Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Five Lions

Well, of course Pakistan has delivered the Panjshir Valley to the Taliban. The Durand Line is as meaningless as the Sykes-Picot Line.

The P is Punjab, the a is Afghania, the k is Kashmir, the i was added "for ease of pronunciation" (in other words, to sound more Urdu and less Punjabi), the s is Sindh, and the tan is Balochistan. But of those, only Sindh is wholly in Pakistan, or ever has been. Part of Bolchistan is in Afghanistan, while rather more of it is in Iran, which has strongly condemned the Pakistani incursion into Panjshir.

And Afghania is the Pashtun homeland. Most of its area, although not of its population, is in Afghanistan. Imran Khan is a Pashtun, as convinced as his fellow Pashtuns who are now reinstalled in Kabul that the whole of Afghania ought to be in the same country. He believes that Amritsar, Srinagar and Zahedan are naturally and rightfully Pakistani cities. But he feels it in his bones about Kandahar.

There remain two and a half times as many Pashtuns in Pakistan as in Afghanistan, including the Prime Minister. He does not see himself as meddling in Afghanistan. He sees present day Pakistan as whatever could be won and held in 1947. Leaving enormous unfinished business in Kashmir, in Punjab, in Balochistan, and in Afghania.

To get the whole of Afghania, then Khan and his supporters, not to say his backers, would take the whole of Afghanistan. And to get the whole of Afghania, then the Taliban would take the whole of the country where they were ṭālibān, Pakistan. So here we are.


  1. Look who's in Parliament while the man who wrote this isn't.