Musharraf: Only the government can make jihad.

February 28, 2007

BBCUrdu.com
General Musharraf, addressing a large public gathering (which the Chief Minister of Sindh treated as a partisan event for the Muslim League – was it?) said that “every other person in Pakistan goes for jihad. Who gave them this right?” And that only the government can make jihad.
Two problems:
One, many of the people going for jihad without the government’s permission don’t care about the Musharraf’s religious opinions. (Of course, by the same token that Islam grants the government exclusive war making powers, it also grants them the final say in how fiqh which affects civil affairs will be implemented. I’m always amazed at how little respect otherwise authoritarian -minded people have for actual authority.)
Two, how does he count the government’s unofficial wars – which are the proximate cause for the existence of an infrastructure to support “every other person” going. And what are the populace to think when people from his own government encourage their sons to go, and train and equip them.

This statement was somewhat odd:

جنرل مشرف نے اپنے خطاب میں کہا کہ شکر ہے مذہبی انتہا پسندی سندھ میں نہیں ہے۔ انہوں نے صوبہ سرحد کا ذکر کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ وہاں باہر سے آئے ہوئے لوگ موجود ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ یورپ، ازبکستان اور یمن سے آئے ہوئے لوگ پہاڑوں میں چھپے ہوئے ہیں اور وہ پاکستان کو خطرے میں ڈال رہے ہیں۔

General Musharraf said in his speech, “Thank God there is not religious fanaticism in Sindh.” Mentioning the Frontier Province, he said that people have come there from abroad. People from Europe, Uzbekistan, and Yemen are hiding in the mountains and endangering Pakistan.

Of course, there’s more than enough religious fanaticism to go around in Sindh. (Witness last years attack on the nation’s leading ulama during a Milad program.) But all conflict is subsumed in and mixed up with the regional-ehtno-linguistic conflicts, that it is not the dominating factor. (Note that the same attack was as related to local politics as sectarian strife.) Were the already violent, blood soaked Sindh innundated with violent Wahhabis to the extent of the frontier, I do suppose we would be looking at a much, much worse nightmare.

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