Posts Tagged ‘Islamabad’

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Seminary officials serve as Taliban henchmen

May 20, 2014

Islamic seminary administrators in Islamabad, Pakistan, get their marching orders from Taliban elements 270 miles away in Miranshah along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The Deobandi faculty are assisting the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in issuing extortion demands and negotiating ransom payments from businessmen and politicians. The TTP-seminary connection was exposed in a joint report from Islamabad and Rawalpindi police last month with the latest revelations coming from an analysis of phone calls between the TTP and the Islamabad seminaries.

Keep in mind that the men serving as the Taliban’s intermediaries are the same men who are “educating” the next generation of imams in Pakistan’s capital. Ponder for a moment how that bodes for the future.

Thanks to Watcherone for sending this in from the newspaper Dawn on May 1:

ISLAMABAD: Seminaries operating inside the capital are reportedly assisting Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the collection of extortion and ransom money by arranging deals between militants and their victims, sources in civil and military intelligence agencies said. In addition, the seminaries are also providing courier services to the TTP by arranging for the money to be transported to pre-determined locations easily accessible for TTP personnel, sources said.

Intelligence officials said that an analysis of the calls made in cases of extortion and ransom demands revealed that most of them came from Miranshah in North Waziristan.

Officials cited the case of retired Lt-Gen Dr Mehmoodul Hasan, who in 2013 received a call from a man named Latif, who introduced him as the second-in-command to Hakimullah Mehsud and demanded Rs50 million in extortion money.

Following the demand, an administrator from an Islamabad-based seminary acted as the mediator and finalised their deal at Rs10 million. The man also sent two persons to collect the money from Lt-Gen Hasan.

“Then, nearly a month ago, a man named Ashfaq called Lt-Gen Hasan again, demanding a further Rs50 million within 10 days,” the officials said, adding that this was followed by another call from someone who identified himself as a leader of the Taliban and asked the general to ensure they got their money within 72 hours.

“The same man who brokered the first agreement was used to negotiate the price,” the officials said.

Moreover, two industrialists from Faizabad and a politician have been receiving calls for extortion since a year, the officials said, adding that they refused to pay the amount and also denied meetings with those who approached them for finalising the deal. In response, the miscreants affiliated with Qari Sanaullah, allies of Qari Mansoor affiliated with TTP based in Miranshah, are planning to target them, they added.

The officials said that the role of the religious seminaries in collecting extortion for the TTP was established and action against them has been suggested…

“…has been suggested”? Yeah, thanks Pakistan. Good “suggestion.” The Taliban’s next victims will surely appreciate that action against them was “suggested” by somebody.

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Pakistan: Beggars belong “behind bars”

August 18, 2011

Take note, dear readers, of the marvelous social justice of Islam.  The Pakistan Observer is calling for professional beggars in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to be imprisoned.  Meanwhile, Western newspapers tell us that Ramadan is a time of “peace and generosity.”  OK, enjoy Ramadan in jail, beggars!

The Observer also editorializes that the “growing number of beggars, in fact, makes mockery of schemes like Zakat and Ushr system, Pakistan Baitul Maal, Benazir Income Support Programme and Waseela-e-Haq.”  At least that part is a true statement.  With as many purported welfare and zakat programs as Pakistan operates, both officially run by the government and informally conducted by “charitable” organizations, one would expect fewer, not more beggars.

But as we’ve noted before, more zakat = more poverty.

Menace of beggary

A latest report has brought into sharp focus the menace of beggary in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi especially in the context of the holy month of Ramazan, as professional beggars are swarming every nook and corner of the two cities but the police and administration are least bothered to take any action against them.

The report points out that the situation has become so much worrisome that attractive business locations are covertly auctioned allegedly by corrupt elements in police and other concerned departments for large sums of money called ‘Bhatta’ (extortion). Their activities at road-crossings have also become a hazard for smooth flow of traffic and sometime lead to mess and even fatal accidents. Though the report speaks about the twin cities but similar scenes are also common in other towns and cities where professional beggars have made lives of the people miserable. There are also reports that some of these professional beggars are also part of the networks of thieves and dacoits as they gather information about possible victims and targets and either pass on to these networks or indulge in criminal activities themselves. There are two aspects of the problems of beggary — professionals whose only mission is to mint money and many of them earn more than hardworking businessmen; and those who are forced to beg because of abysmal poverty and lack of economic or employment opportunities. As for the first category, the authorities should show no flexibility and send them behind the bars while data of others should be collected and necessary financial assistance provided to them to start their own businesses or receive cash assistance in cases where no family member of the beggar is in a position to do any business. Growing number of beggars, in fact, makes mockery of schemes like Zakat and Ushr system, Pakistan Baitul Maal, Benazir Income Support Programme and Waseela-e-Haq.

See Money Jihad‘s prior coverage here of Karachi’s anti-beggar crackdown.