The Sunni Tehreek has written to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asking that he order a Swat-style military operation against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The Taliban’s “revolt against Islam and the Constitution” must be put down by force, ST President Sarwat Ejaz Qadri wrote in the letter. The Taliban’s violent actions had defamed Islam and ulema, he said.
The killing of innocent Pakistani citizens was not justified by US drone attacks, he said, adding that Islam did not sanction “private jihad”. The ST considered it an obligation to cooperate with the government and all stakeholders for the establishment of peace, he said. He also urged the prime minister to block NATO supply lines through Pakistan.
Earlier this month, the Sunni Ittehad Council, which includes the Sunni Tehreek, wrote letters to various politicians and religious leaders calling on them to unite in support of military action against the Taliban. The SIC is a conglomeration of various Sunni Barelvi groups. The Taliban, Qadri wrote in his letter, follow Deobandi leaders.
Qadri said that law enforcement agencies should act against seminaries which taught “terrorism, sectarianism and racism”, he said. “We appeal to the Government of Pakistan to consider the national aspirations and not to be blackmailed by a handful of terrorists,” he said.
Attacks on mosques, seminaries, tombs, schools and non-Muslim worship places were against Islam, he said. With the Taliban refusing to come to the dialogue table, he said, the government should “carry out an action against the terrorists like in Swat”.
“Mr Prime Minister, we invite your attention to the lawlessness, sectarian killing and terrorism in the country. No government has taken a strong line of action to uproot these evils. Representative scholars and influential persons of all sects should sit at one table to resolve conflicts and controversial issues,” he said.
Qadri said the soldiers who had given their lives fighting terrorists were martyrs and national heroes. Those who kill the nation’s protectors cannot be called martyrs, he said. JI chief Munawar Hassan had failed in his attempt to convince the nation otherwise, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2013.