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Battle for Lal Masjid: Soldier Killed; Students Wounded

Posted on July 3, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Religion
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Adil Najam

Once again (here, here and here) the situation is tense around the Lal Masjid in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. More tense than it has been before. So tense, in fact, that it seems like a real battle this time. Fire has been exchanged, one soldier of the Pakistan Rangers has been killed and a number of madrassah students wounded.

According to The News:

A Rangers man was killed and two wounded in shootout between Lal Masjid students and Rangers. The incident caused tension in the locality in Islamabad resulting in closure of shopping centres and shops. The incident also caused traffic jam in the area. Federal Minister of Interior Aftab Sherpao has demanded the mosque administration to hand over persons involved in the firing over the law enforcement agencies to authorities. A girl and several security men have been wounded in the firing incident, which were transferred to hospital. Emergency has been declared and alert announced at all hospitals in the federal capital. An official of Rangers talking to the media has said that the students of Lal Masjid started the firing. Talking to Geo News Federal Minister of Interior Aftab Sherpao has said the government doesn’t want bloodshed but it would not tolerate such incidents of lawlessness. He demanded hand over of the people involved in the incident to the authorities.



Dawn’s breaking news adds:

A soldier was killed and at least a dozen people were injured in clashes between security forces and students from Islamabad’s Laal Masjid Tuesday, officials said. “One Ranger is dead,� Colonel Mashallah from the paramilitary Rangers force told AFP outside the Laal Masjid in Islamabad. Two policemen were also wounded. An AFP correspondent saw eight injured girls at a local hospital who were brought in from the seminary attached to the mosque, four of whom were unconscious. Officials said more were coming in.

An AP story published in USA Today adds more:

Shooting broke out at a radical mosque in Pakistan’s capital Tuesday after militant students clashed with security forces deployed to contain their activities. One paramilitary soldier shot in the clash died later in hospital, doctors said. Reporters also saw several female students being taken to a hospital, apparently suffering from the effects of tear gas fired by police. The battle broke out after male and female students from the mosque, some of them armed with guns or wooden poles, rushed toward a police checkpoint near the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad. Police fired tear gas to hold them back and, as the students retreated, an Associated Press photographer saw at least four male students, some of them masked, fire shots toward the checkpoint some 200 yards away. Gunfire was also heard from the police position.

A man used the mosque’s loudspeakers to order suicide bombers to get into position. “They have attacked our mosque, the time for sacrifice has come,” the man said. An hour later, dozens of students were patrolling the area around the mosque, and sporadic shots were still heard. There was no sign of police moving in on the mosque… Hundreds of police and paramilitary rangers have taken up position near the mosque in recent days. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said last week that he was ready to raid the mosque, but warned that suicide bombers from a militant group linked to al-Qaeda had slipped into the building.

By way of context, note this from today’s Dawn (written before this current incident):

In a bid to tighten noose around the Lal Masjid administration, the government on Monday reinforced the Rangers force deployed near the mosque with another two wings, each with 500 personnel and lodged them in apartments recently vacated by the Punjab Constabulary near Aabpara. A senior security official, however, told Dawn that the government had no intention of conducting any raid on the mosque and its seminaries. “But the forces deployed near the mosque will take stern action against Lal Masjid students if they take law in their own hands or attack any massage centre or CDs shop,� he added. The official said the number of Rangers deployed near the mosque had now gone up to 1,500 and they were being supported by 500 police commandos.

…Sources said that Lal Masjid also had reinforced its brigade by calling more activists from other areas and seminaries. The sources said they had reports that the Lal Masjid brigade had advanced weapons, wireless systems and special masks to be used in the event of a gas attack… Meanwhile, the local administration has directed government offices and other people to vacate all buildings close to Lal Masjid and the building of the environment ministry has already been vacated for the safety of its employees. Both the security forces and the Lal Masjid brigade have taken positions and made bunkers. The mosque’s students have also blocked a road with electricity poles.

All of this protends that the ‘battle for Lal Masjid’ may already have begun. The folks in the mosque seem more eager to fight than the government. The government also has much more to loose, especially with its domestic and international popularity being as shaky as it is today. The folks at Lal Masjid and its two affiliate madrassahs – Hafsa and Faridia – will declare victory no matter what happens.

One hopes that whatever happens will happen with no more bloodshed than has already happened. One hopes, of course. But oneis not really hopeful. Khuda khair karey!

Photo Credit: AP Photo by B.K. Bangash.

162 Comments on “Battle for Lal Masjid: Soldier Killed; Students Wounded”

  1. July 3rd, 2007 7:19 am

    18 minutes long audio news stream from Geo. Posted on Metroblog Islamabad by A for [pine]apple:

    Breaking News Stream from Geo

  2. jayjay says:
    July 3rd, 2007 7:27 am

    It was bound to happen. The issue should have been nipped at the bud six months. The unwilling government now has been forced to act by terrorist mullah. Now the authorities will have to eat 100 proverbial onions as well as will offer their backs for 100 proverbial lashes.

  3. Saad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 7:43 am

    Government of Pakistan has gone back to it’s knees and has restarted the re-conciliation efforts. The death of the Rangers’ guy has gone in vain. All praise to the Gov. of Pakistan.

  4. Saad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 7:45 am

    Ministry of Environment – burnt to the ground.
    FG Model School for Girls – set on fire.
    UN cars in front of the ministry getting smashed.

  5. July 3rd, 2007 8:56 am

    I dont knw why mad abdul rasheed is doin this, the things that he is unable to change by changing the thinking of people(the literal way) he is doin this his way. After that they call themselves saviour of Islam. may allah help us all.

  6. axiomatic says:
    July 3rd, 2007 8:59 am

    Saad
    What do you want that these people should be killed? Because apparently they just seem ready to be killed. What consequences would that cause across Pakistan in the short and long term? Civil war or something, which is okay because we want to kill extremism? Do you think that would curb or escalate the growth of extremism. I suggest you go to this site micropakistan.org and see the story on growing Taliban influence in Pakistan. I think it quite correctly depicts our situation.

    I think negotiation is the only option available here. The government also needs to recognize that apart from being responsible to prevent situations like Lal Masjid standoff from developing, it’s also responsible to take effective steps to put an end to unislamic practices and injustice.

  7. July 3rd, 2007 9:15 am

    Lal masjid is the staged drama sponsored by ‘Govt & Vested intersts’ who according to negotiating MNA, have direct control over police and rangers.

    Despite Chief Commisioner ordered to stop firing, some1 behind the curtain is ordering and controlling Police and rangers.

    Nice to see where the things are going to be settled but one thing is sure that ametuer students would be ultimate victim.

  8. zagi says:
    July 3rd, 2007 9:16 am

    axiomatic
    “What do you want that these people should be killed?”

    No man but these people should be behind the bars.

    If you or anyone have objection on government then don’t use Islamic platform to do non-Islamic practices. Use any political platform or make your own party. Why people using word Jahad or the face of Islam to gain power. Its just the war of power and popularity not a jahad.

  9. Adnan Ahmad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 9:37 am

    I am positive that all this has been staged by the agencies. Wouldn’t be surprised if they make it even more violent. From what I read about the mid 80s ethnic riots in karachi.. that was also done to keep attention away from Mard-e-momin.. For that purpose AK47s which were given for free to teenagers still haunt the city and the country.

  10. faraz says:
    July 3rd, 2007 9:51 am

    Well I think government should used armed vehicle and should clean this mess once for all. They should also use full force against all Taliban style groups in NWFP. It is time for “ACTION”

    I dont think that there is any room for negotiation with Taliban. Government can use “sleeping gas” against lal masjid as well. I think it is matter of political will. Form tactical point of view “lal masjid” is piece of cake.

  11. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 9:53 am

    The real thing to do would be to nab the two mad brothers who lead this. They are most at fault here, students are malleable and passionate, we all were at that age.

  12. Shehzad Ahmed Mir says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:10 am

    My question is, where did the LAL MASJID zealouts get the state-of-the-art gas masks, AK-47′s 0.22 Auto Rifles, and the yet unused explosive belts for the potential suicide candidates? Trust me, without official patronage, you cannot even store a ”screw” and that too in the middle of Islamabad.

    However, now this charade should be finished as it has not fooled all of the people!

  13. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:17 am

    The BBC says that a “ceasefire” has been “arranged”… the government continues to treat these people as equals… the report also says that they’ve set fire to the Ministry of Environment… if the Rangers have cordoned off the mosque, how did these people manage to get as far as the ministry to set fire to it? And while they were at it, why weren’t they stopped?

    Mullah-Military “Nura Kushti” at its very best…

  14. pindiwalla says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:26 am

    shame on the parents of these children for letting them be manipulated by the nuts of Lal Masjid. the blood of the dead students is on their parents hands.

  15. chief sahib says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:26 am

    I’m speechless…
    and we wonder how we are the way we are. Its the sickening attitude that “idhar aisay hi hota hai”. We just let situations get worse and worse thinking it is the norm. I find it sadly funny that anyone who wants the destruction of Pakistan has found its ally in these so called “mullahs” and their so called “Jihad” who are willing to kill innocents all because their illegal land grab was challenged. Funny no one seems infuriated by their open threats.

  16. Mahmood says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:38 am

    Thanos, there is a difference in being passionate and suicidal.

  17. Saad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:51 am

    What do you want that these people should be killed?
    ———————————————–

    Nope, I would rather have them booked and brought to justice. But do you reckon that a possibility given the current situation on the ground? In addition, according to the information brought forward by different news sources as yet, the first causality was a Ranger i.e. the escalation was started by the Jami’ah students so why should the government not reply back in the same vein?

  18. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 10:53 am

    The death toll is now 20, with an additional 100 injured…

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=25353

    I wonder if the jackboots will spring into action if an officer is killed… then again, maybe not…

  19. S A says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:02 am

    According to the news link you provided “The media men including a Bureau chief of a TV channel were injured”. And “four newsmen” were killed.

    Any ideas of which channels newsmen were killed? Which channel was the bureau cheif from? And how come none of the newspapers mention the name of the news channel, they only say “TV channel”

  20. July 3rd, 2007 11:05 am

    No talk, kick these mullahs asses out the masjid, prosecute the stupid parents who send their kids to this excuse for a MADrassa! and deal with the Talibans in Pakistan with a firm hand!
    The people of Pakistan want action against these evil mullahistas – but if the givernment gives in now – we the people need to get rid of this government and bring in a government that can finally rid Pakistan of these bearded buffoons once and for all.

  21. Rehan says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:11 am

    These people are no different than the Branch Davidians and other cults. There is no compromise with these fanatics, it’s time to bring this fiasco to an end.

    I love how everything is supposed to be a mark of central governmental weakness.

  22. Shehzad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:12 am

    I wonder if the operation was a last resort or a first resort. Why is it in Pakistan people seem to always end up resorting to violence to resolve disputes. Is this really Pakistan?

  23. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:17 am

    There’s a fresh report at Geo news GEO

    The headline has changed from 20 now to 8, story maybe was exagerated originally?

    Mahmood: I agree that there is a great deal of difference between “passionate” and suicidal, but someone made them that way.

  24. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:20 am

    Such conflicting reports… here’s one from the same paper saying 30 died:

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=25352

    On the other hand, GEO says 8… the paper and GEO have the same owners… :)

  25. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:22 am

    It’s always like this in incidents in Pakistan and Afghanistan, we really won’t know the true toll until tomorrow I think.

    This is an update on the Glasgow terror incident.

  26. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:29 am

    Adil, I also trackedback to your post on this from my site, I hope you do not mind.

  27. Akif Nizam says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:29 am

    An insightful look into the mind of these terrorists:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/
    articles/news/news.html?
    in_article_id=465570&in_page_id=1770

  28. July 3rd, 2007 11:32 am

    i believe this should be finished for once and all now. Gas Masks, Latest Weapons, Walkie Talkies ?? How far you are going to control this. This needs to be fixed immediately. Operation may leave some legacies but now we would have to absorb it any how.

  29. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:37 am

    I agree… they’ve threatened suicide attacks, and as someone with friends and relatives in G-6 in the vicinity of Aabpara and Melody and the Covered Market, it makes my blood boil… how dare they get away with this? If the government continues to drag its feet, someone should get a few missile launchers or something and blow this place to smithereens… I’d do it, but I’m in the US… plus I don’t exactly have the right contacts to get hold of such weapons…

  30. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:38 am

    Pak Tribune reporting tightened security in places. With all the threats of suicide bombers the past two months from the mosque, probably good that they are doing this.

  31. BitterTruth says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:41 am

    Why didnt government first try to cut utility services for lal masjid? Cutting food supply, water, gas and electricity would have pressurized ghazi brothers to surrender (unless they are used to living in karachi, where ppl can survive such condition for days).

  32. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:46 am

    The Great Jackboot couldn’t even fire the brothers from their jobs… they are government employees!

  33. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:52 am

    Interesting… they are claiming a suicide attack, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet…

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=25348

    I wonder what it means to “imitate” a suicide attack though…

  34. Mustafa says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:57 am

    Such elements should be bombed and leveled to ground with F-16s. There is no space for such extremism in our society.

  35. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:01 pm

    If only I had an F-16…

  36. Mustafa says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:04 pm

    Govt. should it. We shouldn’t take law in our own hands.

  37. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:07 pm

    They should, but they won’t… desperate times call for desperate measures… time to kill them ourselves…

  38. zagi says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:12 pm

    Umar
    “time to kill them ourselves”

    Don’t you think you walking on footsteps of ghazi brothers. In my views they are “worst among people on earth” but we shouldn’t take the law in our hands its not our responsibility to kill them.

  39. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:14 pm

    Yeah you’re right… I was letting my frustration get the better of me…

  40. MQ says:
    July 3rd, 2007 12:48 pm

    Probably it’s a joke but I have heard that Shaukat Aziz and Musharraf are seriously considering to file a reference against the mullahs of the Lal Masjid.

  41. S Akhtar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:05 pm

    May Allah show us all the right path. Killing people will never solve the problem.

    HOLY QURAN:Al-Maeda:Chap5:Verse31:Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land!

  42. Zaki says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:13 pm

    Adil Najam had written an article on exactly this last week. I read it again and it is most pertinent and correct. He was correct in predicting that the way the Chinese incident was handled would make the Lal Masjid people more bold and that ultimately the government will have no option but to act. He was correct in his predictions. He should have reproduced it here. The only sad part is that the government has AGAIN bungled this situation. And instead of doing a surgical operation that minimized on death but actually took control of the mosque away from these criminals and thugs the government has got the worst of all world. Death without succeses and the future is even more dangerous now.

    Link to Adil Najam’s article = http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=61940

  43. chief sahib says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:26 pm

    http://geo.tv/important_events/lalmasjid/pages/english_news.asp

    can some one please shed light to whats going on. Geo has a page dedicated to this, but the page itself contains contradictory reports

  44. Sherezad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:28 pm

    Majority of the students in these madrasahs are children of poor people who are financially challenged. As these places offer free food and boarding, this appears a practical choice to such parents. And at this age with no other exposure, how would they know any better! It is the 2 brothers running the show who are to blame. They may be after land or Allah knows what else. But GoP should not have created a situation where it has to face these students from thousands of families, which combined with ignorance and closed minds will start a chain reaction.

    Perhaps Government should have first filed case against them, obtained arrest warrants and then tried to warn the willing parents to take away their sons and daughters from there before any deployments. This whole thing does not feel right.

  45. faraz says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:33 pm

    cut all utilities and food to lal masjid. Force these fanatics brothers to surrender.

  46. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:40 pm

    One of the brothers claims that he has the businessmen of Aabpara and students from other educational institutions on his side… the GEO page mentions protests by the Aabpara businessmen asking for an end to the operation… when the fundos abducted the Chinese, it was reported that they also had a couple of Beacon house students with them… just goes to show how far the tentacles of these people have sunk into our society… there are protests reported in Abbotabad and Mansehra against the operation… its sad that there have been no protests against the mullahs calling for an operation… could it be that these people have far more support in Pakistani society than we would care to admit?

  47. Alam says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:43 pm

    Stage drama at best.

    Today and tomorrow, major International newspapers (Newsweek, fareed Zakaria, etc) will print articles on the futility of democracy ion Pakistan, and the indispensability of Musharraf or atleast Pak Army.

    Musharraf has his cards.

  48. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:49 pm

    Right… “Nura Kushti”, as I called it earlier…

    And you’re right, tomorrow there are going to an “expert analysis” in every major western newspaper, wondering aloud what would happen if Musharraf wasn’t there, because if he, with all his wonderful credentials and his bravery and his will to tackle terrorism, cannot control these people, what would anyone else do… hence he’s indispensable…. if only they knew better… in fact they probably do, but they won’t say so… and next time when I speak out against Musharraf here in the US, I’ll be labeled a fundo/terrorist/mullah…

  49. chief sahib says:
    July 3rd, 2007 1:50 pm

    It seems that most people on this forum are against Lal Masjid, any voicing their concerns publicly like the ones voicing their support?

  50. Sohail says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:04 pm

    Anything to do with the latest developments on CJP case and the assertiveness of the Judiciary (see ATP’s other post today)…A pre-requisite to emergency, leading to still harsher measures!!!
    Are we collectively making issues out of non-issues by over-reacting as may have been foreseen by the ”choreographer”.
    Wished I knew….

  51. Zaki says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:13 pm

    I think everyone is claiming that this is a noori kushti. I am not sure itis. Maybe it once was but now this is out of govts control and this continuing is more problem for them than not. See Najam’s article I linked earlier for a nice argument on this.

  52. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:32 pm

    Yeah, nice article… I read it a few days back… he’s spot on when he says that such things have a knack of developing a life of their own and getting out of the control of the people who planned them in the first place… as a matter of fact, that is exactly what has happened to the entire Jihad project of the jackboots… the chickens are finally here to roost…

  53. Kruman says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:49 pm

    Umar there was an article along the same lines in bbcudru (3 weeks ago) where they compared the worsening Lal Masjid standoff to the Golden Temple fiasco. Sant Jarnail Singh was initally backed by the Indian govt.

    However, my personal view is that Lal Masjid is getting used as a smokescreen.
    http://free-pakistan.blogspot.com/2007/07/lal-masjid-getting-used-as-smokescreen.html

  54. BitterTruth says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:57 pm

    PM Shortcut Aziz canceled tour to Holland..at least some good come out of this fiasco..saved some of nations money from tour addict

  55. BitterTruth says:
    July 3rd, 2007 2:57 pm

    PM Shortcut Aziz canceled tour to Holland.. some good come out of this fiasco..saved some of nations money from tour addict

  56. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 3:06 pm

    Kruman… yeah I read that BBCUrdu article too… the Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale thing does have parallels with this, because as you said he was initially supported by Indira Gandhi…

    I guess we can never really be sure of the inner machinations of the army/ISI… I guess this situation is somewhere in between the two extremes of a situation getting out of control and intentionally being allowed to get out of control… either way, the only ones suffering are the likes of us… I don’t see the jackboots in their messes and housing societies losing sleep over this, or for that matter the fundos in their madrassas…

    On a side note… more protests, in Quetta this time, and once again, against the so-called operation… why are people not protesting against the mullahs and demanding an operation?

  57. July 3rd, 2007 3:26 pm

    Stage drama enters into to climax.. Personally i feel these two recruits(Ghazi Brothers) will be dumped by their masters….

    Purpose is about to be achieved at the expense of 12 families…

    Which court will provide justice to these agonized families????????

  58. Shah says:
    July 3rd, 2007 3:32 pm

    Borrowing a phrase from the One Minute Manager:
    “Things not worth doing are not well worth doing”

    Our people, our government, our intellectuals and our religious leaders should concentrate on things which might make our homeland a better place for the common folks instead of utilizing their energies, creativities and resources on ‘things not worth doing’.

    Alas!!

  59. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 3:33 pm

    There are some good, eloquent comments on the BBCURdu blogs…

    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/ws/thread.jspa?sortBy=1&threadID=6914&start=120&tstart=0&#paginator

    (Page 1 has the latest comments, page 9 the oldest)

  60. thanos says:
    July 3rd, 2007 3:52 pm

    The biggest shame of this is that government resources which should be aiding the flood victims and rebuilding things are tied up in the mess.

  61. faraz says:
    July 3rd, 2007 4:05 pm

    latest news. The electricity to lal masjid has been cut. something seems to be boiling!

  62. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 4:24 pm

    Yeah… BBCUrdu says that an announcement is due in some time after a high-level meeting presided over by the Great Jackboot himself:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/story/2007/07/070703_lal_mosque_firing_fz.shtml

    Aside: Is there ever a low-level meeting?

  63. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 4:28 pm
  64. July 3rd, 2007 4:40 pm

    UPDATE:

    It has been a long day in Islamabad and it may well be a longer night. Dawn is reporting 15 dead, including 3 policemen, 1 Ranger soldier, 1 TV channel cameraman, 1 businessman and 9 others who are mostly madrassah students but might include some bystanders. Govrnment buildings nearby have also be destroyed and as this update from The News (which has a different death count, and was probably written before the Dawn update) suggests, there may be more to follow:

    Pakistani security forces fought fierce gun battles with students at Lal mosque in Islamabad on Tuesday after a lengthy standoff exploded into violence, leaving nine people dead and 140 hurt. Clerics at the radical Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, threatened suicide attacks to avenge the “blood of martyrs” after the day-long clashes, which killed a soldier, a journalist, three bystanders and four Islamist students.

    The shootout followed months of tension over the mosque’s increasingly brazen challenges to the authority of President Pervez Musharraf, most recently the kidnapping of seven Chinese citizens as part of an anti-vice campaign. “The deaths of nine people have been confirmed so far and more than 140 wounded,” deputy interior minister Zafar Warriach told a news conference.

    “A decision whether to continue the operation will be taken after assessing the ground realities. It is the government’s duty to provide protection to its countrymen,” he added. Both sides blamed the other for the carnage. Security officials said it began when dozens of baton-wielding male and burqa-clad female students attacked policemen near the mosque, stealing four guns and a radio set and prompting police to fire tear gas in response.

    As people fled from two busy shopping areas nearby, students wearing gas masks started trading Kalashnikov fire with security forces from behind sandbags and bunkers chanting “Jihad! Jihad! (Holy war)”, a witness said. Sporadic exchanges of gunfire continued throughout the afternoon.

    Later students set fire to the nearby Ministry of Environment building and a property belonging to the Capital Development Authority. A cameraman for a private television channel was shot dead when troops let off a burst of gunfire to disperse the mob as it tried to smash up a nearby girls’ school.

    A loudspeaker announcement from the mosque as night fell warned of impending suicide attacks. “The blood of the martyrs will not go to waste. We are ready for suicide attacks,” the unidentified mullah’s voice said. “Our holy war will continue until sharia (Islamic law) is enforced throughout the country.”

    One of the mosque’s main goals is to make Pakistan an Islamic state along the lines of Afghanistan under Taliban rule, which lasted from 1996 until the US-led invasion in 2001. One of the two brothers who runs the mosque, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, said the students had only retaliated after security forces opened fire, and said the authorities had broken an agreement not to besiege the mosque. “The administration wants to see dead bodies scattered on the roads. Why are they doing this?” he said.

