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Qital, Jihad And Terrorism

Farooq Khan Islam and the Modern World

There is a lot of confusion about Jihad. One such misunderstanding is that the Muslims
consider it their religious duty to bring other nations under their subjugation whenever they
get an opportunity. If this happens to be the religious obligation of the Muslims, they are
obviously a threat to the world peace. It is, therefore, necessary to analyze the concept of
Jihad in the light of the Quran.

The real meaning of the word Jihad is struggle. In this sense it is a must for every Muslim
to contribute and struggle for his Deen through the offering of money and time.

The true believers are those who have faith in Allah and His
Prophet and never doubt; and who struggle for His cause with their
wealth and persons. Such are the truthful ones. (Al-Hujrat-49:15)

The actual word used for war in the Holy Quran is Qital. This word has been used in
Quran at fifty-four places. As far as the word Jihad is concerned, it has been used in the
Quran at Twenty nine places. Out of these, it is used for a peaceful struggle at twenty one
places and at eight places; it also includes war as a part of struggle.

Qital is of two kinds. One kind was specific to the Holy Prophet while the other one is
forever. The Qital specific to the Holy Prophet was purposed to defeat the unbelievers and
affirm the dominance of Islam in the soil of Arabia to make it a centre of Islam. It was a
special task from God to be accomplished through the Holy Prophet:

It is He who sent His prophet with guidance and the Faith of truth,
so that He may exalt it above all religions, much as the pagans
may dislike it. (Al-Saff 61:9)

Therefore, after having completed all the formalities in the communication of the message
to the pagans, the Holy Prophet, was granted the right to abolish their power by force,
although this right was never exercised. It is important to mention the fact that all the
battles fought in the lifespan of the Holy Prophet, were either in defense; or against those
who were busy in playing havoc with the belongings and peace of the Muslims; or those
who joined hands with the pagan invaders; or who had violated treaty of peace, or those
who had evil designs against the Muslim to attack them, but conspiracy was unveiled before
time. Thus all these battles were justified and were fought in self-defense:

(O Prophet) make war on them until persecution is no more and

Allahs religion reigns supreme. (Al-Anfal-8:38)

So far as the conquest of Makkah is concerned it had a logical justification. The immediate
reason was the attack of a tribe allied to the Quraysh against one of the tribes allied with the
Muslims. The Muslims had entered into an agreement with that tribe binding both the
parties to fight against an invader jointly. The Quraysh had helped their allied tribe in terms
of armament, violating the agreement. Therefore, the Muslims had a moral justification to
punish them. But the other reason was more significant. The Prophet Ibraham as per orders
of God built the Kabah so that it would be used for the worship of the Almighty only.

The city of Makkah was constructed with an objective that its inhabitants would meet the
requirements of the pilgrims. But the Quraysh turned a deaf ear to the message of God and
transformed Kabah into a centre for paganism. It was, therefore, an obligation that the idols
must be taken off the Kabah and it should be left specifically for the worship of God.

Follow the faith of Ibraham. He was an upright man, not a

polytheist. The first house ever to be built (as sanctuary) for people
was that at Makkah, a blessed place, and a beacon for the nations.
In it, there are clear signs and the spot where Ibraham stood.
Whoever enters it is safe. (Al-Imran-3:95, 97)

And why should Allah not chastise these pagans, when they have
debarred others from the sacred Mosque, although they were not
its guardians? Its only guardians are those that fear Allah, though
most of them do not know it (Al-Anfal-8:34)

It should be kept in mind that according to the Quran, the people of Arabia would have
embraced Islam on their own will, if there was no fear of persecution from their leaders. This
is evident from the Peace Treaty of Hudaibia. With in two years of this treaty, a large
majority of the people of Arabia converted to Islam.

War of a normal Muslim State

As far as the war of a normal Muslim state is concerned, there are two grounds where war
is admissible.

First: for self defense. The Holy Quran says,

War is allowed for those on whom war is imposed because it is a

tyranny. (Al Haj 22:39)
Second: for the help of the oppressed people (esp. Muslims) and persecution in
some tyrannical state. The Holy Quran says:

And why should you not fight for the cause of Allah, for the
helpless old men, women, and children who say: Deliver us, Lord,
from this city of oppressors; send forth to us a guardian from your
presence; send to us one that will help us. (Al-Nisa-4:75)

The Holy Quran further says:

Fight them on until there is no more persecution, and the religion

becomes Gods. But if they cease, let there be no hostility except to
those who practice oppression. (Al-Baqara:2-193)

In the above verse Gods religion means that every person on earth should exercise his free
will to choose his beliefs without any persecution.

