Book: Durrand Line ka Qaidi
Author: Faizullah Khan
Publishers: ZAK Publishers, Karachi
Faizullah Khan is a renowned Pakistani journalist. Few years back he entered Afghanistan ( even though he had thought of going only into the tribal areas of Pakistan) to interview commanders of TTP and Afghan Taliban but was arrested there. He spent more than five months in Afghan jails and was “convicted” for the crime of spying and declared as Pakistani agent. “Durrand Line Ka Qaidi” is Faizullah’s jail dairy about those days.
However more than being his jail dairy, this book gives a good insight into the working of various militant outfits operative in restive Pak-Afghan area. This book gives a good insight into the working of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and how it operates and coordinates from many places of Afghanistan.
Faizullah, during his days in jail interviewed many militant commanders belonging to various militant outfits operative in Afghanistan. Views of militants belonging to Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network, Al-Qaeeda and Hizb e Islami ( even though Hizb e Islami is now no more a militant organisation. It has recently entered into an agreement with Afghan government and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has returned back to Kabul to start “peaceful political” activities) have also been given.
As per the reading of this book, we find that there is some ideological understanding between TTP and Afghan Taliban, even though they do differ from one another on modus operandi. Another important thing is that they do not openly talk about their differences, even though differences do exist between them. In jail he also interviewed Sheikh Jaffar, a senior Al Qaeeda leader. As per Jaffar, the attack on twin towers was planned by Al Qaeeda, so as to “engage” America in Afghanistan. Strategy was to break down America financially and make them bankrupt and this way help Al Qaeeda to grow and groom itself. And amazingly as per Jaffar they “succeeded” in their plan. (But when Faizullah asked him about the killing of lacs of innocent Muslims in retaliation to those attacks. Jaffar paused and said that for freedom and Khilafah they have to give these sacrifices. In other words those millions killed so far are all collateral damage paid by Ummah for the “successes” it gained which even though don’t exist on ground!).
Another important point which comes forth through this book (and isn’t mere propaganda) is that a large section of Afgan population has nothing but hatred for Pakistan. Question is why so….Pakistan claims that it helped Afganistan during its most turbulent phase. It gave refugee to millions of Afghanis when they had no place to go. Then why is so much hatred for Pakistan in Afghanistan. It clearly speaks about the failure of Pakistan’s foriegn policy in this region. Heavy “investments” on their part hasn’t produced the required result for Pakistan. In fact it has led to more loss not to speak about any profit for Pakistan.
One personal point about Faizullah….Faizullah Khan’s imprisonment in Afghanistan brought people belonging to divergent ideologies on one page. From Siraj-ul-Haq (Jamaat e Islami) to Altaf Hussain (MQM). From Malala Yousufzai to Hizb e Islami leadership. All tried to get him out of Afghanistan. And somehow it was due to efforts of these very classes Faizullah got freedom.
“Durrand Line Ka Qaidi” is a must read for those who wish to understand Pak-Afghan corridor. It is a must read for those who wish to understand how the militant outfits operate in this restive region. It is a must read for those who wish to have a brief idea about how the situation will come up in coming days. More than Faizullah’s story, it is story about Durrand line (and area across it) which even though was drawn on maps way back in 1892 but till date can’t be located practically on ground.