US presence will fuel violence across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region: Liaghat Ali Khan
A political analyst tells Press TV that it seems that the US presence will trigger more violence and killings across the war-torn Afghanistan.
The comments came after a controversial Pakistani preacher caused a commotion in Afghanistan after endorsing suicide attacks in that country. Molana Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi said suicide attacks are permitted in Afghanistan as long as US forces remain there but he has remained silent on attacks against US troop presence in other Muslim countries.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Liaghat Ali Khan, professor at Washburn University, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Professor, first of all, this preacher has permitted suicide attacks in Afghanistan. Why only Afghanistan and not other Muslim countries who host US forces?
Well I do not know what kind of analysis this particular cleric went through but I do want to say that Islamic law develops through free market of opinions. The jurists all over in the Islamic world are free to give their opinions and people are at liberty to follow them or not.
So a jurist in Pakistan can give a fatwa for a situation anywhere in the Muslim world. So that is probably okay. But whether their fatwa should be followed or not is a different question.
And of course what impact would this ruling have on the overall security situation of both Pakistan and Afghanistan?
Well I think this preacher is pretty influential and the council of scholars that he leads is also very influential and it seems like the Taliban on both sides of the border, they agree with the preacher.
So it seems like they do not...in their fight against the US.
And of course the main question at the end of the day is that who will benefit from this ruling, the fatwa?
I do not think anybody is going to benefit, it seems like there will be more killing because this fatwa justifies suicide bombing. So it seems like the violence will escalate, at least it will not diminish it until Afghanistan is free of occupation.
So I do not think anybody is going to benefit from it.
At the end of the day we see that the casualties are only civilians?
Yes I mean that is the most unfortunate part of this war that both from the Taliban side as well as from the occupying forces side, violence is committed against the civilians and a lot of innocent children and women and old people have been killed because they are just caught in the cross fire.
So that is the unfortunate part of this war.
And how much of an impact would this have on this recent sectarian strife that took place in Pakistan, the attacks against the Shia community?
I think once you allow suicide bombing and there is some legitimacy to it, then people began to use it for even indefensible causes.
It is one thing to have suicide bombing in an occupation situation where you do not have much weapons to fight the enemy and it is quite another thing that you begin to have suicide bombing against other Muslim groups or Muslim sects. I think that is the unfortunate part of legitimizing suicide bombing as a weapon.
Because many say that the United States might take advantage of this to justify its presence in these war-torn countries?
I do not think so because suicide bombing is not new. So I think the United States is very familiar with the fact that the Taliban and other resistance groups would use suicide bombing as one of the weapons against them.
So I am not sure suicide bombing is a factor in the US decision to stay in Afghanistan any longer.