Home Lightbox The Caliphate Cometh

The Caliphate Cometh

by Nazar Ul Islam
No Credit

No Credit

The Pakistani Taliban open up.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo committees—one nominated by the Islamabad government, another by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan—are presently engaged in ‘peace’ talks. We spoke with Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, about the dialogue, their reach, Aitzaz Hasan, Veena Malik and more. Excerpts:

The government says peace talks will be conducted within the framework of the Constitution. Your nominated committee has said the framework should be Shariah. Can this difference be resolved?

Both sides had agreed not to impose preconditions. We see this as a precondition. Tehreek-e-Taliban is at war with the government for two reasons: friendship with the U.S. and the continuation of the un-Islamic democratic system. We want the establishment of Shariah in Pakistan; this was the reason that Pakistan was created.

What, if any, reservations do you have about the official four-member committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the talks? And why did you nominate your own non-Taliban committee instead of opting for direct contact?

The government can nominate any committee it likes and so can we. If these members have decision-making powers, then we have no reservations. We are not negotiating with the government directly for obvious reasons. We are in a virtual war zone from where contact cannot be reliably made. Our [non-Taliban] committee is based outside of this war zone and its work will therefore not be hampered. We are also aware that peace talks have, in the past, been used to deceive us and to arrest our members, like Haji Muslim Khan of Swat and two of his colleagues. It has been wrongly claimed that they were arrested in an operation. They were invited to Islamabad for talks and arrested there. So it is difficult for us to rely on the government’s word. The [non-Taliban] committee will help us gauge the sincerity of the government. Once confidence and seriousness are established, then we can consider direct contact.

You want Shariah and desire establishment of a caliphate. Are there people among you who are capable of running the government? *

We are fighting for Shariah keeping in mind the persons who can establish the caliphate and run the system as a caliph. We consider Mullah Omar as the Amir-ul-Momineen. In Pakistan, Mullah Fazlullah is leading us and he has all the qualities to lead the Pakistani nation.

According to reports, the Taliban have issued a list of demands, including the release of prisoners, to further the peace process. Are these accurate?

We do not disagree with the demands being attributed to us in the media. However, we have issued no such information to the media. Our clear position has been communicated to the government through the [non-Taliban] committee.

Do you fear a full-scale military operation in the tribal areas if the talks fail?

We want the peace talks to succeed. Previous rounds failed because of the government’s nonseriousness and foreign pressure. If these talks fail, the government will obviously try to launch a military operation. But we have been tested before and passed such phases with success dozens of times. Another military operation cannot harm the Tehreek-e-Taliban. Our network has only expanded economically, militarily and politically.

But the Taliban did suffer defeat in Swat?

You are defeated only if your system is completely eradicated. You can lose land and be considered defeated or you can lose your capability to fight for Shariah and be considered defeated. Losing land does not matter to us. The military operation in Swat strengthened the Taliban; the entire Tehreek-e-Taliban is now in the hands of the Swat Taliban. So the military operation flopped badly.

Despite the talks there’s been no end to terrorist activities.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban has distanced itself from these recent incidents, which were not carried out by us. The basic purpose of the dialogue is to end the war. Neither side has offered a ceasefire yet. We are ready for a ceasefire, but since this war was imposed on us, the government should announce the ceasefire first.

There is confusion and disagreement over whose Shariah will be acceptable since there are so many sects among Pakistan’s Muslims.

We are Muslims and every Muslim is passionate about Shariah. The majority of Pakistanis are Sunni Hanfis—theirs is the best system and no one should oppose it. Non-Muslims also need not fear the Shariah as Islam protects their rights.

What is the on-ground situation in North Waziristan following the targeted airstrikes by the Pakistani military?

North Waziristan is the land of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, but our men also go through that territory sometimes. The airstrikes killed innocent people; our losses were negligible. The military targeted only women and children, and mosques and bazaars. They claimed the deaths of Adnan Rasheed, Asmatullah Shaheen, Commander Wali Muhammad, and Commander Hafiz Saeed Khan in Khyber agency, but all of them are alive.

What do you think of Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah’s statement that 174 areas of the Punjab have been identified for military operations?

He can conduct any kind of military operation he likes. They are already conducting raids in Karachi, arresting and killing innocent people and our friends in the name of fighting the Taliban. This is part of their psychological war. We see Rana Sanaullah’s statement as a threat against the madrassahs imparting education in Punjab.

