A nightmarish year for Jihadis
LAHORE: For the religious parties and Jihadi organisations, the year 2001 has been the most devastating and demoralising year, which witnessed destruction and bloodshed in the Muslim world by its enemies. Not only the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, considered as the source of inspiration for all global Islamic movements, was crushed along with the most powerful anti-American Arab resistance group al-Qaeda, but also the existence of all radical Jihadi/religious parties and the independence of religious seminaries within Pakistan was endangered by the global anti-terrorism alliance.
The brutal removal of Taliban was a great setback for all the Muslim freedom movements in the world and also sent shock waves to all Islamic political and social organisations, which felt the heat of curbs, pressures and hate-crimes in retaliation to the September 11 incident.
"The religious quarters saw their worst nightmare coming true as the non-believer forces joined hands in a global coalition to target all Islamic movements across the world in the name of war against terrorism," commented a senior religious leader. "It is like a one-to-one fight between Islam and its enemies like the Crusades and those in early Islamic era. It singled out Islam as the only enemy of capitalism after the fall of communism," he added.
But due to the government`s cooperation with Allies to root out Taliban, thousands of Pakistani volunteers, who went to Afghanistan to wage Jihad against the invading forces, were also killed. They watched in horror as defenceless Taliban crumble against the fiercest and ruthless bombardment in modern history over civilians.
"The unfolding of events following the September 11, incidents proved that the military government in Pakistan cleverly chose to kill two birds with one stone. They not only got a stamp of legality to their illegal rule but also planned to wipe out the radical Islamists from the country by joining the `war against terrorism`", he said.
Many other observers seconded his comments as they said the Musharraf government`s decision paid them off with the elimination of majority of hard-line Islamists in Pakistan, who posed a threat to their regime.
Afghanistan remained the focus of all activities of religious and Jihadi parties throughout the year, as Taliban wrestled with the unanimous Western world. The critics inside the country condemned the Taliban for their policies particularly what was called as forced confinement of women at home, strict banning of music, cinemas and sports, barring girls from studying in co-education, preventing Western female volunteers to help in medical, social and education sectors, and punishments for not observing Islamic values of beards, Purdah etc.
From opposing the crackdown on Jihadi groups and banning of their fund collection, to resisting the government`s joining hands with the US against Taliban and proposing drastic changes in the set-up of religious seminaries, the religious quarters constantly protested against the Musharraf government throughout the year on one issue or the other. But with little success.
The end of the year saw banning and blacklisting of three main Jihadi groups. Only Lashkar-e-Taiba acted wisely by shifting its offices an