Fazlur Rehman targeted

Even though terror attacks in Pakistan have become routine, their shock remains a fact of life. The latest attacks, though, have reached new heights. The target of two attacks in less than 24 hours is none other than the ‘father’ of hardline and militant Islam in Pakistan: Maulana Fazlur Rehman. On Wednesday, the convoy of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) was ripped through by a suicide bomber on the Peshawar-Islamabad motorway near Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The JUI-F leader got away unharmed but 13 died and 21 were injured. Yesterday, this same convoy — which was on a contact drive — was targeted by another suicide bomber in Charsadda, killing another 12 people. Again Fazlur Rehman survived the attack but he has now been made painfully aware of the fact that someone has it in for him.

At first glance, it seems quite inconceivable that the militants would target a leader and his party whose ideas are congruous with those of the terrorists. Maulana Fazlur Rehman has always supported the ideology and cause of the militants who have been attacking Pakistan’s security establishment, minorities, shrines and people of liberal views. However, it is slowly becoming apparent that the extremists are a breed apart, one that is now beginning to turn on its benefactors of yesteryear. Colonel Imam, who was at one time known as the ‘godfather of the Taliban’, was brutally executed some time ago by the same militants he had helped nurture in the 1990s. Now, it seems as if the Maulana is in their crosshairs.

It is the classic case of the rebellious child turning on its ‘parents’. The latter too are beginning to realise that the monsters they have nurtured are now challenging the writ of the Pakistan state instead of confining themselves to the struggle in Afghanistan. The child of militancy belongs to no one and will continue to bite the hand that once fed it if concrete action is not taken to wipe it out. These two assassination attempts on JUI-F’s chief — even a hardliner like Fazl might be considered too soft by the militants — are proof that the terrorists are now turning on their masters; it is up to the fathers and godfathers to obliterate the Frankenstein monsters they have created. – Dailytimes