Is the government paying adequate attention to law and order?

If you start from Benazir Bhutto’s first term as prime minister and see the Surrey Palace scandal, the polo ground case, the Swiss case, privatization, the National Reconciliation Ordinance, you will see what every regime has been up to. This system of governance is the root of all evil; it has imposed these people on us. People’s honor is not safe: 5-year-old girls are being raped and killed and their predators are roaming around with impunity. Corruption is the result of this system. Once we get rid of the system, God willing, such problems will go away.

How far and wide is your organization spread?

We have carried out big attacks everywhere, from the tribal areas to Karachi. Our most effective activities have been in Punjab and Sindh. Whether it is GHQ or Kamra or PNS Mehran or foreigners in the Northern Areas, we have influence all over the country. If the talks fail and an operation is launched, we will have no regrets about what happens next.

How do you view the killings of polio vaccinators?

No comment. But I will say that the Taliban have never accepted responsibility for these attacks. You cannot ignore the conspiracies being hatched in the disguise of polio vaccinations.

Do you have any funding support from abroad?

We are an Islamic militant organization, so we have the sympathies of Muslims everywhere. People ask where we get weaponry from. I want to make it clear that in the tribal areas everyone carries a weapon. The heavy weapons we have were snatched from government forces.

How do you see the Musharraf treason case?

The justice system of Pakistan has no importance to us. Musharraf was a cruel dictator. He helped the U.S. attack Afghanistan, he provided logistics to the Americans, and he started a war inside Pakistan to make them happy. Another crime of Musharraf is the operation against Lal Masjid. Musharraf is responsible for all the trouble in Pakistan and his successors did wrong to continue his policies. We have no interest in his trial for treason. If Allah gives us the opportunity, we will punish him under the Shariah for his real crimes.

Former Army chief Ashfaq Kayani is reportedly facing security threats and former ISI chief Shuja Pasha has moved to Dubai. Are these threats emanating from the Taliban?

Our war is not restricted to Kayani or Pasha. Our frontline enemy is the Pakistan Army and its main characters. So if we get an opportunity to target, we will attack.

What is your opinion of Aitzaz Hasan, the young boy killed in Hangu?

The Malala and Aitzaz types of people are not the heroes of Muslims. Aitzaz was not attacked by our organization; he was attacked by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He was not a hero. Why are the innocent women and children being killed by security forces not regarded as heroes? Why are their innocent families not being given compensation? The government is trying to boost their own morale by creating false heroes like Aitzaz and Malala.

How do you identify your targets?

We target those who are actually confronting us and who are opposing Shariah. But mainly our focus is the Army and intelligence agencies—they are the custodians of this system and they are our main targets. The others—whether they are politicians, journalists, or representatives of any segment of society—we examine how they are becoming obstacles for us and then nominate them as enemies.

Some reports indicate that the prime minister’s daughter Maryam is a target. Is this true?

There is no formal statement in this regard, but since she is part of the system, she may be targeted by some other organization. She is not on our hit list. So we can neither deny nor confirm this report. As far as it is possible, we take great care not to target women or children. Malala was made into a symbol so we were compelled to attack her.

Do the peace talks symbolize a victory for the Taliban?

We are a force. Everyone knows our power. If this had been accepted sooner, there would not have been so much bloodshed. The government has now accepted our reality; this is our victory.

Veena Malik has announced she will be a better Muslim. She has also renounced show business. How do you view this development and was there any truth to reports that she had faced threats from the Taliban?

The gates of mercy are open for everyone. If she has really distanced herself from show business then she is an example for all those women who still expose their bodies. I don’t think she was ever any hurdle to us.

The government is holding dialogue with you, but there are dozens of other militant organizations operating in Pakistan. If a deal is reached, will these organizations also abide by the same terms and conditions?

There are not so many groups. The biggest is the Tehreek-e-Taliban. Other groups waging jihad in Pakistan will respect our decisions and follow our accords.

Will the Pakistani Taliban distance itself from foreign fighters?

They are our Muslim brothers living here with their women and children. They are not directly wanted by the Pakistani government, but some foreign governments are pressurizing the Pakistani government to hand them over. Mullah Omar gave away the whole of Afghanistan but did not hand over Osama bin Laden. We cannot conceive handing over our brothers for the sake of a few facilities. They are part of us, and they will obey the accords we sign.

