The Pakistani Taliban, in a video posted on Vimeo four days ago, has leaped to the defense of Syed Munawar Hasan, chief of the politico-religious Jamaat-e-Islami party who faced widespread condemnation for declaring Hakimullah Mehsud a “martyr.”
Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in federally-administered North Waziristan tribal agency on Nov. 1. Hasan’s beatification of the brutal mass murderer shocked many, and earned him an unprecedented rebuke from Pakistan’s Army.
Shahidullah Shahid, the lead spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, says in the video that Pakistan’s media must refrain from attacking Hasan, whose controversial statement was, he claims, “in line with the teachings of Islam.” Shahid also warns the media not to deny Mehsud the martyrdom honorific.
Believing that he’s supporting the point, Shahid cites cricket as an example: “To continuously claim that Hasan is wrong is akin to someone telling the media that praising a player like [India’s] Sachin Tendulkar, who might be great, is against nationalism.” He adds: “It would be like saying that no matter that [Pakistan captain] Misbah-ul-Haq is a substandard player, but the Pakistani media should praise him because he is a Pakistani.”