    Hospitals in Islamabad declared a state of emergency as blood-spattered minibuses from the mosque and private ambulances ferried in casualties. They said many of the injured were female students from the mosque suffering from tear gas inhalation. One girl was undergoing surgery to remove bullets from her back and hand. Military ruler Musharraf, a key ally in the US “war on terror,” has faced mounting criticism at home and abroad over the failure to crack down on the mosque. Musharraf said last week that suicide bombers from an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militant group were sheltering in it. But he has held off largely for fear of causing casualties among the thousands of students — especially the women, most of whom hail from Taliban-sympathising areas along the Afghan border.

    Thousands of Islamic students took to the streets in the northwestern town of Mingora and the southwestern city of Quetta later Tuesday in protest at the bloodshed, witnesses said. The mosque has been monitored by scores of security personnel since its students took control of a neighbouring government-run children’s library in January.

  65. Roshan says:
    July 3rd, 2007 5:21 pm

    Curfew imposed in Islamabad in G-6 sector which surrounds Lal Masjid. Govt warned the Lal Masjid Militants to surrender, Interior State Minister announced in the midnight press conference in Islamabad.

  66. Rehan says:
    July 3rd, 2007 5:42 pm

    Many of you are blinded in your hatred of Musharraf. No government in the world would tolerate this. I fail to see how the government has bungled this. In any other country in the world, people close ranks and support their nation and government in a time like this. In Pakistan, it is uselessly politicized and everyone pretends to be an expert on such an issue.

    Trust me, no one knows what the best course of action is. One thing is for certain: these people are running a state within a state. You may be against the present government for ideological reasons but it is time to support the great armed forces of our nation and unite as one. They are doing their part to protect our nation, we must do ours.

  67. Rehan says:
    July 3rd, 2007 5:44 pm

    According to Aaj TV, operation has started.

  68. Kruman says:
    July 3rd, 2007 5:46 pm

    Umar,
    The handling of this crisis makes me question Musharraf’s competency as a general. If he can make such a big mess out of a standoff with 50 radicals and 100 burqa clad women, how is the army chief going to fare in a war?

    Kargil was the biggest diplomatic disaster in Pakistan’s history. Musharraf should’ve been court-martialed for that stunt. And now he can’t put a lid on the events in lal masjid.

    Bush better start searching for a better ally in his “war on terror.” This one only knows how to screwup, at best he is con artist.

    BTW I love your nickname for the general, Great Jackboot.

  69. Kruman says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:05 pm

    All right, this is getting serious. Lal masjid occupants have been given till 3:30am Pak time (July 4th) to evacuate. After that a militarty action is expected.

    Writing this after hearing Tariq Azim on news. I may not be able to give more live commentary. Others should keep us updated.

  70. Saad says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:22 pm

    50 tanks are deployed in front of Lal-Masjid.

  71. king_faisal says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:22 pm

    if people can pray for the success of cricket team, then they should be able to pray for safety of jawans ordered to storm the complex, some of whom might pay the ultimate price. these jawans are much more braver than i am. lets also hope that people come to their senses and situation gets resolved without loss of life on either side.

    also i hope none of our families are effected by any blowback that will likely occur if a crackdown is launched.

  72. AYAZ KHAN says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:38 pm

    Let all of us pray for minimum loss of life. On the other hand we should also pray that the people responsible to bring gullible young student to this pass should pay the price. Allah help Pakistan

  73. SJH says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:55 pm

    While we must all pray that the loss of life is minimized, this situation should be absoutely unacceptable to anyone in Pakistan. Questioning the legitimacy of the present government does not lead to small, well-organized and well-funded groups playing the religion card to literally get away with murder. Whether we like it or not, certain powers are only vested in the state – vigilanteeism is not the answer. Nations cannot afford to play amateur psychologists with such people.

  74. AYAZ KHAN says:
    July 3rd, 2007 6:57 pm

    I agree with SJH. State within state is not allowed. This people must not be allowed to spread anarchy. But there are so many related questions. I wonder whether the poor guys were used ? The students definitely were used. They were brainwashed to face death. But this had to happen.

  75. Umar says:
    July 3rd, 2007 7:18 pm

    Kruman… someone wrote recently that in the Na Pak Fauj, the people who should be generals retire as Brigadiers, and those who should retire as Brigadiers end up being Generals… I don’t know about the credentials of the average retired Brigadier, but if the Kashmir/Kargil/Lal Masjid fiascos are anything to go by, there’s probably some truth in this…

    Rehan…

    Your post comes across as a tad amusing… not many here are so blinded by their hatred for Musharraf to be oposing the operation! Most people are asking for it! Now if only the geniuses in boots would do something, so we can “close ranks and support them” as you want us to do!

  76. king_faisal says:
    July 3rd, 2007 7:34 pm

    if indiscriminate violence was the answer, indians would have succeeded in indian occupied kashmir and americans in iraq. solution to the problems of religious militancy is long term. violence in the short term will cause more alienation and distrust of government and can create serious blowback. if the situation can be contained, then the government will be in a better position to deal with the brothers in an environment where innocent people cant be used as hostage. in the end however i hope the leaders of lal masjid meet the fate they truly deserve.

  77. abs says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:05 pm

    10% of hardcore islamists is causing disgrace to the rest 90% and muslims are being looked by other relegions as a relegion of intolerance, unable to accept other relegions and so on which is not true.

    Itz high time for the majority of the muslims who are against these hardcore elements to raise their voice and come forward to prevent such people to even talk about Islam because they are against humanity.

    Relegion and rituals are made to make humans a better human and not to seperate human from other human.

  78. Viqar Minai says:
    July 3rd, 2007 11:10 pm

    We badly need an update at this point. Najam Sethi’s editorial in DT today mentions a casualty count of 20 at last reports.

    Does it seem like there will be a surrender? Can someone back home post something?

