TTP Again Targets Innocent Persons
More than 65 people were killed in a suicide attack on November 2, this year near a paramilitary soldiers’ checkpoint at Wagah in Lahore when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) again targeted the innocent persons through its affiliated militant outfits, Jundullah and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar which claimed responsibility for the incident. The victims also include several women and children, while more than 120 people have been injured. The bombing took place on at least 500 meters from the Pak-Indian border.
A regards the bombing, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, based in Afghanistan, said that it was carried out by one of their men—some other groups’ claims are baseless. We will soon release the video of this attack.” He elaborated, “This attack was revenge against the military operation in North Waziristan.
While, spokesman of Jundullah Ahmed Marwat also pointed out that the attack was a reaction to military operation Zarb-i-Azb.
In fact, like other linked militant outfits such as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Janghvi including other Taliban organistaions, Jundullah and TTP share common tactics and agendas. They often claim responsibility for the terror-assaults separately to divert attention and to deceive the security forces and law-enforcing agencies. For example, on September 22, 2013, a twin suicide bomb attack had killed 127 people at a Peshawar church. Jundallah accepted responsibility of that attack too. But, TTP had condemned that brutal assault. Afterwards, its spokesman had remarked that it was in accordance with Sharia (Islamic Jurisprudence) which indicated that TTP was behind that ruthless incident. So, ambivalent statements of the TTP-led Taliban have endorsed that it has been playing double game.
However, in the recent years, militants of the TTP and its affiliated outfits have been using suicide bombing as their main weapon by targeting innocent civilians, women and children, Armed Forces and government functionaries, anti-polio workers, airports, markets, schools, parks, mosques, Imambargahs, churches, temples, shrines, bus stops, railway stations, passengers’ trains and so on. They conducted various terror-activities like ruthless beheadings of tribesmen. They also attacked the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, and even did not spare burial places of the Sufi Saints, and disgraced dead bodies. Their nefarious acts resulted into killings of several innocent persons in Pakistan.
Undoubtedly, in our country, the victims of terror attacks and suicide bombings have been innocent men, women and children. Their families mourn and raise a question asking for what crime their loved ones were punished in a way. Regrettably, those militant entities like TTP, which try to justify terrorism and suicide bombings in the name of Islam are misguiding the people, while these brutal acts are clearly against the teachings of Islam.
In this context, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti (Mufti-e-Azam),Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh issued a Fatwa (Religious verdict) asserting that suicide attacks are illegal and illegitimate (Haram).” He explained, “Such acts fall under the category of crime and suicide bombers or attackers are destined to go to Hell…they represent an adversary of Islam and enemy of Muslims and they commit crimes against humanity, while misguiding other Muslims, especially the innocent youth.”
From time to time, while condemning the TTP insurgents’ inhuman activities, undemocratic and un-Islamic practices, various Ulema (Islamic scholars) have clarified in their joint fatwa, and separate statements that “killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombings including sectarianism are against the spirit of Islam…the terrorists’ self-adopted interpretation of Islam was nothing but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion. They elaborated that Islam does not forbid women’s education.
While, Islam is a religion of universal application, as it emphasises peace, democracy, moderation and human rights including tolerance of political groups, religious communities and sects which are in minority in a country. It also permits periodic reinterpretation of Islamic teachings which is called Ijtihad.
The Constitution of 1973 which was unanimously adopted, clearly states that Pakistan is basically a democracy guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah.
Notably, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his sermon at Hajjatul Wida issued directions for protection of life, property and dignity of the whole mankind. The sermon became a charter of democracy which was included in the constitutions of the western elected governments in one way or the other.
As a matter of fact, Islam and democracy have co-relationship with each other. Diversified people and Ulema participate in the system of representatives, which does not exclude or discriminate any one on basis of caste, creed and sect. It does not confine religion to mosque.
Here, it is mentionable that within four months, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have almost defeated the ferocious terrorists of the TTP by clearing more than 80 percent of the areas of North Waziristan Agency by military operation Zarb-e-Azb which has broken the backbone of the insurgents, and is rapidly been achieving its objectives. The operation has full support of the civil government, opposition parties and Ulema including all other segments of society and general masses who are united against terrorism. In this regard, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa had stated, “Armed forces of Pakistan have launched the operation against foreign and local terrorists…who had been waging a war against the state of Pakistan by disrupting our national life in all its dimensions…with the support of the entire nation, these enemies will be denied space across the country.”
Regarding terror-attack at Wagah border, Maj-Gen. Asim Bajwa stated on November 3 that the massive attendance with fervor during the flag ceremony at Wagah border has proved that nation was not afraid of these terrorists and it was united in its fight against terrorism.
Nonetheless, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while Jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly, as killing innocent women and children is not Jihad. By playing in the hands of anti-Pakistan foreign countries, especially Indian secret agency RAW, the TTP and its banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam, and are weakening our country by targeting the innocent persons like those of the Wagah border incident.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations