Featured Original Articles

Sleeping with the enemy: What is common in Deobandi Pashtuns of Waziristan and Sunni Arabs of Mosul? – by Abdul Nishapuri

Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parade at Syrian town of Tel Abyad
Salafi Arab terrorists in Mosul, Iraq

This fact is widely acknowledged that honourable Shia and Sunni Sufi Pashtuns of Kurram Agency fought with takfiri Deobandi and Salafi Wahhabi terrorists of Pasthun, Punjabi, Arab, Chechen, Uzbek origin for more than two decades refusing to provide safe haven to Al Qaeda, Taliban etc.

Pashtuns of Parachinar (Toori Shia Pashtuns in particular) offered huge sacrifices to safeguard their ethnic and territorial integrity, thousands of them died in this war – while the so called Pashtun nationalists and liberals of ANP and PKMAP looked the other way. But in the end, Pashtuns of Parachinar were able to defeat evil plans of Pakistani establishment and Deobandi Wahhabi terrorists.

My question is: why couldn’t Pashtuns of North Waziristan do the same to Uzbek, Arab, Chechen, Punjabi and other terrorists? Why did they provide safe haven to Deobandi and Wahhabi terrorists of Al Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi aka ASWJ? Why did they offer their daugthers for marriage to foreign terrorists who were mercilessly slaughtering secular Afghan Pashtuns, Tajiks and Hazaras in Afghanistan and secular, Sunni Sufi and Shia Pashtuns in Pakistan? Why did they allow factories of suicide bombers within their areas where teenagers were freely brainwashed, using Salafi and Deobandi ideologies, to wage attacks on ‘murtid’ or ‘na-paak’ army, secular leaders of ANP, PPP, MQM, Sunni Sufis and Shias? More generally, why do Pashtuns allow and enable Deobandi bigots to misappropriate and misuse Pashtun ethnicity to promote their Deobandi Jihadist objectives? https://lubpak.net/archives/307125

pakdeath
Deobandi Pashtun terrorists in North Waziristan, Pakistan

This aspect of terrorism and war on terrorism (including the Operation Zarb-e-Azab) is conveniently ignored by many analysts including the so called Pashtun nationalists – of Deobandi and secular backgrounds.

This then reminds us of the fate of innnocent Sunni Muslims of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

In a recent article published in The Newsweek, Malcolm Nance, a former Navy and CIA counterterrorism operative, says Iraq’s Sunnis “have just committed suicide.” He tells Newsweek he had been planning to write a piece called “The Sunni Tribes Drink Antifreeze.” “ISIS…” adds Nance, “will…exact a painful level of control over the Sunni population that will make them regret the very moment they fooled themselves into believing Maliki was worse than Saddam. I was there last year for a month and all I kept hearing was that Maliki was a tyrant. They overestimate every political difficulty, but this time the Sunnis have signed their own death warrants.” https://lubpak.net/archives/315737

In the context of recent military operation (Zarb-e-Azb) in North Waziristan, there are rumours that the Haqqani Network and other Taliban militants have relocated to parts of Kurram Agency inhabited by Deobandi Pashtuns, however, they couldn’t refuge in the areas under control of Shia Pashtuns (Parachinar etc). This per se shows that Deobandi ideology, not Pashtun ethnicity, is at play. This defeats the very argument and discourse of (the so called) Pashtun nationalists.

Pasthuns have to make a choice between their centuries-old, peaceful and inclusive, Pashtun identity and the alien, intolerant Deobandi (semi-Wahhabi) ideology recently imported from India and Saudi Arabia. They have to honestly realize and admit that intolerant (takfiri) Deobandi and Salafi-Wahhabi ideologies are injurious to their tolerant Pashtun traditions.

As a way forward, it is important for Pashtuns to revert to their original Sunni Sufi, tolerant inclusive roots and kick the Deobandi and Salafi-Wahhabi madrassahs, clerics and groups out of their lands.

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri

17 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • From Abdul Nishapuri’s facebook:

    Pashtun hospitality and activism should be for all Pashtuns
    ——————————————————————————-

    “Indomitable spirit of solidarity and hospitality of the Pashtuns of Bannu who wholeheartedly embraced IDPs from North Waziristan”. Good!

    By the way, how many of these hospitable Pashtuns of Bannu will (or did) open their houses for Shia Pashtuns affectees of Deobandi terrorism in Hangu, Kohat and Parachinar? #JustAsking

    For some people, alien Deobandism is more important than centuries-old Pashtun traditions.

  • تمام طاقت داعش کے پاس؟
    جم میور
    بی بی سی نیوز، عراق
    آخری وقت اشاعت: بدھ 2 جولائ 2014 ,‭ 17:11 GMT 22:11 PST
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google+
    دوست کو بھیجیں
    پرنٹ کریں

