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Longford Folk Speak of the Pashtun

Willie Carty worked for the Dopping Hepenstal family, and heard stories of their relative who was in the British Army in Waziristan at the time, and of a mysterius warrior people, tied to their faith and identity, who were savage, unyeilding and unfailingly honourable and hospitable in equal measure.

He would sympathise with the ladies of the house who moaned of “our boys” being beaten by the Pashtun – that is the British Army, befoire heading around to cottages around the country and telling the stories to a raptured audience who identified so well with this mysterius people.

As a child, when the muhajideen were fighting the Soviets, my father often spoke of this… Willie was a cousin and a good friend of Dads…

Maxwell Edward Dopping Hepenstall - one of the Longfordmen who fought against the Pashtun in the British Army and brought back tales of a fierce but honourable people
Maxwell Edward Dopping Hepenstall – one of the Longfordmen who fought against the Pashtun in the British Army and brought back tales of a fierce but honourable people

The groundsman listened as they ladies spoke
Of the hopes for the British Army defeating
The latest revolt in a distant land
Where the troubles kept on repeating
Today your ally, tomorrow your enemy
An enemy both to be feared and respected
Tied to faith as their identity
Who refused to be subjected.

By cottage firesides, listening ears
Heard repeated these tales of the Pashtun
Men on horseback born without fear
Who fought with sword and gun.
They might as well be Irish
Tied to culture and to faith
Bound by honour and hospitality
Both believe that God is great.

I as a child in the Eighties
As my father listened to the news
Te Soviets fought the Mhajideen
What an enemy to choose!
They will never defeat the Pashtun, my father delcared
If they fight for a hundred years more
Repeating what to Willie Carty was said
By Doppings, some seventy years before!

Today, even my father is dead
Afghanistan is still at war today
This time America are the fools
Thinking they will bend those people to their way.
Man never will learn from mistakes of others
Who slander them on media still
We know, we respect the Pashtun as a people
Whose self respect and freedom outsiders will never kill.

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