Taliban under fire at Raiwind gathering
Participants vow to make Pakistan cradle of peace
The News, November 16, 2009
RAIWIND: Inayatullah Khan sits on a dusty rug and prepares to pray at Pakistan’s biggest religious gathering of 400,000 Muslims in Raiwind, cursing the Taliban for their unholy crusade against humanity.
Khan travelled all the way from South Waziristan to take part in the four-day event, one of the world’s largest Islamic gatherings, in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore.A resident of Kanigurram, a former Taliban hub that the military says it has captured during its ongoing five-week offensive in the northwest, Khan, 50, accused the Taliban of straying from the path of God and butchering Muslims.
“They call those who refuse to follow their brand of Islam infidels, not knowing they are inviting the wrath of Allah the Almighty by killing Muslims, which I call an unholy crusade,” Khan said.
A Muslim whose faith is important enough to make an arduous three-day journey and sleep in a tent for four days, Khan invited the Taliban “to join us in spreading Islam’s eternal message of love, affection and peace”. The Thursday-Sunday gathering in Raiwind is being held under tight security due to paced up attacks that have swept the country killing more than 2,500 people in two years.
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