The war fought for the above two conditions is called War in the
way of God (Qital-Fi-Sabeellilah).

There are six important conditions laid down in the Holy Quran for a war.

First, a war can be announced only by a state. No militant group has the prerogative to
proclaim and wage a war. This point will be dealt with in later paragraphs in detail.

Second, honoring an international agreement is most important. No war can be

announced in violation of a treaty with another state, even if the other state is brutal towards
its Muslim subjects. The Muslim state is prohibited to accord armed help to the tormented
Muslims of another state with whom there is a peace treaty. The Holy Quran says:

If they (the Muslims out side your state) seek your help in the
cause of your religion, it is your duty to aid them, except against a
state you have a treaty with (Al-Anfal-8: 72)

Third, a war should only be fought when the Muslim state has got sufficient
resources to defeat the enemy. The Holy Quran says:

Against your enemy, make ready your strength to the utmost of

your power (Al-Anfal-8:60)

The Holy Quran further says:

God has lightened your task, because He knows that there is

weakness in you. If there are one hundred patient and persevering
among you, they will vanquish two hundred, and if there are one
thousand among you, they will vanquish two thousand, with the
order of God: for God is with those who patiently persevere. (AlAnfal-8:66)

It mean that a Muslim state must have at least half the resources of the enemy,
before announcing and waging a war.

Fourth, if the enemy offers to enter in a peace accord, then it is a must to

make a treaty with him.

The Holy Quran says:

If they incline to peace, make peace with them, and put your trust
in Allah. He is the Hearing, the Knowing. If they seek to deceive
you, then Allah is All-sufficient for you. (Al-Anfal-8: 61,62).

The Holy Quran further says:

(the peace treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with
whom you have entered in to accords, and who have not
subsequently failed in there pledge, nor aided anyone against you.
So fulfill your agreements with them to the end of their term. (AlTawbah-9:4)

As long as the idolaters, with whom you have made treaties near
the Sacred Mosque, keep the treaty, you should also honor the
treaty with them. (Al-Tawabah-9:7)

Fifth, it is prohibited to harm or kill non-combatants.

The Holy Quran says:

Fight in the cause of Allah, only those who fight you. Do not
transgress the limits because God does not love the
transgressors. (Al-Baqara-2:190)

The Holy Quran further says:

(Do not fight those) who join a group between whom and you
there is a treaty or those who approach you with hearts restraining
them from either fighting you or fighting their people.. Therefore if
they withdraw from the fight and instead offer for peace, then God
has opened no way for you to war against them. (Al-nisa-4:90)
Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who
have neither made war on your religion nor driven you from your
homes. Allah loves the equitable. But He forbids you to make
friends with those who have fought against you on account of your
religion and driven you from your homes or abetted others to do
so. (Al-Mumtahinah-60:8,9)

Sixth, it is prohibited to wage a war in specific four months i.e. Rajab, Zee Qaad, Zil
Haj and Muharram. The Holy Quran says:

They ask you concerning fighting in the Prohibited months. Say:

Fighting there in is a grave offence. (Al-Baqara-2: a part of verse

Seventh, if there is a transgression from the enemy in the use of force, the Muslim
state can also reply in the same coin. The Holy Quran says:

There is a law of equality. If anyone transgresses the prohibition

against you, your can transgress likewise against your enemy. (AlBaqara-2:194)

Today, all the Muslim countries have entered into a peace agreement with all
nations of the world through U.N.O. From Islamic point of view, it is now obligatory that they
dont have to make aggression against any other country of the world. Now the worlds
conscience has reached a stage where they deem it their duty to help the oppressed ones.
Same is the message of the Quran. Still there is room for improvement in the attitude of the
world. If the whole world adopts the Islamic concept of War, all oppression in the world will
be abolished naturally because War, in Islam, means nothing else but answer to aggression
and oppression.

