The journalists and columnists are having a field day analyzing the situation in Pakistan from the Soviet invasion to the present day. I have written about the creation of Bangladesh and the breakup of Pakistan. I explained it very simply as a ‘Regime Change,’ All other reasons, whether Islamic Jihad, communist, Tamil Tigers, Mukti Bahini, Sinn Fein were all names taken by the various ‘Freedom Movements’ all chasing a dream of taking power and  calling it independence. Only one succeeded: the Bangladesh movement. They were all bloody and murderous. Human values were swept aside. No sacrifice was too great.

It is in this perspective that the Taliban should be viewed. The Shariah laws, and Islamic fundamentalism, are all an excuse to give the right colour to the movement, and to give the ‘cause’ a reason. The quick failure of the ‘Red Brigade’ and the ‘Baader Meinhof’ gangs were the lack of a religious or political nomenclature. They were just anarchists, and lacking a name, they collapsed. The next movement to have taken off was the Al-Qaeda. This was the creation of the Anti-Soviet, arm of the Islamist warriors with an all out battle to bring down the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This movement had the blessing and support tactical and monetary of the US and European countries. It succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams of the main actors and lead to the eventual downfall of the Soviet Empire leaving a vacuum on the world stage and forcing the US into a uni-polar world role. Sadly, the US soon lost its way and the Al-Qaeda, once the blue eyed boys of the US, turned on each other. Pakistanis —always the slowest on the uptake, now find ourselves being attacked by the Islamists, and having waved the flag for many years find that distancing ourselves from the US is very difficult.

We have put ourselves in an unenviable position by being American partners in arms and being fought against by an Islamist force. No one can call the bluff of Al Qaida or the Taliban who claim to present Islam for the fear of being labelled anti- Islam. But it is very clear that this group is a terrorist group and should be treated as such. The soil of Pakistan is sacred, and none shall desecrate this soil.

FAKIR S.AYAZUDDIN,

Lahore, February 15.