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Said Nazir Afridi
 
 
Monday, March 28, 2011
From Print Edition
 
 

 

BARA: The security forces arrested the founder of banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) Mufti Munir Shakir in Sadda tehsil of Kurram Agency, official sources said on Sunday.

 

The sources said the security forces arrested him during a checking at a checkpost in lower Kurram Agency and shifted him to an unidentified location for an investigation.

 

Haji Namdar, head of Amr Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkar, or promotion of virtue and prohibition vice organisation, hired the services of Mufti Munir Shakir, a firebrand religious scholar, as on-air preacher in Qambarkhel area of Bara in 2003. Later, he developed differences with Namdar and shifted to Malikdinkhel area of Bara where he launched an illegal FM radio with the support of the local tribe.

 

Before coming to Bara, Mufti Munir Shakir, a resident of Karboogha Sharif in Hangu

 

district, was expelled by political administration from a maddrassa in Kurram tribal region due to his extreme views against a particular sect.

 

Follower of strict Deobandi form of Islam, Mufti Shakir attracted a large number of people to learn the basics of Islam in Bara and created intolerance against Afghan national Pir Saif-ur-Rehman, belonging to Barelvi school of thought, through his broadcasts.

 

Pir Saif also launched his own radio to counter the propaganda of Mufti Shakir, which led to sectarian conflict in the area. In a bloody clash between the two groups around 20 followers of Pir Saif were killed and dozens other were injured in Sordhand area of Bara by the end of 2005.

 

Finally Shakir organised his supporters and laid the foundation for Lashakr-e-Islam in January 2006. The prevailing sectarian tension in the area, political administration expelled Pir Saif

 

and Mufti Shakir, the two non-local clerics, from the area in February and March 2006, respectively.

 

Following the expulsion of Mufti Shakir, Mangal Bagh became the leader of LI and pursued the extreme views of their teacher, which forced the residents of Maidan in Tirah valley to form Ansarul Islam under cleric Qazi Mehboobul Haq who advocates moderate form of Islam.

 

Hundreds of people had been killed and as many injured in clashes between the two groups over the ritual differences and lust for power. Mufti Shakir was arrested by security agencies at the Karachi Airport when he was ready to leave Pakistan in May 2006. He was released on August 20, 2007.

 

He tried to come back to Bara and lead the LI but Mangal Bagh, who had gained enough power at the time, refused his entry into the area against the wishes of a large number of Bara residents.

 

The sources said that in early 2008, Mufti Shakir shifted to his hometown Karboogha in Hangu district and remained there till his capture by security forces. However, some sources said that he had joined the Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan and remained in Orakzai and Kurram agencies.