After having discussed Qital it is necessary to find out what the terrorism is. It has three
components. First an organization or an individual makes an armed struggle without the
consent of the state. Secondly there is an intentional adoption of such measures that might
claim lives of some innocent people. Thirdly the warfare is not against oppression rather it
has different designs. If any one of the above mentioned factors is found in a war, it is not
Qital Fi-Sabillilah. It is rather the terrorism. If all of the three factors are there, it is an
absolute form of terrorism.

The second and third components of the terrorism mentioned above do not need any
more explanation. However, the first component needs a bit of more explanation.

According to Islam, it is the prerogative of the state only to declare the Qital. Even
Prophets did not declare war unless they were in power. They did not make an armed

struggle before that time. They did not avenge themselves upon the oppressors. The Holy
Prophet did not take a single armed action even in self-defense throughout his Makkah life.
In fact it was prohibited by the Holy Quran at that time. Afterwards when the state of
Madina got its ground, the Holy Prophet was allowed war for self-defense.

The Prophet Moses also declared Qital at the time when he established his government in
the desert of Sinai with the assistance of the Israelites. Since the Prophet Jesus Christ did
not form a government he was directed to show tolerance to the extent that he was to offer
his other cheek to his enemy if he was slapped on the one.

The Prophet Muhammad (SWS) also taught patience to his followers during his Makkah
days. When one female follower of the Prophet, Sumayyah, was martyred along with her
husband, he, instead of taking their revenge, promised paradise for the martyrs to their
relatives. Thus as per Islamic principles, war can only be declared by a Muslim state.

Wars after the Holy Prophet

In this context the next question is, what was the nature of the conquests and the battles
fought by the companions of the Holy Prophet after his death. In fact all these wars were
fought in self defense. The newly established Muslim state was confronted with many
enemies on its borders who were not ready to tolerate this state.

The Holy Prophet, four years before his death, invited through letters, all rulers of the
nearby countries to embrace Islam. He also dispatched his envoys to them so that they
could guide them about Islam in detail. The reason behind writing letters to the monarchs
was that it was the time of monarchy all around. The subjects could not even think of
accepting a religion, which was not acceptable to their king. Therefore the only way to
communicate the message of Islam to the people of that country was to invite first their
rulers to embrace Islam.

These letters had three direct effects. First, Najashi, the king of Habsha (Ethiopia)
embraced Islam. (He embraced Islam but could not proclaim it publicaly). Second, the
monarchies of Egypt and Bahrain did not immediately accept Islam but promised to

consider the offer lately and treated the ambassadors of Islam with respect and nicety.
Third, the ruler of Persia not only looked down upon the message of the Holy Prophet but
also treated the envoy in an insulting manner. But the message of Islam kept infiltrating in
those countries through the traders of Arabia going there. Since the rulers everywhere were
well informed, therefore they came to know about Islam in a detailed manner.

After the demise of the Holy Prophet the circumstances witnessed some changes of
fundamental nature. Firstly, there seemed to be no scope of communicating the message of
Islam to the subjects of neighboring countries, and providing opportunities of embracing
Islam to the desirous masses. Secondly, some neighboring states had started assembling
their armies in order to wipe out the Muslim state from the map of the world. Thirdly, there
were certain tribes involved in piracy and lawlessness in the Muslim state. These trouble
mongers used to get asylum in the neighboring countries after their unlawful activities. All
these circumstances demanded a serious notice of them and some steps to safeguard the
newly born state of Islam. Therefore it was decided as a policy that there would be absolute
peace with the countries like Habsha, which did not offer a threat to Islamic state. The
friendly states like Egypt and Bahrain were picked up to make treaties. The states, which
showed open animosity to Islam, were declared the enemies against whom the wars could
be fought.

In this way, wherever the Muslims set their feet, Islam spread rapidly. It is important to note
that the people of those states were not made Muslims forcibly but they witnessed such a
distinctive change between the character and mannerism of the old and the new rulers that
they embraced Islam willingly and happily. It is a historically proven fact that not even a
single person was made Muslim against his will.

Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?

