https://pakistan.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_pf/features/2020/04/08/feature-01
Terrorism |

Outspoken TTP critic vows to continue fight after recovery from bombing

By Hanif Ullah

Maulana Guldad Khan, a tribal elder from Bajaur tribal district and a strong opponent of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is addressing a gathering in Bajaur District January 2019. Guldad was injured in a bomb attack in June 2019 and has recovered from his injuries. [Hanif Ullah]

KHAR -- Maulana Guldad Khan, an outspoken opponent of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is still speaking out against the militants after recovering from injuries sustained in a bombing last year.

Khan, 65, was wounded alongside five others last June in a bombing near his residence in Nawagai, Bajaur District. One of his bodyguards, Fazal Hadi, later succumbed to his injuries.

Khan is one of the few religious leaders in the newly merged tribal districts who have long opposed the militants as well as supported polio vaccinations.

"I always called them Tehreek-e-Zaliman [brutal people] instead of Tehreek-e-Taliban and will continue my struggle despite attacks from them," Khan said April 2.

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Maulana Guldad Khan poses with his sword March 29. [Hanif Ullah]

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Maulana Guldad Khan (sitting) prays with others after the inauguration of a polio vaccination campaign in the Nawagai area on January 28. [Hanif Ullah] 

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A reporter photographs a vehicle that militants destroyed in Bajaur District last June 17 when they targeted Maulana Guldad Khan. He survived. [Hanif Ullah]

"I have challenged the TTP to a debate to prove that they are wrong and are killing innocent people in the name of Islam," he said. "Their perceptions are wrong about Islam, and I can prove that if they are ready for a debate anywhere in Pakistan."

Khan became well known in December 2007 after the killing of a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier at the hands of the TTP in Nawagai.

Even though the TTP threatened anyone who handled the soldier's body, Khan retrieved the remains and returned them to security forces.

Since then, militants have targeted Khan, his family and his allies 17 times. The attacks have killed nine people, including five of Khan's family members, and wounded 22 others.

Among the dead is Amin Ullah Khalid, one of Khan's sons, who was killed in a bombing in May 2015.

Khan himself was wounded twice, the first time in March 2009 when militants attacked his village and home.

"I call them Tehreek-e-Zaliman as they are killers of the innocent and of security forces, and because they fool the innocent in the name of Islam," said Khan.

"I will continue my mission despite attacks from militants, and I will raise my voice against the TTP until the last drop of my blood," Khan said.

"I will stay in Bajaur and will continue my fight while I am alive, he added.

A key role in peace

"Guldad has played a vital role in the restoration of peace, and he has always supported the security forces in the restoration of peace in the region, as no one was ready to help security forces in the era of militancy," said Sheikh Jehanzada, a local elder of Bajaur.

"The state should give him the presidential award for his and his comrades' sacrifices for peace," Jehanzada said.

"We want peace in our land as conflict has had a very bad impact on our society and life," he said.

Khan provided support to Pakistani security forces during a time when the TTP was on the rise and no one was ready to raise his or her voice against the militants, said Malik Zahir, a local elder of the Nawagai area in Bajaur District.

"Because of his strong support for the security forces, many of his friends and family members were targeted," he said.

"Guldad Khan is the only religious leader of tribal districts who challenged the TTP for a debate and the only leader who calls them Tehreek-e-Zaliman," Zahir added.

Khan fully supported the counter-insurgency Operation Sherdil against the TTP in 2009-2010 in Bajaur by speaking on FM radio channel Aman Radio to inform listeners about the negative impacts of the TTP, according to Zahir.

"Guldad Khan's speeches paved the way for security forces... [who] easily beat the TTP after Guldad's support," he said.

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Guldad Khan is legend and we are proud of him.

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Maulana Guldad Khan’s services are priceless. Maulana Guldad Khan stood with the government in a difficult time and openly challenged TTP. The government should cherish Maulana Guldad Khan with the presidential award and other awards.

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Maulana Gul Dad Khan is indeed a fearless and astucious personality; he is ready to take any risk. Though he was initially a part of TTP and was very famous for his enthusiastic speeches those days. He talks with the same open and overbearing style today as he used to talk earlier. Gul Dad Khan was the first scholar and virtuous personality in TTP, who sensed in just two years that the agenda of the movement is against the country and Islam. Maulana separated his path from the movement right after sensing the fact and he not just became a silent audience by separating himself from the movement but he rather openly and solely challenged the most powerful and armed movement like a man of steel which, in those days, was an act of utmost bravery and of putting one’s life at risk; however, despite being targeted several times, and loss of lives of several relatives for being his favorers , accustomed with dangers, this personality never gave up and he has still been standing like a wall of steel. Call of justice is hence to declare Maulana Gul Dad Khan the hero of tribal belt and award him with presidential award.

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Yes Guldad Khan is hero of Bajaur & Merged Districts. The State should give him presidential award for his volunteer services against terrorism

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Heroes should be acknowledged

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