Daily Times Editorial: Deobandi-Barelvi war in Khyber

The Lashkar-e-Islam of outlaw Mangal Bagh has attacked four relatives of an MNA and done them all to death in the Khyber Agency. Earlier, one cleric was executed on the charge that he was “spying for America”. The MNA, significantly named Maulana Nurul Haq Qadiri, and his Tanzim Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, dominate the Landi Kotal side of the agency while Lashkar-e-Islam of Mangal Bagh dominates the Bara area of the agency. Mangal Bagh has been pretending to be on his own but the fact is that he is expanding his dominance out of Bara and inside the settled Peshawar area in order to become the cutting edge of the Al Qaeda and Taliban rebellion in the Tribal Areas.

The ex-chief secretary of the NWFP, Mr Khalid Aziz, heading a study of the Taliban phenomenon, said on a TV channel last week that he perceived a siege of the city of Peshawar in the rise of Mangal Bagh in Khyber. In the war that is coming to Peshawar the Barelvi-Sunni elements among the Pakhtuns are in the cross-hairs of the Taliban. The Barelvis are being constantly defeated in Khyber just because the Pakhtuns in the NWFP are overwhelmingly Deobandi. If Pakistan allows this to go on, the consequences would be devastating.

My choice today: Fri, 23 May 2008

Why must Nawaz Sharif avoid confrontation with Zardari:


Also see Abbas Athar’s column in today’s exprsss on this topic: