Pakistani minister ♥ the Taliban


Remember when, immediately after the Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the terror assault on the city of Mumbai in November 2008, a Pakistani Army corps commander called Taliban leaders Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah “patriots” during a briefing with senior Pakistani journalists? We do. Sadly, that sentiment runs deep in Pakistani military and government circles.

Yesterday, Maulana Attaur Rehman, Pakistan’s Tourism Minister, expressed his heartfelt adoration for the Taliban, who to him are the true standard bearers of Islam. Minister Rehman said this at a public forum. From Dawn:

Federal Minister for Tourism Maulana Attaur Rehman has said that Taliban are the true followers of Islamic ideology and the US has been creating hatred against them.

“Ulema and Taliban are the true followers of Islamic ideology and America is the biggest terrorist of the world, which is creating hatred against them,” said the minister while speaking at a public gathering in Allai here on Tuesday.

Mr Rehman said that the ongoing spate of terrorism could not be eliminated until the US and the world gave equal rights and respect to the Muslims.

“It is a misconception that ulema and Taliban are against coexistence of people with different religions, in fact it is America which is against the interfaith harmony to maintain its hegemony on the world,” said Mr Rehman, who belongs to the JUI-F.

Perhaps Minister Rehman should check into all of those mosques and religious processions the Taliban have attacked, often with suicide bombers, over the past three years. Many of the mosques are run by Sufis, or Shia, or Ahmadis, sects of Islam despised by the Taliban for being insufficiently Islamic (or in the case of the Ahmadis, heretical). How’s that for “coexistence of people with different religions”? The Taliban can’t even get along with their own.

As far as I can tell, Minister Rehman has not been chastised for his comments by Pakistan’s prime minister, its president, or the real ruler of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff General Kayani.

A tiny bit of background on Minister Rehman: his brother, Fazl ur-Rehman, is the head of the JUI-F. That nasty Islamist political party runs hundreds of mosques in Pakistan which crank out Taliban cannon fodder. In fact, Fazl is widely credited with creating the Afghan Taliban by training many of its members in madrassas in Baluchistan province and northwestern Pakistan. Fazl led the opposition in parliament from 2004-2007. Despite his overt support for the Taliban, which continues to this day, he remains a free man in Pakistan.

And that, in a nutshell, is the extent of the problem we face when dealing with Pakistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Reader Joe says:

    HAHA..I caught that piece last night, Why was I not surprised? Only in a Country we give Double-Digit Billions to.
    Your pic is quite the Help to him, Stop being Kind to the DOG ! haha.
    Dog the Honey?

  • Paul says:

    Pakistan love the Taliban more than Afghanistan does.
    Afghan war=Nato versus Pakistan!

  • Charu says:

    I understand that these same high officials and military officers are a lot more direct in their support for terrorism to the Urdu press (as opposed to English-language media like Dawn) . Even our favorite, Musharraf, used Urdu to deliver the code-words “treaty of Hudaibiya” when he sought to convince his countrymen to support Pakistan’s “alliance” in the WOT. As every Muslim knows, this “treaty” was the earliest use of connivance and duplicity (at that time against the hapless naive Jewish tribes in Arabia).
    We can keep deluding ourselves that there are good ISI and bad ISI (just like the good Taliban and bad Taliban distinction that the Pakistanis try to foist on us), or finally realize that there is just one continuum within the ISI with Kayani (the former ISI chief) on the top. There may be an attempt at plausible deniability, but in truth the military, civilian government and judiciary there are all in cahoots to use state-sponsored terrorism as a means to destabilize and dominate the region.

