Editor’s Note : The army chief General Raheel Sharif needs to take decisive action against the black sheep in the ISI and Army. These are the ideological supporters of the Takfiri Deobandi Taliban who are on the verge of tearing the country apart. Here is a link to the open letter to Pakistan’s new army chief General Raheel Sharif by LUBP at the time of taking charge.
Raja Umar Khattab of Karachi didn’t level false charges against peaceful Shia Muslims on his own but with the backing of security apparatus and establishment, prima facie including ISI. This is a ridiculous and laughable attempt on part of our intelligence agencies to equate #ShiaGenocide and open sponsor of terrorist infrastructure and networks by Arab monarchs including Saudi Arabia (which is part of the record) with sporadic retaliatory attacks by few individuals. This is to hide the real scope , width and depth of the support terrorist organizations like #ASS and #LeJ are getting from our security agencies and the crimes thus being perpetrated against Shia Muslims for couple of decades now. The people sitting at top should reconsider this approach as this is not benefiting Pakistan and damaging our interests and image at the same time. It is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all Pakistanis irrespective of color, creed or religion and it is the failure of state in not providing the same to many of us. Trying to shoulder the blame on some boogeyman is not gonna help.
The best approach to handle the situation and to confront the terrorism is to curb the militancy and to counter the Takfirism. Security establishment (read Army and ISI including others) kept and preferred to remain silent when these groups (Anjuman Sipah Sahabah and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) had started shouting slogans against Shia Muslims , Brelvi Sunni and Sufi Muslims , Christians and other communities. In addition to their blood lust for the Shia Muslims, Takfiri Deobandi Terrorists of Sipah Sahaba Taliban have attacked and massacred the docile Christian community in Peshawar, attacked Sufi Sunni brelvi shrines and killed thousands of Sunni Muslims. Most notably they have killed the traditional moderate Dobandi Scholars who were strictly opposed to Saudi Wahhabism.
Sooner than later this mudslinging took a exponential curve and slogans turned into be headings and manslaughter. State remained dumb and deaf as Shia Muslims were some second class citizens of this country. But what our military and intelligence agencies missed was a simple fact and lesson of history- once such Frankenstein monsters are set free, the creator is their victim at first opportunity. A few lessons in Khairjite thought, philosophy, profile and modus operandi is enough to realize and understand that such groups can not be negotiated with in real sense of the word. They are either to have subdued, crushed and made to surrender or they will continue to create and spread havoc.
If religious undertones are somehow not acceptable and repulsive to our intelligentsia and academia then “Anarchism” is secular and recent parallel of same mindset. I do not oppose negotiated settlements of disputes but that requires a partner in peace and dialogue. Here in the case of these Takfeeri groups, they don’t believe in allowing and tolerating difference and diversity in thoughts and interpretation, let alone appreciating them. Literalism (or fundamentalism) in interpreting religious texts and injunctions is the one extreme these groups ascribe and associate themselves with
Thanks to Ahmed bin Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab’s colorless rendering of Quran and Hadith, such thoughts existed among Muslims since beginning. Fortunately, they never garnered popular support and mass acceptance. With the decline of Ottoman empire and rise of ibn Saud in Hejaz, who collaborated with British for military power and Wahabi scholars for religious legitimacy, this colorless doctrine got the blessings of the monarch and soon this “literalism” started establishing its footholds in Muslim societies. The discovery of “oil” made it lot easier for the Saudi government to spread and preach this fringe ideology across national borders of Saudi Arabia.
Wahabism which was once equated with kharijites by top Hanafi and deobandi scholars in their works (refer to al-Muhannad al’al-Mufannad by Molana Khaleel Ahmed Saharanpuri which is certified by all top deobandi scholars and Radd al-Muhtar ala ad-Dur al-Mukhtar by Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Ameen ibn `Aabideen ash-Shaami) is now treated and admitted with dignity and respect, glorified as real and factual comprehension of Islamic ideology by many deobandi scholars. The cause and reasons behind this sudden change is no mystery. It is now part of the record (thanks to wikileaks) that funds amounting to $100 million a year are making their way into Islamic seminaries and “jihadi” infrastructure in Pakistan with active support from UAE and Saudi governments. How our government and intelligence agencies are responding to this open subversion is still a question mark.
I do not deny our strategic interests in Afghanistan or in Kashmir but this doesn’t mean that to achieve those goals and objectives we put at stake the peace and stability of whole country and turn our motherland into battlefield for these terrorist groups. This is a very wrong precedence set. All these ‘activities” need to be confined and controlled in a a very strict manner. Turning all the major seminaries into breeding grounds and nurseries for “jihadi” upbringing and mindset led to this current situation where gradually the agent handlers lost the control over their babies. There is a dominant view among our security establishment that engaging with few of these groups (like ASS ,ASWJ , LEJ ) will yield positive results.
During one of my interviews with Lt Gen Moinuddin Haider (former Interior Minister who lost his brother and nephew to same terrorist groups) he said on record that during a high level meeting a brigadier from ISI explained relaxations and acceptance accorded to ASWJ,SPP,LEJ Anjuman Sipah Sahaba during Musharraf tenure as attempts to bring them into mainstream politics. What that honorable brigadier missed is the core ideology and thinking paradigm of these groups is based on unilateral, strict and rigid understanding of sacred scripture where “killing in the name of God” of every “apostate” is a blessed and noble cause and the right to define the “apostasy” lies exclusively at the whims and desires of a particular moulvi. Such attempts are still visible in the free movement of notorious terrorist Malik Ishaq.
It was rather disturbing and heartbreaking to see this terrorist on stage with top religious leadership of our country in DPC rallies and public meetings. That was a sign and symbol of collective decline of our religio-political thought process. Those who are responsible for the worst terrorist attacks in our country were delegated with the responsibility of the defense of same. The attacks in Quetta, GB and similar sectarian terrorist attacks in other parts of the country are result of this appeasing approach.
Time has come to revisit our methodology, formulations and constructs to achieve our strategic objectives (without compromising on them) and to deal with this menace of terrorism which is trying to engulf the whole country into a choking air of hatred and grudge against each other. The first step is to identify and declare those groups and schools responsible for this terrorism in unequivocal terms. Any attempt to hide and give cover will be disastrous. Negotiating with the groups who are ready for peaceful solutions within the framework of constitution of Pakistan is quite okay if we can find any. Dealing the rest with the firepower without any mercy is inevitable and mandatory if we are really interested in saving our country from spiraling down into chaos like another Syria and Iraq like situation which is the ultimate objective of these Takfiri groups.