*This question was earlier published as, ‘Who would be the Amir-ul-Momineen if and when Shariah is imposed?’ The correction has been made on the basis of the Pakistani Taliban’s request.

Related Articles


Tasleem February 11, 2014 - 3:54 pm

So peace talks mean they win, we lose.

Osama February 11, 2014 - 8:13 pm

Sometimes its better to loose and be the winner.

Anfal Haider February 14, 2014 - 2:36 am

Its neither your father’s property nor TTP’s… Tomorrow when other will take guns in hands then we will see , who is winner and what is victory..Losers :X

Bride 2 Wife February 11, 2014 - 4:32 pm

I think it was extremely cheap about the journalist questioning the man about Veena Malik. The country is burning and all he can think about is some masala to add a star to the interview.

NokeJoke February 12, 2014 - 6:14 am

exactly. a question about Veena was just to add some spice

Neelam February 11, 2014 - 6:00 pm

There are all losers, as the enemy was so clever he made Muslims Kill Muslims……..and sad they still don’t understand this, their stupid pride covers their eyes.

maryam February 11, 2014 - 7:06 pm

the journalist could have done some better and important questions..

Fazul February 11, 2014 - 7:52 pm

Like ask about Imran Khan?

paralysisofanalysis11 February 11, 2014 - 7:10 pm

As an indian I am so happy today. That arrogant and evil Jinnah spurned all offers of United India with disdain calling Hindus all sorts of names. Now pakis are going to face their true destiny. Enjoy pakis while Taliban take over all your towns and cities and enforce their law which will include public be headings of PAK army men who sold them for cheap to US as well as your elite who funded terrorism in Afghanistan and India while enjoying and looting from their comfortable homes.

anonymous February 12, 2014 - 2:53 pm

U illetrate people dnt understand the bias of interview. They are now terrified with millitary operations so these meaningless peace talks get hue frm them. And by the way if they will control the whole country ur own country would be on stake. Dnt forget they will control upti Tamil Nadu.

paralysisofanalysis11 February 12, 2014 - 5:01 pm

babe indian army is there and whole indian nation of i.5billion is ready to protect our motherland. As for taliban, i still think they are primarily a pashtun force and pashtuns in general are neutral abt indo-pak issues as they regard all punjabis/sindhis and indians of the same stock. Taliban’s real aim is to create a caliphate stretching upto morocco from pakistan armed with nukes so actually a taliban controlled pak would be quite at peace with india. The only countries that should worry is US and pakistan army/ISI who collectively destroyed the pashtun race over last 2 decades.

nyer February 13, 2014 - 9:02 am

You piss drinking Indians go back to raping girls in your country. Jinnah was the greatest leader and not an ass kisser like gandhi or an adulterer like Nehru.

paralysisofanalysis11 February 13, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Rassi jal gayi par bal nah in Gaya. What else can describe paki attitude. Anyways Jinnah talk is irrelevant now. Fazllulah is Ur new father of nation pakis.

Umer Sadiq February 13, 2014 - 2:20 pm

O fool…….You dont know that If this peace talks are successful….And Insha Allah will be ….then you (INDIANS) will have nothing to hide behind Taliban activities and mind it ……Faith is stronger than Money :’_-)

abdul February 15, 2014 - 12:37 pm

As an indian u should realize that firstly no body here cares about ur opinion. Secondly your over populated disco nation cant even take kashmir back, a country that doesnt even have an army, just a few of us muslims unbuckling the indian army’s belt from time to time. Thirdly, realize who ruled india before the british, muslims, even though we were a minority in hindustan, Hindus have never been even average fighters, or leaders, u are mice amongst men, sometimes inventing zero or giving blood to watch a movie. There is cause behind our blood, beware we will return and take india from you once again.
P.S there r more muslims in india than in pakistan

Taha February 11, 2014 - 8:14 pm

Pakistan follows a law and we do not need foriegn fighters fighting for a supposed sharia law on our soil, they should go back and change the way of their land first. As for the Taliban, if they were an authentic force they would have gone about this democratically and not by force.

Zephyrhaq February 11, 2014 - 9:16 pm

I am sure Pakistan Army is wide awake and will react if Nawaz Govt. tries to handover tribal area of Pakistan to Talibans to form their type of sharia there or accept Talibanization of Pakistan.

