Adeyzai must not fall-Analysis by Farhat Taj - 09-11-2010, 04:48 AM
Adeyzai is a small village in rural Peshawar on the border of Darra Adam Khel in FATA. There is an anti-Taliban lashkar in Adeyzai that was twice attacked in recent weeks, leading to the assassination of three lashkar supporters, two volunteers and at least one of its leaders, Israr Khan.
The Adeyzai lashkar was organised in 2008 in the face of a complete collapse of the state writ in the village due to Taliban incursion from Darra Adam Khel. The police could not come out of the police station. People, including policemen, were publicly killed and kidnapped. Girls’ schools were bombed. Fear of the Taliban had engulfed village life.
Disappointed in the state, the people of Adeyzai decided to combat the Taliban on their own and formed the anti-Taliban lashkar consisting of local volunteers. The lashkar has successfully countered the Taliban. Law and order was restored and girls’ schools started functioning again. But to do so, the lashkar people had to render many sacrifices, including the assassination of its leaders Haji Malik and Israr Khan, and many other lashkar volunteers. “Without the Adeyzai lashkars, the Taliban would have been controlling Peshawar,” the assassinated lashkar leader, Haji Malik once told me. This is probably not an exaggeration. This lashkar is indeed a hurdle in the way of the Darra Taliban’s taking over of Peshawar.
It is pertinent to mention that Haji Malik was previously linked with the Taliban, but turned against them due to the Taliban’s crimes against people in his own village and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. He continued to oppose the Taliban despite grave threats and finally gave his life in resistance to the Taliban. I had the good luck of having interviewed him before his targeted killing by the Taliban in a suicide attack. In the interview he told me he wishes all mullahs in Pakistan be killed by the state, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the JUI-F, who should be the first one in the line of execution for his deep-rooted links with the Taliban. He said that there was maatam (loud wailing and mourning) in the house of the Maulana Fazlur Rehman the day Baitullah Mehsud, the former TTP leader, died in a drone attack. The current leader of the lashkar, Dilawar Khan, is not known for any links with the Taliban in his past.
A visit to this small hamlet could be a heart-breaking journey, especially the sight of so many young Adeyzai men of tender age guarding their village with weapons round the clock. These young men should have been in high schools or colleges. Elderly men who should be playing with their grandchildren are also holding guns to protect their village. One wonders why do we have to be citizens of this state that cannot even provide us the very basic of our needs, security against the murderers, the Taliban.
With the exception of a few Kalashnikovs given to the lashkar leaders by the police in 2008, no state help, moral or material, was ever provided to this lashkar. Instead, the state has created difficulties for the lashkar. The police have implicated the Adeyzai lashkar leaders in criminal cases. Despite repeated requests, the police are refusing to withdraw the cases. The lashkar leaders cannot go to the courts in Peshawar to challenge the cases. With no security from the state, they are sure the Taliban would kill them in the court premises.
Why would the police register criminal cases against the Adeyzai lashkar leaders? The police in Adeyzai were paralysed by the Taliban. The lashkar restored the writ of the state in the area and facilitated the police to perform their routine duties. Why would the police reciprocate with criminal cases? It must be the intelligence agencies of Pakistan putting pressure on the lashkar through the police. It seems that the intelligence agencies of our country, which run the Afghan policy of Pakistan, are punishing the people of Adeyzai for their anti-Taliban stance. Anti-Taliban Pakhtun simply do not exist in the strategic worldview of the military establishment and must be eliminated or at least kept under an intense state-generated pressure to break their will against the Taliban.
Also, the perception here in Peshawar is that the intelligence agencies do not need, at least for now, the Darra Adam Khel Taliban to put intense pressure on Peshawar. The day this is decided, the entire Adeyzai lashkar leadership would be eliminated within days to clear the way of the Darra Taliban to take Peshawar.
The recent two attacks on the lashkar have alarmed the people of Adeyzai. Have the intelligence agencies decided to eliminate this hurdle — the lashkars — in the way of the Taliban’s movement towards Peshawar, the people wonder.
Now is the time for the state to send appropriate signals to the people of Adeyzai to restore their confidence in the state, if indeed the intelligence agencies are not in league with the Taliban, as the military spokesmen often claim. This may include withdrawal of criminal cases against the Adeyzai lashkar leaders and certainly entails necessary state support to make sure Adeyzai never falls to the Taliban. More importantly, it means seriously targeted operations against the Taliban to annihilate them so that people in Adeyzai or elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA do not have to make anti-Taliban lashkars for their security.
"I want to see my people educated and enlightened. A people with a vision and a strong sense of justice, who can carve out a future for themselves in harmony with nature".
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