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Pakistanis condemn Taliban for attacks during Ramadan
Taliban invite wrath of Allah with holy month violence, citizens, ulema say
By Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR – Taliban militants invite the wrath of the people and Allah Almighty by carrying out acts of terrorism against Muslims fasting during Ramadan, local believers and analysts say.
“Killing and wounding people in the month of Ramadan have developed hatred in people’s mind against the Taliban,” Maulana Ghulam Rabbi, an Islamic studies teacher at the Government College Peshawar, told Central Asia Online. “It is a month of blessings, and all the Muslims fast to win the pleasure of God.”
The Taliban have forgotten Allah and Islam and are inviting the wrath of Allah by attacking fasting Muslims, he said.
“I say that they are adding more to the disdain they had already created in the hearts and minds of the people by destroying schools, carrying out bomb and suicide attacks, blowing up markets and killing innocent women and children,” Rabbi added.
Long string of attacks
The Taliban have launched an array of attacks this Ramadan.
On August 16, they killed more than 20 fasting Shia Muslims near Mansehra and attacked an air force base at Kamra, leaving two security personnel and nine militants dead.
They injured seven people in Peshawar with a roadside bomb on Jamrud Road August 8.
On July 21, terrorists fired a rocket at a police post in Ghadar, killing nine personnel. Three other people were killed that day by a remote-controlled bomb in Upper Dir District, near Dhog Darra village, whose inhabitants mostly belong to an anti-Taliban peace committee.
And one day before that, a polio consultant for the World Health Organisation (WHO) was fatally shot in Karachi, leaving 20,000 children unvaccinated.
Gone are the days when Pakistanis mistook militants for defenders of Islam, said Prof. Rasool Shah, a theology instructor at Government College Peshawar, noting the militants have dispelled any such illusions by desecrating the Koran on several occasions, attacking mosques and killing religious scholars.
“We have examples of how the Muslims don’t kill their enemies in Ramadan due to the sanctity of the month, because they know that in this month God Almighty might hold the door of paradise open and a small virtue could send them to paradise,” he said. But the Taliban militants disrespect the sacredness of the holy month and commit murders at will, Shah added.
Killing children, too
Children have died at the Taliban’s hands, too. The Taliban killed nine people, including five children July 21 when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a house in Kurram Agency.
“Killing children is a big crime, as they don’t harm anyone, but killing them in Ramadan is something that even the enemies wouldn’t do in any circumstances,” Shakir said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour told Central Asia Online he had appealed to militants to stop violence during Ramadan, but his requests fell on deaf ears.
“Every day at least one peace activist is killed in (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) by the Taliban. Even in Peshawar, they track their opponents down to kill them without caring for Ramadan,” Bilour said, referring to how often violence seems to happen.
The Taliban must apologise to God and stop acts of terror if they have hope of receiving divine forgiveness, Bilour added.