Conversation with Taliban on polio, education, non-harbis and a “dominant narrative”

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“When your house is raided, you fight. Vaccinations and green tea afterwards”

In my previous blog I looked at fears over a potential polio epidemic in Waziristan, the tribal areas of Pakistan. As previously mentioned the Islamic Emirate (Taliban in Afghanistan) are currently supporting the polio programme and issued a statement to that effect. However the situation has become more complicated in Pakistan since the extraordinarily unethical decision from the CIA to use a vaccination programme including the services of Dr Shakil Afridi as cover in their efforts to track down and later kill Osama bin Laden.

The blowback from this has been the killing of polio workers by Taliban and other unidentified persons who now view those administering vaccines as potential spies for foreign agents. This has led to a serious breakdown in the continuity of polio eradication in some regions and the killing of some health workers.

Yesterday DAWN published a story calling for the polio debate to be included in any dialogue between government and the Taliban. They also reported the following statistics, “the total number of cases (of polio) from the tribal areas has reached 36, which accounts to more than 70% cases in Pakistan. The cases from the tribal belt include 15 from Khyber Agency, 15 from North Waziristan, five from Frontier Region (FR) Bannu and one from FR DI Khan.”

Although there is a willingness from community agencies to tackle polio and increase immunisation, the security risk cannot be ignored I decided to take this issue back to TTP myself to elicit their response. This also led on to a sharing of views on other issues and questions raised by several interested members of the public. As several people were contributing to the conversation, I have covered by subject matter and subsequent answers from the Taliban.

Conversation with the Taliban

What are your thoughts on polio programme?

Sister, we are not opposed to healthcare per se but have to take certain measures to curtail spy operations carried out undercover. We simply cannot ignore spy operations under their cover. Our enemies want to vaccinate our children before droning them.

There have been cases similar to that of Dr Shakil Afridi.

For Allah and His Nabi (PBUH) sake we are willing to sacrifice our lives, vaccination is petty. Drones and Pakistan army killing our children. The ground intelligence is provided to the US by ISI, we have attacked Camp Chapman, others.

Why don’t you get military establishment to end their treachery for Allah & Nabi’s (PBUH) sake? Please visit our areas and check the stats. Our children are not dying of polio but other factors.

The present world order that kills 30,000 children every day wants to vaccinate children – children they will kill later on anyway.

There are many Shakil Afridis and collaborating NGOs on the ground.

Brothers, sisters, we appreciate your naseeha (meaning advice). Barak Allahu fiek (may Allah bless you… Arabic).  We understand the challenges on the ground better. Things will change. Over 30,000 children die everyday around the world owing to the policies of the secular world order.

When your house is raided, you fight. Vaccinations and green tea afterwards.

What about claiming responsibility regarding killing of polio workers?

Not in every case. In some cases we had no involvement. We understand our operational parameters.

For those seeking to go beyond silly conspiracy theories about mujahideen, here is a start: http://jin1.blog.com  (The link mentioned was produced by Taliban in response to commonly asked questions and provides answers and additional links)

What about using an Islamic Relief organization for vaccination programme? 

Enemy’s money? You mean (use) the Coalition Support Fund and IMF loans? Read http://jin1.blog.com 

But you are frontline allies of the “bad guys”. You get Coalition Support Fund from them. We are fighting them.

 Unfortunately most of our organisations operate within the framework defined by those fighting us. Someone with bleeding wounds does not worry about a pimple. Our organisations are unable to speak truth without worrying about dominant narrative.

What about 5 year child who needs vaccination for polio?

Yes, if he survives the ‘allied’ forces attack.

If the military raids your house, why do you retaliate against civilians? Have you forgotten rules of Islamic warfare?

Please go through this: http://jin1.blog.com  You  will find detailed rulings on “night raids” in classical works of fiqh. Please go through them

In Islam there is a concept of Ulema-e-Soo. Those who issue fatwas to protect the oppressors.

An understanding of theology & war strategy helps in understanding some issues.

It is haram to deliberately target the non-harbi. (A harbi is defined as someone at war with Islam)

This could take the form of someone knowingly fighting against Islam in a physical sense, supporting a war against Islam economically, through propaganda, through strategising and so on.

And we consider it HARAM to deliberately target ordinary people. Please go through and listen to the audio http://jin1.blog.com/ 

What about killing of climbers in Nanga Parbat?

Ordinary people are non-harbi. We will try to publish some details. In general, not a good idea to highlight some strategies

May we most politely request you to read the translation of Sura Anfaal and Tawbah (at least)

The Quran does not say to kill/hurt anybody in Shariah’s name/wiping the terrorists (like drones do)?

May we most politely request you to read the translation of Sura Anfaal and Tawbah (at least)

Taliban ruled Afghanistan for a number of years, no basic health care was provided. Why was that?

