Saruman of Jihad, RIP

Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, the head of the Binori Town madrassa was shot dead by unknown gunmen on Sunday, sparking riots all over Karachi.

The Binori madrassa has been at the centre of the international jihadi culture – with Osama bin Laden and other jihadi leaders reputed to have taken shelter there at one time or the other.

Mufti Shamzai’s killing has put Pakistan’s sectarian situation in general, and that of Karachi city in an ever more inflammable condition. It is understood that this assassination comes as a revenge attack after Sunni suicide-bombers killed 18 worshippers at a Shia mosque earlier this month.

The Hammurabi Code

Last year, massacres occurred in quick succession in Quetta and Karachi, targeting the Shias. When the government as usual was unable to apprehend the culprits, the killers struck in Islamabad and shot dead Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the banned-for-terrorism Sipah Sahaba, along with his official bodyguards. [Daily Times]

Reality Check

The failure of Musharraf’s government to apprehend and punish perpetrators of sectarian attacks stands out. While Musharraf has been vocal in his opposition to extremism and sectarianism, he has little to show for all the time he has been in power. That raises the question which Bush and Blair need to ask themselves – if the good General is unable or unwilling to stamp down on his own internal terrorists in spite of the country being under a dictatorship, how able or willing will he be to capture international terrorists like Bin Laden and Zawahiri.