Will the government show religious leaders their hypocrisy?
After accepting the National Action Plan (NAP) and praying for its success the JUI-F chief is now out to wreck it. The mention of religion and sect is unacceptable to him. So is any oversight by the state in the affairs of the ‘Deeni Madaris’ or seminaries. Any reference to religion or sect amounts to degrading Islam, he maintains. He also claims that the terrorists are not the products of the madaris. The religious parties that he has invited also take a similar stand though it is doubtful if they would revive the MMA with Fazlur Rehman as chief. The religious parties argue that those agreeing to implement the NAP are pushing the country towards secularism which they prefer to misinterpret as an anti-religion polity.
The terrorists themselves proclaim that they are conducting jihad. The anti-Shia outfits maintain they are killing Shias because they are apostates. Interestingly when TTP conducted terrorist attacks in the name of Sharia, none among these leaders tried to stop the group from misusing religion or sect to justify their abominable acts. What they did was the opposite. The JI accepted the TTP’s offer to represent it in parleys with the government. So did Samiul Haq
The madaris are no doubt not the only factory which produces terrorists. But numerous seminaries have taken credit for producing hundreds of Taliban leaders. The head of the Madrassah Haqqania still takes pride in calling himself the ‘Father of the Taliban’. Self-interest has in fact brought all these leaders together. They draw political support from seminaries, treat the students as political workers, and pressurise every government with the help of the madrassah manpower. They must therefore support the madaris even if this goes against national interest. Fazlur Rehman has threatened to hold protests at D-Chowk if the government went ahead with the implementation of the NAP. Wafaqul Madaris might turn up with similar threats. One expects the government to call the bluff. It remains to be seen of it possesses the nerve.