Peshawar: Tuesday 7th December 2010
We students of Peshawar University Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan were invited by our university friend Fawaz Dawar. Being so close to eachother we could not refuse him. We decided to go no matter what happens as our Pukhtoonwali was at stack. We left for Waziristan from University of Peshawar to attend the marriage ceremony of our friend Fayaz Dawar.
We started our journey at 10 AM. We arranged a coach for our journey to Waziristan. We were atleast 15 students of the university. We reached Bannu at 2 PM and took our lunch. After lunch we started a fearful visit again. We were confused of so-called Taliban and their dealings. We reached the Mir Ali college through many check posts of Pak Army and they forced us not to be seated in the coach to cross the check posts therefore we walked for about ten minutes and sat back in the coach again. When we reach at Mir Ali check posts one of the officer was very surprised when he heard that we were going to Waziristan to attend a marriage cermony. They all thought that we all are mad and enemy of your life. We stayed there for prayer and drank some water.
After crossing Khajorai check post and Mir Ali college the area of Taliban started from there and we saw some 15 to 20 taliban militants playing cricket at road side and some of them were holding the weapons of their other mates as they stopped our coach and one of our friend shook hands with them and told them that we are guests and came for a marriage ceremony. We were so confused because they had Kalashnikov and other heavy weapons and had long long knives. They had long hair and fear in their eyes wearing traditional caps (pakol) and they had many wireless phones with them they call it Mukhabira (an Arabic word).
At 6 PM we reached our friend's house at village Darpakhel Miran Shah. Here we met with some tribal elders and children who were staring us because we were strange for them. We took our Dinner at 8 PM and asked our friend for music programme and so he did. He arranged a local musician for us. We enjoyed all the night and did traditional dance (Attan) and the tribal elders sung traditional songs. I was amazed when as I saw a group of aged elders and one of the Malik of the tribe were dancing Attan and their stimna was really tremendous. We also danced Attan with those elders and enjoyed alot. The dancing programme lead late into the night. After that we went to another Hujra for sleep.
When we woke up at the morning we were shocked as we saw many soldiers at the hill top and many taliban on the road side. We were amazed at what was going on on here. We asked the local people that whats happening as army is on the top and militants are down on the roads and they are not fighting with eachother and not interfering in each others work. One villager told us, "stay here for a week than you will understand the whole game". Another said, "This is wholly solly drama for killing innocent Pashtuns. There is no operation against the Taliban." Another villager add, "The Taliban are the real masters of Waziristan, they can do what they want." Another villager pointed out that they said that these militants are only afraid of Drones attacks.
At 10 AM we took a traditional lunch in a mosque. Then some of our friends fired on Kalashnikov (AKA 47). We left for Peshawar at 11 AM. We took an insight from our visit that the operation against militants in Waziristan is just a drama and no one is countering Taliban. We didn't saw any FC men or army men in Miran Shah and in Mir Ali Bazar but only long haired Taliban. Taliban only fear drones. I think that drone is the only way to counter these militants.
Village elders with glorious turbans
Our friends with the kids
We in a Hujra (traditional guest house)
Fayaz Dawar is the President of Azad Pukhtoon Students Federation Peshawar University.
The writer is a famous student leader currently the Youth Co-Ordinator of Aman Tehrik Pukhtoonkhwa(Peace Movement Pakhtunkhwa) and also the member of Executive Committee Azad Pukhtoon Students Federation.