‘No Deoband follower is involved in terrorism’


LAHORE: No follower of Deobandi or Ahle Hadith sect is involved in the attacks on shrines, and the perpetrators of such attacks are the same people who are targeting mosques, schools, police stations, markets and the GHQ, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Noorani (JUP-N) Secretary General Qari Zawar Bahadar has said.
In an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today, Qari Zawar played down the perception that tension was increasing between the Barelvi and Deobandi sects. “The day Dr Sarfraz Naeemi was assassinated in Lahore; the perpetrators of the assassination attacked a mosque at Nowshehra as well. Six people, including Dr Naeemi, were martyred in Jamia Naeemia while 7 lost their life in Nowshera. These incidents indicate that these terrorist do not belong to any specific sect…in fact their agenda is to fan sectarian violence and uncertainty in the country,” he said.
Barelvi’s wrongly accusing other sects: Responding to a question regarding the political stance of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), Qari Zawar asserted that members of the Barelvi Ittehad were sowing seeds of hatred by alleging the involvement of other sects in terrorism.
Pointing towards SIC President Fazal-e-Karim, the Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab chairman and its Secretary General Haneef Tayyub, Qari Zawar said, “Those who relentlessly blame the Deobandis and demand the resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah are themselves enjoying the perks offered by the government. Before pointing fingers at others, they should renounce such perks.”
He added that Qazi Hussain Ahmed was trying to revive Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) as a non political alliance. Proto-religious alliance can resolve terrorism: “We consider the MMA to be a political force that can serve the nation effectively. Its emergence as a non-political entity and the inclusion of small religious groups in its functioning will hinder its performance and will predispose it to dance to the tunes of intelligence agencies. We believe that a politico-religious alliance is the only solution to the issues of terrorism and uncertainty.”
Afghan Taliban right, Pakistani Taliban wrong: He said the JUP-N fully supports the struggle of the Afghan Taliban against foreign occupants, and condemns the so-called Pakistani Taliban who he alleged to be mass murderers and responsible for breeding sectarian violence. He alleged that these ‘fanatics’ are the tools utilized by foreign forces to destabilise Pakistan.
Qari Zawar said when Dr Sarfraz Naeemi was martyred, he was asked to nominate Bait Ullah Mehsud in the FIR, which he declined on the grounds that such an act would fuel hatred and violence. The authorities however still nominated Mehsud who was subsequently killed in a drone attack. Answering a question on the lack of JUP’s political influence, Qari Zawar said,
“Though our organization is not fully active right now, we are working to make it a strong political force in the country. We are following the path of our leaders and have not changed our course of action. We are against terrorism and resist efforts to promote hate amongst different sects.”