Friday, 11 September 2009

Malang Jan - وطن ژاړي - The Homeland Weeps

Malang Jan's poetry is amongst my favourite and in the wake of 9/11 reflection, I think his words capture the mood of a homeland* that is divided and asks questions of why this is so. I take these two lines from Watan Jaree وطن ژاړي (The Homeland Weeps).

وطن به ژاړي په قيامت زمونږ نيکونو ته

عرض کوي پلورنو ته، زه مو چا ته وم سپارلى؟

Watan ba jaree pa qiyamat zamung nikuna ta
Arz kawee plornoo ta, za mu cha ta wam sparley

On judgement day our homeland will weep before our grandfathers,
We ask the selle
rs, who handed us over?
Tor_Khan تور خان

On this very day, back in 2001, the Americans felt wounded following the attacks that the world now knows about and invaded Afghanistan shortly after. In 2009, I can safely say that the American plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan is in a state of confusion. Osama Bin Laden seems to have dropped off the agenda and instead Americans and NATO have strained relationships with the people on the ground. Crowds, at weddings, funerals and prayers are vulnerable to missile attacks from the skies and US intentions are met with a genuine scepticism. What happened to the confident promises of development and reconstruction?

The Taleban, never fully dismantled, emerge from the shadows as a "credible" resistance force. That the Americans don't admit that they are losing the battle in the Pashtoon heartlands troubles me. The Americans are not the only ones wounded. Today, the Pashtoons are being bombed back to the stone-age, our supplies are interrupted, we are forced to flee our homes, our tribal leaders are slowly being killed off and we are punished in a manner that the British colonialists called Collective Punishment (i.e. it's indiscriminate - we're all blamed for the militants).

Eric Margolis calls this a war on Pashtoons. Malang Jan Baba was right - who sold us out?

*In much of his poetry, Malang Jan writes about Pashtunistan.

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