December 2, a number of people gathered in a mosque in a middle-class suburb of Karachi to offer funeral prayers in absentia for a young engineering graduate. Abdul Rahman Shujaat, an activist of Pakistan’s most influential religious party, Jamat-e-Islami who was killed last week in a drone attack on a terrorists’ hideout in North Waziristan. Obviously Shujaat’s family members and Jamat-e-Islami disassociated themselves from queries why an aspiring engineer was persuaded to abandon his career and join a terrorist organization such as Tahreek Taliban Pakistan. However, their disassociation from the deeds of Shujaat doesn’t mean anything in the face of policies advocated by Pakistan’s religious parties. It was Jamat-e-Islami Ameer who recently declared Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud as a martyr.

When prominent religious leaders condone such terrorist acts and call them Jihad, (religious war), it’s obvious that such a definition will encourage many young and innocent minds to join these groups. We are facing a great contradiction wherein terrorists are loved and lauded for their acts against general public and security forces and our Army is demeaned and insulted. Perhaps time has come for these religious parties to introspect their policies; they can’t live a divided life they have to decide whether they are with the terrorists or with the rest of Pakistani nation who is being killed by these terrorists?

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, December 3.