The army’s ghairat


Pick-and-mix outrage

Twenty-five Pakistani soldiers were bound, gagged, brutally tortured, and killed in cold blood in two mass slayings in a week. Their naked mutilated bodies were dumped in ravines. Most of them were shot more than 40 times each at point-blank range.

Fifteen of them were abducted by 30 Taliban militants in a brazen pre-dawn attack on a guarded fort in Tank on December 23, in which one soldier died and several others had to retreat and hide. Their mutilated bodies were dumped in the Shewa town of North Waziristan last week. Taliban had promised in a statement after the raid that they would “cut these soldiers into pieces” and send them to their commanders as a New Year gift. They have delivered on such promises in the past, and publicly released video tapes of teenagers beheading unarmed men like animals.

Another 10 soldiers were abducted from an outpost in Orakzai in a late night attack on December 21 by more than 100 Taliban militants who killed 13 other troops in the raid. Their bodies were dumped in a gorge and found on Monday. A Taliban spokesman said bodies of 10 troops were left there as part of an exchange of corpses that reporters said had been negotiated by tribal elders.

An army that claims it is ready to take on the world’s only superpower to protect its soldiers is on its knees against the Taliban. Opinion makers and organisations who had orchestrated the circus following the tragic death of 24 troops in an unintended NATO attack on Salala border post on November 26 are simultaneously talking about negotiations with the Taliban who have killed twice as many troops and policemen since.

The 25 soldiers who were tortured, murdered and defiled by the Taliban were given less than a 10th of the air time given to those who died in the November 26 attack. There was no outrage in the newspapers, no televised funerals in flag-draped coffins, no emotionally charged reports on the families they have left behind, and no TV anchors and self-proclaimed guardians of Pakistan’s honour frothing at the mouth over the brutality. There were no claims of violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and no demands to defend the country and its army’s ghairat.

Our troops who lay their lives to protect us are to be honoured and mourned only when it suits the agenda of those in charge. Our territorial sovereignty is violated and our national honour at stake only when our invisible government wants to arm-twist the US into giving us more aid and weapons and agreeing with our plans for the future of this region.

The Taliban, who are the lynchpin of those plans, are not to be fought, resisted or even questioned. Our national narrative is very flexible in dealing with them. When they kill us, they are funded by the US. When they kill Americans, they are soldiers of Islam. This is “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary”. This is ‘Doublethink’, from George Orwell’s dystopia 1984.

And while our invisible government is busy manipulating public opinion to exploit brutal killings of its citizens and soldiers for political goals, it has failed to see a gaping hole in its future plans for the region.

The major problem with Pakistan’s doctrine of strategic depth is not the simple trade-off between space and time. It is that the lawless territory Pakistan wants to withdraw into – in order to sustain an initial thrust from India and launch a counteroffensive – has quickly expanded southeastwards to an extent that it threatens to eat up our country, our culture, our trade and our military. The very civilisation that they had wanted to protect is now at risk.

The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at [email protected]


    • I am concerned about the authenticity of this piece. No sources mentioned, no informants quoted. Its more of a personal narrative than a news piece to me. Even if it is true, that the events took place as described here in this article; my question is simple: who's side are you on anyway?

      • hahahaha so now you're saying this didn't happen at all and all the newspapers and TVs of Pakistan and the world were lied? as party of a conspiracy against islam? 😛
        lol brainwashed tard they will take over your country and you will continue denying. do you wanna wait until you hang your naked body on khooni chowk?

  1. Great analysis! Ask Saudi Arabia to stop funding Talibans. Enemy is Saudi funded fanatic Wahabism, which merciless Talibans follow. Saudi Arabia set up Madarasas in tribal areas in past 20 years. Pakistan Army has to clearly recognize & renounce openly its real enemy. In this case, it is Saudi Arabia not USA or anyone else. Note Wahabism is only 200 years old new off shoot of Sunni Islam.

