In this recent news clip (28 Feb 2014), the arrested takfiri Deobandi terrorist, involved in attacks on Sunni Barelvi and Shia mosques in Karachi, admits that he belongs to the Swati group of ASWJ-TTP. He also admits that he and other Deobandi terrorists receive orders from Waziristan.
Then, we have Pashtun nationalist friends who clearly and legitimately bash the Punjabi and Saudi roots of terrorism but remain almost entirely silent on the inherently violent nature of the Deobandi hate ideology that has currenty engulfed Pashtun areas and some other parts of Pakistan in the shape of ASWJ-SSP and TTP. In fact, according to Farhat Taj, an eminent Pashtun scholar, any criticism of Deobandi sect is tantamount to racism because Deobandi sect is the dominant faith group of the Pashtuns.
Farhat Taj sahiba writes:
Pashtun nationalist friends must understand that Deobandi and Salafi hate ideologies are not an integral component of Pashtun culture. These evil ideologies were imported in Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan in last two hundred yeas by the semi-Salafi takfiri Jihadists such as Syed Ahmed, Shah Ismail and later by Deobandi hate clerics and a misjudgement by Bacha Khan who founded and supported Deobandi madrassas. In fact, prior to that, it was a semi-Salafi cleric Shaha Waliullah of Delhi who played an active role in enhancing the anti-Hindu and anti-Shia sectarian bigotry of Ahmed Shah Durrani Abdali, the Pashtun ruler of Kabul.
The Deobandi and Salafi/Wahabi hate ideologies are alien to the thousands of years old peaceful Pashtun culture and are as much a threat to Pashtun society and culture as they are to all other ethnicities and cultures.
In the words of a Shia Pashtun:
“We Pashtuns should also accept some facts that a common (Deobandi) Pashtun on the streets of Peshawar, Charsada or Dir is indeed considering Shia as Kafir, Sunni Barelvi as Bidati etc. Shias are being killed in this whole country only because they are Shia and majority of their killers (who claimed their killings) are proud being Deobandi. Similarly, “almost” all groups who kill every one indiscriminately are ideologically Deobandi (surrogates of Salafi/Wahabi). It is also very true that Deobandi Pashtuns are also killed by these groups (not target killed due to their sect but due to their political ideas or are killed in indiscriminate attacks on ordinary people). Ironically, Pashtuns never ready to accept that they are killed by these (Deobandi) groups (eg TTP, ASWJ, LeJ, Jundullah etc). When I was in Peshawar, Christians (Pashtu speaking) were killed in the Church blast, and they were strongly protesting. Common street Pashtuns were making fun of their protest. The same, they were doing in the case of Shia Hazaras killed in Quetta. If the Pashtuns don’t want to protest for themselves, at-least they should respect others who protest.”
As long as Pashtun leaders and scholars are adamant at ignoring or diluting this reality, innocent Pashtuns, particularly those of Shia, Sunni Barelvi, non-Muslim and progressive backgrounds, will continue to die. The only way forward is to boldly and clearly expose and eradicate the Deobandi and Salafi hate ideologies from Pashtun and all other societies. In order to do that, Pashtun nationalists and progressive people will have to be more reflective about their own sectarian identities and subtle biases.