Taliban Leader Mullah Nazir Defends Jihad in South Waziristan

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 12

Mullah Nazir

Jihadi internet forums carried a recent interview with the Amir of the Taliban mujahideen in South Waziristan, Mullah Nazir Ahmad. Mullah Nazir answered questions about the past and current situation of jihad in Afghanistan in the interview, which was conducted in Urdu by jihadi media source al-Sahab and translated to Arabic by jihadi forum members. The posting also contained a short biography of Mullah Nazir (al-Boraq.info, April 12).

According to al-Sahab, Mullah Nazir was born in Bermel, in South Waziristan, in 1975. Upon completing primary school, Mullah Nazir joined a religious school in Wana. He fought in the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 1995-96 and remained in their ranks until the U.S. invasion in 2001. After the fall of the Taliban, Mullah Nazir led the mujahideen in South Waziristan against the U.S.-led Coalition forces. Currently, Mullah Nazir is the Amir of the South Waziristan tribal mujahideen and a member of the United Mujahideen Shura council (the central committee of the Taliban alliance in Pakistan).

On the history of jihad, Mullah Nazir claims the tribal provinces in North and South Waziristan were the last regions to fall to British occupation and continued their resistance until the exhausted British withdrew. During the Soviet era, resistance against the Soviet army sprang from Waziristan, where the mujahideen gathered before defeating the occupiers.
Initially, the Afghan mujahideen weren’t confident in their ability to repel U.S. and ISAF Coalition forces until they joined the Waziristan mujahideen in a joint assault against a U.S. base. The outcome of the attack encouraged more Afghans to join the Waziristan mujahideen, said Mullah Nazir, adding that the mujahideen were only targeting U.S. and Coalition forces at the time.
Not until Pakistan started helping the Americans did they attack the Pakistani army. Mullah Nazir asserted that the Waziristan mujahideen are part of the Islamic Amirate of Afghanistan under Mullah Omar, with whom they are in close contact. Concerning foreign mujahideen from Arab countries, Maulvi Nazir said they are always welcome and the Waziristan mujahideen would protect them as brothers in Islam and never hand them over to any country. Maulvi Nazir’s mujahideen have formed an alliance with other tribes and the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan, countering previously successful efforts by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to cultivate animosity between the tribes and the Taliban.
Pakistan is terrified by this alliance and is plotting to disrupt it by any means available. The alliance was achieved after reconciliatory meetings between Mullah Nazir and the two principal leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mahsud and Hafiz Gul Bahadur (see Terrrorism Monitor, April 10). With this alliance, Maulvi Nazir is confident the tribes will help the mujahideen repel any future aggression on North or South Waziristan by U.S. or Pakistani forces. In accordance with global Salafi-Jihadi objectives, Maulvi Nazir does not recognize borders between Muslim countries, insisting on continuing jihad after the withdrawal of US and ISAF forces from Afghanistan until Islamic Shari’a is implemented in all Muslim countries and beyond.
When asked why the mujahideen fight the democratic and Islamic government of Pakistan, Maulvi Nazir said Pakistan is run by an infidel government equivalent to Christian and Jewish governments, corroborating his claim by quoting a verse from the Quran that forbids Muslims from allying themselves with Christians and Jews. In typical Salafi fashion, Maulvi Nazir considers democracy a defective and mundane system devised by Western infidels. “Any system resulting from counting the votes of Shiites, Christians and alcoholic electors is a blasphemous and defunct system.” On the legitimacy of the mujahideen drive to implement Shari’a, Mullah Nazir said the religious scholars and shaykhs that support Shari’a had either been arrested or killed by the regime. The mujahideen consider Islamabad’s approval of Shari’a in some areas in Pakistan a hoax to manipulate the Mujahideen into laying down their arms.  The mujahideen will only do this when Shari’a is applied across all of Pakistan.
Mullah Nazir is sure the rocket attacks that have killed many mujahideen are perpetrated by the Pakistani army with the help of U.S. forces and not solely by the Americans, as the Islamabad government claims. According to the Mullah, Pakistani spies use SIM tracking systems to pinpoint mujahideen locations for attack. Mullah Nazir promised no amnesty for government agents captured by the mujahideen, threatening to kill them immediately.  He also pledged to shoot down Pakistani spy planes, such as the two planes shot down by anti-aircraft guns near the city of Angur Adda a few months ago. On suicide bombings, Mullah Nazir denied mujahideen involvement in the bombings of mosques and crowded places and accused the ISI of carrying out the attacks to undermine the mujahideen. In spite of the war waged by the Pakistani government against the mujahideen, Mullah Nazir claims that mujahideen morale is very high and they will continue their jihad until they reach Islamabad.
Jihad in Kashmir has not achieved the desired goals, says Mullah Nazir, who claims the Kashmir jihad was administered by the ISI. Such jihad is not favorable to the mujahideen because Pakistan will not implement Shari’a law after liberating Kashmir. Nazir instead calls for the Kashmir mujahideen to join the jihad in Waziristan.
Mullah Nazir claims the U.S. forces in Afghanistan are confined to their barracks and no longer dare to move around because the mujahideen control many parts of the country. He predicts the complete liberation of Afghanistan in the near future. The imminent defeat of the United States in Afghanistan will accelerate its collapse, similar to the fate of the Soviet Union. The Israeli state will face the same fate very soon after that. Finally, Mullah Nazir is not optimistic about the new American president’s policies on Afghanistan or Pakistan; in that regard Mullah Nazir says “The white idiot left and the black idiot took over.”
The interview was posted in almost all jihadi forums and received many positive comments. One forum member commented on the interview by posting an old study about Waziristan prepared by an Arab jihadi in Afghanistan, Hamid al-Saied, one of Abu Yahya al-Libi’s subordinates in Waziristan (muslm.net, April 13). In his paper, al-Saied explains the geography of Pakistani regions, the names of the Waziristani tribes and the tribal weight of each one. Al-Saied attributes the transformation of the people of Waziristan from drug lords and murderers to true Islamic mujahideen back to the influence of the Afghan mujahideen who fled to Waziristan after the fall of Taliban Amirate in Afghanistan.