  2. "An army that claims it is ready to take on the world’s only superpower to protect its soldiers is on its knees against the Taliban."

    lol this pretty much exposed you as a mere joker.

    • ThoughFelon says — If you are KPK. Then you are doing very good advertisement of your province. Shame on you….

    • ThoughtF Saab, apart from the fact that you made a slight typo in spelling your name, I wanted to tell you that we in Pattoki usually don't like to give such comments, but if you'll allow me this once, is it possible that perhaps you, while visiting, or living in Bannu had some, let's say, untoward incidences? incidences which may have caused certain amount of trauma, psychological or otherwise? Perhaps… just saying, you know. Bannu isn't exactly famous for being a hospitable place for pretty lads, you know

  3. The country of Pakistan is burning up and burning and relentlessly in its contradictions. The only question that remains to be answered is – can it rise again from its own ashes?

    • The superpower will not have to live with the Taliban for the rest of their lives. Pakistan will. We will get slaughtered and hanged on poles if we oppose everything they say, our daughters will be raped and flogged. We should be concerned. Americans have nothing to do here.

    • if they're losing doesn't mean we should give up. this is our homeland. we need to save it. america will not save it.

    • How civilized! You must really change your name because Jamshed does not suite you. How about Zahhak, if I may make a suggestion?

    • How do you know his income is lousy? Someone else suggested he's getting paid in $$$. Surely that can't be lousy, can it?

    • Sore loser. a typical right-wing Muslim-Pakistani who extols the Army, condemns the non-muslims' existence and in the end, licks the boots of USA for money. DG ISI told the American, ALLLLLAAAAH Is my boss (whenever there is a civil government, as soon as there will be a coup, USA will be my DEEN o IMAAN.)

  4. excellent and thoughtfull….ghairat brigade creates a smoke screen to protect taliban butchers.

  5. Pakistan was not under threat from FATA before 2001.

    It was Mushy’s idea to kick the hornet’s nest.

    This adventure will carry on until the last man.

    • previously only shias and minorities were under threat as we exported terrorism to other countries. now all are under threat as same terrorism is attacking its masters

  6. We are fighting a battle of survival and it will go on for several years. Such mindset (as Taliban have) is not easily defeated… see the example of Sri Lanka (thirty year long war)… but no one should have an iota of doubt that these brutal forces can not win Pakistan. All we need to stand by our army because the loss of life is a part of the war. So, be up and doing and never throw cold water on those who resist the surge of doom with the shield of their bodies.

  7. @Harris bin Munawar: Tell me any other Army in the world who have been able to stop the Taliban? Can you name any? Instead of writing bullshit, why don’t you actually go out onto the frontiers and see how our soldiers are protecting this country. You sit comfortably behind your little laptop and write like a little prick, why don’t you actually provide a logical argument. The Taliban are not a “conventional army”, they are a bunch of people who will do anything to get there way which includes killing civilians and hiding amongst the local population. The US Army is a conventional army and there is no chance in hell of them hiding amongst the local population. Secondly, the Taliban have not started wars around the world, the US have. Currently, if Pakistan wanted too, they could completely stop supporting the US, and the American Forces along with the Coalition would be MASSACRED. Like I said, instead of talking outta your ass and trying to act all cool on the internet, bring forth an argument which at least makes sense.

    • This argument would only have worked if Pakistan hadn't supported the Taliban against the US. Otherwise defeating them could have been possible. If we stop supporting the Taliban and invest in Afghan economy, peace will come in two months.

    • If you're a sorry little superseded Major or a Havaldar of ISI, I pity you. You can go on propagating ISI's mantra (and I'm not saying you're paid by them, you may be one of their thousands of self-brainwashed free billboards) without actually using your own head. Taliban are not a conventional army, taliban are not a conventional army… for how long will you keep saying that? You may not know, and a regular soldier or even a strictly professional Army officer who is not in the habit of engaging his mind with "frivolous" ideas may not be able to connect the dots, but the fact that Pakistan Army (or certain sections of it) are indeed not only supporting the Taliban but are out openly and brazenly to sacrifice their own soldiers for their concept of 'stretigic depth.' "Truth has come and falshood has waned; certainly falsehood is on the wane." Now, run along, wash your tongue and tell your bosses that, there's a good boy.

