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Jihadis to adopt quake orphans
Mohammad Shehzad in Muzaffarabad/Bagh/Islamabad | October 21, 2005 21:10 IST
The Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of six pro-Taliban religious parties, has given a countrywide call through mosque loudspeakers, banners and pamphlets, to adopt children orphaned in the October 8 earthquake.
'We have come to know that the [Pervez] Musharraf regime has decided to hand over the orphans and unaccompanied children to Christian missionaries and the Aga Khan Development Network,' said Naimatullah Khan, the former mayor of Karachi.
AKDN, which plays a key role in primary/secondary level education in Pakistan, has been given the task of revamping the curriculum, and the jihadis are venomous about it. They accuse it of promoting secularism and eliminating jihad through the new curriculum expected to be implemented soon.
'We will not tolerate this. It is an international conspiracy to bring Muslim children into the fold of Christianity and secularism. We urge you to leave your children with us if you are unable to raise them. We will provide them a good future,' said Khan.
Taking a leaf out of MMA's book and to curtail child trafficking, the Jamatud Dawa (the defunct Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the largest group of Pakistani militants fighting in Indian Kashmir) has announced that it will take responsibility for abandoned, orphan and unaccompanied children.
'The Jamatud Dawa has a huge complex at Misrial road in Rawalpindi, by the name of Maaz bin Jabal. We will set up colonies in the complex where these children would be put up according to their age. Various ayahs will raise them, ensuring motherly love,' says Professor Zafar Iqbal, head of teh Jamatud Dawa's education wing.
The Pakistani government has banned adoption and plans to raise such children itself.
'The government will utterly fail to raise the orphans since it does not have the capacity. It is corrupt. Moreover, its social service credentials are abysmal. We would convince the government to let us do this job,' adds Zafar.
'We will provide the children every facility — education, health, shelter, extra-curricular activities, etc. We will take care of their property as a trust and hand it over to them when they become adults,' adds Iqbal.
The Jamatud Dawa also plans to provide education to students whose schools have been flattened in the quake.
'We have a huge hostel in the Muridke Markaz that is spread on 170 acres. We will shift the affected students there to continue their studies. Moreover, we have 180 schools in Punjab. We hope to accommodate every affected student,' claims a confident Iqbal.
The civil and military bureaucracy's corruption, their arrogance and lukewarm attitude towards the people's sufferings have miserably disappointed the mainstream population of Pakistan. Those who were opposing the jihadis have, since the quake, become their fans.
'I would like to share my personal feelings. I am so impressed with their unbiased relief work that I would never donate a single penny to any state agency. I would not hesitate to give my donations to the jihadis, particularly the Jamatud Dawa,' says a UN relief worker who does not want to be named.
The Jamatud Dawa now plans to buy helicopters to reach the victims in inaccessible areas.
The Jamatud Dawa is progressing slowly but steadily on its jihadi and welfare agenda, and at this rate has a good chance to become an alternative state with the capacity to govern things in an institutionalized manner. The net result is, jihad and jihadis are becoming stronger day by day.
As of today, they are stronger than the civilian administration, if not the military. And they are capable of giving the military establishment a tough time, as they have shown in Waziristan.