Interview: Sufi Mohammad of TNSM, Swat

Posted on March 19, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

As the politics of intrigue and rumor heats up, even more, in Pakistan and after the recent dramatic political events, the news of Pakistan’s most important existential battle – against the extremism of the Taliban and their ilk – seems to have slid off the front pages.

Yet, a news item in The News reminds us that the murderous militants are now setting their eyes towards District Dir, after gaining control of Swat. One got a better glimpse into the mind of one of the key players in the Swat saga, Sufi Mohammed, in an interview given to Daily Times’ Peshawar Bureau Chief Iqbal Khattak. Speaking in Mingora, the 74 year-old father-in-law of militant leader Fazlulah gives many important glimpses into his own thinking and priorities.

Here is the interview published in Daily Times:

You said in a 2005 interview with us that what Al Qaeda and the Taliban are doing in Pakistan is haram. Are Fazlullah’s activities over the last sixteen months also haram?
Sufi Muhammad: Yes, I said that about Al Qaeda, but not about the Taliban. Let me say…that debate on past happenings is disallowed in Islam. A hadith sharif says, what has happened in the past should not be discussed.

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But how can we proceed without debating the past?
The hadith sharif says a Muslim should not discuss past happenings because he may not remember all the [details] and, therefore, he may…sin by not speaking the truth.

A majority of Swat residents do not think the peace deal recently signed between the TNSM and the NWFP government will last long.
God Almighty does everything; he builds and destroys countries.

Residents also doubt whether peace is possible in the presence of armed Taliban.
Everyone keeps weapons. People in Peshawar have weapons with them.

You support keeping weapons?
Yes, you can keep weapons with you.

Did you ask Fazlullah to surrender weapons after the sharia law deal?
Keeping weapons is halal in Islam.

President Zardari said recently that force would be used if the Taliban do not surrender weapons in Swat.
His statement is childish…immature.

With sharia law in Swat, there will be a complete ban on music and girls’ education, and people will be forced to grow beards?
There are five subjects — judiciary, politics, economics, education and the executive. The judicial subject will be with us, the rest is beyond our control.

The Taliban are kidnapping government officials and killing soldiers, yet you still hold the army responsible for ceasefire violations.
Kidnapping cases are taking place all over the world. The military violated the ceasefire.

The military says some of its soldiers were shot dead while bringing water.
No. This is not the case. The soldiers were not killed near any stream.

Are soldiers moving freely in Swat after the peace deal?
No. The military cannot move freely unless peace is restored.

After peace is restored, will the army leave Swat?
This is Pakistan’s army and Swat is within Pakistan’s borders. I will have no objection if a military cantonment is established here.

Locals say innocent people have been killed. Will the aggrieved families be able to get justice?
I have told you already: we will not discuss what has happened in the past. Sharia law does not allow this.

If a court summons a key Taliban commander, will he appear before the court?
If Caliph Umar (RA) can appear before a court, then why can’t others?

So Fazlullah will also appear in court if summoned?
If he does not… he will be acting against the sharia law.

What you did in Malakand in the 1990s and then in Afghanistan in 2001 you called ‘jihad’. Are Fazlullah’s activities over the last 16 months in Swat also jihad?
I do not want to speak on this.

What are Fazlullah’s plans after the peace deal?
He will support imposition of sharia law.

You have termed democracy ‘infidelity’. But Maulana Sami-ul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Qazi Hussain Ahmad are taking part in the democratic process.
Democracy is not permissible in sharia law. I will not name [these leaders] but they are taking part in infidelity. I will not offer prayers if one of [these leaders] is leading those prayers.

Do you intend to export sharia law to other parts of Pakistan?
If people help me, I will. Otherwise, no.

67 responses to “Interview: Sufi Mohammad of TNSM, Swat”

  1. I think Sufi Muhammad is pure in his faith although not a prominent scholar .Such prominent scholars always proved themselves a hurdles in the way of implementation of Islamic Shariah as it was in direct conflict their vested interets one example is Mulana Faizulr Rahman.So according to the surveys conduccted by impartial media forums majority of people not in swat or NWFP parts but also in Punjab supported Sufi’s movement as the common man needs speedy justice which he can not expect from the prevvailing system of Pakitan

  2. DAr says:

    this interview shows me that mr. sufi muhammad is not a pure and real moulana and i am in shuck about that whether he is muslim???
    he is just using ISLAM for his hidden purposes because when he is asked the questions which go against his ideas or he feels difficulty to answer theses questions( due to lack of knowledge of islam) he sys donot discuss past…

    Ya ilahi sab ko sidhi rah dikha aameen…….

  3. Watan Aziz says:

    Produce one interview, heretofore, of this journalist, or for that matter, any other, with any ignorant mullah, at any place, at any time that demonstrates that the journalist has a capacity and a clarity on the issues of faith. I ask, is there one journalist who challenged the ignorant mullah over his ignorance?

    I have never seen one, in either English or Urdu media, within or without Pakistan. Frankly, are the interviews any sounder in the Pakistani Urdu/English media in US? Do you think the interviewer is in any danger there? I would like to see just one!

    I ask, if one exists, I will withdraw the very warranted commentary.

    Pakistani journalism is a sham, both the English (pontiffs amuck) and Urdu (hot winds). And we are not here in this mess without their being part of the problem. I am not impressed with their style of reporting. Nor am I impressed with their shock, chaos and mayhem style of keeping people in an organized state of despair. It does not permit good people to think through the problems and arrive at good conclusions. Fro these journalists, it is either conspiracy theories, political gossip or press release for or against a person or an idea. There is an absence of both original thought and hard core research, especially, on matters of faith. Clueless.

    And I am not sitting here, ignoring my

  4. Pride says:

    Whether supported by the govt or Not is a big question Mark. If not then really Dangerous.

  5. readinglord says:

    Oh my great country, India, from Khyber Pass to Calcutta, wherein I was born, shrinked to Pakiland, with its Constitution reduced to a ‘Fatwa’ and leadership sunk from Jinnah to Sufi.

    As Faiz said:

    “Kahein to ho ga shabe sust mouj ka saahil
    Kahein to ja ke ruke ga safinaa-e-gham-e-dil”

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