    القاعدہ سے نکلے ہوئے سخت گیر گروہ داعش نے عراق میں مرکزی حکومت کے خلاف برسر پیکار تمام سنی گروہوں سے کہہ دیا ہے کہ وہ اسلحہ پھینک دیں اور داعش کے ہاتھ پر بیعت کر لیں۔
    جہادی جنگجو تنظیم دولت اسلامی عراق و شام (داعش یا آئی ایس آئی ایس) عراق اور شام میں اپنے زیرِ تسلط علاقوں میں خلافت کے قیام کا اعلان کر چکی ہے۔
    اسی بارے میں
    دنیا کے مسلمانوں سے ’اسلامی ریاست‘ کی تعمیر کی اپیل
    عراق: تکریت میں شدت پسندوں سے تازہ جھڑپیں
    تکریت میں فوج کی داعش کے خلاف کامیابی: ریاستی ٹی وی
    متعلقہ عنوانات
    دنیا
    اس اعلان کے بعد ان علاقوں میں موجود دوسرے متحارب گروہ اب داعش اور عراق کی شیعہ اکثریتی حکومت کے درمیان پھنس گئے ہیں۔
    دوسرے الفاظ میں داعش نے دیگر متحارب گروہوں کو دبا دیا ہے اور بتا دیا ہے کہ جہاں جہاں ضرورت پڑے داعش ان گروہوں کے خلاف طاقت کے استعمال سے بھی گریز نہیں کرے گی۔
    یوں لگتا ہے کہ تمام طاقت داعش کے ہاتھ آ چکی ہے۔
    تازہ ترین کارروائی میں داعش نے شامی باغیوں کے خلاف تین روز لڑائی کے بعد عراق اور شام کے درمیان سرحد کے قریب واقع البو کمال کے اہم قصبے پر بھی قبضہ کر لیا ہے۔
    اس جنگی کامیابی کے بعد داعش کے جنگجوؤں کا اگلا نشانہ عراقی سرحد کے اندر کے قصبے ہوں گے۔
    لگتا ہے کہ اب دیگر مسلح سنی گروہ، جن میں عراق کے سابق فوجیوں کے علاوہ قبائلی جنگجو اور صدام حسین کی بعثت پارٹی کے جیالے شامل ہیں، مخمصے کا شکار ہو گئے ہیں۔
    بیکار لڑائی
    “دیگر گروہ خلافت کے جنگجوؤں کے خلاف کسی بیکار کی لڑائی میں نہیں الجھنا چاہتے کیونکہ انھیں معلوم ہے کہ وہ داعش جنگجوؤں کو شکست نہیں دے سکتے۔ یہ گروہ جانتے ہیں کہ داعش نے گذشتہ تین ہفتوں کے دوران شام و عراق کے کئی سنی علاقوں میں اپنی گرفت مضبوط کر لی ہے۔”
    قبائلی اور باغی فوجیوں کا کہنا ہے کہ داعش کے ساتھ مُوصل میں ہونے والے دو روزہ مذاکرات کے بعد انھیں واضح الفاظ میں بتا دیا گیا ہے کہ نئی خلافت کے ہاتھ پر بیعت کر کے ہتھیار ڈال دیں اور یہ بات تسلیم کر لیں کہ اب ہتھیار اٹھانے کا حق صرف نئی اسلامی ریاست کے جنگجوؤں کو ہوگا۔
    باغیوں کے ایک سینیئر رہنما کے بقول ’خلافت کے علمبرداروں نے ہمارے انقلاب کو ہائی جیک کر لیا ہے۔‘
    اس رہنما کا کہنا تھا کہ ان کے گروہ کے علاوہ دیگر گروہ خلافت کے جنگجوؤں کے خلاف کسی بیکار کی لڑائی میں نہیں الجھنا چاہتے کیونکہ انھیں معلوم ہے کہ وہ داعش جنگجوؤں کو شکست نہیں دے سکتے۔
    یہ گروہ جانتے ہیں کہ داعش نے گذشتہ تین ہفتوں کے دوران شام و عراق کے کئی سنی علاقوں میں اپنی گرفت مضبوط کر لی ہے۔
    غیر داعش جنگجوگروہ امریکہ سے بھی بہت خفا ہیں کہ وہ شام میں لڑنے والے باغیوں کو تو 50 کروڑ ڈالر دے رہا ہے لیکن ہمیں دہشتگرد سمجھتا ہے کیونکہ ہم عراق میں امریکی فوجیوں کے خلاف بغاوت میں بھی لڑتے رہے ہیں اور بعد میں ہم نے القاعدہ کو بھی یہاں سے مار بھگایا۔
    ’کچھ زیادہ ہی طاقتور‘ داعش

    خود ساختہ خلیفہ ابوبکر البغدادی نے دنیا بھر کے جہادیوں سے کہا ہے کہ وہ عراق اور شام پہنچیں
    بغداد میں حکومت خوش ہے کہ عراق کے سنی علاقوں میں خلافتِ اسلامی کے جنگجوؤں کا اثرو رسوخ بڑھتا جا رہا ہے کیونکہ اب حکومت کے لیے یہ کہنا آسان ہو گیا ہے اس کے خلاف مزاحمت کی وجوہات عراق کی سیاسی صورتحال نہیں بلکہ کچھ اور ہیں۔
    تاہم تمام باغی گروہ اس سے اتفاق نہیں کرتے اور ان کا اصرار ہے کہ وہ حکومت کے خلاف سیاسی مزاحمت جاری رکھیں گے۔
    ایک سینیئر سُنی باغی کا کہنا تھا: ’ ہم داعش کے ہاتھ پر بیعت نہیں کریں گے اور نہ ہی اپنے ہتھیار اُن کے حوالے کریں گے۔ بلکہ ہم اپنے ہتھیار چُھپا دیں گے۔ ہم داعش کے خلاف لڑ نہیں سکتے کیونکہ وہ لوگ بہت طاقتور ہیں۔ ہم یہاں پر ہار تسلیم کر لیں گے، لیکن بغداد میں حکومت کے خلاف سرگرم رہیں گے کیونکہ وہاں تو داعش والے نہیں ہیں۔‘
    خلافتِ اسلامی کے خود ساختہ خلیفہ ابوبکر البغدادی نے دنیا بھر کے جہادیوں سے کہا ہے کہ وہ عراق اور شام پہنچیں اور خلافت کی تعمیر میں مدد کریں۔
    ذرائع کے مطابق علاقائی سطح پر نوجوانوں کی ایک بڑی تعداد کو 500 ڈالرماہانہ پر بھرتی بھی کیا جا رہا ہے۔ تعیناتی سے پہلے انھیں دو ہفتے کی ’فوجی تربیت‘ اور دو ہی ہفتے کی ’اسلامی تعلیم‘ دی جاتی ہے۔
    لیکن اگر خلافت کے منصوبے پر واقعی عمل درآمد ہونا ہے تو اس کے لیے ابو بکر البغدادی کو انتظامی اور دیگر امور کے بہت سے ماہرین کی ضرورت ہوگی، تاہم انھیں پوری امید ہے کہ دنیا بھر سے لوگ ان کے اعلان پر لبیک کہیں گے اور عراق و شام کی جانب چل پڑیں گے۔

