Imran Khan’s political outfit Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is backing a former head of Afghanistan Taliban for a reserved seat– Ulema-e-Mashaikh– in the legislative assembly of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) to further Rawalpindi’s strategy of spreading Islamic extremism across Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. Mazhar Shah Saeed alias Abdullah Shah Mazhar was the Taliban chief in Afghanistan’s province, who along with PTI’s POK secretary general Abdul Majeed Khan filed the nomination papers on PTI’s ticket for the seat of Ulema-e-Mashaikh.
Mazhar Shah Saeed alias Abdullah Shah Mazhar hails from the Lawat area of Neelam Valley. He lived in Karachi for a long time where he served as the Khatib in a local mosque. In the past, Mazhar Saeed Shah was actively involved in the ‘Afghan Jihad’ and has also held important positions in a province of Afghanistan in the Taliban hierarchy since the fall of Dr. Najib’s (Mohammad Najibullah) government in Kabul. Mazhar Saeed started his ‘jihadi’ journey from the banned terrorist organisation Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and later on held important positions in another banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad under the tutelage of Maulana Masood Azhar.
Mazhar Shah Saeed was banned in several regions for his provocative speeches. After his provocative speech in Neelam Valley went viral on social media he was included in the category of hate speech personalities by several social media platforms.
In 2008, a terrorist named Riaz Hussain was killed during operations by the Indian security forces on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir. This terrorist Riaz Hussain was operating under the instructions of Mazhar Saeed Shah, who in turn was connected with the Islamic extremists of Jaish-e-Muhammad from Pakistan’s Sindh province.
In 2001, Al-Furqan was created after the United States added Jaish-e-Muhammad and other organizations to its list of terrorist organizations. Mazhar Saeed Shah was also a part of this Al-Fuqran. Later, Mazhar Saeed Shah had differences with Maulana Masood Azhar, after which he formed an organization called Tehreek-e-Ghalba-e-Islam. In 2011 he joined the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and contested the elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir from Neelam Valley, but lost.
Recently, radical Islamic extremist Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s visit to Neelam Valley was hosted by Mazhar Shah Saeed.
When Pakistan Army announced the July 26 elections in POK, Mazhar Saeed announced that he was joining the Muslim Conference. However, when Mazhar Saeed was denied a ticket, he went ahead to join the All Jammu and Kashmir Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Mahmood Al-Hassan group. This organization was formed by rebelling against Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Immediately after this Mazhar Saeed Shah was made chairman of the party’s parliamentary board, but no candidate could make it to the finals. Then Mazhar Saeed Shah once again cozied up to Fazlur Rehman and installed the flags of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman group) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on his car. Mazhar Saeed is now very close to Fazlur Rehman.
Interestingly, Mazhar Saeed has been missing for some time. He was rumoured to be in the custody of authorities, but after a long period of detention he was released after becoming physically very weak.
Mazhar Saeed Shah’s elder brother Mufti Abul Baba Shah Manzoor (real name Tahir Shah) is a teacher in Jamia Al-Rasheed, Karachi. Jihadis who started writing about extremism from Pakistan after the establishment of the Taliban government in Afghanistan are among the regular writers of the weekly magazine Zarb-e-Momin. Mufti Abul Baba Shah Mansoor has also written several books including ‘Dajjal’.
The nomination of radical Islamic extremist such as Mazhar Saeed Shah for the reserved seat of Ulema-e-Mashaykh in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) reflects the thinking of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Readers must remember that Imran Khan has been accused of being an open supporter of Taliban in the past, which earned him the title ‘Taliban Khan’.
Statements made by Federal Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other government officials following Taliban’s advance after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as news released by the state news agency has further softened Islamabad’s attitude towards Taliban.
It’s clear that Rawalpindi and Islamabad have made it a state policy to unleash Islamic extremists in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in Gilgit-Baltistan in order to disturb the peace and harmony on Indian side of Jammu Kahmmir and Ladakh. If this spread of Islamic extremism is not nipped in the bud then the oppressed, downtrodden and working class people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh will bear the brunt and be the victims of mindless violence. The ruling classes have benefited from every crisis, including Islamic terrorism, barbarism, destruction, devastation and natural disasters. The sufferers, if any, are only the working and middle class.
The intelligentsia and civil society members of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) say that the main tactic of Pakistan Army is to destroy the culture and identity of Kashmiris by cultivating the Taliban. If this happens then not only the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) will be affected but also the Indian side of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh will be affected by terrorism.