Maulana Sufi Mohammad’s latest statements coming in the form of a ‘will’ declaring the TTP to be anti-Islam must be taken with a pinch of salt. His son-in-law, the TTP commander Mullah Fazlullah, has also been mentioned in the will as Sufi Mohammad warned his family members against terrorist activities. It is to be remembered here that such U-turns have been part and parcel of the Taliban and their heinous crimes against the people of Pakistan cannot be forgotten at any cost. One must also be reminded that Sufi Mohammad is under detention of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies and his statements cannot be viewed with an impartial lens at face value. His refusal to accept the democratic government and the constitution of Pakistan finally led to the Swat Operation as his outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e Muhammadi wreaked havoc with the inhabitants of the land.

It should not be forgotten that these ultra-rightist militants have always been opportunists of the highest decree, switching their loyalties to seek their ends whenever pushed against the wall. The religious right, sitting in the assemblies, voted in favour of the National Action Plan in the legislature but is now out to defend madrassas without letting the law enforcing agencies and other arms of the government determine the nature of the activities going on in thousands of these seminaries. Historically, the senior generation of the same rightists launched the Hijrat movement urging the Muslims of British India in early part of the twentieth century to migrate to Afghanistan. Those who did suffered badly and returned empty handed after being looted and deprived of all their belongings.

It is necessary that no such declaration, in whatever form it is, should be relied upon, particularly, when our armed forces are just about to put the nail in the coffin of this malicious evil. It becomes all the more essential in the light of close relationship of Maulana Sufi Mohammad with Mullah Fazlullah, who is leading an active war against Pakistan. It should never be forgotten that traditionally, the religious right, which has been indoctrinated with literal interpretations of holy edicts coupled with strong extremist thoughts and militant practices, has always been the toughest nut to crack. It would be appropriate at this stage of war against terror to let the state use its monopoly on employing force and bring these elements to their logical end instead of giving them another chance to regroup.