  8. Beta Jee abhee bachaay ho. Do you have an insight into the real trouble? It's the handiwork of TTP which is being funded, trained, armed and launched by a clutch of intelligence agencies including CIA and RAW.

    It's not as simple as that.

    Zardari Gov must have the courage to openly denounce USA and India on it instead of selling Pakistan's interests. ..[read my comment also in the light of Zardari's response on question by Hamid Mir regarding India's interference in Baluchistan ]…. The less said the better..

    • hahaha hurling abuses will not make anything.

      if TTP funded by CIA and RAW why we should peace with them? if they are india and america agent, we should KILL THEM

      also drone attack are also good because they kill TTP leaders?

    • Sir jee, aap aik chotee si ghalti ker gai hain. Shaid typo tha. Aap ka matlab hai "… armed and launched by a clutch of intelligence agencies including ISI, CIA and RAW" aur ye kia hua uncle, aap Mossad ko to bilkul hi bhool gai hain? Khairiyet to hai. Maybe you forgot your vitamins today, and almonds also. Bohot se badaam khaiye ga please. Aap ko shadeed zaroorat hai.

  9. "Our territorial sovereignty is violated and our national honour at stake only when our invisible government wants to arm-twist the US into giving us more aid and weapons and agreeing with our plans for the future of this region." So what's wrong with these things ? Is the invisible govt doing this to fill coffirs of any person, unlike the beghairat political brigade of this country. Do I need to recount the ghastly corruptionm, nepotism and treason of Gilani Zardari duo and most of the self serving politicians and price tag holder media goons of the country. But what use is it to argue with sold sheep; go out and have a sumptuous dinner at some 5 star with your Rightly earned Dollars. And of course, before going to bed tonight, don't forget to manufacture another piece for your pay masters. afterall, you need to go to dinner tomorrow night as well. DON'T YOU….?

    • if this time has come for army that it will be justified by comparing with ppp thieves and robbers, then i will read inalillah for pakistan.

      i agree with u author should not get dollars. only army should get dollars.

    • What WRONG with these things? And then you go on charging your elected representatives with corruption, nepotism and a lot more. Unless you're a moral relativist (which is a crime in itself), I don't follow your argument. Please do argue logically. Logic ko Urdu mein mantaq kehte hain. On second thoughts, forget that: there's a better chance you may know what logic is. Mantaq aap ke ser ke qareeb se bhi na guzra ho gai. Logic shaid wikipedia mein mil jai.

  10. I sincerely doubt if this writer has seen the photographs of the militants killed by the Army, taken after stripping them. His notion of who all are involved will definitely change. In any case, Pakistan Army or the profession of soldiering needs no lessons in `ghairat' especially from upstarts nursed by western influences. The biggest monument in all wars is always dedicated to the Unknown Soldier.

    • And you veteran Wahabis who have already ruined our country should tell us what is in our interest?

    • Shahid Saab, aap to ISI ke sipahi se bhi kam aqal rakhte hain. Khuda ke liye ye baat to sumajh jain ke criticism aik intahi zarouri cheez hai magar be-tukka jawab, baghair kissi daleel ya mantaq ke is like castrating yourself with a blunt blade. Well done!

    • So are you saying Army kills militants and then strips them (an extremely be-ghairat thing to do, even to ones enemy), or that the soldiers need no lessons in ghairat? Shahid Saab if you're really a Quraishi you should, if for no other reason than out of respect for your ancestors (real or adopted) use just a little bit more reasoning, logic and perhaps clarity of thought.

