As invaluable as the meeting of PTI Chairman Imran Khan with the JUI-S Chief Sami-ul-Haq would be with regards to those with radical, antagonistic and intolerant opinions vis-à-vis the Taliban, it has also summoned the perfect time to share the Taliban family tree for our younger generation.
Someone from the Generation Y2T shared the news on Facebook with the caption, ‘The Father of the Taliban’ – which as the older lot would tell you is Sami-ul-Haq. But another in the comments section asked a crucial question, ‘Isn’t that Hamid Gul?.
Now, any self-respecting writer who wants to make a living in Taliban’s Pakistan post-2018 – rather the Taliban’s Af-Pak, should everything go according to plan and prayers – would have jumped the gun and answered that question immediately.
For brownie points sake, let’s go a step further and spread the joy through print media, and sketch out the Taliban family tree for anyone not cognisant of the actual ruling family in Pakistan.
Sami-ul-Haq is the Father of the Taliban. The late Hamid Gul was the Godfather of the Taliban. He is to the mujahid what Sirius Black was to Harry Potter. Another thing common between Black and Gul was that the slower among the audience initially don’t quite know whose side he is on.
Now, since the Taliban believe in Shariah, the women are completely irrelevant. So there aren’t any mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters in this family tree.
Before we get into the brothers, sons and uncles – of which there are millions – it’s important to introduce you to the Father of the Nuclear Bomb. No, we are not talking about the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP) – that is the Father of All Bombs.
Dr A Q Khan is the Father of the Nuclear Bomb. Now as the family name suggests, he is not directly related to the Taliban. But since the two families have been neighbours, for at least the previous five decades – or so think-tanks, and armed tanks, in Washington are certain of – A Q Khan is a crucial member of the Taliban family tree.
The Bomb family are family friends of the Taliban, which also proves that Dr A Q Khan is not only related to, but from the same generation as, the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) weapon in the world, ATBIP – which was suspiciously born in 2007.
In many ways the future of Pakistan in hinged to the reunion between the two families.
Now to the brothers and uncles and as mentioned above, the millions of them cannot fit into a tree.
Even though the exact lineage would become clear following the elections next year, for those who want to find out beforehand here’s a cheat code: anyone who believes that Islam should be imposed in the society and/or state and/or the world should take a high definition selfie and add it to the family tree, that hopefully you have been drawing as you’ve been reading this piece.
Now, from the outlaws, to the family’s in-laws, of whom there are so many that we have to shortlist the most high-profile – you can figure out the rest on your own.
Here it is critical to note that some of these in-laws are from previous decades, but illegitimacy – which here means something completely different to what it might on other family trees – of the relation, and more importantly their power connections do not allow us to name and fame them.
The head of this family, as the meeting suggests, is of course Imran Khan who is the Grand Taliban-in-Law. He has been the trailblazer over the past six years, that has made drawing this family tree both inevitable and a matter of survival.
Even, so the in-laws are spread not through any lineage, but demographic and territorial divisions. For instance, in Punjab the Sharif family has been a major in-law, and now that it has become an outlaw of a different kind, it is regularly expressing the brotherhood.
The tree would also have members from the PPP and ANP families, but the links are limited and only when the interests of all concerned families coincide.
Tailpiece: The one who draws the most accurate tree from the details provided, will get to feature their post-existentialist sketch in this space.