    تازہ جنگی کامیابی کے بعد داعش کے جنگجوؤں کا اگلا نشانہ عراقی سرحد کے اندر کے قصبے ہوں گے۔
    لیکن عراق کے کئی سنی گروہ داعش کی خلافت کو تسلیم نہیں کرتے اور ان گروہوں کے باہمی اخلافات اس وقت کھُل کر سامنے آ گئے جب عراق کے علما کی تنظیم نے اپنے بیان میں خلافت کے اعلان پر شدید تنقید کرتے ہوئے اسے واپس لینے کا مطالبہ کر دیا۔
    تنظیم کا کہنا تھا کہ جن لوگوں نے خلافت کے قیام کا اعلان کیا ہے انھوں نے عراق کے بیٹوں اور ان کے رہنماؤں سے کوئی رابطہ نہیں کیا۔
    ’خلافت کا اعلان عراق کے اتحاد کے خلاف اقدام ہے اور اس اعلان سے یہی مطلب لیا جائے گا کہ کچھ لوگ عراق کو تقسیم کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔
    ایسا اعلان کرنے سے پہلے کے لوازمات ابھی تک مکمل نہیں ہوئے ہیں۔ اگر خلافت بنانے میں ناکامی ہوتی ہے تو اس کے منفی اثرات ہر کسی پر ہوں گے۔ اس لیے کسی پر لازم نہیں ہے کہ وہ بیعت کرے۔‘
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2014/07/140702_isis_power_monopoly_sq.shtml

  • Patrick Cockburn writes:

    The rise of Isis and its military successes has led to short-sighted euphoria in Sunni countries. People congratulate themselves that it is no longer only the Shia who are on the offensive. But in practice Isis’s seizure of a leadership position in Syria and Iraq’s communities will most likely prove to be a disaster for them.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/crisis-in-the-middle-east-the-end-of-a-country-and-the-start-of-a-new-dark-age-9659379.html

  • Excellent comparison.

    Robert Fisk too wrote along the same lines:

    And most Sunni Muslims stayed in their towns and cities and went on living there while their brothers – the Isis citizens of the future – went about their grisly work. In other words, the “Caliphate” obviously does not appear to be so terrifying to them as it does to us. Is there a problem here? Or is it just a matter, as the Americans seem to think, that the Sunni tribes – those all-purpose mini-societies which we depend on when things go wrong – have only to be bought over or their national government made more “inclusive” after the departure of al-Maliki to bump off al-Baghdadi? These are the questions we should ask.

    In his last weeks, Osama bin Laden was expressing his revulsion at the sectarian nature of “Islamist” attacks – he even received a translation from Yemen of an article I wrote in The Independent in which I described al-Qa’ida as “the most sectarian organisation in the world”.

    Things have moved on. At least when I met bin Laden, I didn’t fear for my life.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/middle-east-crisis-we-know-all-too-much-about-the-cruelty-of-isis–but-all-too-little-about-who-they-are-9681873.html

  • Can Islamic State keep control of Mosul?

    The most credible story available today about the Islamic State (IS) occupation of Mosul on June 9 reads that IS occupied Mosul several years before that date and has long ruled it as a state within the state. Al-Qaeda and IS have been present in Mosul since 2006, when they took control of it by force, according to reports published by Western and Arab news outlets.

    The wide Sunni sympathy for the Islamic State in Mosul cracked less than two months into its occupation, and residents are increasingly horrified by rampant arrests and executions.

    Author Mushreq AbbasPosted November 14, 2014

    Translator(s)Sami-Joe Abboud

    But IS is losing Mosul before officially leaving it. The residents of Mosul are starting to reject IS and its activities, after first turning to the group to free them of the Iraqi army and the central government’s practices.

    At the beginning of November, the Mosul wali (leader), IS’ Dar al-Ifta official Quasi Abdul Mohsen, issued a circular that caught the attention of IS-affiliated media outlets. The document was initially published via “media points” — basically booths placed across the city’s neighborhoods in which TVs broadcast IS-related videos — and subsequently shared on news and social media pages with ties to IS.

    The circular mainly focused on preventing the arrest of any citizen in Mosul in the absence of a warrant signed by the Sharia judge. It read that sanctions would be imposed in the event of any violation fo this dictate.

    Throughout 2013, Mosul residents demonstrated against Nouri al-Maliki’s government, which lost the city long before the IS occupation. The people there were angry at the practices of the government and the military, complaining of random arrests without warrants. But these demonstrators were hit by a harsher reality.

    The IS strategy to occupy cities originally relied on taking advantage of Sunni complaints about the security authorities in Baghdad. The group timed its occupation of vast areas of Iraq for the moment when Sunni anger against the government reached its peak.

    Displaced residents of Mosul in Erbil, Najaf and Sulaimaniyah testified to Al-Monitor that IS arrested 20,000-25,000 people in Mosul between June 30 and Oct. 30, 2014. These arrests included:

    officers and members of the army, police, border guards and other security services
    members and leaders in the local government and members of political parties, especially those participating in the recent elections
    former Iraqi army officers and former Baathists
    tribal and religious elders and leaders
    women who worked in the judiciary or the government in Mosul, businesswomen and women who inadequately complied with IS dress codes
    men who criticized IS and others who drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes or violated the tax code
    Christians, Yazidis, Shabak, Turkmen and Kurds who were unable to escape
    Most of the cases for these arrests were made with information provided by secret informants. The arrestees who made it out of the IS prisons have reported that the IS informant network is widely deployed in neighborhoods and that they are at once earning IS’ recognition and confidence and indulging personal reprisals or financial interests.

    Mahmoud al-Musli, a young man who was reported by such an informant, told Al-Monitor after his release through the mediation of one of his relatives, “Most of those who were detained with me were taken away based on information that IS got from secret informants, and IS is getting more and more dependent on these informants.”

    This list of detainees in Mosul is much more extensive than the list of those who suffered at the hands of the Iraqi security forces. Moreover, in light of the absence of laws, there are no longer courtroom trails and defense lawyers. A cleric called the “Sharia judge,” often a foreigner and one of the most radical elements of the organization, now decides on the proper punishments.

