Jihadis seeking safer Sufi monasteries khanqahs to under attack madrassas in Pak

March 17th, 2008 - 1:53 pm ICT by admin  

Mullah Omar

Lahore, Mar 17 (ANI): In the wake of frequent attacks on madarassas by security forces, the jihadis in Pakistan are increasingly turning to khanqahs (Sufi monasteries) for setting up sanctuaries, while shunning the madrassas.

A close ally of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and head of Harkatul Jihad Al Islami Pakistan revealed thus during interrogation. He reportedly told the interrogators that since madrassas were regularly being raided in connection with the war on terror, and that this had forced jihadis to prefer khanqahs as resting stops.

He said the deputation of permanent surveillance at every madrassa further facilitated this move.

According to the Daily Times, Qari Saifullah Akhtar revealed during interrogation that he had been staying at a khanqah during the time he was hiding from law-enforcement agencies.

Saifullah said that he had been living in ‘Khanqah Syed Ahmad Shaheed’ near Sagian Bridge for the past few months. He also revealed that he was building a new khanqah in Ferozewala when he was arrested.

Saifullah was arrested in connection with the October 18 blasts in Karachi, as he had been accused in Benazir Bhutto’s book of plotting to kill her.

Saifullah had initially been arrested in Dubai in August 2004, after which he was repatriated to Pakistan. He was released after his family submitted an appeal before then chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in connection with the “missing persons case”. He, however, disappeared in Bahawalpur after his release.

Saifullah was shifted to Karachi for further investigation, and that investigators were hopeful that he would provide more information about the actions of the jihadis.

Qari Saifullah tried to kill President Pervez Musharraf on behalf of Al Qaeda. He was also an adviser to Mullah Omar in the Taliban government of Afghanistan. His fighters were called the “Punjabi Taliban” and were offered employment - something other outfits could not get out of Mullah Omar. (ANI)

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