hows that monkey
"There is a strange fascination in living among the Pathans.
Many attempts have been made to catch and convey that
feeling, but the spell is elusive. One secret of the hold of
the North- West Frontier is to be sought in the tremendous scenic
canvas against which the Pathan plays out his life., a canvas brought
into vivid relief by sharp, cruel changes of climate.... But the land was made for the men in it, not men for the land.
For the stranger who had eyes to see and ears to hear, always as he
drove through the Margalla pass just north of Rawalpindi and
went on to cross the great bridge at Attock, there was a lifting of
the heart and a knowledge that, however hard the task and beset
with danger, here was a people who looked him in the face and
made him feel he had come home. "
"The Pathans" a book by Sir Olaf Caroe
"THE PATHANS" BY SIR OLAF CAROE...
"...Let us take one of his most violent custom, which prescribes death for elopement or adultery. This ancient principle is active and living in the blood of the Pathan even today. It reacts violently when it clashes with the loose and generous ethics of the British-made law. The Pathan will shoot the seducer of his sister and walk proudly to the British-made gallows for it. The law is made for the cold English sister and the detached English brother. The Pathan is short of girls and generous of emotions. he must breed well if he is to breed fighters. The potential mother of the man of tomorrow is the greatest treasure of the tribe and is guarded jealously. This primitive custom is also useful for wedding out the over sexed. It is a subtle system of selective breeting, but does the Pathan realise any of these things when he lifts his rifle to shoot the culprit? He does not. He is made with anger. He must shoot, there is no alternative. If he dose not, his neighbors will look down upon him, his father will sneer at him, his sister will avoid his eyes, his wife will be insolent and his friends cut him dead. It is easier to be misunderstood by a judge who does not speak his language and be hanged by a law that does not understand his life. he does his duty by his people. he will play true to his blood even if he breaks his heart or neck in the bargain. he will walk to the gallow with the proud steps wit his hands covered with the blood of his wife or sister. And the admiring eyes of his people will follow him as they always do those who play with their life for a principle. "Hero", shout the Pathans. "Murderer" says the judge. And I have not been able to find out who is right. "
The people of eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan are called Pashtuns. Their land has been invaded -- but never conquered -- by the soldiers of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States.
The Pashtuns have a tribal code that transcends politics and even religion. It commands them to grant protection to every guest -- and to give fugitives like Mr. bin Laden the right of refuge. It decrees death to invaders. The first British garrison surrendered Kabul in 1842, and 16,000 died at the hands of the Pashtuns in a retreat through Jalalabad to the Khyber Pass. One man survived. The last Soviet general left Afghanistan in 1989, after a nine-year occupation and 15,000 Soviet deaths.
The warlike Pathans [or Pathan, Pukhtun or Pushtun] form one of the world's largest tribal societies (about 16 million) and are divided into numerous sub-tribes and clans.... The Pathan hill tribes all have a passion for freedom and independence, and defend their territory and honor against all invaders. They are fearless guerilla fighters who know the hills and valleys intimately, are crack shots and wear clothes that blend with their surroundings (khaki is a local word meaning 'dusty, and it was as a result of the wars in this region that the British army abandoned its bright red uniforms for the inconspicuous dust-colored khaki). No one has ever managed to subdue or unite them: the Mughals, Sikhs, British and Russians have all suffered defeat at their hands."
"The Pukhtunwali (the Way of the Pukhtuns) is an inflexible ethical code by which all true Pathans traditionally abide. Pukhtunwali requires that every insult be revenged and, conversely, every guest protected. To safeguard his honor, o the honor of his family or clan, a Pathan will sacrifice everything, including his money and his life. He will return even t he slightest insult with interest. According to a Pathan proverb, 'He is not a Pathan who does not give a blow for a pinch.'"
"The Pathans are notorious for the family feuds, often the result of disputes over zar, zan or zamin - gold, women or land."
"In Lords of the Khyber (1984), Andre Singer illustrates this by recounting the story of a man he interviewed 'who proudly declared that he had killed seven male members of a Mahsud family for having insulted his wife, and so far only his brother had been killed in the revenge.'"
"Tales of the dangers of the Khyber Pass and the legendary ferocity of the Pathans stirred the English imagination and evoked scenes of gallant soldier defending the might of the Raj against the equally gallant but merciless Pahatns.... Nonetheless, if the British exacted revenge by razing whole villages to the ground, the Pathans retaliated with ambushes and slaughter, and even mutilated wounded enemies.
"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains
An' the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your right an' blow our your brains.
An' go to your Gawd like a solider."
Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-room Ballads, 1892