  11. For the Writer= From Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan (A facebook Page)

    Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan
    ‎>>From The Admin:
    This "blogger" by the name of Harris bin Munawar needs to be taught history, current events and manners. Pakistan Today overall has been quite a neutral and logical newspaper with articles that have substance and facts (it's much better than Express Tribune which are full of clowns like Harris) but this article is quite pathetic to say the least.

    His other articles include:
    – Why we must not elect Imran
    – USA is not our enemy
    – PTI’s propaganda techniques
    – Trading hopes with India

    It's a shame that we have uneducated kids these days writing articles who have not an iota of what's really going on in the world. They seem to sit and watch Geo TV all day and they they're experts. Quite a laughable and sad situation. Go out and see how those soldiers protect you before you write crap like this

    • And you're anonymous why? the ADMIN of AQK's FB page maybe a good man, perhaps even a sensible person, I do not doubt. But in this post he's shown himself to have the same mindset as Malik Qadri the murderer. Khuda ke liye aqal ke nakhun lo, koi baat to mantaq se bhi kiya karo. Have you no other arsenal than name calling and bogus emotional apeals? The author (and most commentators) have not for one moment doubted the bravery, resolve and very real sacrifice of our brave soldiers. Anyone who's acquainted with the horrors of suicide blasts should know what the poor police and army sepahis have to go through every day. It's not them but their masters, not even their masters but a section of those who should not, but do control their lives that Haris is severely criticising. Open your eyes for God's sake.

  12. its not a * conventional warfare its the modern warfare and the worst one which is commonly known as gorilla warfare! remember Vietnam USA war, both sides have to face loss bcs u never know frm where they gonna attack! so plz dn post such retarded articles which not only demoralize our soldiers but also disgracing our army,though there are some bad happenings but we should stand beside our soldiers and armed forces!

    • At least you make a valid, logical point Ahmed, and you don't resort to name-calling. Bravo for that. True, it's unconventional warfare, and true, it's never easy. The difference, as other commentators have pointed out is that we have to live in and with this country, we can't pack our bags and leave like Americans one day. It's not good to demoralise our soldiers, you're right, but the people who are responsible for what you call "bad happenings" should first wake up to this reality. It's unfortunate, but true.

  13. Will u please shut up! I recommend you to learn about blog writing as you are inexperience in such area. It seems you are an Idiot, Foolish and Goof.

      • How true, and if they hadn't destroyed your society, your parents would have had the time and skill to teach you good manners too. Go back 30 years, and the one thing Pakistanis were famous for were good manners and politeness in conversation. Blame Taliban for it, because our society and religion gave us the best.

  14. TTP is funded by india, US and Israel,,, Pakistan army has given so many evidence to the govt… but our leader dont want to disobey and displease their masters in US,,,that why they are not bringing the truth…Musharif did the same,….. but when he left govt he started saying Raw in inolved in FATA and balouchistan….. The TTP are doing suicide in public gathering, mosques.. which is utterly haram and all ulema have stated it haram… and muslim cannot bomb in mosque…. why taliban in afghanistan are not doing suicide attacks in mosques…. cos they are fighting for cause.. while TTP pakistan is western funded organisation…. which is working to destablize pakistan…. Army is giving sacrifices… we need to support them and should speak against these corrupt leader and work for brining change in pakistan….

  15. This "blogger" by the name of Harris bin Munawar needs to be taught history, current events and manners. Pakistan Today overall has been quite a neutral and logical newspaper with articles that have substance and facts (it's much better than Express Tribune which are full of clowns like Harris) but this article is quite pathetic to say the least.

    His other articles include:
    – Why we must not elect Imran
    – USA is not our enemy
    – PTI’s propaganda techniques
    – Trading hopes with India

    It's a shame that we have uneducated kids these days writing articles who have not an iota of what's really going on in the world. They seem to sit and watch Geo TV all day and they they're experts. Quite a laughable and sad situation. Go out and see how those soldiers protect you before you write crap like this.