This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly,
during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are
perpetuated in every form of the media accompanied by gross
misinformation about Islam and Muslims. In fact, such misinformation and
false propaganda often leads to discrimination and acts of violence against
Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American

media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to
declare a Middle Eastern conspiracy behind the attack. The culprit was
later identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.
Let us analyze this allegation of fundamentalism and terrorism:
1. Definition of the word fundamentalist
A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals
of the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor,
he should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of medicine. In
other words, he should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a
person to be a good mathematician, he should know, follow and practise
the fundamentals of mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the
field of mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know,
follow and practise the fundamentals of science. He should be a
fundamentalist in the field of science.
2. Not all fundamentalists are the same
One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot
categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization
of any fund amentalist will depend upon the field or activity in which he is
a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief causes harm to society
and is therefore undesirable. A fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand,
benefits society and earns much respect.
3. I am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist
I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows
and strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslim does not
shy away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist
Muslim because, I know that the fundamentals of Islam are beneficial to
humanity and the whole world. There is not a single fundamental of Islam
that causes harm or is against the interests of the human race as a whole.
Many people harbour misconceptions about Islam and consider several
teachings of Islam to be unfair or improper. This is due to insufficient and
incorrect knowledge of Islam. If one critically analyzes the teachings of
Islam with an open mind, one cannot escape the fact that Islam is full of
benefits both at the individual and collective levels.
4. Dictionary meaning of the word fundamentalist

According to Websters dictionary fundamentalism was a movement in

American Protestanism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It
was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not
only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. It
stressed on belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus
fundamentalism was a word initially used for a group of Christians who
believed that the Bible was the verbatim word of God without any errors
and mistakes.
According to the Oxford dictionary fundamentalism means strict
maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, especially
Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a
Muslim who is a terrorist.
5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist
Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes
terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman
is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for
the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists.
Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be
terrified. It is true that the word terrorist is generally used for a person
who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should
only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to
the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace
for innocent people.
6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action, i.e.
terrorist and patriot
Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom
fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as
terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have been
lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as patriots. Thus two
different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of
actions. One is calling him a terrorist while the other is calling him a
patriot. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India
called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view that
Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair
hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should
be analyzed, and the reason and the intention of the person should be
taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly.
7. Islam means peace
Islam is derived from the word salaam which means peace. It is a religion
of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote
peace throughout the world.
Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the
fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a terrorist only
towards the antisocial elements in order to promote peace and justice in
the society.


How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the
It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not
have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by
the use of force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being
spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic
that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.
1. Islam means peace.
Islam comes from the root word salaam, which means peace. It also
means submitting ones will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of
peace, which is acquired by submitting ones will to the will of the
Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).
2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.

Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining
peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own
vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is
precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against
criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam
promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight
where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times,
require the use of force. In Islam force can only be used to promote peace
and justice.
3. Opinion of historian De Lacy OLeary.
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is
given by the noted historian De Lacy OLeary in the book Islam at the
cross road (Page 8):
History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims
sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword
upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that
historians have ever repeated.

4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.

Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used
the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders
came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in
Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.
5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the
British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims
ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are
Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used
the sword there would not have been a single Arab who would have
remained a Christian.
6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.
The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they

had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam.
Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All
these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not
spread by the sword.
7. Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the
world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, Which
Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?
8. East Coast of Africa.
Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may
again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, Which Muslim army went to
the East Coast of Africa?
9. Thomas Carlyle.
The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book Heroes and Hero
worship, refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: The
sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its
starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one mans head alone. There it
dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one
man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that,
will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will
propagate itself as it can.
10. No compulsion in religion.
With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not
use it to spread Islam because the Quran says in the following verse:
Let there be no compulsion in religion:
Truth stands out clear from error
[Al-Quran 2:256]
11. Sword of the Intellect.
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds
of people. The Quran says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:

Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord

with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
and argue with them in ways that are
best and most gracious.
[Al-Quran 16:125]
12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.
An article in Readers Digest Almanac, year book 1986, gave the statistics
of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a
century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in The Plain Truth
magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and
Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place
in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?
13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing
religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to
accept Islam in such large numbers?
14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.
Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, People who worry that nuclear
weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the
Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh)
was born

From jihad to terrorism

Zahid Hussain
Published Feb 12, 2014 07:26am

AS he squatted under a TTP banner and toted his Kalashnikov, his face looked
familiar, though his beard had grown much thicker and was perhaps dyed in henna,
hiding the grey. After a long disappearance, Mast Gul resurfaced last week in North

