areas in political, social isolation resulting in society where violence is synonymous with tribal pukhtun culture and is a norm.
Mr Ghamidi well intentioned explanation of pukhtun tribal culture although goes all politically wrong. And this is I guess what happen if a religious leader is asked to explain a political phenomena with half-baked truth dished out to progressive Muslim all over Pakistan. Or maybe it was an attempt to deflect the blame from the source which lies somewhere in the heart of Pakistan.
Mr Ghamidi completely forgot in his analysis while responding to one question by the anchor of the show and that was “ how can people behead and kill each other in such manner” Mr Ghamidi justified it that this is part of the tribal culture and has been happening in all primitive societies , but nobody conveniently remembers on the show the fact that those FC beheaded soldiers who were fighting for the state sovereignty against those very same forces , were also from the same tribal culture which Mr Ghamidi justifies and condemns in the same tone.
The ‘Frontier Corps (FC) are a Federal paramilitary force manned mostly by people from the tribal areas, lest we forget the same area which Mr Ghamidi and the callers equated with violence and beheading .
Jirga which compromises a major component of tribal justice system, does it condone beheading or prescribe it as form of punishment for any criminal offender? No it does not. At least I have not come across it. I would happily hear from anyone who has seen beheading as official practise of the tribal society. Hundreds of tribal elders were also brutally killed and humiliated in Waziristan, Bajaur, Orakzai and Mohmand agencies, the elders with white beards (speen geeray) were the revered and respected part of the tribal society. . ? Mosques funeral schools ,children women none were spared . Was this a part of tribal culture too?
A caller in the programme calls the whole society of tribal as mercenaries and paid killers who has been doing killing for years. I think the people sitting and shaping this narrative completely forgo the details, that there are at least 3 million people sitting displaced from their homes as IDPs. People who do not wish to be part of that violence, people who are tired of gunpowder, killings and want to have security of lives for themselves and their families. Mr Ghamidi and the anchor did not take the trouble to talk or dissuade the caller that the whole population and society cannot be in one breath declared as mercenaries.
When the whole society and area was being militarised under the guise of Islamic jihad of 1979, then no voices were heard by calling people from FATA as mercenaries, rather at that time, they were called Nobel savages ready to fight Pakistan and Americanised jihad in Afghanistan .Qabil brothers and children provided or had no choice but to provide human fodder to the jihad on which whole of Pakistan thumped its chest and happily lead the Muslim ulema. An analysis of the economic indicators of tribal areas places them in the fourth world. FATA which comprises of seven political agencies along with FR areas remains Pakistan poorest region, with 3.1 million population which according to unofficial estimate has reached over seven million. Nearly 66 % of the population lives below the poverty line. How did Afghan jihad mercenaries benefited from being the Nobel jihadi. Maybe by letting state establish 1000 debandi madrasah’s which preached jihad and they continued to play the role of jihadi for the state and establishment.
How do one justify the urban violence in Karachi Pakistan’s largest city, which generates around 70 per cent of national GDP and has been declared the mega violent city in the world according to one major US publication, citing a murder rate of 12.3 per 100,000 residents 25 per cent higher than any other major cities in the world? If violence and beheading is tribal society phenomena then Karachi experienced its deadliest year on record in 2013, with 2,700 casualties, mostly in targeted attacks and we also heard the concept of body bags, which possibly resulted in 40per cent of businesses fleeing the city to avoid growing extortion rackets. However all provincial capitals as well as the national capital suffer from similar problems and threats. So is violence only centric to tribal pukhtun culture? Or are we ready to condemn and berate the culture of people residing in one of the biggest metropolitan city of Pakistan too.
Taliban which is primarily now only equated with pukhtun and tribal ethnicity, but it is the Punjabi Taliban which drives extremism in the rest of Pakistan and has its strong roots in Punjab. There are approximately 150,000 insurgents belonging to jihadi and fundamentalists organisation active in Punjab province, carrying out their activities in the rest of Pakistan. Quetta Peshawar, Karachi is a major target of violent sectarian groups such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has its home base in Punjab .The Sunni extremist and southern Punjab-based Lashkar-Jhangvi (LeJ), which was instrumental in the TTP’s formation (now equated with pukhtun and tribal only), continues to be a major player in sectarian violence and minority persecution all over the country.However we chose not to talk about that aspect of violence ,where Ahmadi graves are dug up and Shia are shot on point blank in the civilised cities of Pakistan .
Pakistan army operation in tribal belt previous and current acknowledges the presence of foreign militant like Uzbek, Chechen and mostly Arab since more than 15,000 Arabs, Uzbek and Chechen were repatriated to and settled in FATA to fight holy war against the Soviets. So can we assume safely that instead of being a pukhtun tribal culture, beheading is more of Arab culture and part of their pre Islam and post Islam war ethos? Wasn’t Imam Hussein (ra) head carried on an arch and paraded in the city of Kufa?