  16. the talibans situation is much complicated than US/NATO issue. there are several groups of talibans. some are pro pakistan while others are anti-pak. we are already fighting anti-pakistan elements, like mehsud group. even in TTP there are 5 sub-groups.

    before writing articles do some background research.

  17. You know what u are Mr Harris… ? A loser who doesnt know anything about whats happening .. just post things and just wait and see how it goes.. My advice… GROW UP !!

  18. oh c'mon get lost please ……….u dont n e ******** thing goin on here in pakistan.dont just try to get attention of ours.

  19. Please respond:
    Dont u think the sole superpower of the world is also on its knees against the Taliban??

    • superpower live other side of the globe. taliban kill us, hang our naked dead bodies on poles, rape our daughters and flog our sisters. nothing goes of superpower. leave superpower think abt ur own future.
      in enmity of america we shd not destroy our selfs.

    • Exactly as Arif said, forget about the sole superpower, its time to save our own souls. they have other reasons, other weapons and other tactics. We… well we're complicated but complacent

    • these are those, those are these – if the taliban hadnt blown up your school you would know better english

    • Aren't you deaded yet? Thems what kill may never get to yous or your childrens. May Godd deaded them what kill before them gets yous or wes.

  20. I am surprised, every time Mr. Harris writes an article and there is a flood of hate speech that follows. The few comments which may not constitute hate speech appear to be attempts by the writer himself to defend his article.

    So far I have found Mr. Harris' articles to be very thought provoking, I may not agree wholly with him, but certainly I must admit that he brings another perspective to the existing public discourse, and whatever he says are not random juvenile comments rather they can be extrapolated logically from the given situation. It is actually unfortunate to see that the commentators out rightly delve into stupid notions of questioning his loyalties and his patriotism.

    In someone has any objection or critique, it can be done in civilized fashion but it looks as if the critics of gentleman's articles cannot be termed as civilized. It would be a good development if I can read some logical rebuttal by the critics rather than denunciation in such a rude fashion which exposes their immature inclinations and perhaps a lack of familial education that used to be so strong a force in our society.

    I hope Mr. Harris survives the lamented abuse by these so-called critics and chooses not to abandon his homeland for the sake of greener pastures, like most intelligent men do in this country.

    • Thank you for your comment Mr Dahlvi.
      I have a small dedicated group of haters and a small dedicated group of fans, and they fight each other every time I write. I take it in good humor.

    • Dehlvi Saab, if your loyalty to Delhi of old allows you to take a second wife, we'll make you an honorary an citizen of Pattoki. I know Pattokivi is not nearly as cool as Dehlvi, but it's a honour nonetheless. You may take the name but only use it secretly, or not at all, but from today you're Mr Rasheed of Delhi and Pattoki.

  21. So many people recomended the writer to learn history, he must apology and go for further education; some business or other education…

    Journalism is other name of justics….if you are biased, you are sick, in-competent, or corrupt…WHAT YOU ARE? QUESTION YOURSELF…!!!

    • Your only what u make urself 2 b said Mr Neechee of German. How feels it 2 b a mba of biznuss adminstration? He must apology

  22. Great article…..but the article can only go so far. To really bring about a change Pakistan needs a revolution………similar to egypt and libiya………People like must take this to the street and snowball a movement which will lead to a fresh group of politicians who can actually keep PA under civilian control

    • Sir, perhaps you've not been living in Pakistan for some time, or maybe you, like our Arab "brethren" have been mesmerised by revolution. Sir, in Pakistan we have revolutions bigger than these every time the price of flour goes up, or some people sitting in Denmark inflames our sentiments, and we've been having them for 60 years. Where is Egypt today? What has Libya got but continued civil war and ethnic strife? I hope you're right, and I'm too cynical, but in either case we need a solution more sophisticated than those chosen by our Arab neighbours and tormentors.

