“My Life With The Taliban”
A Book Review by Zahid Khattak
Abdus Salam Zaeef, a former Taliban envoy to Pakistan, offers a unique contribution to the literature written on the conflict in Afghanistan along with his autobiography. He presents an un-apologetic Taliban attitude on the events in Afghanistan and as such give his perspective on different issues.
For instance, his narration of post-Soviet, inter-Afghan power struggles shows that Taliban’s antipathy towards other mujahideen started out very early. He rejects worldwide efforts to prevent the famous Bamiyan Buddha statue from destruction , and recounts that quickly after the 9/11 attacks, a senior Pakistani intelligence officer assured him that the Taliban “will not be alone in this jihad against America. We will be with you.”
But Zaeef’s account is perhaps most notable for what he chooses to ignore. Zaeef is busy criticizing global funding for co-educational schools in Afghanistan, however has no time to condemn those fellow Taliban who throw acid on the faces of girls or killing scores of innocent in suicides bombs at mosques.
Keeping this in mind , Zaeef’s outburst of political correctness seems not very genuine. For instance, he asserts that tolerance “is the most necessary quality on earth; it can make the world into one home” and that “Afghanistan is the home of each Afghan, a family home in which we all have the right to live”. For Taliban like Zaeef, there is only one interpretation of the proper manner to live, and every body who rejects it, is killed.
Yet ,despite Zaeef’s ideology, it is hard not be moved by his accounts of his time in U.S run prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, assuming those accounts are true.
(This written piece is taken from the Facebook wall of Zahid Khattak)
By Zahid Khattak