Mir Khan February 11, 2014 - 10:45 pm

the words talks is a good word and taliban have fought for many years they also need their friends to solve many issues its not easy to keep sacrificing for so long.pakistan is being crunched by economy and blamed by west for aiding usama ladin and alqaida.its voilated by drones and need to solve its security issues to provide relief to its masses from uncertanity .its army is overstreched and losing popular support.talks are good for all the parties involved at least this side of the sea.

Neelam February 11, 2014 - 11:47 pm

The army is more popular than ever before,actually I think the Govt has lost total respect and support, these Taliban should be contained in their mountain homes and live which ever way they want. We should have a bigger army and pay them, instead of paying compensation for the hundreds killed in suicide bombings.

Abid Habib February 11, 2014 - 11:21 pm

God Almighty. From my cradle I was taught about how merciful and Benevolent You are.
The whole world lift bows down and worships you and call you in many a different names.
Though I am a weak personI have always strived to love you and also love everything you have created especially my fellow human being. Neither have I harmed anyone nor have I thought evil for anybody.
But Why is it Lord that people are up in arms and are ready to kill one another in Your name.
Tell me Lord God, do You like all this blood shed. Are You asking the people to kill people especially of their kind. are You happy when people are killed in Your Holy name especially when they were worshiping you in different places of worship. Are You happy when women and children are punished for no rhyme or reason. Life is so insecure for all of us that we are not sure if we will return safely to our near and dear ones. I am not the only one who is worried. Every peaceful person is concerned.
Therefore tell us Lord what You want us to do to make this place a better place to live in. I ask this in Your Holy Name. AMEN

Dr. Nayyar Hashmey February 12, 2014 - 12:06 am

What these Taliban guys are saying, is far from facts. Implementation of Shariah through barrel of the gun cannot be forced upon either the people or the Government of Pakistan. But this said, doesn’t mean we should not negotiate with these TTP walas. Solving issues through the use of sheer force may not necessarily solve our problems, whether in AFG, FATA, Balochistan or elsewhere. Negotiations are the best course.
Whereas I do not concur with what Taliban spokesman has said in this interview, I wish and pray that there is some negotiated settlement to the issue of terrorism in Pakistan so that killing of Muslims by Muslims in our country is stopped for once and all.

Tilsim February 12, 2014 - 12:44 am

I think there demands are non negotiable. They may only give you a grace period. If your bottom line is peace at all costs then you have surrendered. If that is what you want then please don’t couch it as something noble. It is n’t.

Muaaz February 12, 2014 - 12:22 am

Get on with the military operation already! Aitizaz wasn’t a hero? These idiots are too far gone for any help!

Mahir February 12, 2014 - 3:04 am

Isske maaa kaa phudda !!!!

bkhan February 12, 2014 - 8:37 am

great people with a marvelous mind set and resolve….may ALLAH help and support them all the way….as for those who say we have a constitution and laws,kindly also shed some light on the fact which constitution are we talking about?

the one which the army breaks everyday and pays no attention to,the one which is stepped on by people like musharaf,nawaz shariff,kayani or zardari or the one which is only applied on the most ordinary and powerless people of pakistan.

the constitution may be a good document,but remember its only a document.it has never been applied and hence useless.

and i also believe the time of army is near, its nearing its natural death.

Mobasher February 12, 2014 - 9:41 am

it is weird to see how very small group of militants, whose ideology, majority of us not buying but still they are winning by using guns / bombs. May be its a time to get rid of all these elements along with leaders who are creating confusion or defending them just for the sake of their politics and survival.

Hamza February 12, 2014 - 10:55 am

“Mullah Omar gave away the whole of Afghanistan but did not hand over Osama bin Laden.”

So basically your principle is that you can handover whole country, women and children just to save one brother. Excellent.

kamilbabablog February 12, 2014 - 7:46 pm

journalist could ask some better question in place of veena malik’s and similarly foolish questions.

farrukh February 13, 2014 - 2:52 am

After United States marines marines entered the house of OBL they found idols of LAT and MANAT in the house. These Taliban worship idols and beleive that they are GODS.This talk of sharea is all smokescreen.

abc June 11, 2014 - 12:34 am

When did you see the dream brother?

