‘Cheegha: The Call From Waziristan, The Last Outpost’ And Parallels Of Frantz Fanon – Book Review


In the immense fabric of human stories, some 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 an unsettling and illuminating narrative. 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 a fascinating tale on the importance of finding one’s 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, a vibrant culture and community 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. Daur encourages the Waziristani tribe members to take a stance to combat the prejudice they endure. 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, 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 tribe members 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 tribe members, 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 power and fight against the systems that keep them quiet. Fanon’s vision of an independent and liberated society is encapsulated in the Waziristan tribe members’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, forcing 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 everyone. 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 haven for exchanging ideas and cultures.

As we travel beside Daur, we see the shattered expectations and broken promises plaguing 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 tribe members 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 tribe members 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 Fanon’s footsteps, Daur urges his fellow tribe members to fight against the forces who want to strip them of their autonomy and honour. In philosophical continuity with Fanon, Daur recognises the toll the tribe members’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 interests, is described in graphic detail by him. Daur and Fanon are committed 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 marginalized 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 Waziristan 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 must consider its part in preserving inequity.

Lastly, “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 complicity in oppression and 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. 

Amna Khan Durrani

Amna Khan Durrani is an MPhil student studying English Literature and Linguistics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *