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IMRAN KHAN: of martyrs and heroes
  • Osama bin Laden / Imran Khan
    Osama bin Laden / Imran Khan
Taliban Khan does it again. In another 'historical' speech on the floor of the National Assembly, the prime minister of Pakistan calls Osama bin Laden a shaheed, a martyr. And not for the first time. To be precise, he already had called in the past 'an extragiudicial killing' the american blitz that led to the death of the famigerate Al Qaida chief: but those were the times when Imran was trying to make his path towards power, flirting with Taliban and assorted terrorists, sharing the floor in public spaces with them under the blessing sight of the late Hamid Gul. Most probably, somebody argues, nobody has told Imran that being a prime minister and talking from an istitutional site is quite different than talking with friends at home. Others are blaming, once again, a 'slip of tongue'. No tongue slips like Imran's, apparently. And slips in a very peculiar way, saying that Germany and Japan share a border, for example, that Africa is a nation and wishing Pakistan could take Iran as an example. I might forget some of his other most famigerate gaffes, but this is not the point. The point is, might be casual or not, that Imran's 'slip of tongue' happens immediately after the FATF meeting, where once again, and against any evidence, Pakistan has been kept on their grey list. Despite a UN Security Council report clearly stating that “Jaish-i-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba facilitate the trafficking of terrorist fighters into Afghanistan, who act as advisers, trainers and specialists in improvised explosive devices. Both groups are responsible for carrying out targeted assassinations against government officials and others” and that both JeM and LeT are sharing what Bill Roggio called 'peace training camps' with Taliban. There are also evidences that the fund-raising of both groups never stopped. Advertisings for training camps and donations are done openly on newspapers and with posters in the streets; PTM is denouncing since months that Taliban and other jihadis are back in the region, sharing camps with the pakistani army. But this, for the FATF, does not matter. Or, at least, does not matter enough. And it will not matter until China will be holding the presidency of the organisation, will not matter most probably until US will need Pakistan to support their narrative on Afghanistan for their withdrawal in (not so much) disguise. Will not matter despite the same report of UN Security Council, which clearly stated that: “Relations between the Taliban, especially the Haqqani Network, and Al-Qaida remain close, based on friendship, a history of shared struggle, ideological sympathy and intermarriage. The Taliban regularly consulted with Al-Qaida during negotiations with the United States and offered guarantees that it would honour their historical ties”. That Pakistan controls Haqqani Network is no secret, and even children know that JeM, LeT and Taliban are all ISI creatures. One can only wish FATF members would read UN reports or some of the literature on the issue. So, while America is busy dealing with its own mess, and the rest of the West with it, Imran Khan can call 'martyr' a terrorist, a terrorist hosted and nurtured by Pakistan, and get along with it. Before the next FATF meeting, Rawalpindi will take another rabbit from its hat and maybe capture again Ehsanullah Ehsan who, according to rumors, is quietly sitting in Pakistan after his 'escape' from an Army safe house. They will show some other temporary measure and the show will go on. The problem, the real problem, at an international leve,l is not so much Pakistan but China. China, with its power into international istitutions, blocks any initiative against what somebody once called 'the most dangerous country in the world'. More dangerous now because not only bakes and nurture terrorists calling them 'strategic assets', but because has started to behave towards its own citizens the same way China behaves in its own country or in Hong Kong. Imran's 'slip of tongue', any of his gaffe, is not simply a gaffe and we should stop laughing at it. There's nothing funny, not anymore. Pakistani citizens disappear every day, are killed every day in cold blood, now even in Europe, by the same government who should protect them. The economy is a disaster, the pandemic has been, to use an euphemism, mismanaged. Thousands of people lost their lives because of terrorism, only to find their prime minister praising a terrorist and the army protecting, as in the case of Ehsanullah Ehsan, the killers of their children. Worldwide famous scientists and scholars are fired from universities because of their views. Those who can, leave the countr., The others see every day their freedom and their space shrinking. Same as in China, and with the same arrogance and sense of impunity. Soon, very soon, if the rest of the world does not wake up, we'll see statues of Osama bin Laden all over Pakistan and Mohammed Hafiz Saeed as prime minister. Is what we really want?
Francesca Marino