The 21st Century Phenomenon



* Maulana Muhammad Azam Tariq was born in 03/1962. He was a graduate and a teacher in the Jamia Islamia Madrassa in Karachi and a student of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi (from Jhang – Punjab in Urdu), the founder and first leader of the Sunni Militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), which referred to the Shiite Muslims as infidels. Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi invited Maulana  Azam Tariq to teach in his Madrassa in order to promote the Radical Deobandi school of Islam – An Indian version of Wahhabism.

Maulana  Azam Tariq inherited the top position as the third leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), when he survived an explosion in Lahore that killed the prominent front runner of the organization, Maulana Ziaur Rehman Farooqi. During this time Sipah-e-Sahaba operative Riaz Basra developed differences with Azam Tariq and formed his own group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Maulana  Azam Tariq was elected three times to the Pakistani National Assembly – the Parliament in Jhang Sadr, even though his constituency was a heavily Shiaa areas. He contested again in 2002 elections, while in Jail, and was again elected.

In 08/2001, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan banned seven alleged terrorist organizations, including Sipah-e-Sahaba, and Maulana  Azam Tariq was arrested and jailed on charges of terrorism. A spate of killings of several prominent Shiaa leaders immediately followed, targeting those who were allegedly complicit in Tariq’s arrest and the crack-down on his organization. Maulana  Azam Tariq was released, eventually, in 11/2002 and provided, in return, the crucial one seat majority to the Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Maulana  Azam Tariq became a legitimate Pakistani politician.

On 10/06/2003 afternoon Maulana  Azam Tariq’s car was attacked by unidentified gunmen who sprayed his car with hundreds of bullets. He and four of his bodyguards were killed on the spot. The assassination is attributed to Shiite militants who wished to revenge the attacks committed by Sipah-e-Sahaba. Maulana  Azam Tariq was replaced by Alamma Haideri.


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