Deadly militancy: Top Deobandi clerics willing to mediate peace

Published: October 3, 2013
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PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Two days after making an impassioned appeal for truce, a group of top clerics from the Deobandi school of thought have hinted that they could mediate peace between the government and homegrown militants, if formally requested.

The clerics from Wafaqul Madaris – a conglomerate of mainly Deobandi madrassas of the country – had appealed to the government and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to engage in a dialogue to avoid further bloodshed in the country.

The TTP welcomed the appeal and said if the government announced a ceasefire the group would follow suit.

“The government has not asked us for mediation. If requested, we will play our role,” Wafaqul Madaris General Secretary Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhri told The Express Tribune. He, however, denied reports that a delegation of Deobandi scholars had met the interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Tuesday night.

The Deobandi clerics have welcomed the ‘positive response’ to their appeal from the militants. “The willingness from the TTP to cease fire is an encouraging development,” they said in a statement. “Now, we’ll appeal to the government and the army to announce a truce at the earliest.”

Some interior ministry officials claimed that a four-member Wafaqul Madaris delegation met Chaudhry Nisar who requested them to mediate between the government and the TTP. Officially, the ministry, however, denied knowledge of any such meeting.

The federal information minister, on the other hand, praised the clerics’ initiative. “The religious scholars are the teachers of the Taliban. And the Taliban should listen to them,” Pervaiz Rashid said on Wednesday. He wouldn’t say, however, whether or not the government has tasked the Wafaqul Madaris clerics with bringing the militants to the negotiating table.

Referring to the 2007 Lal Majid siege and the 2009 military operation in Swat, a Wafaqul Madaris official said the then governments had betrayed the clerics actively involved in negotiations.

He added that the then governments were not sincere in pursuing talks and that they had used the Wafaqul Madaris clerics only to give out an impression that they had exhausted all options before using force.

“The Wafaqul Madaris will not get involved in any peace initiative this time around unless it is assured that this government seriously wants to pursue talks,” added the official who didn’t want to be named in the report.

“We don’t have any contacts with the Taliban,” he said. “However, several influential religious scholars and clerics associated with Wafaqul Madaris could convince the Taliban to negotiate with the government.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Desi
    Oct 3, 2013 - 3:43AM

    Please dont wait for the government’s nod, if you can help the nation please do something.

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  • Darioush
    Oct 3, 2013 - 3:49AM

    They are all in it together.Recommend

  • Dj
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:20AM

    Peace while pointing guns on our heads.

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  • Irfan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:36AM

    All respectable great Islamic scholars. The credit goes to all political parties, army and nation to support the peace process. PTI a main political party in KP are playing a major role in bringing peace in the troubled province. If they succeed, whole Pakistan will stand behind Imran Khan Recent Gallop survey shows that 64% Pakistanis believe that Imran Khan is playing a role of national leader … ‘Give Peace a Chance Please’

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  • Irfan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:49AM

    All respectable great Islamic scholars. The credit goes to all political parties, army and nation to support the peace process. PTI a main political party in KP is playing a major role in bringing peace in the troubled province. If they succeed, whole Pakistan will stand behind Imran Khan Recent Gallop survey shows that 64% Pakistanis believe that Imran Khan is playing a role of national leader … ‘Give Peace a Chance Please’

    Recommend

  • Amjad
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:25AM

    At first this seemed like a really good thing and I was going to write “This is the true meaning of Islam,” etc. But I’m now a bit confused. Is this a good thing or a bad thing, whatever’s going on? Somebody please tell me. I can’t tell myself, between the title and the pic. If it’s bad, I’ll write, “This is not real Islam” and so on.

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  • voice of PPl
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:52AM

    Please dont involve these peace loving Islamic clerics, later they will blackmail us. Just crush them, now TTP scare, they dont want to claim and blast in our country. they are on defencive, crush them asap.

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  • Umar Farooq
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:27AM

    Heroism of “Molvi In Burqa” betrayed & defamed the deobundi clerics. Media & civil society activists wanted the state writ & immediate action against the Lal Masjid Owners..

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  • Ahmad Nasser
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:38AM

    Well said, information minister. These would-be peace makers are the teachers of Taliban. They have never condemned the horrible atrocities these so-called Taliban have committed. They are ‘pleasant’ face of the Taliban.

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  • bluestone
    Oct 3, 2013 - 8:46AM

    These groups will continue to play this game, they pretend to agree to talks then do suicide blast etc to keep the nation confused.

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  • someone
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:01AM

    These clerics can play a decisive role in the peace talks…they must be given a nod if peace is to be achieved

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  • Usman Aziz
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:06AM

    It seems very much like an attempt “we are trying to take treatment from those who are cause of all this terrible situation” The Deo-Band scholars stuffed their heads along with support of some military elements to reach this stage. now they offer their mediation is a big joke

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  • Luciferous
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:16AM

    Mullah of every stripe is root of evil. Keep them out, they will fan the flames because that gives them more power.
    Keep these holies out of any negotiations!

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  • piddler
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:33AM

    First they have to remove the loud speaker from minarettes then their brain will be liberated and they can thing straight. They will only then qualify as negotiators

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  • Samir Ashraf
    Oct 3, 2013 - 11:12AM

    Yeh.. they wake up after loss of 40000 innocent lives. Blood is on you, so called clerics

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  • Tulsum
    Oct 3, 2013 - 11:21AM

    These clerics are the Taliban’s teachers. This statement by the Minister says it all. They should not be the interlocuters as they are the agent that caused the problem in the first place. It’s clear that they have been rejected by Pakistanis but they are trying to capture the state through the extreme violence of their students.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 3, 2013 - 1:20PM

    So now the arsonist is wanting to be the fireman………..this way he controls the narrative from both ends.

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  • Blunt
    Oct 3, 2013 - 2:58PM

    Looks like some people can’t see any peace effort to succeed in any form.

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  • Last Word
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:23PM

    The learned clerics should have known by now the Taliban peaceful way of working. The clerics can only act as a messenger of Taliban and handing over of an agreement to the govt in which Taliban’s terms and conditions shall be stated with a condition that no changes would be accepted by them. If clerics fail to obtain the signatures of the govt, God only can help them and they would regret playing the role of mediators.

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