July 12, 2021
By Ahmed Saeed
Peshawar Police have arrested two men including a cleric for waving the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, commonly known as the Afghan Taliban, during a funeral procession. The cleric, identified as one Maroof Jaan, has been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The police sprang into action when people started questioning the role of law enforcement agencies when a video of the incident went viral on social media.
The funeral was of a Pakistani militant who was fighting alongside the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan. The body of the killed militant was received from across the Torkham border.
Funeral-goers were heard chanting slogans in favour of the Afghan Taliban in the video. The police have also sealed Jaan’s seminary and are trying to arrest all those seen chanting the slogans in the video.
This is the first time that the authorities have taken action against individuals for waving flags of the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan which are a common sight in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially the former-FATA region.
Local sources have told Voicepk.net that these kinds of pro-Afghan Taliban rallies are common, and no action had hitherto been taken against this practice.
As the Afghan conflict continues to intensify amidst the US withdrawal, the corpses of Pakistani-origin militants are returning in higher frequency, and the people are giving a heroic funeral and glorifying them as freedom fighters to motivate local youth to join the Afghan Taliban.
In another video of a similar funeral procession in Hangu, scores of people were heard chanting slogans in favour of the Taliban and waving their flags.
Last month, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the families of the Afghan Taliban are living in the outskirts of Islamabad. He also admitted that sometimes the Afghan Taliban also visited their families there for medical treatment.