    The increasing arrests have raised the density in prisons to unprecedented levels and placed pressure on the economy of the organization, which is required to pay for guards in detention centers, the investigators and food for the prisoners, prompting IS to execute many prisoners. There are cases of people being detained for smoking and being executed.

    According to witnesses who spoke to Al-Monitor from Mosul, most of the executions are carried out en masse and in secret. To increase their impact, some of these executions are performed in public squares, filling the Mosul morgue with corpses. Families of detainees end up waiting for their children in front of the morgue instead of at the courts.

    One man who wished that his name be withheld spoke to Al-Monitor over the phone about the changing mood of the city. “We have to admit that IS used to have a broad favorable environment within the city, and it has often imposed itself as a protector or avenger of any attack against the population. It was even taking care of hundreds of families of the detainees or the dead regardless of their affiliation to the organization,” he said.

    “IS,” he continued, “which presented itself as a defender of the Sunnis, attracted sympathy and was welcomed by the people in the first days of the occupation of Mosul, especially as it was carried out under the cover of former Baathists and army officers, before people also turned against them.” He said the wide Sunni sympathy for IS cracked less than two months into the occupation of the city.

    Another said, “In just a few weeks, IS lost its base in Mosul, which justified its aggressive behavior against the people and the increasing number of its detainees and executed people.”

    He added, “The organization discovered that ruling is different from occupying a city whose population exceeds 2 million people. Add to this the crimes committed against Christians and Yazidis, the demolition of shrines, the displacement, the unemployment, the downfall of the city’s economy, the doubling of the inflation rate and the bankruptcy of a large number of traders. These factors helped change the popular mood against IS.”

    The behavior of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s fighters, their violation of families’ privacy and of tribal values, their dissemination of reactionary laws and their imposition of certain lifestyles and dress codes unfamiliar to the population, witnesses say, also changed their city.

    According to a former lawyer in Mosul, IS “did not provide the people with any economic, security or social solutions to their crises. It rather deepened their crises while waging an international and regional venture, and the people are aware that they will end up paying for it before the members of the organization.”

    He added, “IS wanted to put an end to any hopes of life in the event that the caliphate shattered, and it is playing for time to promote this feeling.”

    While the people of Mosul agree that IS is not part of the city’s future, the violence is increasing as fighters from elsewhere join the group, which is calling for ever more volunteers from other countries.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/iraq-mosul-islamic-state-occupy-lose.html##ixzz3JA8iUSul

  • FRENEMIES07.24.14
    With Friends Like These, ISIS Is Doomed
    The Islamic State is no longer a juggernaut, it’s a motley alliance of factions just waiting to betray each other.
    BAGHDAD, Iraq — At the mention of Caliph Ibrahim, leader of the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Mustafa points at his chest and nods. “Ibrahim my friend,” he says.
    Abu Mustafa says proudly that Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, has been peaceful since its conquest by the fighters of what used to be known as ISIS. He tells me his own ties to them go back to the days after the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, when he fought against the Americans alongside ISIS’s progenitor, Al Qaeda in Iraq. He says the Americans arrested him eight times; an Internet search of his real name turns up one prison record.
    “Life in Mosul is very normal,” says Abu Mustafa. Christians there are treated well, prices are low and people are safe and happy, he says, a description completely at odds with news reports and firsthand accounts describing a reign of terror against anyone in the city who hasn’t sworn loyalty to the caliph.
    He seems to believe what he’s saying and performs the group’s public relations not just to blow smoke into the journalist’s eyes, but because he honestly hopes to see the caliph succeed in conquering Baghdad. And then, after the victory, he expects to see the caliphate destroyed.
    “All we are doing now is just a liberation,” Abu Mustafa says. “After the liberation of Baghdad the Islamic state will be finished. The Sunni rebels are only using them against the corruption of the government.”

    This is a view more common than one might expect among the Sunni Iraqis who have taken up arms against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, although it rarely is voiced so brazenly from inside the capital. They look at ISIS not as a religious prophecy come true or an end unto itself but as a weapon that will be used up after it is has done their work.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/24/with-friends-like-these-isis-is-doomed.html

  • From Waziristan to Syria to Iraq
    Amir Mir June 22, 2014 Leave a comment

    The TTP and al-Qaeda have a symbiotic relationship and sending fighters to countries like Syria and Iraq should be seen in this light

    From Waziristan to Syria to Iraq
    Mosul: ISIS is rapidly advancing in the security vacuum left by Iraqi security forces.
    Share !