Waziristan with another militant commander claiming responsibility for a terrorist

attack on a hotel in Peshawar that killed several Shias.
That takes me down memory lane more than 18 years ago when the burly young tribesman
had returned to a heros welcome after leading a bloody, two-month siege of Charar Sharif,
a 14th-century shrine in India-held Kashmir. The fighting killed several Indian soldiers and
ended in the destruction of the historical holy place.
Working on a BBC documentary on Islamic blowback we travelled with Mast Gul for days
filming his victory processions in Punjab. Escorted by the top leadership of the Jamaat-iIslami he was hailed as a great Islamic warrior. It was apparent that the JI was using him to
boost its jihadi credentials and get maximum political mileage.
My most vivid memory was a reception for him at the Punjab University campus in Lahore.
The jam-packed auditorium thundered with slogans of jihad as Mast Gul entered
surrounded by armed militants in camouflage jackets. The atmosphere became more
charged as he narrated the story of his encounter with Indian troops. Kashmir will soon be
liberated, he vowed amid thunderous applause and salutary gunfire.
Such salutation was overwhelming for this tribal bumpkin known as a daredevil maverick to
his acquaintances in Peshawar where he had resided. He was non-serious, often poking his
colleagues with his Kalashnikov which he loved to keep by his side. He would randomly fire
it to show off. The hero of Charar Sharif, however, was soon in oblivion after falling out with
his patrons until his reappearance last week.
That was the time when militant groups openly operated under the states patronage,
recruiting volunteers that mostly attracted young men like Mast Gul, fascinated by guns and
with a love for adventure. There were others too motivated by religious belief.
The militant groups would demonstrate guerrilla training sessions on Lahores Mall Road
and other city centres. Through graffiti, wall posters and pamphlets they invited young men
for training. Jihad is the shortest route to heaven was one of many exhortations.
Many ideologically indoctrinated men died fighting in various global jihad theatres from
Kashmir to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. Pakistan had earned the unparalleled
distinction of being the only country using militancy as a tool of its foreign and security
policy, turning the country into a nursery for jihad. People like Mast Gul were certainly no
aberration. The ruthless use of militancy for dangerous proxy wars has ultimately come
back to haunt this country. The transition of Mast Gul from street urchin to jihadist and to
ultimately ending up as a terrorist is also the story of many others.
A large number of militant fighters like Mast Gul have now taken up jihad inwards, killing
their old patrons in security agencies as well as innocent Pakistanis. Their targets are also
members of the Shia community and of other religious minorities: anyone who does not
subscribe to their retrogressive worldview has to be eliminated.
Though the states change of tack after 9/11 may have precipitated Pakistans war within, it
was only a matter of time before these motivated holy warriors turned against their own
people in the name of religion. The culture of jihad sponsored by the mullah-military alliance

was bound to catch up sooner or later. In fact, it would have been more catastrophic had
Pakistan not decided to roll back its policy on militancy and withdraw its support for the
Afghan Taliban regime.
It is utterly nonsensical to link the rise of violent militancy to the US occupation in
Afghanistan or to drone strikes in Pakistans tribal regions. Militancy has been deeply rooted
in Pakistan for more than two decades. People like Mast Gul are certainly not the product of
the post-9/11 situation.
Therefore, it is an extremely flawed argument that the withdrawal of foreign forces from
Afghanistan will bring an end to the jihadi narrative and lead subsequently to the winding
down of terrorism. The militants are not fighting for Afghanistan but for the control of
There is no ambiguity whatsoever about what the militants want. They are seeking to
impose their retrogressive ideology through brute force. For them democracy is an unIslamic system and unacceptable. Their war against the Pakistani state has nothing to do
with the presence of foreign forces something that Taliban apologists like Imran Khan
want us to believe. Mast Gul and his sort will not disappear post-2014 following the
withdrawal of coalition forces across the border.
What an irony that the state is bowing before murderers and criminals like Mast Gul who
proudly own the killing of innocent Pakistanis. Theres no precedence anywhere of a state
acting so weakly before the terrorists challenging its authority.
What our political leadership does not realise is that conceding their retrogressive ideology
would certainly inflame religious tensions and even lead to sectarian civil war in the country.
As the state loses control, militant leaders of all hues are resurfacing to assert themselves
and revive the jihad industry. This culture of militancy has to be rolled back before it is too
The writer is an author and journalist.