[UDATES: Mustikhan’s Musings tries to be as objective as possible. An earlier version of the story was headlined: “Rebuff to a Pakistan & Islam-loving Afghan opportunist, written with blood from a Baloch’s bleeding heart.”]
It was bitter cold Friday evening. I had two layers of warm clothing under my jeans, a very thick jeans on top of that, two warm layers of clothing under my thick shirt and a World War two style black widower heavy coat on top of that. Still when I went outside to go to my car to go to the DuPont Circle– one of the few places in the US where I feel at home since it is so gay–, I felt the American cold piercing through my dark brown, hairy ass. I even sat on my seat as I was getting late for the Candle Light Vigil for Afghan victims of Pakistan terrorism. However, as you grow older the instinct of self preservation takes over, I am getting close to 60 now, so I thought I should not take the risk of getting down with pneumonia and went inside and added yet another layer under my belly–hope none asks what is so precious there– and also another warm cloth on top. I was all set to go.
Afghanistan had been bleeding profusely for the last 12 days or more, as suicide bombers trained by Pakistan army and ISI had been playing a holi of blood with Afghans as they have been doing for many years now. Nearly 150 Afghans had lost their lives and there seems to be no end to the daily bombings. The dirty hands of the ISI were busy in Afghanistan not for the last 12 days but since the days of the first American architect of the Afghan war Zbigniew Brezinski, who at the time was sailing in the same boat with the ISI.
So when I finally reached my favorite spot, I saw about a dozen Afghan youths, some of them excruciatingly handsome no doubts, gathered there although I thought at least a hundred Afghans would be present since there own kith and kin back in their beautiful homeland were being killed daily and thousands of Afghan Americans live in the DC area. I was elated to see five Hindu activists, who are committed to helping Balochistan and Afghanistan against terrorism, as part of their Vedic teachings “May we resolve to dedicate our life to the service of humankind, and uplift them to Divinity (Yagur Veda)” or “The experience of unity is the fulfillment of human endeavors. The mysteries of life are revealed (Rig Veda).”
And then the unimaginable happened: from a loudspeaker Quranic verse began blaring into the ears of the passers-by who at first showed interest in the vigil but began questioning the logic behind use of religion at a peace vigil. As an atheist, I told myself WTF and wanted to just walk out, but since the organizer was friend and a fellow traveler in the long war against Pakistan army and ISI and because my good friends were also present I silently bit the bullet that had pierced my wounded heart. Later, I noticed at least one Afghan vehemently object to my slogan “Pakistan is Taliban, Taliban is Pakistan” and “Where was bin Laden, Pakistan, Pakistan.” I was in utter shock as these slogans, which I jokingly call award winning, that I have crafted have been adopted by Baloch activists in many Western nations.
What cruel jokes were being cracked on an equally cruel winter evening: first the recitation of Quran at a gathering of people from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds in gay Mecca of the US capital and then the rank opportunism of disapproving factual slogans such as Pakistan is Taliban. For a moment, in my mind’s eye the iconic gay DuPont Circle turned into the beautiful Somnath Mandir, being attacked one more time for its intellectual wealth of open mindedness.
Later on I came to know that a kind-hearted Pashtun named, Zia M. Hood-Bahaduri, thought that Afghans should not let me speak at Afghan rallies since I try to use Afghans to advance the Balochistan cause against Pakistan. The sweet guy, now an old fart like myself who loves to be surrounded by younger Afghan males, had driven all the way from Richmond to attend the vigil and deserves credit for his desire for peace in the world. He had come to USA at age 16 and visited Afghanistan only once at the zenith of Taliban power in 1998. Not sure what a peacnik was doing in Afghanistan at a time when the Taliban was in power? The gentleman has indeed provoked me to write this column. His thinking is no different than the ISI-approved Aman ki Asha aunties, who blame India and Pakistan alike, though Pakistan is the culprit behind the blood-letting in Kashmir. Here in this case Kabul is at the receiving end of the proverbial fail-i-Afghan, but I am guessing Hood-Bahaduri is equally blaming Islamabad and Kabul. Such people who suffer from the “Stockholm syndrome”– people who suffer from an unreal desire for peace– are divorced from reality, live high lives themselves and at many times in their quest for good in the world don’t differentiate between the wrong and the wronged. Even when his homeland is being bled by Pakistan, everyday, he does not want to speak the truth so as not to hurt the feelings some of cute and lovely Pakistanis. I hope he does not have some business in Pakistan?
Dear most honorable Hood-Bahaduri, for your kind information, in all my years of activism the only material help I got from Afghans was an event that I along with some friends organized at the George Washington University. The young Afghan Students Association, who have an understanding that Afghanistan and Balochistan have a common enemy in Pakistan army GHQ in Rawalpindi and the ISI headquarters in Aabpara, Islamabad, helped sponsor that event, saving me $50. Many thanks to them. In return when Shaheen, a young Afghan gay–by the way majority of Afghans are gay, even though they won’t admit it publicly–, was facing persecution I contributed $40 to transport him to Western safety. So I owe the Afghans $10 which I can send anywhere, so that I am not accused of taking any advantage of poor Afghans.
