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Maulana Sami’s Removal from the Bigger Picture

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Escorting me to his adjacent residence on a pleasant sunny day in the last quarter of 2011, Maulana Samiul Haq whispered against my question, “No that’s incorrect.” As we stepped into a well-guarded living room for an exclusive talk over a generous lunch, after Zuhr (afternoon) prayers and a trip to his library at Dar ul-Uloom Haqqania at Akora Khattak, Maulana further commented on the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden: “He must have died at least a year and half ago.”

Bin Laden was killed in a stealth attack of the US Special Forces in a private compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, as officially claimed by the US government. The body of Al-Qaeda leader had never been shown on any media and had reportedly been dumped in the open seas.

“Because,” he directly looking into my eyes through his clear power-glasses with all the confidence he had, Maulana Sami told me: “Whenever he (OBL) comes into this area, he always gets in touch with close friends.” Rejecting the official claims of Bin Laden’s killing at the hands in an American military operation, Maulana Sami told me that “We haven’t heard from him in the past one and a half year,” meaning the Al Qaeda leader must have already died due to illness or an earlier undisclosed assassination.

Whether Bin Laden had died a natural death or assassination, whatever may be the case, in the past four decades, Maulana Samiul Haq had been playing a much bigger role in the larger strategic canvas of the region. Even on the assassination of Maulana Samiul Haq (Friday, November 02, 2018,) the fact remains valid as he had underlined in 2012 that there is no other way but talks with the Taliban, if one wants peace in the region.

As the stories rolled down the media about the importance of the Taliban for any meaningful negotiations leading to sustainable peace in Afghanistan, the United States-led West came up hard on the Haqqani Network in particular.

Afghanistan’s official delegates had several rounds of meetings this summer with Maulana Samiul Haq at Akora Khattak on behalf of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to urge Maulana play his role in bringing back the Taliban and the Haqqani network on the negotiation table for the desired peace in Afghanistan.

Known as the Father of the Taliban, he had been a staunch supporter of the Haqqani Network, a conglomerate of insurgent guerrillas and the Taliban. The strategic firepower of eponymous Haqqani Network remained intact even after the Parkinson related death of its leader Jalaluddin Haqqani in September this year. The group’s viability with meaningful presence in asymmetric guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan remained unchanged under the deceased leader’s son Sirajuddin Haqqani. However, his ability to successfully negotiate with Pakistan, minus Maulana Samiul Haq, would still need to be ascertained.

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Afghanistan’s official delegates had several rounds of meetings this summer with Maulana Samiul Haq at Akora Khattak on behalf of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to urge Maulana play his role in bringing back the Taliban and the Haqqani network on the negotiation table for the desired peace in Afghanistan.


Also read: Sami ul-Haq stabbed to death on his bed, son confirms


During the past four decades Maulana Samiul Haq’s role in the Afghan peace process, particularly with reference to the Taliban, remained pivotal. Even the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), when it was confined to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with Pakistan Muslim League in the center, had allocated Rs300 million in fiscal budget 2016-17 for his seminary. There had also been controversial reports for the allocation of another grant of Rs 277million to Akora Khattak in February this year.

In his last public speech a couple of days ago, Maulana Samiul Haq came up strongly against the verdict of Supreme Court relieving accused Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges. He called for a joint action against the government, in case it fails to reverse the court verdict.

Maulana Haq who has also led, “The Defense of Pakistan Council” had warned: “If the talks fail, [with the Taliban] then the solution would be jihad— that would be a public uprising against the Pakistani rulers and America.”

The two philosophically poles-apart in orientation Sunni Muslim schools of thoughts, the Deobandi and Barelvi sects, concentrating on the same page on a common objective of reverting the Supreme Court’s verdict on Asia Bibi blasphemy case. Whether Maulana Samiul Haq’s assassination has any role in an apparent attempt on snapping this developing alliance of the two unlikely sects on the blasphemy case, and/or to avert a possible sectarian clash among the Barelvi supporters jamming the main arteries across country, or the followers of Maulana Samiul Haq moving to flock together for the funeral of Maulana Haq, consequences would be tough.

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It certainly dawns realization on all power quarters in the country – the firebrand clerics have challenged of a new era of an unbridled religious extremism and intolerance. It is an unfolding paradigm shift in the internal security and the changing dynamics of national politics. It seems to have crossed a new line of intolerance, vandalism and militancy.

Maulana Haq who has also led, “The Defense of Pakistan Council” had warned: “If the talks fail, [with the Taliban] then the solution would be jihad— that would be a public uprising against the Pakistani rulers and America.”

Maulana Samiul Haq’s elimination from the bigger regional picture would be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the regional strategic scenario. It seems to carry all the potential to adversely impact the peace process in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s role in it. Whereas motivating the Taliban to the negotiation table would be further tough in the obscure regional scenario.

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