  • Marzipan says:

    I would hope the US can draw some lessons from the past in dealing with Pakistan and would suggest the following:
    1 – Support of Dissent should be started inside Pakistan – with money and military aide being smuggled to the groups (either tribal or religious) that are at odds with the Taliban.
    2 – The Use of Tiger Teams should be started with combined Afghan/Special Force teams crossing the border to seek and kill key targets.
    3 – Assassination is illegal for US secret services but such a campaign could be supported inside Pakistan under Afghan auspices.
    4 – The Pakistani government is loosing legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, the US should ally with specific political parties and support their development of militant wings.
    Other options exist as well but the US should recognize that we are fighting a proxy war with Pakistan and take steps to counter this.

  • Paul says:

    Good post Charu.Pak Army fully support Taliban at every level!
    Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are our biggest enemies in that region.

  • Villiger says:

    It amazes and bewilders me that the Pakistani middle class doesn’t rise and voice their protest. Or is it simply not audible? It’ll be interesting to hear from “good” Pakistanis as to what is the situation on the ground…
    Pakistanis do somehow manage to protest about the silliest of things, eg cartoon competitions thru facebook etc.
    On Kayani, he must be more corrupt than Karzai as he has a bigger budget to play with, thanks to the US taxpayer. But, one never hears any moans about his attitude. Karzai probably wonders why he is singled out, when the US’s other ally gets away with murder, literally.
    Is it his military uniform that affords him an undeserved cloak of respectability?
    Like every Pakistani leader,he too will run one day from his country to save his skin.
    Meantime, the people love him?! I don’t get it!!!
    Can any good Pakistani out there explain this?

  • villiger says:

    Just a reminder, in the form of an extract from the Summary of the Kerry-Lugar Act, underscoring concerns of where this and military aid money goes:
    “Accountability and transparency for Coalition Support Funds (CSF). Currently, the U.S. supplies about $1 billion annually in CSF to Pakistan. The accounting and transparency of this program makes a true reckoning impossible: How much of the $6-7 billion we have spent on CSF so far has actually gone to its intended purpose (compensation for actual expenses incurred in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban)? How much has been used for the normal operating expenses of the Pakistani military

  • Nic says:

    Face it! The United States is going broke! A good place to start cutting expenses would be to cut funding to Pakistan. We have been “played” by Pakistan and North Korea. Where has it gotten us?

  • Chris says:

    Yet more evidence that the Taliban and the real Pakistan power base (Kayani and ISI) are one and the same. Isn’t it amazing that this continues so openly and we continue to prop up the facade that Pakistan is our ally in the “war on terror”? Pakistan is a Taliban ally not our ally. I suppose that admitting that Pakistan is a lost cause and we now have a nuclear-armed terror state run by enablers of the Taliban is just too much to bear and we continue to soldier on in hopes that it will somehow get better.
    Given that the Taliban are Pakistan and Pakistan has nukes, how long will it be until one of them gets into Taliban hands? I suppose it is not in the ISI’s interest to let their Taliban use a nuke against the west because the ISI gravy train will then end. So, I guess that continuing to pay ISI and keeping them on our dole is the only way to keep the Taliban separated from the nukes. That is why we are stuck in this crazy situation.

  • James says:

    I say, do to Pakistan what Al Queda tried to do to Iraq. Literally, turn it against itself. Let the evil and failed Pakistani state destroy itself beginning from the inside.
    Can it be done? I believe with the proper planning and strategy, it can.
    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, I believe there are actually two Talibans. One, is the true Taliban of Afghan and local origins. The other is the foreign Taliban (or influenced Taliban) that have been basically brainwashed in the madrassas with the Al Queda mentality.
    If there is to be a “Sunni Awakening” or equivalent in Afghanistan, why not engender it among the local low to mid level Taliban that are of true Afghan descent and origins?
    Again, concerning Pakistan, let it be as in the prophecy of Ishmael, “your hand will be against every man’s hand.”

  • iwog says:

    It feels like there are two worlds in Pakistan: uneducated and disconnect folks (ignorant class) and connect, urbane, and well educated folks (connected class). The military and politicians use this ignorant class to protect Pakistan from the immediate threat: India. I am in no way defending or justifying the Pakistani government


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