  79. Zaki says:
    July 4th, 2007 12:47 am

    Things seem to be quiet right now but I am not sure they will remain so long. The govt will lose all credibility and this will clearly be topi drama if after all this and all deaths they just retreat.

  80. Raheem says:
    July 4th, 2007 1:25 am

    This has been depressing day but I am glad to read the comments here and see that most people actually are thoughtful and disapprove of the violent message of the Lal Masjid people. Gives me hope and proof that we are a moderate and good people and that extremists like teh ones in Lal Masjid are a minority who do not represent all the rest of us.

  81. Kamran says:
    July 4th, 2007 3:19 am

    Supposedly, a large number of madrassah students have now left the Lal Masjid and TV is reporting that some of them are saying that leaving was not easy. SOme of them were even fired at by those in lal Masjid.

  82. Muhammad Mazhar says:
    July 4th, 2007 3:23 am

    I am personally against the Lal Masjid’s idea of spreading their message forcefully. They are not serving the Islam but those who really wants to make a bad picture of our religion. They attempted to separate Pakist from International Community and also depriving them a friend like China. It shows their vision. Although the Government is doing the right way but when we see those innocent faces of children and eyes of the female students. We really belive they are doing unknowingly. Once if it happens it will spread out in whole country. Therefore even I am in favor of action, I believe it should be solved rationally cause they are not just few students but they belong to a mass section of our society. There must be many who believe them right. So to avoid the bad consequences spreading in whole country. It should be solved without further loss of Life.

  83. mullah jat! says:
    July 4th, 2007 6:35 am

    Stand firm against these Mullahs – they have nothing to offer Pakistan, they use Islam only as a tool for their selfish egos.
    Why don’t the parents withdraw their kids?
    The government needs to show strong backbone be firm and deal with these people ruthlessly.
    Also people – from the MMA supporting these Brothers need to have their names published on the net – so that when they apply for visas to visit the west they can be denied them.

  84. July 4th, 2007 6:49 am


    The biggest shame of this is that government resources which should be aiding the flood victims and rebuilding things are tied up in the mess.

    the only sane comment on this thread

  85. July 4th, 2007 7:54 am

    I am not suggesting – I am telling that the Lallis at LaL Masjid do not practice the basic tenets of Islam.
    There should be no talk with these scum, there should only be Jihad against those who abuse Islam and use young kids as cannon fodder.
    The people of Pakistan need to rid themselves of mullahism once and for all

  86. Shehzad says:
    July 4th, 2007 9:13 am

    Mullah Jat Saahib, easy. What sort of response is this that we have to drag the west into our internal disputes, what does the west have to do with it?
    Being a Mullah, is meant to be someone who is an Aalim, the only difference is that Mullah is the farsi term whilst Aalim is the Arabic word. Hence you can argue the brothers in Lal Masjid are not proper Mullahs because they show a lack of knowledge and understanding of Islam. You say that these people should be punished in various manners, if these people are not representing Islam but are you are also representing Islam by engaging in Vitriol?
    P.S: You do realise your name means you are a Jat (as in the caste) Mullah :)

  87. mullah jat! says:
    July 4th, 2007 9:36 am

    Thanks Shehzad!
    I understand your response but the lal masjid guys are not my brothers – my brothers are the ones killed on both sides due to these mullahs actions.
    why don’t these mullahs come out and martyr themselves rather then asking impressionable little kids to lay down their lives?
    In fact we should encourage the the two mullahs to suicide themselves in public – along with their chief disciples – but i believe they will not do that!

  88. Shehzad says:
    July 4th, 2007 10:18 am

    Sorry, I actually literally meant “The Brothers” as in the two brothers who are the leaders of the Masjid. It is always easier for people to dictate what should be right rather then lead by example and show what is right. It wouldn’t leave much of them to show would it ;)
    Either way Pakistan at the moment needs peace not more bloodshed, Allah Khair karey. Ameen.

  89. anonymous says:
    July 4th, 2007 12:10 pm

    Well..after reading the non-extremist comments here, I realize that there might be hope for Pakistan after all.

  90. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    July 4th, 2007 4:31 pm


    I am telling that the Lallis at LaL Masjid do not practice the basic tenets of Islam.

    what kind of Islamic basics are YOU practising by making a statements against female students of Hafsa school? Would you like to share? Or it’s common practise among your circles to address females like that?

    Really, freedom of expressions and liberalism have ruined the persaonlity of our kids.

  91. Ajnabee says:
    July 4th, 2007 4:59 pm

    [quote]what kind of Islamic basics are YOU practising by making a statements against female students of Hafsa school? Would you like to share? Or it’s common practise among your circles to address females like that?[/quote]

    I don’t recall you complaining when your friend Maulana Abdul Aziz declared Quaid e Azam University a brothel? Kabhee munafqat chorna nahin.

  92. Anand Sharma says:
    July 5th, 2007 1:19 am

    In Pakistan, as elsewhere, the authorities that be can dismiss President, Prime-Minister, Chief of staff or can even try to dismiss the Chief-Judge, so why not a Mulla or a chief of a government seminary or mosque. Maybe as a Hindu I may not understand this .. can someone explain. Living in Kuwait, I know for a fact that all Mullas or their discorses are controlled by be Awqaf dept. of the Government.

  93. July 5th, 2007 1:29 am

    Ajnabee, if there is some *memory leaking* issue with you then I can’t help you out but I clearly condemned again and again the “WAY” the executed their plan as well as against their statment against sucide bombing. Search option of this website is easy to use, even a person like you could search what I write on this forum. Yes I do remember that I never write anything from against auntie’s brothel and other things. Does it mean you are in favor of such elements in your area?

  94. July 5th, 2007 1:44 am


    I know for a fact that all Mullas or their discorses are controlled by be Awqaf dept. of the Government.

    Dear Ananad, the orignal term which is used for a cabal of Islamic clergy is “Maulana” which is an arabic term and also been referred in Muslim prayers. The term Mullah was derived from Mulana at the time when Farangi were in India and since they had difficulty to say entire word “molana”, they started calling “molla” which later become Mullah as an offensive word by them for muslims who were fighting against british raj in 19th century. Later that term was bought by our psuedo intellectuals whose Iman didn’t get complete unless they offend one molvi per day.

    Offcourse you might not like if I start calling your Pandits as “Pandu” or “Panda”? So don’t follow what so called mulsims call here. I am sure your Hindu religion has enough moral values that it teaches hinduism followers how to respect clergy of other religion.

    Coming back to your question, yes in Pakistan, there is a fedration which appoints Imam of a masjid and one just can’t become Imam of masjid with his own will.

  95. Anand Sharma says:
    July 5th, 2007 2:25 am

    Dear Adnan … my profound apology for using the term ‘mulla’, I assure you that it was entirely unintentional. I will have to educate my Pakistani friends here that they should also not use it.

    However, you did clarify about the appointment of Imams … cant the same authority (federation) dismiss them too?
    …. why has it not been done thus far?

  96. Akif Nizam says:
    July 5th, 2007 3:17 pm

    Adnan, that was a nice story you made up about the root of the word “Mullah” but that’s all it is, a story. How do you explain Mullah do Piyaza who used to be a fixture in Akbar’s court long before the British got there? Obviously, the word has older roots.

    Mullah is not a derogatory term in itself; it is actually derived from the word “Maula” which means a guardian. The word has only recently assumed a negative connotation due to the lack of education on the part of most mullahs.

  97. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    July 5th, 2007 4:13 pm

    Dear Anand, no problem my friend. Your sensible response did give me anand inside. :-)


    However, you did clarify about the appointment of Imams … cant the same authority (federation) dismiss them too?

    Can do and it’s done. I didn’t read it on papers about whether some Imam was dismissed to some error. Yes, I do know that Imam of one of the masjid in Gulberg(an area in Karachi) was dismissed by the union due to some corruption. So, it does happen. Now your question why those two brothers were not dismissed even govt knew it. A big question mark? but bhai, when Personal power is everything and one could influence others by using power then it’s not difficult to analyze why those brothers were not dismissed. See, in Pakistan we can’t make movies like RANG DE BASANTI which was against Indian Air Force. Here Army is very sacred and nothing can be said against it. So you could figure out why those brothers were not captured at the right time. If they were then how could Govt create current situation at the crucial time when SUPREME COURT might going to give a decision against The president. yesterday seems a day of verdict by Justice and His decision could change the entire fate of Pakistan.

  98. baber says:
    July 5th, 2007 4:16 pm

    Adnan if you want to read, try this new book written by a firangi historian, the book name is “The Last Mughal”. It mentions about mullahs marrying firangi girls. And how the firangies and mullahs conspired against the mughals and ended the secular empire in sub-continent. Its a summary of what the book has. I just flipped a few pages and found this out.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Mughal-Fall-Dynasty-Delhi/dp/074758639X

    Let me add to the story.It was the firangi wifes of the maulana’s who started calling them mullah with love.

  99. haji akhtar moazzam says:
    July 5th, 2007 7:01 pm

    Assalam-o-alaikum.
    I feel sorry for pakistan.
    Such a beautifull country and nice people who want to have a right for living in peace.
    Naturely it seems sofisticated.
    Some body should control the all situations.
    Every body in PAKISTAN is respectfull.I love my country I love my people and i love human beings.

  100. Ibrahim says:
    July 6th, 2007 12:52 am

    Salamalikum,

    Adnan if you want to read, try this new book written by a firangi historian, the book name is “The Last Mughal

  101. Ajnabee says:
    July 6th, 2007 6:21 am

    Ibrahim, considering that most madrassa don’t like to waste their time in useless subjects like history – indeed Mullahs do not even want to acknowledge any history other than the “Islamic

  102. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    July 6th, 2007 3:15 pm

    Akif, that was not a madeup story and I had read it somewhere long time back. However After spending few time on Internet, I do agree that the term was pre British raj and you’re right about this. A mistake at my end which I admit but I still emphasis that term was started using in offensive manner more during british raj. I am surprised that you know actual meaning of “Mullah” which is always used in religious context and still make fun of it. Very shameful that you know the background and still demonstrated ignorance. As far as lack of knowledge by mullahs is concerned, so many times you also demonstrate same and have made many hollow statments and demonstrated strawman fallacy but since you wouldn’t admit it and would say,”I am the best” so I would leave this argument right here.

    However, I would like to request Ibrahim to clarify the actual origin of mullah for sake of me and for those who actually want to learn-Thanks

    Cheers!

  103. Imran Younas says:
    July 6th, 2007 7:29 pm

    For the Muslims this situation is ridiculus,,
    Its Friday and there were no voice of AZAAN in LAAL MASJID I think ” Muslim Umma ” should think about this issue and take care these things under the pure Islamic laws…

    ALLAH NIGH E BAN

    My Brothers & Sisters Please don’t think any thing wrong about our Neat and Clean ” ISLAM “.

    Its a humble request and do think about thihs issue by your own mind not with the Polotical mentality…..

    Thanks

  104. Ibrahim says:
    July 6th, 2007 11:07 pm

    Salamalikum,

    MashaAllah, it is something when someone recognizes his/her mistakes as Adnan did. Few do so.

    I agree with others on the specific issue that Mullah is a much older word. Many would already know this, but I checked the word “Mullah” in Firozul Lughaat Urdu and Mullah is one of the entries and the meaning is what we generally take: Neehayat umda likhnay wala, alim fazil, masjid may namaz parhanay wala. As some people pointed out this term is older than the English occupation. For example, a very well known jurist of Hanafi fiqh is Mullah Ali Qari (died 1014 AH/1605 CE).

    However, I do agree with Adnan that today it’s used as a derogatory term. And, I am surprised that people who know the origin of the term still use it as a derogator word, subhanAllah.