    inShare
    Share on email
    7

    The militants belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are marching towards Baghdad after seizing control of two major cities of Mosul and Tikrit amid media reports that the Sunni fighters who want to overthrow the Shia-dominated Maliki government are being aided by hundreds of their ‘jehadi brethren’ from several Muslim countries including Pakistan which has come to be known as the hotbed of holy warriors.
    The holy warriors of the ISIS are rapidly advancing in the looming security vacuum left by the collapse of the Iraqi security forces and the refusal of the West to recommit forces to stabilise Iraq. The ISIS is in the same position today that existed before the US surge back in 2007 when 130,000 American troops, backed by hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces, had to face a tough battle to clear Baghdad and four other key provinces. The American and Iraqi forces, which were being backed by the US Air Force and the Army aviation brigades to target the command and control centre and training camps of the then Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), took more than a year to claim victory.
    However, as things stand, there are no US forces on the ground to support the Maliki government, the American air power is missing and the Iraqi military has already been mortified while surrendering or retreating during the ISIS crusade from Mosul to the outskirts of Baghdad.
    The al-Qaeda-linked ISIS fighters are being aided by hundreds of holy warriors from different countries like Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Egypt, Turkey, etc. That the Pakistani holy warriors had been fighting foreign wars in Afghanistan, Jammu & Kashmir, Chechnya and Bosnia is widely known. But their involvement in external jehad was substantially curtailed after 9/11, with the military establishment under Musharraf reversing its policy of using militancy as a foreign policy instrument.
    The Musharraf regime’s U-turn on the Kashmir jehad deeply offended Pakistan’s jehadi mafia which subsequently decided waging internal jehad by declaring a full-fledged war on the state of Pakistan that is still on.
    The network sending the Pakistani Sunni fighters to Syria is said to be run by the TTP and the LeJ jointly, both of which are affiliated with al-Qaeda because of their common anti-Shia and anti-American agenda.
    As Pakistan’s resurgent jehadi factory keeps producing and supplying well-trained and highly motivated fighters, several al-Qaeda-linked jehadi/sectarian groups especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) have lately been found involved in exporting holy warriors to wage jehad on new external fronts, especially in Syria and Iraq. Media reports of the Pakistani mercenaries joining hands with the rebels of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to fight against the Bashar al-Assad regime had first appeared last year as Syria became the new centre for global jehad.
    It was an anti-Shia ideology that drove TTP to join the Syrian conflict.
    In a January 2013 video, TTP ameer Hakimullah Mehsud, discussing the organisation’s post 2014 objectives, had described TTP as an international organisation. Asked about the uprisings in Arab Spring countries, Hakimullah said, “We support them and we will aid them. If they need our blood, our life; if they need our people, we are ready for every type of assistance so that the democratic and secular system [in Arab nations] comes to an end.”
    Reiterating that the Taliban have a global jehadi agenda, a close aide of Hakimullah said that the TTP fighters had been sent to Syria upon the request of al-Qaeda’s operational commander in Syria, Abu Omar Baghdadi who wanted Pakistani Taliban to be part of a global jehad.
    Still from a video released by ISIS.
    Still from a video released by ISIS.
    More than two years since the beginning of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thousands of holy warriors from various Muslim countries including Pakistan have reportedly travelled to Syria to fight with al-Qaeda-linked ISIS. And going by some latest media reports, hundreds more holy warriors belonging to the TTP and LeJ have reached Iraq to join hands with the forces of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
    An Iraq-based jehadi organisation — the Ansarul Islam — has already released a video showing training activity in a jehadi camp dedicated to the memory of Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, one of the two cleric brothers who took centre-stage during Lal Masjid standoff in July 2007. Ghazi was killed in a military operation on the mosque and now lives in the jehadi hall of fame.
    The video starts with a slickly-edited training montage showing fighters of the Ansarul Islam busy in various exercises and posing for the camera, their faces covered by pieces of cloth. Then the video segues into a tribute to Ghazi. In the beginning, a message from Ghazi is read out, addressed to the “men of the Ummah”. The video then shows visuals of Lal Masjid itself, along with Jamia Hafsa and troop deployment prior to the military operation. The voice-over, which showers praise on Lal Masjid militants, also condemns the government of Pakistan and the army for conducting the operation.
    An Iraq-based jehadi organisation — the Ansarul Islam — has already released a video showing training activity in a jehadi camp dedicated to the memory of Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi.
    At one point, the heavily armed militants are shown holding a banner with the organisation’s name: Jamaat Ansarul Islam’s Muaskar al-Sheikh Rasheed Ghazi. This loosely translates as: Ansarul Islam’s Sheikh Rasheed Ghazi Force. The video ends with an Urdu jehadi anthem, which is interspersed with Arabic lines.
    The Lal Masjid’s link with global jehad is established when Osama bin Laden is quoted in the video praising Maulana Rasheed Ghazi as a hero. Thus, Ghazi keeps inspiring the followers of his cause not only in Pakistan, but also in Iraq where the holy warriors of the Ansarul Islam have not only named a jehadi training camp after Rasheed Ghazi but also subdivision of their group.
    According to the TTP circles, the Taliban are prepared to help their Sunni Muslim brethren worldwide by providing manpower to ease their hardships, be it Syria or Iraq. The network sending the Pakistani Sunni fighters to Syria is said to be run by the TTP and the LeJ, both of which are affiliated with al-Qaeda because of their common anti-Shia and anti-American agenda. The leaders of this network are Usman Ghani, a former commander of the LeJ from Punjab, and Alim Ullah, a TTP commander from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
    In fact, the TTP and al-Qaeda have a symbiotic relationship and the Taliban believe that sending fighters to countries like Syria and Iraq will be seen as an act of loyalty toward al-Qaeda. Compared with the Afghan Taliban who are least concerned about jehad in other countries, the Pakistani Taliban’s overall agenda has leaned more towards the concept of a global jehad.
    The most dangerous phase from Pakistan’s point of view will be when these holy warriors finally return to their homeland to further strengthen the al-Qaeda-linked TTP. There are suspicions that their renewed activities would instantly widen the Shia-Sunni conflict here which may also lead to an escalation in the ongoing proxy war in Pakistan.

    http://tns.thenews.com.pk/ttp-al-qaeda-from-waziristan-syria-to-iraq/#.VGeY_PmsWSo

  • from facebook: by Abdul Nishapuri and Ali Taj

    Shameful silence on the massacre of Sunni Muslims by ISIS
    —————————————————–

    I condemn all those Shia, Sunni, Christian, Marxist, atheist, liberal and other activists who are silent on the massacre of Sunni Muslims by takfiri Wahhabi Deobandi Khawarij of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

    Patrick Cockbrun reports:
    “ISIS has inflicted savage punishment on the Sunni Arab Albu Nimr tribe which fought against it in central Anbar. The tribe says that 497 of its members, including 20 women and 16 children, were executed by Isis in massacres aimed at deterring other tribes from resisting Isis….An aid worker says that “some 100,000 people are besieged and entirely cut off by Isis in the Sunni city of Haditha on the Euphrates. The US air force dropped some 7,000 meals but they have received no other supplies.”

    The world must come out of the blatantly misleading and false Sunni vs Shia binary that is used to inflame the situation further. ISIS and Al Qaeda have massacred thousands of Sunni muslims in Iraq. One dishonest tactic is to hide the Sunni identity of the majority of Kurds who are being targeted by ISIS. Using ethnic identifiers is another dishonest tactic to hide the fact that a large percentage of the victims of ISIS genocidal campaign in Iraq happen to be Sunni Muslims.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-the-kurds-strike-back–army-retakes-control-of-oil-refinery-town-as-kurds-stand-firm-against-overstretched-isis-9862538.html

  • For nearly a mile we drive by mounds of knee-high rubble. The Arab village of Barzan is gone; not a single house is standing.

