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When a 'good Taliban' became a terror victim

August 24, 2010 02:14 IST

Maulana Noor Muhammad Wazir, a 'good Taliban' who always spoke against suicide attacks in Pakistan himself became a victim of suicide bombing on Monday.

The killing of the Maulana is not only a big blow for his followers but it is an irrecoverable loss for the government of Pakistan, as the Maulana always criticised the activities of the Tehrike Taliban Pakistan and other anti-state factions.

Maulana Noor Muhammad was killed on Monday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque at Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan where the Maulana was delivering a sermon. 

Some 26 people including a nephew of the Maulana were killed while another 35 tribesmen sustained injuries. The Maulana had earlier survived a number of attempts over his life.

Maulana Noor Muhammad was living in Wana side of South Waziristan which is comparatively peaceful area. It is apt to mention here that South Waziristan is broadly divided into two parts -- Mehsud part and Wazir part.

The Mehsud tribesmen's dominated area is under the influence of Tehrike Taliban Pakistan and Mufti Wali Rehman, a 'bad Taliban' is currently leading militants there.

The Waziri Taliban is under the commandership of Mullah Nazir, a 'good Taliban' who also enjoyed a good backing from Maulana Noor Muhammad.

Samiullah Wazir, a student of the Maulana Noor, said, "In March 2007, Mullah Nazir ousted the Uzbeks from Wana and its surroundings, the slain Maulana fully supported the anti-Uzbeks drive. After that, Uzbeks and some of their Pakistani colleagues were chasing Maulana Noor Muhammad and finally they succeeded in achieving their target."

Maulana Noor Muhammad, with Binazkhail Waziri trial background, was a poor man didn't even own a house until 1967, when a local Hindu clergyman, Parma, handed the keys of his house to him before leaving for India.

It was the Maulana's matchless talent enabling him to become a noted person all around the country. Maulana Noor Muhammad was the student of Mufti Mehmood (the father of Maulana Fazlur Rehman) and received his religious education from Jamia Qasimul Uloom Multan in Punjab. On his return he established his own madrasa with the name of Jamia Darul Uloom in Wana.

A number of leading militant commanders, like Noor Muhammad Wazir, remained as his students. Naik Muhammad was the first militant commander who took arms against the Pakistani security forces in early 2004 and was later killed in an American drone attack.

The Maulana not only disseminated religious education in Waziristan but was also in favour of contemporary education. Unlike other Deobandi clerics, the Maulana supported female education, and for this purpose he also ran a private girls school in Wana bazaar.

It was the powerful personality of the Maulana who dared to open such institution in tribal areas of Pakistan where modern education for females is still considered as a source of vulgarity and obscenity.  

Maulana Noor Muhammad was also a jihadist and during Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he crossed Durand Line to wage a holy war on 'infidels' on behalf of his Afghan brethren.

Currently, like a 'good Taliban,' he was supportive of all forms of jihad in Afghanistan but was strongly against any action against Pakistani security forces -- he also opposed suicide attacks in Pakistan.

"His strong anti-suicide views and support for Pakistani interest took his life," said Abdul Qadir Wazir, a resident of Wana. 

Maulana had a versatile character; he was a politician, orator, educationist, historian and a good writer. He wrote eleven books over different issues like jihad, economy, religion, politics, history and plantation.

Jihadi Afghanistan is one of his famous books written over Soviet occupation of Afghan while Wazir and Waziristan is his authentic piece over Waziristan's history and different tribes.

Though the Maulana headed Kul Qabayal, a small local faction of Jamait Ulemai Islam and became a member of National Assembly, still he was against western form of democracy.

In his book Jamhorait Aqal-wo-Naqal ka Ayenay may, he wrote, "As democracy allows a person with full freedom of expression and freedom of movement, so we are against it. Such 'independence' could lead a person to cross all the limits like Salman Rushdie did."

Tahir Ali