ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Deoband Ulema in Pakistan

While I agree with S Akbar Zaidi that Pakistan is increasingly influenced more by the west than by a south Asian identity (EPW, 9 May), Indian Islamic schools like the Deoband and Barelvi are not altogether absent of influence. Recently when the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) associated with the Deoband issued a fatwa that terrorism is un-Islamic, the Pakistani government requested it to issue a similar fatwa for their followers in Pakistan. The Jamiat refused to do so as it was an Indian organisation.

Again, militants from Pakistan who hijacked an Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu first visited Dara-ul-Uloom at Deoband and paid their obeisance there before embarking on their mission in 1999. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a prominent leader of NWFP, is one of the alumni of the Deoband. In the mid-1990s he hosted the 125th anniversary of the Deoband institute (Dara-ul-Uloom) at Peshawar when Ulema from India and some from the Pushtoon area of Afghanistan were also invited and the head of Deoband was the chief guest.

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