Think as Muslim February 13, 2014 - 5:10 am

The problem is that people are not understanding Taliban. They have point and whoever thinks he is Muslim i believe he will easily adjust. It’s good for us that our government will not offer us vulgarity. And beheading happens in different countries. Like Saudia Arabia and China etc. Being Muslim now we should move forward and liberate other Muslim lands. Things will be more clearer when this system collapse sooner or later. I have read Hadith related to them. I believe day of judgement is very near

Rashida masood February 19, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Which country would you like to liberate first ..Australia, Norway , maybe Japan? Are you ok?

Leila February 13, 2014 - 11:30 am

I always thought of Pakistan Army as a powerful and fearless entity ready to die for Pakistan. But now it has been proven that Pak Army is a sparrow-hearted weakling that runs away from every fight. All these years they were pampered and overfed to become a fat bank and business loving institution, incapable of even standing up to half literate 11th century bandits. What is the use of having such an Army and spending trillions of Rupees on them every year? I say, disband them and get on with forming local vigilantes for protection of cities, villages and communities. Mexicans are already doing this. And they are successful.

Mohammad Ajmal Khan February 14, 2014 - 6:59 am


Saleem February 14, 2014 - 11:19 pm

Oh look you’re (newsweekpk) talking to the Taliban, so now we must call you the mouthpiece of Taliban!

Rashida masood February 19, 2014 - 1:55 am


Indian February 15, 2014 - 12:11 am

fuking pakis , if you let sharia get imposed then rest assured your next generation will be all true blue talibs who certainly will go on to wage a nuclear jihad.
You created taliban , its your responsibility to wipe it out.

Rashida masood February 19, 2014 - 1:53 am

R u so sure Indian government has clean hands? Do not abuse Pakistanis ,idiot!

Talat Rahim February 20, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Rashida masood, I completely disagree with you. It’s a case of pot calling kettle black. And I feel you are being unnecessarily abusive about our sister country. One can debate a point without getting personal, don’t you agree?

Talat Rahim February 21, 2014 - 11:51 am

Rashida masood, why do you need to get personally abusive with our Indian brothers? It is perfectly possible to engage in debate without using derogatory language, don’t you agree? You only make yourself sound stupid without scoring any points!

Neelam February 21, 2014 - 3:11 pm

How can you be so naive about thinking Indians can ever be your brother, a wise man learns from history, if Indians were so brother like nobody would have dreamt of Pakistan.

bq45Bashy Quraishy February 16, 2014 - 3:35 am

Dear Newsweek-Pakistan
It is the first time, I have seen your Online Magazine and honestly, the article
“The Caliphate Cometh” By Nazar Ul Islam – Feb 11 2014 is so amateurish and misleading that I wonder, how it came to be published. The questions are very populist, without any logic and the whole weight of the article is to present a representative of few thousand savages and thugs, named Taliban as heroes who are fighting for a good cause.
Any magazine with integrity, purpose and professionalism would not give time of the day to such murders and violent people who have nothing to do with Islam and are the pawn of self interests and foreign powers.
Newsweek seems to think that such yellow journalism would help the sales but it damages the cause of peace in Pakistan.

Rashida masood February 19, 2014 - 1:50 am

Why do you expect any more from Newsweek?

Bashy Quraishy February 20, 2014 - 1:42 pm

Rashida, I donot know if this is a Pakistani version of Newsweek international or not but western media normally interviews people in a more professional manner. It is the first time, I have seen this magazine.

Mohammad Ajmal Khan February 16, 2014 - 10:09 pm


malik khan February 17, 2014 - 1:32 am

simple to understand the basic problem.usa was fighting talbaans,for right or wrong reasons.and when it was confirmed that some non govt pakistani guys were supporting and providing shelter to talbaans,usa asked pakistan govt(musharaf) to go after em.musharaf played a double game(duckin and dodging).over a period of years usa was made to pay for an action which was delayed giving different excuses.so it was planed at the highest level to pay back pakistan with pak talbaans.in other words ,now usa is playing double game by claiming to be friends of pakistan ,while supporting and providing shelter to cheif of TTP mullah fazalullah .SO DEAL WITH USA,RATHER THAN TTP.and if for some reason ,yankies dont oblige,then ask chinese friends to deal with the problem.a defence deal with china will be a good enuff signal for NATO to back off

Talat Rahim February 20, 2014 - 5:25 pm

I am sick and tired of hearing all rubbish about how the Taliban are against women. That is not at all true, they enjoy sex as much as anybody else, just that they preferred to do it with veiled women to add more spice. If Veena Malik had the good sense to veil her charms she could have sex with them too….


Leave a Comment