Sharia by Force
By Air Marshal Retd. Ayaz Ahmed Khan
Los Angeles, CA
Swat, has been occupied by the Taliban militants in the name of Sharia. After the unchecked entry of about four hundred Taliban into Buner, hordes of militants entered the district. Police officers and constables, lawyers, judges, government officials, traders and NGO workers fled. Shopkeepers brought the shutters down. Barbers do not shave or cut hair, they only groom beards. Schools remain closed with women and girls locked inside the houses.
The Taliban have stolen hundreds of vehicles, which have been whisked away to other parts of Malakand Division. Taliban faced no resistance, because the ANP-PPP government in Peshawar failed in its duty to protect the people and their property. The Sharia propounded by Soofi Mohammad is being shoved down the throats of the defenseless citizens through the barrels of Klashnikovs by Fazalullah and his thugs. Their extremist and twisted interpretation of Sharia is illogical. Indeed it is against the law of the land and the tenets of Islam and real Sharia.
The two Kohistani Maulvis and their armed insurgents believe, as chairman Mao Tze Tung believed, that “power flows through the barrel of the gun.” The Swat Taliban have been launching suicide bombings, killing, murdering, kidnapping, beheading, flogging, and now are busy in extortion and stealing in the name of Sharia. They are riding on a wave of militancy which if not checked could drown NWFP if not entire Pakistan in the dreaded Sharia they propound, propagate and impose by force.
Sufi Mohammad misquoted the Holy Qur'an by declaring that democracy is kufr. Democracy, the Supreme Court, the High Courts, elections; in fact Pakistan’s Constitution is contrary to his version of Sharia. He does not recognize the great freedom struggle of the Muslims of India under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for democracy, equality of opportunity for all citizens, irrespective of religion and their belief. The caliphate was the golden era of Islam because of consultation, persuasion, equality, and democracy. Sufi has not studied Islamic history, he does not understand Arabic, and his obscurantist ideas about Sharia by force, are a threat to the Pakistan ideology, and its constitution.
The Taliban are boasting that the federal and the provincial governments have surrendered to them with the endorsement of the Nizam-i-Adal Regulation - NAR - by the parliament. This act of the parliament is being propagated by Taliban and believed by the general public as abject surrender. The lack of will, courage and leadership at provincial and federal level was astounding. The security of the state and writ of the government are being trampled under the foot by the illiterate rag tag Taliban in Swat and Buner. The inability of the police and of the security forces to fight and stop the Taliban insurgents from invading Buner is because the political leadership was paralyzed with fea, and there was no leader at the federal or provincial level to order the police, the FC and the Army to do its duty. Most Pakistanis believe that the defeatist attitude of the government would encourage the Taliban militancy to spill over into the settled areas.
The NAR was violated form the very day it was signed. The government has the means, but lacks the will to stop Taliban nibbling furiously as new territory, and stepping over the writ of the state.
People are open to rumors in Peshawar, Mardan, Karachi , Islamabad , and other cities that Taliban insurgents could sneak in and take over. Hundreds of Talibans have been entering Peshawar to torch and destroy NATO tankers. Their entry is never challenged. Taliban have carried out several suicide bombing in Islamabad, the latest was the bombing of the Frontier Constabulary Camp on Marghalla Avenue. Hundreds of Taliban could sneak in across the Marghalla Hills undetected into Islamabad. Highly trained elite police commandoes are urgently required to keep a close watch of possible Taliban attack on Islamabad from across the Marghall Hills. This force must be provided night vision capability, including gunship helicopters. Marghall Hills must be fenced, on the northern side with early warning devices and Electronic Observation posts. The Taliban threat to Islamabad is real and should not be taken lightly.
