Afghan Taliban can influence TTP in Pakistan, says Rehman Malik

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ISLAMABAD: Former Interior Minister and Chairman Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) Senator A. Rehman Malik has expressed that after the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, there will be an attempt to enhance the demand for Sharia laws in Pakistan therefore government must keep a counter-strategy to deal with the situation.

He said that takeover by the Afghan Taliban will certainly influence Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other extremists in Pakistan as TTP is fully operational across the Pak-Afghan border and along with Daesh, they are carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan.

He expressed that the Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban will encourage some religious factions to have a closed ideology with the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban (TTP). He said that infection of radicalisation from Daesh and Taliban is bound to travel, spread and infect a part of the young generation especially from Madaris and the worst effects will be on ex-FATA and Balochistan where India and the western powers have already created pockets to destabilise Pakistan. Radicalisation is going on and it could prove highly detrimental for the country, he added.
He said that from time to time, he had been warning about the growing extremism in Pakistan as it has roots in Jihad during the war between the then Soviet Union and Afghanistan and his apprehensions are still valid even today after a decade.

Rehman Malik said that when Pakistan decided to take part in Jihad during the war between the erstwhile Soviet Union and Afghanistan, thousands of Jihadists landed in our country to fight the Soviet Union and were left with nothing to do after the war. “There were 300 Madaris in the region when the war ended and had reached 23,000 when the PPP government came to power in Pakistan”, he added. He said that since all Madaris were not involved in terrorism, but there was an effort to brainwash those studying in them where religion and poverty were exploited. He said that children were recruited for Rs 15,000-20,000 and were indoctrinated to act as suicide bombers. He said that extremism emerged from some of the Madaris and both Taliban’s strong factions are educated from a madrassa in Akora Khattak where the students are taught a certain syllabus.

He said that credit goes to our forces, who have been able to handle terrorists well and the frequency of suicide bombers reduced in Pakistan gradually. He said that he had stated that organisations like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had splinter groups resultantly Pakistan faced one of the worst times of its history with the rise of extremism and terrorism. He said that phase one of radicalisation started when we allowed proxy wars and the race of Madaris was launched by various religious schools of thought among which some were supported by Libya and some by Saudi Arabia and the other by Iran.

The former Interior Minister urged that we need a de-radicalization programme and he is a very strong advocate of interfaith harmony as if there is a confrontation on basis of religion, there will be a clash of civilizations. He said that he as interior minister had made all the factions agreed on one syllabus and it was placed before the highest body of the National Action Plan but, this agreement is not yet implemented despite having full agreements and consensus by all the political parties and schools of thought which shows our non-serious national attitudes towards reducing radicalization. He said that the agreement was signed by him as the interior minister, Mufti Munib-ur-Rahman, General Secretary Ittihad Tanzeemal Madaris, Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhri, General Secretary Widaq-ul-Madaris-al-Arabia, Pakistan, Dr Yasin Zafat, Deputy General Secretary Wifaq-ul-Madris Al-Salfia, Pakistan, Maulana Abdul Malik, President Rabita-tul-Madaris-ul-Islamia, Pakistan and Maulana Niyaz Hussain Naqvi, senior Vice President Wafaq-ul-Madris Al-Shia, Pakistan. He stressed that he wishes if that was converted into legislation and we would have some regulatory control to make our education system help us enhance the inter-factions religious harmony in our country.

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