Save Pir Baba – Another Sufi Saint Likely to Be Attacked


Shrine of Hazret Pir Baba
Shrine of Hazret Pir Baba

As the news comes in about Taliban’s moving into new Buner areas, one is left wondering about the missing writ of the state, lack of competency and the willingness of security paraphernalia and a flagrant and shameful inability of Pakistan Army to get rid of terrorists. According to the latest news pouring in from the fateful Buner valley lying north east of Peshawar bordering NWFP, Taliban have moved into the new areas. Earlier, they had their presence in the valley but promised on last Thursday, April 9, 2009 to leave the valley. But by the mid day on Friday, April 10, they had crept into the heartland Buner and occupied it without any resistance from the law enforcing agencies.


As the word goes, most of the policemen and FC personnel are either scared of Talibaan or are ideologically close to them. In either case, it is glaring defeat of the state to keep its writ unchallenged (which is not very women/people-friendly anyway).

According to the inhabitants, Taliban are roaming around in the valley scot free while police and FC men are keeping themselves confined to their posts. Does it bother now? It is now an old and familiar story. People of Islamabad witnessed it in 2007 when armed men and women from Laal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa tried to takeover the writ by openly challenging it on streets, abducting and beating women who they thought were not following shariah. It was followed by a bloody war between the militants and the law enforcing agencies. The whole gory incidence happened under the nose of Inter Services Intelligence, country’s apex spy agency whose Head Quarter lies within the range of 2 kilometers of Jamia Hafsa/Laal Masjid. No one sacked ISI’s Director General who must have been either in the know of transportation of heavy ammunition in the seminary, or may be a part of it. If neither, then he must be the most incompetent person in Pakistan to head such a sensitive organization. Our army of TV anchor persons (who’re normally quite apt at castigating politicians for their “corruption” and incompetency) could not even utter this strange discrepancy in the role of state’s spy network.

Now in Buner valley, we’re witnessing another dimension of agencies’ role. Whatever the motives of these agencies have been, it is quite clear that their designs have not worked in favor of neither the people nor the country. Last night’s TV reports showed people of Swat talking about Taliban’s “benign” character with a visible and unmissable fear. Most of the people spoke about how wrong the decision of establishing Lashkar has been. This viewpoint coincided with the news item that homes of tribal elders who established Lashkar have been occupied by Taliban. Why the police and the FC is not doing anything was manifest when a police officer (with a fogged face obviously!) was seen on the TV screen telling that higher authorities have ordered not to mess with Taliban. Sounds familiar?????

The tales of agencies’ involvement in such a mess, Taliban’s Islam and its implications on women, all aside, one gets extremely upset to know that the occupying force of Taliban has captured the Shrine of sufi saint Hazret Pir Baba. The shrine has been locked by Talibaan and people have been asked not to visit the shrine.

Hazrat Sayyed Ali Tirmizi, commonly known as Pir Baba, was a 16th century saint. His family migrated from Afghanistan to Delhi when his father joined the army of Emperor Hamayun. He moved from one place to other throughout his life spreading the message of love, humanity and peace. In the last years of his life, when Emperor Akbar consolidated his rule, Pir Baba settled in Buner permanently. Later, his followers made the shrine a rallying point for struggle against British imperialism.The village where his shrine is located came to be known as Pir Baba. Baba’s magnificent mausoleum attracts thousands of people every year in the spring season. One would hardly find a Pathan who does not know Pir Baba and revere him. Those of the southern districts of Kohat and Bannu sincerely believe that a prayer offered at Pir Baba’s shrine for marriage is invariably granted; disappointed lovers go to Pir Baba even to this day.

Earlier, the Taliban terrorists have destroyed shrine of revered Saint sufi poet Rehman Baba. It is absolutely lamentable that these sufi saints who attracted thousands of people to the folds of Islam by their message of kindness, humanity, love and peace are being persecuted posthumously by these primitive killers. And more despicable is the fact that all of us are seeing silently as if nothing is happening. Love is under trial, peace is being persecuted, sufism is being harrassed and people are being coerced to distance themselves from the symbols of these values, why doesn’t it bother?