As far as helping the Baloch goes, the only help that has happened from Kabul is that Baloch can go live in the Baloch areas of Afghanistan, which is no big favor as the Baloch have our own historic Balochistan province, size of West Virginia, inside Afghanistan, too. I say this for not only for the Baloch who go live in Afghanistan, but also Afghans who came to live in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan; Islamabad should not act as if it was doing some kind of favor to them, as the territory belongs to Afghans.
Unfortunately, there are many opportunists in the ISI-infested government of Dr Ashraf Ghani who block people who say Pashtun areas in Pakistan belong to Afghanistan. Such Afghans are willing to surrender their historic lands to Pakistan, an illegitimate bastard child of the UK, that was nurtured and groomed on the world stage as a well-fed and rounded prostitute by the US. Kabul’s lame duck response to Pakistan’s takeover of FATA is evidence of that, which thankfully seems to be changing.
People like Hood-Bahaduri will not say a single word against Pakistan as they have better things to do. For example enjoying delicious cuisines from different nations in the US capital (please see pictures of Mr Hood-Bahaduri).
Just on Sunday evening a Pashtun young man Idrees Wazir, son of Ghazi Sparika Wazir, a notable of the Pashtun clan of Waziris, was shot dead in Dera Imail Khan. The victim’s brother was seriously injured in the incident. The killing happened at a time when Wazir’s father was protesting against the injustices of Islamabad along with thousands of Pashtuns, including the Mehsuds in Islamabad. Pakistan military, and its handmaiden media, were busy with their divide and rule policy as the secret services first killed the Waziri youth and are now blaming the Mehsuds to drown their joint protest against Islamabad into a tribal conflict between two Pashtun tribes. These developments do not matter in the world view of folks who suffer from the Stockholm syndrome.
Let me delve into history, because unless your understand history you cannot analyze the present nor foretell the future. It was historical cowardice and rank opportunism of King Zahir Shah as he did not help Balochistan at the right time in 1948. Today both Balochistan and Afghanistan are paying a heavy for that cowardice as both nations find themselves in a bloody mess. At the time, Prince Agha Abdul Karim, brother of the Baloch tribal ruler sought the help of of the useless Zahir Shah, who was happy with his title of being called a king. Dejected over failure to secure Afghan help, Agha Karim returned to Pakistan to be jailed for 18 long years. Upon release, he became a shepherd to wander in the vast expanses of his homeland. That was the first Afghan stab in the back of Balochistan. Karma is karma, even it it visits my own Baloch people; the Baloch were “rewarded” in this way by Mother Nature for siding with Ahmad Shah Abdali in his forays against the brave Marathas of Bharat.
The second time the Baloch were betrayed it was Zahir Shah’s cousin President Daud’s rule in Kabul, who asked Baloch insurgents to go back home; the third betrayal was when the president in Kabul was Hamid Karzai, who refused to pick up the call of former governor and chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, when the septuagenarian Baloch leader was under attack of Pakistan army and desperately needed help.
After being bitten thrice by opportunist Afghan leaders, we don’t expect any help from you guys any longer Mr Hood-Bahaduri.
Honest Pashtuns advise me not to trust Kabul under Ghani, a former Pentagon Pashto linguist, as he can’t help his own people how can he help anyone else. “Kabul has for years been making a fool of Pashtuns and Baloch that they don’t believe in the Durand Line, but practically they have done nothing,” complains Khan Arif, a Pashtun nationalist based in Germany. Another Pashtun activist based in Albany, New York concurs. “Afghans not only want to use the shoulders of Baloch to fire guns against Pakistan, but at the same time want the Baloch to use their own guns,” said Najeeb Khan, implying that Afghans don’t want to help the Baloch at all, just use them for free.
Just last year, I faced the dilemma of getting passports of two Baloch naturalized in Afghanistan renewed. President Ghani’s handpicked consul general Abdul Samad Afghan refused to accept the two Baloch as Afghans since they could dari but could not speak Pashto! I ran from pillar to post to get the two gentlemen their passports back for six whole months, without success.
Just as I said earlier I braved the cold piercing my rear that Friday to come to the vigil to express sympathy with Afghans as for me the blood of an Afghan is no different from the blood of a Baloch because the hand that is spilling that blood is the same. On that wintry day I suspect most Afghans were hugging girls and even more likely cute men in the comfort of homes, while I was freezing out there at DuPont Circle. I said cute men because Afghans are famed for same sex relationships.
But what did I get in return for coming out in support of Afghans? Disrespect by Ghani supporters.
By the way, have to point out the extent of opportunism and hypocrisy that I saw at the vigil. At the same site, DuPont Circle fountain from where religious scripture was being blared right into the ears of Americans, Afghans working at the embassy come without fail to look at the bubble butts of cute American men, just like I do.