Marked – Brian Cloughley

A deranged Taliban ‘revolutionary’, Shahidullah Shahid, recently took it upon himself to lecture the people of Pakistan about patriotism, which might be amusing were it not so nauseating. During his melodramatic video message, in which he appeared with two masked rifle-wielding thugs, he said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the TTP, was fighting for the enforcement of Shariah law to the exclusion of the system at present existing in the country.

He showed his flexibility, and that of the TTP, by declaring that “If this can happen through negotiations, so be it [but] we would only negotiate if we know these negotiations will lead to the enforcement of Shariah.” He is making it clear that those at present indulging in mayhem and murder throughout the country have no intention of negotiating save on their own inflexible terms.

It is easy to laugh at such absurdity, but in spite of being off the planet it is serious, because the unhinged Shahidullah Shahid has influence in the TTP that goes beyond delivering idiotic diatribes. And the domestic and international media report his every word.

Western media made much of the story of the young Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai whom the TTP attempted to murder because she had spoken in favour of female education. The international publicity really upset the loonies, and it was reported that “Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the group stands by its decision to target 16-year-old Malala who he said has ‘targeted and criticised Islam’.”

His allegation that she had spoken against Islam is utter rubbish, but in the world of disinformation it is a regrettable fact that sometimes the more outrageous and absurd the claim, the more likely it is to be believed. You can fool lots of the people lots of the time, and that’s what makes the propaganda of the Taliban mind-benders quite effective.

Shahidullah declared that Malala Yousafzai “accepted that she attacked Islam so we tried to kill her, and if we get another chance we will definitely kill her and that will make us feel proud. Islam prohibits killing women, but except those that support the infidels in their war against our religion.”

Shahid claims that what he says is entirely in accordance with religious teachings. But where in the holy words of Islam does there appear approval for the murder of children? His tirade is yet another example of bigoted fanatics warping the words of the Quran and the Hadith to try to justify their own demented opinions, which are in line with neither religion nor human decency as established and desired by ordinary people.

The declaration by the Taliban, as represented by Shahidullah Shaheed, that they “feel proud” about killing little girls is confirmation of criminal lunacy. They object to education for girls – and to any teaching that might open the minds of young people to wider horizons – and they have their own fascist ideas about schooling, which are obscene and terrifying.

Think back to May 2008 when the soldiers of an army unit in South Waziristan were aghast at discovering a ‘school’ run by the TTP’s crazy Qari Hussain who had set up and supervised “a nursery for preparing suicide bombers”. The commander of the soldiers who were so nauseated by their discovery said it was “a factory that had been recruiting 9-12 year-old boys, and turning them into suicide bombers.”

Nobody in the outside world had any idea of what was going on until this children’s suicide seminary was seized by the army. A hardened reporter noted; “how organised these militants were in their mission to recruit, indoctrinate and launch suicide bombers. The computers, other equipment and literature seized from the place, some of which were shown to us [reporters], give graphic details of the training process.

“There are videos of young boys carrying out executions, a classroom where 10-12-year olds are sitting in formation, with white band of Quranic verses wrapped around their forehead, and there are training videos to show how improvised explosive devices are made and detonated.”

This is the sort of criminal brainwashing that Shahidullah Shahid supports, grovelling at the feet of his boss, the even more fanatical and repulsive Mullah Fazlullah, who tried to destroy education and all else that was civilised in Swat until the army defeated his malevolent dictatorship in that region and he ran away to Afghanistan. Fazlullah has recently returned to Pakistan from his holiday in Nuristan and, according to Shahid, is “commanding the Taliban movement at an unknown location in the tribal areas”, which Amir Mir of The News reported last Friday as being Dir District, which is not in the tribal belt.

Fazlullah is the monster who approved the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai and ordered the beheading of 17 captured soldiers in June 2012. He then boasted in a video about the killing of Major General Sanaullah Niazi last September. Among some admittedly strong contenders, he is probably the most evil.

Welcome home, Fazlullah. Well, not quite home, as such, because you’re not from Dir, of course. Indeed, you’re a Swati Yousafzai, just like the little girl you tried to have murdered; but welcome, all the same.

Mind you, Fazlullah, it would be unwise to trust the tribes in the Waziristans, in spite of the fact that in Miranshah last month there was much celebratory air-firing when you were appointed head-boy of the TTP. They’ll keep firing in the air until you become a more desirable target, when you fall out with your current supporters.

And, of course, you might also be on the screen of some little drone-directing techno-dweeb in Florida, having had a tiny electronic chip placed on you by a formerly loyal servant. You are a marked man.