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Cheegha: The Call from Waziristan, the Last Outpost in Light of Frantz Fanon

06:43 PM | 29 Aug, 2023
Cheegha: The Call from Waziristan, the Last Outpost in Light of Frantz Fanon

In the immense fabric of human stories, there are those that are forgotten and ignored, and thus never recounted. In his remarkable book "Cheegha: The Call from Waziristan, the Last Outpost," Ghulam Qadir Khan Daur tells a narrative that is both unsettling and illuminating.

The mysterious and conflicted area is brought to life by Daur's beautiful prose and evocative imagery, drawing parallels to the prescient observations of Frantz Fanon. This is an engrossing tale on the importance of finding one's own way and reclaiming one's independence from society. Waziristan, a place so far away that its name has become synonymous with terror and carnage, comes alive in Daur's words.

However, beyond the surface, there is a vibrant culture and community that belies the common misconceptions. Daur, a resident of Darpa Khel, clearly recalls the tranquillity of the Fata region before the alien invasion wreaked havoc on it. He does a masterful job of weaving together the tale of his personal life with the bigger narrative of a country dealing with uncertainty.

Fanon's concepts of resistance and freedom resonate deeply with the spirit of "cheegha," the author's rallying cry. To combat the prejudice they endure, Daur encourages the Waziristani tribesmen to take a stance. In this cry for freedom and equality, we can detect echoes of Fanon's fierce determination to break the bonds of oppression. Daur's passionate story represents the determination of a people to keep raising their voices. Fanon's anti-colonial fight, which is crucial to his worldview, is brilliantly articulated in "Cheegha." The author, like Fanon, recognises the devastation that oppression can do to an individual's sense of identity and cultural belonging.

Daur mourns the breakdown of a harmonious community in which people of many religions and ethnicities formerly coexisted together. The men's sense of self and culture were irreparably damaged, as shown by Fanon's examination of the mental toll of colonialism on the indigenous people. Daur's brilliant tale effectively depicts the transition of Waziristan's landscape from a haven of tranquillity to a battleground of warring tribes.

The lives of the local tribesmen were forever altered by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent American invasion. They're under constant threat from both rebels and the government. Daur's tragic lyrics paint a picture of a country ravaged by betrayal and intrigue, its people trapped in a never-ending cycle of despair.

The author's rallying cry provides insight into the difficulties plaguing Waziristan. There is a lack of political representation for the tribesmen, so they have no voice in local matters, and the officials in Islamabad are oblivious to their plight. Daur's words reflect Fanon's appeal for the oppressed to reclaim their power and fight back against the systems that keep them quiet. Fanon's vision of an independent and liberated society is encapsulated in the Waziristan tribesmen's common pursuit of justice. Frantz Fanon's ideas continue to inspire those who fight for freedom and equality.

There is a lot of truth to what he says about the mental toll of tyranny, the complexities of the person, and the imperativeness of fighting back in Daur's "Cheegha." As we go through this excellent book, we witness how Fanon's theories and the tragedy of Waziristan work together to create a powerful synergy that demands our attention. Daur exposes a reality inside Waziristan's boundaries that forces us to confront disturbing realities and challenge our preconceived notions.

The author describes a time when tolerance, acceptance, and mutual respect were the norm for all people. In stark contrast to the fanaticism and bloodshed that would soon overwhelm the region, Daur's words transport us to a time when the traditional guest house, the hujra, was a safe haven for the exchange of ideas and cultures.

As we travel beside Daur, we see the shattered expectations and broken promises that have plagued Waziristan. The arrival of foreign forces in the adjoining nation sparked a chain reaction of instability and upheaval in the hitherto tranquil hills and valleys at the heart of Pashtun history. Daur's words are a devastating lament for the lost innocence of the tribesmen as they suffer unthinkable anguish at the hands of militants and military forces alike, including bogus accusations of espionage, arbitrary punishment, and the destruction of entire villages. Daur's call to arms is an urgent plea for the tribesmen to regain their voices in the face of institutional bias and demand equality and justice.

He encourages them to speak out about the injustices they've seen and the challenges they've encountered. Following in Fanon's footsteps, Daur urges his fellow tribesmen to fight back against the forces who want to strip them of their autonomy and honour. Daur, in philosophical continuity with Fanon, recognises the toll that the tribesmen's position as outsiders, outcasts, and victims has had on their psyches.

A nation whose development has been deliberately impeded, a pawn in the hands of those who utilise its people for their own interests, is described in graphic detail by him. Daur and Fanon share a commitment to the idea that individuals may create collective identities that transcend normative expectations.

More than just a book, "Cheegha: The Call from Waziristan, the Last Outpost" stands as a testament to the strength of a marginalised community fighting for justice in the face of injustice. Daur's writing abilities captivate readers because they take them to a world that is both familiar and foreign, eliciting empathy and calling into question established beliefs. His narrative serves as a vehicle for the tribesmen's pleas for understanding and solidarity to be heard beyond their borders. As we learn from "Cheegha," the struggles of the Waziristani tribesmen are not isolated incidents, but rather a continuation of a larger history of enslavement. The works of Frantz Fanon provide light on the path to independence and self-discovery.

In Daur's inspiring tales, the disadvantaged find solace and hope, while the reading public is compelled to consider its part in preserving inequity.  Last but not least, "Cheegha: The Call from Waziristan, the Last Outpost" exemplifies how literature may reveal hidden truths, provoke thought, and inspire change. Fanon's influence can be seen throughout Daur's opus, which urges us to consider our own complicity in oppression and to band together to end injustice. It requests that we listen carefully to those whose voices have been silenced, provide a forum for their voices, and stand in solidarity with those who have been marginalised for too long.

The author is currently pursuing an MPhil degree in English Literature and Linguistics. 

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 21, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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