Islamist Pakistani legislators in the Northwest Frontier Province pass a law calling for Taliban-like rule; Musharraf plotter released
Chief Minister NWFP Akram Khan Durrani congratulates Provincial Law Minister Malik Zafar Azam on presentation of Hasba Bill in the provincial assembly. Image from the PakTribune.
As the Taliban and al Qaeda consolidate their power in the tribal agencies of North Waziristan and Bajaur, the legislature in the Northwest Frontier Province have passed a law that effectively establishes the rule of the Taliban in the region.
The legislation, known as the “Hasba bill,” requires the creation of a department of “Vice and Virtue” which would enforce the law of sharia. “The bill provides for the appointment of an anti-vice ombudsman enjoying sweeping powers to protect Islamic values and ‘forbid persons, agencies and authorities working under the administrative control of the government to act against Shariah,'” according to Dawn.
The Hasba bill was backed by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an Islamist political organization that backs the Taliban and al Qaeda, and has recently supported the protests against airstrike against an al Qaeda training camp in Bajaur. “The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) described [the passage of the bill] as a step towards the Islamic system that it promised in its election manifesto,” reports the Daily Times.
The bill must be signed by Provincial Governor Jan Orakzai in order to become law. Orakzai has endorsed the Waziristan Accord and is eager to push forward with turning over Bajaur and other agencies to the Taliban. The a version of the Hasba bill submitted in 2003 was declared unconstitutional by the Pakistani supreme court.
While the Northwest Frontier Province continues to slip under the control of the Taliban, Pakistan has released Maulana Abdul Jabbar, one of the lead conspirators and planners of the Musharraf assassination attempts in 2003. “Jabbar was released recently after a long detention,” according to the Daily Times’ sources. Jabbar spent 3 years in custody. The Daily Times provides a succinct biography of Jabbar:
Chief of the banned Khudamul Furqan… arrested with his close aides on charges of attacking President Musharraf on December 14, 2003 in Rawalpindi… Khudamul Furqan militants were suspected to be behind terrorist attacks on churches in Pakistan. Maulana Jabbar started his militant activities by joining Harkatul Ansar, headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, in the early 1980s and stayed in Afghanistan till the fall of the Taliban government there. He later joined the Jaish-e-Muhammad formed by Maulana Masood Azhar, but after developing differences with Azhar, Jabbar formed the Khudamul Furqan… Jabbar was an expert in Afghan affairs, heading the Afghan cell of each militant group he was in, and maintained close contacts with Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders.
Jabbar’s release follows that of 4 Pakistani Air Force personnel implicated in a recent assassination attempt. Pakistan also released over 2,500 Taliban and al Qaeda after the signing of the Waziristan Accord.
In September we noted that we are watching the slow-motion disintegration of Pakistan as a sovereign state. An American intelligence official tells us that the Pakistan is “speeding towards the abyss” due to the signing of ‘peace accords,’ al Qaeda and Taliban prisoner releases, Musharraf’s willingness to release those who actively plotted against him and the rise of sharia law in the west.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.