    Two young Kurdish soldiers, or peshmerga, riding with us claim that when ISIS invaded, the Arabs celebrated. The soldiers say the Arab villagers accused the Kurds of being occupiers and thanked the Sunni extremists for liberating them.

    During the fight against ISIS here, U.S.-led airstrikes reduced some of the homes to rubble. The peshmerga blew up the ones left standing.

    “The Arabs are not welcome here anymore,” one of the young soldiers says. In his mind they are all ISIS sympathizers. “They killed our friends, our family and you think we will welcome them back? Impossible.”

    Among those killed was the young man’s brother.

    http://krcc.org/post/back-and-forth-battle-iraqi-town-splits-ethnic-lines#.VGjZLOWtdz4.twitter

  • موصل کے لوگوں کی آپ بیتی
    موصل کے کئی باسیوں نے، جن میں سنی صوفی، شیعہ، مسیحی اور کرد شامل نہیں ہیں، داعش کے شہر میں داخلے اور وہابی دیوبندی تکفیری شریعت کے نفاذ پر خوشی کے شادیانے بجائے تھے، ان لوگوں نے موصل میں مسیحیوں، صوفیوں، شیعوں، یزیدیوں اور کردوں کے گھروں کی نشاندھی کی اور ان پر تکفیری خوارج کے مظالم کا ساتھ دیا یا خاموشی اختیار کیے رکھی – اب سنیے ان کی اپنی کہانی ان کی اپنی زبانی
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2014/11/141121_mosul_diaries_fz

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29600573

  • Abdul Nishapuri said:

    Deobandis were violent and takfiri long before General Zia. Yes, Zia was able to galvanize their takfiri hatred and violence but don’t ignore the fact that Deobandi were willing patners while Barelvis, Sufis and Shias were not. In return, Deobandi clerics and leaders gained a lot of political and financial benefits. Now blaming Zia or army alone will be unfair. They shared the benefits, should share the costs too.

    Also, don’t ignore that they are willing partners and supporters of transnational Deobandi and Wahhabi takfiri terrorism, a project in which Pakistan army is a minor partner while USA and Saudi Arabia are major players.

  • The stories of two men, Abbas (generally known as Abu Mohammed) and Omar Abu Ali, who come from the militant Sunni strongholds of Fallujah and the nearby town of al-Karmah, explain graphically what happened during those first crucial months when Isis was in power.

    Abbas is a 53-year-old Sunni farmer from Fallujah. He recalls the joyous day when Isis first entered the city: “At the beginning… we were so happy and called it ‘the Islamic Conquest’. Most of the people were offering them feasts and warmly welcoming their chief fighters.”

    Isis told people in Fallujah that it had come to set up an Islamic state, and at first this was not too onerous. A Sharia Board of Authority was established to resolve local problems. Abbas says that “everything was going well until Isis also took Mosul. Then restrictions on our people increased. At the mosques, local imams started to be replaced by people from other Arab states or Afghanistan. During the first six months of Isis rule, the movement had encouraged people to go to the mosque, but after the capture of Mosul it became obligatory and anybody who violated the rule received 40 lashes.” A committee of community leaders protested to Isis and received an interesting reply: “The answer was that, even at the time of the Prophet Mohamed, laws were not strict at the beginning and alcoholic drinks were allowed in the first three years of Islamic rule.” Only after Islamic rule had become strongly entrenched were stricter rules enforced. So it had been in the 7th century and so it would be 1,400 years later in Fallujah.

    Abbas, a conservative-minded community leader with two sons and three daughters in Fallujah, said he had no desire to leave the city because all his extended family were there, though daily life was tough and getting tougher. As of this February, “people suffer from lack of water and electricity which they get from generators because the public supply only operates three to five hours every two days”. The price of cooking gas has soared to the equivalent of £50 a cylinder, so people have started to use wood for cooking. Communications are difficult because Isis blew up the mast for mobile phones six months ago, but “some civilians have managed to get satellite internet lines”.

    However, it was not harsh living conditions but two issues affecting his children that led Abbas to leave Fallujah hurriedly on 2 January this year. The first reason for flight was a new conscription law under which every family had to send one of their sons to be an Isis fighter. Abbas did not want his son Mohamed to be called up. (Previously, families could avoid conscription by paying a heavy fine but at the start of this year military service in Isis-held areas became obligatory.)

    The second concerned one of Abbas’s daughters. He says that one day “a foreign fighter on the bazaar checkpoint followed my daughter, who was shopping with her mother, until they reached home. He knocked on the door and asked to meet the head of the house. I welcomed him and asked, ‘How I can help you?’ He said he wanted to ask for my daughter’s hand. I refused his request because it is the custom of our tribe that we cannot give our daughters in marriage to strangers. He was shocked by my answer and later attempted to harass my girls many times. I saw it was better to leave.” Abbas is now in the Kurdistan Regional Government area with his family. He regrets that Isis did not stick with its original moderate and popular policy before the capture of Mosul, after which it started to impose rules not mentioned in sharia. Abbas says that “we need Isis to save us from the government but that doesn’t mean that we completely support them”. He recalls how Isis prohibited cigarettes and hubble-bubble pipes because they might distract people from prayer, in addition to banning Western-style haircuts, T-shirts with English writing on them or images of women. Women are not allowed to leave home unaccompanied by a male relative. Abbas says that “all this shocked us and made us leave the city”.

    A more cynical view is held by Omar Abu Ali, a 45-year-old Sunni Arab farmer from al-Karmah (also called Garma) 10 miles north-east of Fallujah. He has two sons and three daughters and he says that, when Isis took over their town last year, “my sons welcomed the rebels, but I wasn’t that optimistic”. The arrival of Isis did not improve the dire living conditions in al-Kharmah and he didn’t take too seriously the propaganda about how “the soldiers of Allah would defeat [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki’s devils”. Still, he agrees that many people in his town were convinced by this, though his experience was that Saddam Hussein, Maliki or Isis were equally bad for the people of al-Kharmah: “They turn our town into a battlefield and we are the only losers.”

    Al-Kharmah is close to the front line with Baghdad and endures conditions of semi-siege in which few supplies can get through. A litre of petrol costs £2.70 and a bag of flour more than £65. Omar tried to buy as much bread as he could store to last his family a week or more “because even the bakeries were suffering from lack of flour”. There was constant bombardment and in February the last water purification plant in town was hit, though he is not clear if this was done by artillery or US air strikes: “The town is now in a horrible situation because of lack of water.”

    Omar spent five months working for Isis, though it is not clear in what capacity, his main purpose being to prevent the conscription of his two sons aged 14 and 16. Rockets and artillery shells rained down on al-Karmah, though Omar says they seldom hit Isis fighters because they hid in civilian houses or in schools. “The day I left a school was hit and many children were killed,” he recalls.

    He says US air strikes and Iraqi army artillery “kill us along with Isis fighters. There is no difference between what they do and the mass killings by Isis.” Omar had been trying to flee for two months but did not have the money until he managed to sell his furniture. He is now staying outside Irbil, the Kurdish capital, where his sons and daughters work on local farms which “is at least better than staying in al-Kharmah”.

    Patrick Cockburn

    Life under Isis: Why I deserted the ‘Islamic State’ rather than take part in executions, beheadings and rape – the story of a former jihadi

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/life-under-isis-the-everyday-reality-of-living-in-the-islamic-caliphate-with-its-7th-century-laws-very-modern-methods-and-merciless-violence-10109655.html

  • Hamza is a 33-year-old from Fallujah, a city ruled by Islamic State 40 miles west of Baghdad, who became an Isis fighter last year after being attracted by its appeal to his religious feelings. Two months ago, however, he defected, after being asked to help execute people he knew – and being appalled by invitations to join in what amounted to rape of captured Yazidi women.

    In an interview with The Independent, given in the safety of another country, he gives a vivid account of why he joined Isis, what it was like to be a member of the jihadist group, and why he left. He reveals extraordinary details about how the army of Isis operates, the elaborate training that its fighters receive in Iraq and Syria and the way in which taking part in executions is an initiation rite, proof of the commitment and loyalty of fighters.

    An intelligent, idealistic, well-educated, and religious man, Hamza defected from Isis after six months as a trainee and a fighter because he was deeply upset by the executions, some of them of people he knew in Fallujah. He became conscious that if he stayed in Isis he would soon have to carry out an execution himself. “I don’t like Shia but when it comes to killing them I was shocked,” he says.

    He refused to execute some Sunni accused of working with Iraq’s mostly Shia government “or what they [Isis] call ‘the pagan government’,” he said. Surprisingly, he was not punished for this, but was told by his commander that he would be asked to carry out an execution later and, in the meantime, foreign jihadis would do the job.

    Hamza gives a fascinating insight into the lives led by Isis fighters. “I was paid 400,000 Iraqi dinars (£231) a month in addition to many privileges, including food, fuel, and more recently, access to the internet,” he says.

    His disillusionment stemmed not only from his future role as an executioner but the offer of sex with captured Yazidi women, something he considered the equivalent of rape. “It was in the first week of December 2014 when they brought about 13 Yazidi girls,” he said. “The commander tried to tempt us by saying that this is Halal [lawful] for you, a gift from Allah that we are allowed to satisfy ourselves without even marrying them because they are pagans.

    “On the other hand, there were some Tunisian Muslim girls who came from Syria. Those Muslim girls were sleeping with some commanders under a marriage contract for a week only and then they were divorced and married to another one. I asked one of them how she had come to be in Syria and she answered that she had travelled first to Turkey and then across the Turkish-Syrian border.” The three British schoolgirls who likewise crossed into Syria may well find that they are similarly treated by Isis.

    Hamza does not want his real name or location disclosed, though he believes that for the moment he is safe. He asked for certain details about his escape in January be concealed, but otherwise is open about how he came to join Isis forces and what he did. In many cases what he says can be confirmed by other witnesses from Fallujah interviewed by The Independent, though none of these were fighters.

    “It’s a complicated story,” he says, when asked how he came to join Isis. Last year, the group captured Fallujah, where Hamza and his family were living. “They were kind to people in general and did not force them to join their military service,” he recalls. “They had many ways of gaining people’s goodwill and support: for example, they would go house to house, asking those living there if they needed anything and offering services such as education, saying ‘We will enlighten your children, so don’t send them to the government’s schools.’

    Hamza told his family that he would follow them to Baghdad within a few days, but had decided at this moment, July 2014, to join Isis. His motive was primarily religious and idealistic. He says that he “decided to join them willingly because I was convinced that the Islamic State is the ideal state to serve, and to work for, Allah and the after life, which is the surest part of life”.

    He was accepted immediately by Isis, his preacher recommending him to a military commander, though he was not at first sent to a military unit.

    “However, the problem was that I was a little bit shaken after attending those executions. I don’t like Shia but when it came to killing them, I was shocked. Although they were showing us videos of Shia militias killing Sunni people, we were troubled when we attended real executions. In November, a large number of Sunni men were taken prisoner on the grounds that they were working with the government…

    “In the fourth week of November there were some executions to be carried out. One of our commanders asked me and my fellow fighters to bring our guns to be used in an execution the following day. But the victims were Sunnis, some of whom I knew.

    “I couldn’t endure what we were going to do. I tried to explain that, if they were Shia I would do it immediately. The commander said: ‘I will give you another chance later. For now we have Mujahideen [jihadis] to carry out the killing.’”

    Asked if he thinks Isis will be defeated, he says that this will not be easy, even though coalition air strikes mean “they cannot advance now”.

    Hamza says he is now entirely disillusioned with Isis. “At the beginning I thought they were fighting for Allah, but later I discovered they are far from the principles of Islam. I know that some fighters were taking hallucinatory drugs; others were obsessed with sex. As for the raping, and the way different men marry by turn the same woman over a period of time, this is not humane.

