Days after he was released from an eight-year-long imprisonment, Maulana Sufi Muhammad on Friday said Islam prohibits waging war against the Pakistan army or killing any person who recites the Kalima.
Speaking to a private news channel, the leader of the banned Tehreek Nifaaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) retains all the signs of being Kharijites, and death penalty is the only punishment that its chief, Mullah Fazlullah deserves.
The country would have been divided if it was not for the efforts of the Pakistan army, the soldiers of which are like Mujahideen, he added.
This was his first interview to a news channel following his release earlier this month, after the Peshawar High Court had accepted the 93-year-old ailing cleric’s bail plea as he had served a long time in prison despite his old age and deteriorating health condition.
Further criticising the activities of the TTP, Sufi Muhammad who is the father-in-law of Mullah Fazlullah – Pakistan’s most-wanted terrorist – said that Islam strictly prohibits the murder of women and children, and those responsible for the APS Peshawar massacre were worse than non-believers.
He lamented the 2012 terrorist attack on Malala Yousufzai and said that she was a child and should not have been attacked. He also said that he is not opposed to education of children, while adding that he had raised awareness in writing regarding the permission for children’s education.
The TNSM chief was charged under Sections 120-B (hatching criminal conspiracy), 121-A (waging war against Pakistan), 124-A (sedition), 148 and 149 (rioting) and 506 (criminal intimidation) in the first case against him, while he was charged under Sections 121 and 121-A (war against Pakistan), 324 (attempted murder), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 353 (obstructing public servant) of the IPC in the second case.
Sufi Muhammad was arrested after the failure of the peace deal and the launching of the military operation in Malakand division, following which the government also restored the old cases against him and his followers.
According to Fida Gul, Sufi Muhammad’s lawyer, apart from the two cases, the TNSM chief has already been acquitted or granted bail in 11 cases previously filed against him.