In God’s name


The Taliban militants have executed a man, Zaiver Khan, in Mohmand Agency, after holding he was guilty of kidnapping and murder. The illegal execution was carried out by machine-gun fire in public. Militants said they were acting according to Sharia. The killing of the man brings to 13 the number of deaths reported from the area over the past few days, as Taliban militants battle local tribesmen. People say dozens of houses have been set alight by the Taliban. The 1,000 or so militants claim they are acting against ‘criminal elements’ in the agency, with fighters from other areas joining local militants. Women and children are reported to be among those killed. Accounts from people state the clashes, similar to those that have taken place in other tribal areas, are a result of a struggle between local tribes who have traditionally dominated their areas and the Taliban for control over these regions.While the political administration of Mohmand Agency says the clashes are now under control, it is unclear how long this calm will last. There are also suggestions the Taliban fighters are eager to bring as many tracts as they can within their hold ahead of any truce announced by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, currently holding negotiations with the NWFP government. It is, of course, ironic that in parts of the country where poverty is high, literacy low and health care virtually non-existent, the Taliban’s attempts to impose what they call the ‘law of Allah’ consist only of acts of brutality. The true message of Islam of course embraces education, social justice and a great deal more. The fact that the Taliban do not see this proves that rather than men of religion, they are nothing more than a gang of power-seekers, who must, at all costs, be prevented from inflicting further havoc across the already brutalized tribal areas.

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