    “I left them because I was afraid and deeply troubled by this horrible situation. The justice they were calling for when they first arrived in Fallujah turned out to be only words.”

    Patrick Cockburn

    Life under Isis: Why I deserted the ‘Islamic State’ rather than take part in executions, beheadings and rape – the story of a former jihadi

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/life-under-isis-why-i-deserted-the-islamic-state-rather-than-take-part-in-executions-beheadings-and-rape–the-story-of-a-former-jihadi-10111877.html

  • Predictably, Isis focuses on religion and spreading its variant of Islam. Faisal says: “Many preachers (imams) were replaced by foreign preachers from the Arab world, mostly Saudis, Tunisians and Libyans, as well as Afghans (most probably Deobandi Pashtuns from Afghanistan and Pakistan). Some new imams are appointed temporarily just for Friday speech and prayer, while others are permanent appointments. Isis removed some of the old preachers who have left for Baghdad or KRG (the Kurdish-controlled region). These are often Sufis, whose beliefs are rejected by Isis.”
    “Isis still has a strong financial basis. It confiscates the houses of the people who were previously employed in the police, courts, and security forces. These houses, and any furniture in them, are confiscated by the Sharia (legal or religious) court, where the judges are Libyan and Tunisian, though the other staff are locals.
    Faisal’s account of life in Hit is confirmed by eyewitnesses from other parts of the Islamic State. Isis at first benefited from widespread popular relief that the Iraqi Army was gone, but there is deepening resentment against the enforcement of outlandish rules on personal behaviour that is contrary to local religious and social traditions. These include women being forced to wear the niqab (covering their faces), obligatory attendance at prayers and the destruction of mosques, such as the Younis mosque in Mosul, deemed by Isis to be un-Islamic shrines.
    Patrick Cockburn
    Life under Isis: An explosion at the gates, sleeper cells attacking from within – how militants overthrew the city of Hit in less than 24 hours

    Patrick Cockburn

    Life under Isis: An explosion at the gates, sleeper cells attacking from within – how militants overthrew the city of Hit in less than 24 hours

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/life-under-isis-how-the-jihadis-poke-their-noses-into-everything-and-govern-all-aspects-of-life-in-the-territory-they-have-taken-10114646.html

  • ISIS’s role in the destruction of Sunnis of Iraq – by Patrick Cockburn

    Yet for all Mahmoud’s (an Iraqi Sunni) passionate sense of injustice, his belief that the government is irredeemably anti-Sunni is only part of the story. Sunni and Shia have both used mass violence against one another’s communities in the past 50 years, but the Sunni have most often been the perpetrators. The explosive growth of sectarian killings in 2012 to 2014, when 31,414 civilians were killed according to Iraqi Body Count, very much reflects the growth of Isis.

    The group carried out massacres of Shias and Yazidis as a matter of policy, and then broadcast videos of the murders. Isis (Salafi Deobandi) bombers targeted bus queues, funerals, religious processions and anywhere else where Shia gathered and could be killed. The obvious motive was anti-Shia and a desire to destabilise the government, but there was also a carefully calculated policy at work of provoking Shia into retaliation against Sunni.

    Isis knew that this would leave the Sunni with no alternative but to fight and die alongside them.

    As Isis’s columns advanced last year, its fighters carried out massacres to spread fear just as Saddam Hussein had done against the Kurds and Shia a quarter of a century earlier. When the government’s Badush prison, near Mosul, was captured by Isis, its fighters slaughtered 670 Shia prisoners. At Camp Speicher, outside Tikrit, 800 Shia cadets were lined up in front of trenches and machine-gunned. Pictures of the scene resemble those of atrocities carried out by the German army in Russia in 1941. In August, when Isis fighters stormed into Kurdish-held regions, they targeted the Yazidis as “pagans” to be murdered, raped and enslaved.

    The Isis advance in Iraq had largely ended by last October. Since then it has retreated, though not very far. Where Shia militias or Kurdish Peshmerga have successfully counter-attacked, the Sunni have generally fled before their towns and villages were recaptured – or they have been subsequently expelled. It is not surprising that the Shia and Kurdish commanders fighting back are not in a forgiving mood. There is an almost universal belief among last year’s victims – be they Shia, Sufis, Yazidis, Christians or Kurds – that their Sunni Arab neighbours collaborated with Isis.

    Where Isis is beaten back, the Sunni may hold on to their strongholds where they are the great majority, but where populations are mixed they are likely to be losers. A final ethnic and sectarian shake-out in Iraq seems to be under way.

    Is the defeat of Isis, and with it the Sunni, inevitable? In the long term it is difficult to see any alternative outcome in Iraq because they make up only a fifth of the population and their more numerous enemies are backed by the US and Iran. The land mass held by Isis may be large, but it was always poor and is becoming more impoverished.

    There is little electricity. In Mosul, Ahmad, a shopkeeper in the Bab al-Saray area, says: “We are getting only two hours of electricity every four days.” There are private generators, he says, “but since there are no jobs, people have no money to pay their electricity bills or for generator supply services”.

    This has had the effect of reducing some prices because there is no power for fridges and freezers, meaning food cannot be stored for long.

    Deteriorating living conditions mean that many want to leave Mosul, but they are prevented by Isis, which does not want to find that its greatest conquest has become a ghost town. In any case, it is not clear where the one million people still in Mosul would go.

    As the fighting intensifies across Iraq this spring, the Sunni cities and towns are likely to be devastated. Mahmoud may well be right in thinking that the Sunni will be forced to take flight or become a vulnerable minority like the Christians.

    Even if the government in Baghdad wanted to share power with the Sunni, Isis has ensured through its atrocities that this will be near impossible. For its part, Isis has been raising tens of thousands more fighters – they may now number well over 100,000 in Iraq and Syria. The so-called Islamic State will not go down without fierce resistance and, if it does fall, the Sunni community will be caught up in its destruction.

    Extracted from: The Counter Punch