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Darul Uloom Haqqania and the new cabinet of the Taliban in Afghanistan

Darul Uloom Haqqania, one of Pakistan's largest and oldest seminaries, has produced more Taliban leaders than any school. Now its alumni hold important positions in Afghanistan. The seminary's old students established the Taliban movement and governed Afghanistan in the 1990s. Experts say that Pakistan's powerful military often uses its leaders to influence the Taliban.

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Darul Uloom Haqqania, one of Pakistan’s largest and oldest seminaries, has produced more Taliban leaders than any school. Now its alumni hold important positions in Afghanistan. The school’s critics call it a market of terrorists and blame it for helping to sow violence across the region for years. They worry that extremist seminaries and the Islamic organizations connected to them could be encouraged by the Taliban’s success, potentially enhancing further radicalism in Pakistan despite that states’ efforts to bring more than 30,000 seminaries under greater government control.

The school says it has altered and has argued that the Taliban should be given a chance to express themselves; now, they have changed their ways of government since they first established their rule in Afghanistan 20 years ago.

“The world has noticed their strength to run the country through their success on both the diplomatic and on the field,” said Rashidul Haq Sami, the seminary’s vice-chancellor.

Read more: Understanding the lethal fiction between the Taliban and Haqqani network

The Taliban did not change their behavior towards the people of Afghanistan, given an increase of violence earlier this year, reports of recrimination killings inside Afghanistan, stop girls going to school and sanctions on free media. But Mr. Sami said that the Taliban takeover could have been even harsher, signaling that they “would not repeat the actions of the 90s.”

Darul Uloom Haqqania, about 60 miles far from the Pak-Afghan border

The seminary’s old students established the Taliban movement and governed Afghanistan in the 1990s. Experts say that Pakistan’s powerful military often uses its leaders to influence the Taliban. Its late chancellor, Samiul Haq, who was killed at his residence in the capital city of Pakistan in 2018 and was the father of Mr. Sami, was considered “Taliban’s Father.”

“Being the graduation place of thousands of Taliban militants, Haqqania demands their respect,” said Azmat Abbas, author of “Madrasa Mirage: A Contemporary History of Islamic Schools in Pakistan.”

Sirajuddin Haqqani, 41, who was in charge of much of the Taliban’s military efforts and carried a $5 million reward from the US regime on his head, is the new acting minister of interior of Afghanistan graduated from Darul Uloom Haqqania. So is Amir Khan Muttaqi, the new minister of external affairs, and Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the higher education minister.

School administrators say that the justice minister, the Afghan water and power ministry chief, and various governors, military leaders, and judges also graduated from the Haqqania seminary.

Read more: Please update your analyses: Korybko responds to Haqqani, Kugelman, and Pantucci

“We feel the pleasure that our disciples in Afghanistan had first defeated the USSR and now sent America back,” Mr. Sami said. “It is an honor for the school that its graduates are now ministers and other high positions in the Taliban rule.”

Many of the alumni have adopted the name Haqqani as a sign of pride

The Haqqani Network, the Taliban’s armed unit, responsible for hostage-taking of American, complex suicide attacks and targeted assassinations — is named after the religious school and retains connections there.

More than 4,000 students from low-income families attend the extending seminary. The Taliban have finally have got success after 20 years of struggle and the whole global community accepts this reality.

Mr. Wali praised Haqqania as a great place to get an education of the Holy Quran. Haqqania is one of the few prominent seminaries in Pakistan where students think studying an honor because of its history, the prestigious scholars working there and it is quality Islamic education,” he said.

The regime of  Imran Khan provided the Haqqania school $1.6 million in 2018 and $1.7 million in 2017 for “mainstreaming” it. The funds helped the madrasa build a new building, a badminton court and a computer lab, among other programs.

Read more: Hussain Haqqani to be brought back through US State Dept

Haqqania has broadened its syllabus to include English, math and computer science

It demands complete documentation from international students, including Afghanistan students, and administrators said it adopted a zero-tolerance policy for anti-state activities.

Mr. Sami, the vice-chancellor, said students were neither trained to fight nor obliged to fight in Afghanistan.

School administrators point to recent statements by some groups in Afghanistan as moderate reflective teachings. After the Taliban entered Kabul, the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Sami party, founded by Mr. Sami’s father, stressed they to ensure Afghans and foreigners’ safety, mainly diplomats, to protect the rights of Afghans and foreigners, mainly diplomats, to Afghans and foreigners religious and ethnic minorities and allow women access to higher education.

In any case, Mr. Sami said, the globe has little choice but to trust the Taliban’s ability to rule.

Read more: Supreme Court decides to hear Hussain Haqqani case in chambers

“I suggest the global community provide a chance to the Taliban to run the affairs of state,” he said. “If they are not permitted to work, there will be a new civil war in Afghanistan and it will affect the entire region.”

 

The writer is a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Government College University Faisalabad. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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