Saturday, 18 February 2012

Anwar Kamal Marwat: In a League of his own

Anwar Kamal on the left. Pic courtesy Abrar Kamal Marwat
On the 13th of February 2012, a Pakistan Muslim Leaguer called Anwar Kamal died suddenly. This proud man, from the district of Lakki Marwats story is largely unknown to mainstream Pakistan. He was Provincial politician, senator and  Muslim Leaguer to the end. In an era of League apologists to radicalisation he was an oddity, a fierce opponent of the Taliban.

The question as I read the odd obituary on his life was why didn't more people know about him?

 Born on  19th November, 1947 he rose to become the deputy organiser of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Periodically winning and losing elections from his home town.

It was however after the ouster of Nawaz Sharifs second government that he came into his own. In the 2002 elections, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa he survived the MMA sweep in the province and was elected  to the assembly.

This  time in opposition started his gradual suspicion of the rising power of the Taliban. Organising the locals in the form of a lashkar he actively worked to limit their spread in his home town.

He spoke to the Telegraph about his dealing with the Taliban and colourfully said  "I told the Taliban in traditional language, the next time I see a Talib on my land I am going to screw him as hard as I can" His militia was to show them no mercy and paid a heavy price for the stand they took.

His parent party, Nawaz Sharifs PML-N did not feel the need to support in this lonely fight. Despite this abandonment, he turned down offers to join other political partys and stuck by Nawaz Sharif.

So why was he ignored by his party, the media and the people at large? Perhaps because of his uncompromising nature, perhaps because he did not see conservatism and neo-Taliban ideology as compatible. Perhaps because he did not see abandoning territory to extremists as a default position. Perhaps more importantly he felt, unlike so many other, that the people of those blighted areas under constant attack were worth fighting for?  Or perhaps because he was in a league of his own?

1) Anwar Kamal Khan Marwat: Senate
2) Pakistan chieftain hunts down Taliban
3)Frontier electioneering in Pakistan:

1 comment:

Hafsa said...

Thanks for highlighting his case. 'So why was he ignored by his party, the media and the people at large?'
...for the same reason that other local lashkars are being ignored. He doesn't fit majority's (Punjab) fantasy of Taliban being a genuine resistance movement.
He challenges the myths & nobody wants to shun their conventional wisdom