Sir, you are living in the past. New generation, ground realities different, evolved world view. Alhamdolillah we are not a people who would cling to their mistakes. Islam commands us to learn.

Some people propagate all sorts of lies. Our stance is clear. Healthcare is basic Islamic right. Islam defines clear policies. Islam does not allow privatisation of healthcare. By the help of Allah, we will implement a model healthcare system. Darkest hour before sunrise. You will find the Islamic system to be the most just. Healthcare would not be attached to economic status.

What are your thoughts on education?

Islam opposes privatisation of education. Khalifah’s son will be sitting with the children of “commoners”. We shall offer you a comprehensive package.

Islam makes education compulsory for men & women, rich & poor. Go beyond the boring old propaganda and myths.

This separation between Islamic and “secular” education has no basis. Islam emphasises on knowledge for men and women.

What are your thoughts on the media?

Ask journalists how their organisations have been manipulating facts and lying. Attempts to censor us

We appreciate fair reporting. We wish many of the journalists had moral courage of Carol Anne Grayson

The Afghan Taliban in the 90s opposed TVs and pictures. Do you share this view?

Yes, they did in the 90s. Not anymore.

Have you been approached by government regarding dialogue as indicated by Sharif on recent visit to US 

No official approach from the government yet,  rumour mongering in the media.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.

 

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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9 Responses to Conversation with Taliban on polio, education, non-harbis and a “dominant narrative”

  1. Read the responses and you cannot comprehend the between the line justification of killings of civilians and tourists. They have their own understanding of Islam and Jihad and mostly use emotionalism to influence the minds.

    • hamad says:

      They have already detached themselves from attacks on non harbi.. Use your mind and recognize your enemies, and what about drones killing innocent and so they call them a colletral damage so here the is the same case they attack the enemies and some collatral damage is done

  2. Ibn Haram says:

    Abdullah Khan,

    Own understanding of Islam? As if the previous organization, Jamat ud Dawah, that you worked with didn’t had their “own understadning of Islam” which is taught to them by “ISI and agencies”.

    You’ll never talk them being the ones who are harming Islam by their non-Shariah alliance with Kuffar, but always look forward to find problems in people who are droned.

    The problem lies with in you that you don’t like the alliance of Afghan Taliban, Pakistan Taliban and AlQaeda, who are full of scholars Alhamdulillah and their leadership has been droned and killed by the USA, ISI alliance, unlike the Paid Scholars who are funded by ISI and agencies.

    • JuD is too no exception. Everyone has his own understanding of Islam. And mind you that My center was the first in Pakistan to work on illegal killings of drones. It was our annual report on drone in 2010 which highlighted the plight of the victims of drone attacks. See CMC’s reports on drone. We consistently highlighted ambiguous role of Pakistani security officials. And if I recall, it was me who wrote rebuttal of pro-drone claims by 7th Div Commander Major General Ghyoor (currently IG FC).

    • And I have no issue with any alliance whether its TTP’s alliance with Al-Qaeda or JuD etc’s alliance with ISI. I am a researcher and will write objectively regardless of my personal belief.

    • Ibn Haram says:

      @Abdullah Khan

      You said:
      “I am a researcher and will write objectively regardless of my personal belief.”

      and here you went on this ‘objectively’

      “Read the responses and you cannot comprehend the between the line justification of killings of civilians and tourists. They have their own understanding of Islam and Jihad and mostly use emotionalism to influence the minds.”

      Why don’t you just talk about the conflict and killings ONLY instead of wasting time and telling people that these people have their ‘own version of Islam’ and ‘use emotionalism’ – and that also when you have never met them.

      By telling people that they have their own version of Islam, your propagating your ‘beleif of them which you feel’, thus better not to give contradicting statements and focus on the ‘conflict’ without taking sides.( If you want to remain professional).

      If you really want to talk about, talk about the role of JuD and the version of Islam it is propagating and that suits you more because “you lived with them” and you know them “more than anybody”.

  3. Ibn Haram says:

    @Abdullah Khan

    You said:
    “I am a researcher and will write objectively regardless of my personal belief.”

    and here you went on this ‘objectively’

    “Read the responses and you cannot comprehend the between the line justification of killings of civilians and tourists. They have their own understanding of Islam and Jihad and mostly use emotionalism to influence the minds.”

    Why don’t you just talk about the conflict and killings ONLY instead of wasting time and telling people that these people have their ‘own version of Islam’ and ‘use emotionalism’ – and that also when you have never met them.

    By telling people that they have their own version of Islam, your propagating your ‘beleif of them which you feel’, thus better not to give contradicting statements and focus on the ‘conflict’ without taking sides.( If you want to remain professional).

    If you really want to talk about, talk about the role of JuD and the version of Islam it is propagating and that suits you more because “you lived with them” and you know them “more than anybody”.

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