“It is haram to kill someone without Sharia justification. We are not followers of whims & desires. Relax”
Ehsanullah Ehsan with Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of Taliban
Alongside Taliban calls for US drone strikes to stop so a ceasefire can start, Pakistan Tehrik –Taliban (TTP) Political Commission member Ehsanullah Ehsan and “Team TTP” has recently taken to twitter to engage with the public.
As well as disseminating statements from TTP including accepting responsibility for attacks or denying involvement in bombings, the Taliban are now open to questions from the public. They have recently provided answers to “commonly asked questions” on their Jihad Information Network (including some of my own). Amidst hope for talks (supported by the All Parties, Conference, APC) and an end to internal conflict and ongoing violence, this appears to be designed to help clarify the group’s position on certain issues and dispel a few myths. The move is described as “an opportunity for dialogue”
Ehsan had this to say:-
Some ask us why we don’t engage in a peaceful discussion. We do. The problem is some of our opponents spend more time trying to censor us. Interesting how “some ‘liberals’ pounce on other liberals who merely retweeted us. We welcome criticism & smilingly tolerate all sorts of abuse. Some engage in discussions. The intellectually bankrupt try to get us blocked.
Here are the questions and answers as posted by TTP:-
Why do you fight the Pakistan army? You should be fighting America and her Allies…
We ARE fighting America and her allies. Pakistan has been the biggest and self-confessed frontline ally of America since 2001.
It was Pakistan that provided the US with intelligence, airbases and all forms of logistical support against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is Pakistan that continues to provide the US with intelligence for drone strikes. It is Pakistan that handed over scores of mujahideen to the US – including Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Afghan Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. Our fighters have carried out several attacks on the US & NATO forces including the attack on Camp Chapman that resulted in the killing of CIA station chief and other CIA officials.
America and her allies are fighting their war in Afghanistan with hardware and fuel that is shipped through Pakistan on Pakistan military contracted trucks (through NLC). It takes a bit of common sense to realise that Afghanistan and Pakistan are a single war theatre.
Does America fund TTP? Where do you get your funds from?
America does NOT fund TTP. America does however carry out a vicious drone campaign against us, using intelligence provided by the ISI. The drones have resulted in the martyrdom of hundreds of our members and leaders such as Nek Muhammad, Baitullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsud.
Alhamdolillah we get funds from various avenues including the huge amount of donations from our Muslim brothers and sisters, a huge amount in extortion
from NATO contractors and other allies of kufr, booty from state-owned
capital (never private property of Muslims) and many more.
On the other hand, America DOES fund the Pakistani military through its Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and Pakistan military/ISI have so far devoured over eleven billion dollars as they themselves acknowledge.
Where do you get you most modern weapons from?
Our most common weapon is AK-47 assault rifle which is by no means a modern weapon. We have and continue to capture weapons from NATO forces, their “frontline ally” the Pakistani military, the government funded aman lashkars that have surrendered to us.
Why do you kill innocent people?
Our rules of engagement are defined by Islam and not by some man-made standard. Islam does not allow the killing of someone who is not harbi. A harbi is defined as someone at war with Islam.
This could take the form of someone knowingly fighting against Islam in a physical sense, supporting a war against Islam economically, through propaganda, through strategising and so on.
It is HARAM and a major sin to deliberately target a non-harbi. We NEVER deliberately target a non-harbi. Accidental collateral damage is part of war and there are a number of ahadith on this.
As a policy directed by Islam, we condemn haram attacks such as those in Peshawar Qissa Khuwani Bazaar and Lahore Moon Market. We have nothing to do with them and consider them false flag operations by the anti-Islam forces in a bid to defame the mujahideen.
We do NOT target mosques where ordinary Muslims pray but DO target the modern versions of masjid ad-dhiraar such as the Parade Lane mosque.
Why don’t you just go and fight in Afghanistan?
Islam is not just for Afghanistan but for the whole world. Bizarre how many people see no issue with jihadi operations against Kabul but object when it comes to Islamabad. They have no issues with jihadi operations against the Afghan National Army but object to the targeting of Pakistani soldiers. They have no objection to collateral damage in Afghanistan but raise hue and cry when it happens in Pakistan. The authorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan have both been collaborators and allies of the US. Does Shariah not apply once the Durrand Line is crossed?
You are following a misinterpretation of Islam
We sincerely pray to Allah to guide us and all Muslims to what pleases Him.
However by the blessings of Allah we are at ease knowing that we strictly take our guidance from the classical scholars of this ummah – the salaf and not the scholars promoted by the likes of Rand Corporation. Islam is what has been defined by the beloved Messenger, may Allah’s blessings be upon him. It is not the ritualistic, subservient, mutated version that has been genetically engineered in the labs of Rand Corporation, et all.
Are you anti-Pakistan?
Not at all. This is our country and we are striving to turn it into an Islamic Pakistan. What we DO oppose is the present order – the Pakistan that has been turned into a slave of the disbelievers and a fort against Islam.
With regard to recent press reports alleging the death of Swat Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, Ehsan stated, “I can confirm with full authority that he is alive and healthy.”
TTP also confirmed that Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud’s top aide, Latif Mehsud is currently in US custody, details of his capture can be read on the following link http://tribune.com.pk/story/616941/striking-revelations-hakimullah-mehsuds-top-aide-in-us-custody/
On education, Taliban had this to say, “this nonsense about us opposing education is getting boring now. Education is a MUST for men & women. We oppose intellectual colonialism.”
Ehsan also pointed out the following, “many of these armchair analysts have never met any of us and simply propagate what they get from GHQ.” Having been denied a visa for Pakistan to interview drone victims and with Waziristan out of bounds for most foreigners, I felt compelled to tweet back, that gaining face to face access with Taliban wasn’t exactly easy. I think for a moment of a dear Pakistani friend who interviewed and wrote a book on the Taliban and is no longer with us… sadly there are those who would punish writers and human rights activists simply for reporting all sides!
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.