He was once a violent cleric. Now, at the age of 77, Maulana Sufi Mohammed talks peace, grabbing headlines worldwide for the Swat deal he stitched with the NWFP government. Formed on June 28, 1989, his organisation, the Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Mohammedi (TNSM), has been fighting to introduce the Islamic system of justice since then. Nearly 154 people were killed in 1994 in what was a violent phase of the TNSM movement. In an interview with Behroz Khan and Fayaz Zafar at Mingora, Swat, Sufi Mohammed talked about the controversial peace deal. Excerpts:
You went to Afghanistan along with thousands of supporters, but only a few hundred returned.
When the US attacked Afghanistan in 2001, our organisation decided to fight alongside the Taliban and wage a jehad against the invading infidels. The US forces were the forces of infidelity; we were bound to fight jehad against them. I did jehad in Afghanistan against the US and in the process some of our comrades were martyred, some got arrested and the remaining ones returned.
Will your efforts to...