On Wednesday April 15, 2009 , Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani signed the notification for the promulgation of Nizam-e-Adal Regulation 2009 in the belief that it would bring peace in the region. But the same day a suicide bombing in Charsadda claimed 16 lives with injury to over 50 citizens. Two days later Hangu Police Post was bombed by TTP, killing 23, and injuring 26. The same day addressing a sizeable gathering in Buner Taliban commander Mufti Khalil declared that "Tehrik-i-Taliban-i-Pakistan is committed to the enforcement of divine rule on earth. Pakistan … the motherland has to be turned into an Islamic state”. The same day Sufi Mohammad said that Qazi court verdicts could not be challenged in any court of law, including the Supreme Court. So we have a state within the state with no respect for Pakistan’s constitution and law. He asked the Taliban not to display weapons in public places. But Taliban commanders rejected his appeal stating that it is against Sharia not to carry arms. Their version of Sharia is law of the jungle. These Kohistani wild men are like Halaku Khan’s hordes who descended on Baghdad in the 13 th century and slaughtered its citizens. Sufi Mohammad’s plan to play havoc with Pakistan’s ideology, its constitution, sovereignty and stability, must be stopped.
On Sunday, April 19, Sufi Mohammad called the Supreme Court and the High Courts un-Islamic and gave an ultimatum for the withdrawal of all judges from the Malakand Division by April 23, 2009.He said that people who file cases in the courts are kafirs - infidels. This pronouncement makes all Pakistanis kafirs.
It is worth mentioning that since 1998 Sufi Mohammad was involved in raising Mujahdin lashkars for the Afghan Jihad. In October 2001, his ten thousand strong lashkar had entered Afghanistan via Batal, Swat, and Bajaur. After six thousand of his young Mujahidin were killed by US Air Force bombers, the rest about four thousand surrendered to General Rashid Dostum the Northern Alliance commander. They were tortured and most of them died in jails. Sufi Mohammad escaped with 35 followers. He was arrested and jailed. Earlier he had given a fatwa for stealing four by four Toyota SUVs and Toyota pickups for the Afghan jihad. Anyone who stole a vehicle for the Afghan jihad was promised the key to paradise. The Taliban continue to steal pickups, and have stolen a large number of pickups in Swat and Buner.
People in Swat and Buner are being harassed on a daily basis by bandits and criminals in black turbans. The government, the security forces, the police and the courts are paralyzed by fright, and are useless spectators. Maulvi Fazalullah, whose hands are drenched with the blood of thousands of Pakistani citizens, should be brought to justice, instead of being accepted as a virtual dictator.
The recently signed Nizam-e-Adl in Swat and Sharia in Malakand have been widely seen as cave in by the government to terror. The complete capitulation to the terrorists will doom Pakistan. The militants are using the cover of obscurantist Islam and twisted version of Sharia to capture more territory. On April 23, 2009 , Hillary Rodham Clinton, addressing the US Foreign Affairs Committee said, “I think the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban extremists. After gaining complete control over Swat, the Taliban took over complete control of Bunder on April 21. Taliban takeovers now threaten the very existence of Pakistan.” Hillary has voiced her deep frustration at the Pakistani nation over the blatant advance of Swat Taliban into Buner. She sounds more Pakistani than many Pakistani politicians.
The Prime Minister’s warning to review the NAR in Swat if peace does not return has fallen on the deaf ears of Sufi Mohammad, Fazalullah and his blood-thirsty cohorts. Sufi’s daily anti-constitution and inimical declarations must be firmly rebutted and responded to by orders to the security forces to be ready to do their duty. The fear and uncertainty in the country is because the government lacks the will to use Pakistan’s military power, and its well-equipped armed forces to stop the extremist brainwashed Taliban from one victory after another. People like General Aslam Beg who propose the powerful armed forces; over one million strong, should not be used to stop the advance of Taliban insurgents, should come out with a plan, instead of making statements for political mileage. The security forces are demoralized by the government’s surrender to Fazalullah and Sufi Mohamamd without a fight Since then the Taliban are capturing one district,after another. The government is in a stupor when the PM states that “there is no uncertainty in the country, we have to respect the mandate of the NWFP government”. In the18 February 2009 elections, the people in NWFP, especially in the Malakand Division, voted for ANP and PPP into power because of their secular manifestoes and development promises. The people had rejected extremist-radical parties. Now the secular ANP and the PPP are sitting in the lap of extremist and militant Taliban, staring vacantly at the damage being done to Pakistan’s polity, administration and morale.