  23. Pak Army is one of the best Army in the world,it can defeat US Army with motivation,will,patriotism and support of pakistani Nation because if US forces will attack than whole nation will be against them and will be supporting own Army moreover they are different from us as regard to their appearance,language,uniform etc but on the other hand it is very difficult to fight own people who are locals and live within you and even know the terrain better than you and even locals are on their side and helping them by giving them shelter,food and weapons.This war with Taliban is our own war and we can onl fight it if we r united as a Nation.Mr Harris your this column is just a bullshit,without having a full grip on such a sensitive topic you r just playing with the emotions of a Nation who love their Army regardless of its follies. Shame on u…..

    • Dear Mr. Pet-riot,

      I assume from your nick name that you belong to some rioting class of household pets. But at any rate as we are living in enlightened times, even pets have rights hence you commenting on this article.

      The argument that you are making is interesting but if you take a look at your history, you will come to know that the US forces are not needed to defeat your army, they can do that themselves like they did in 1971. Why would a country like US need to spend a lot of money, when almost all the countries in the world have full confidence in Pak Army and Pakistani nation that they will destroy themselves. It is an economical decision nothing personal.

      Think about it, Mr Pet 🙂

  24. Flawed article and reasoning ! We are already fighting taliban and the precious loss of life is part of that war. On other hand, we were not fighting with NAto but infact providing them huge logistical support when they attacked and killed our soldiers !!!

    • Saleem Saab, you can make a logical argument without using names, and I'm glad for that. I only wish you'd read the article so your comment would have actually made sense in the reality of here-and-now

  25. taliban can never be our friends. it was a bad idea to have created and supported them right from the beginning, and 9/11 was a good opportunity to decide to get rid of them completely. instead we continued to support them and now theyre not too far from our own cities attacking our own people and army.
    they have been ideologically brainwashed to not accept international boundaries, how can they be loyal to one country?

    • but waqar, ideological brainwashing only works for the educated few who actually care for ideology (or bains for that matter). The vast majority of Taliban are not that sophisticated. Their problem is similar to that of our society: a simple, kind hearted illiterate public held hostage by an educated but reactionary and evil-minded "elite."

  26. I think the saddest part in all of this is the US/ Government funded journalists who present the wrong picture and try to blame the Army for all issues. It is because of the USA we are in this mess. Musharraf did not have a choice but to go along with them in 2001.

    The Saudis have played their game by funding Wahabism and calling it Islam. In my opinion these Saudis and Talibans are nothing more than a plague to Islam, they have disgraced the religion and insulted it globally. The pakthuns live in Pakistan, are recognized as Pakistanis but fight to create their own identity. They want nothing more but to be with India. The minute they gain their independence from Pakistan (highly unlikely) they will go running to the USA and the world to beg for aid. Pride alone will not feed them, neither will the taliban fighters by abusing women/ children. Where does it say in Islam that one should start killing because they feel the other is a non-muslim. To Allah all mankind is equal weather Muslim or not! It saddens me to see that the Saudis that I used to think so highly of are mere satanic puppets dont care or know of Islam but about Alcohol, gambling and women. Their true picture can be seen in the western world! The Taliban just need education and someone needs to explain to them what Islam is!!! These fools DONT even know that anyone who recites the Kalma CANNOT be KAAFIR!

    Please dont write such useless and pointless articles you are not only demeaning yourself but the image of your nation.

    • Bravo sir… almost. Almost a good response until you got the Pakhtun/ Pashtun bit and lambasted them for being traitors and a bit of the old Arab-phobia. Politically you may not be wrong, but you do great wrong to both Arab and Pashtun people. Taliban and Pashtuns are actually not as ignorant and simple-minded as us poor Pujabis, and our especially our educated elite. They have lived with Taliban, seen their horrors, experienced their version of inhumanity, they cannot afford to be wide-eyed and naive. Please do give it a thought; I'm only provoking you but provoking you to think a little deeper, a little more independently. if you don't trust me, watch some videos of Pashtun shias in Hangu, or Parachinar and how they're tormented by the Wahhabi "miscreants". Or Pashtuns who have Sufi tendencies in Khyber and other parts of the Frontier.

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