Munawar Hasan pressured by JI cronies to withdraw his controversial remarks

By Raza Ruman

Islamabad, Nov 12: Pak Destiny) Jamaat-Islami chief Munawar Hasan is being pressured from within JI to withdraw his controversial remarks of ´shaheed´ for TTP slain leader Hakimullah Mehsud as his `party cannot withstand a severe criticism it is receiving from all quarters – political or otherwise.
Sources told Pak Destiny that Mr Hasan is being pressured by some JI leaders as it had never been labeled anti-army in the past because of its sacrifices for the country. To save its image which has badly been tarnished because of Hasan´s comments, the JI will have no other option but to press him to withdraw his comments.
Even it is noticed that hardly any political party chief in Pakistan has been so unanimously and unreservedly condemned as the Jamaat-i-Islami emir who has bestowed the title of ‘martyr’ on Mehsud. Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike earlier this month, led a band of conscienceless killers who have terrorised the country for years and killed thousands of Pakistanis, most of them civilians. Schools, hospitals, peace jirgas, mosques, funeral processions and bazaars have all been targeted by the Taliban.
To then call Mehsud a shaheed, vesting in him all the qualities of what Muslims consider as the ultimate sacrifice in the way of faith, is to dishonour those who fell victim to acts of terrorism carried out by the TTP and its associates. Counted amongst them must be the soldiers killed by the Taliban, but whose death in the line of duty has meant little to the JI chief. His rejection of the shaheed status for these soldiers has caused ISPR to condemn his views and demand an apology. The JI might have rightly termed this response as interference in political affairs, but in its own choice of heroes in a war that has devastated the country in more than physical terms, it has clearly shown which side it stands on.

Having said that, the military establishment needs to revisit its own history of active propagation of religion. For most of Pakistan’s existence, the army has controlled the national political, security and religious discourse. It has, in fact, erected the entire structure of ‘jihad’ (most notably during the Afghan war) in its aim to defend religious ideology as opposed to focusing on what a military’s traditional role is: defending state borders. Years of looking at adversaries and politics from the lens of religion has left the security establishment mired in an ideological muddle: the men trained to raise the standard in the name of Islam are now confronting an enemy that is waving an even bigger flag as it seeks to establish a theocratic state.
Mr Hasan should give heed to the advice of some of his cronies and withdraw his controversial remarks. Pak Destiny

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