  105. July 6th, 2007 11:10 pm

    UPDATE

    According to The News.

    Pakistani police early Saturday seized control of an Islamic seminary run by the clerics from the embattled Red Mosque, officials said. “Police stormed into Jamia Faridia and arrested dozens of students and shifted them to an unknown place,” a senior security official was quoted as saying.

    The male seminary is located in the upmarket E-7 sector, three kilometres (two miles) from the besieged Red mosque and Jamia Hafsa female seminary where security forces are engaged in an operation against radical students. The senior cleric of the Taliban-style Red Mosque, Abdul Aziz, was the principal of Jamia Faridia and was caught on Wednesday escaping from the Red Mosque in a burqa.

    Police said the Jamia Faridia was the “powerhouse” for the Red Mosque and its adjoining female seminary and several students were involved in the current standoff. “It is serious blow to the Red Mosque cleric and will further weaken his position,” the official said referring to Aziz’s younger brother Abdul Rashid Ghazi who is holed up in Red Mosque with armed students. Authorities had feared that male students from the Faridia seminary could retaliate and open another front for the government as the bloody confrontation around the Red Mosque in which 19 people have been killed entered a fifth day.

    I hope readers will not turn this into yet another distractive discussion, but I should add that Jamia Faridia has, in fact, featured in an earlier ATP Post, but in a very different context.

  106. baber says:
    July 7th, 2007 1:30 am

    Also Ibhrahim MasaAllah bhai can you tell us what your take is on this LAL MASJID DRAMA. Its okay if you don’t want to tell us. But I am really intrested in knowing.

  107. Ibrahim says:
    July 7th, 2007 4:35 am

    Salamalikum,

    Search the last three, four posts on Lal masjid in the past few months and it will be crystal clear to you what I think. Here, read this comment, but you can search other posts on lal masjid as well:

    http://pakistaniat.com/2007/06/23/lal-masjid-storm-chinese-massage-parlor-in-islamabad-9-chinese-in-islamabad/
    [Ctrl-f for Ibrahim]

    Allahu Alam, but why interested in reading my views and exclusively asking for it? I’m nobody, Allahmdulillah. Khayr, you asked and I have answered.

  108. Shareef Shaitan says:
    July 7th, 2007 7:26 am

    Mr. Shahzad Ahmed Mir asked; from where the students of LAL-MASJID get the guns etc.
    Dear Brother, this is not the issue here,
    every paksitani in Pakistan carries a gun (ref to 12 May, Karachi)
    If Pak govt. has an objection of having ammunition then they should 1st catch those who spread anarki in Karachi by the name of ANY organization.
    Has anyone seen the program TAKRA yesterday (06-07-07) from “ONE” TV?
    the host was inside with Maulana A.Rasheed when Rangers started the attack, and still they say in the news that no one knows who start the shooting on the first place.
    How strange !!!

  109. Shareef Shaitan says:
    July 7th, 2007 7:47 am

    BTW,
    P. Musharraf have to show American president.
    Mr. Bush, see, if you won’t let me be the president these kind of people will rule Pakistan and America can go to hell after that.
    So, as you can see Mr. Bush that I am the ONLY one who can control such activities, kindly raise your hand in my favor and let me rule for a couple of dacades more.

    >>> FYI, I like musharraf as a president compare to other rulers of PAK, but in this case I am with LAL-Masjid.

  110. KAWA1 says:
    July 7th, 2007 8:28 pm

    Today our commando president interviewed on Geo stated that there is still time for Lal Masjid leaders to let everyone out and surrender. He stated that otherwise I can guarantee them that they (all) will be killed!!

    I absolutely do not support the Lal Masjid clan as they are nothing but a bunch of mad-men but it is the ruthless statements of our so called President that sometimes reminds me of the American Administrators appointed in Iraq… the likes of John Negraponte for example!!

    It is obvious that this General/President literally portrays himself as Viceroy of a foreign power ..I sometimes feel that his behavior/statement reflect that of a conqueror who is ruling a country after a military victory. I would not be surprised that he (also) like another one sitting in London is a RAW agent penetrated in our military or simply holds venom or hate against every other nationality in Pakistan like Altaf Hussain…

    If Pakistan is ever to progress, there is only one way;
    disband the current military or simply reduce it to a size of 100,000 (current strength well over 800,000). We should have instead an all volunteer army like USA with anyone over 18 going in military training. We have the nukes so no one will ever invade us. We will save 65% of our national budget for the poor masses to change their destiny. All military industrial empire should be nationalized or privatized by the state.

  111. KAWA1 says:
    July 7th, 2007 8:36 pm

    P.S.
    Anyone who thinks that reducing the current military threat would be risky from security aspect lives in a fools paradise. They lost ’65 war, 100,000 surrendered during ’71 war along with loosing 1/2 of country. They are only good at kicking butts of their own people…

    There is no way that this army (corrupt to the core) has the capacity to fight a war with India or any other nation for that matter so it really does not make an iota of a difference whether we have a military strength of 50 people or 800,000..

    We just need a few to handle the nukes.. That is it!!

  112. Kruman says:
    July 7th, 2007 10:54 pm

    Kawa1 welcome back to ATP! It is refreshing to hear someone inject a dosage of reality and wisdom on these forums.

    I used to think that bloggers are quite savy. I have to review my stance now. Except for a handful most bloggers are unable to see the forces behind the events around Lal masjid. Some are naive to the extent that they take criticism of this drama as supporting the mullas in lal masjid.

    On the other side, journalists are very savvy. Even thought they don’t say it openly, they do express their cynisism, often in a subtle manner. Kamran Khan, Shahid Masood and Hamid Mir all fall in this category. I have not heard Talat Hussain recently, but I am sure he sees the drama as it is. Ayaz Mir though was blunt in his column, ” A drama to beat all dramas.”

    Keep posting Kawa1!

  113. KAWA1 says:
    July 8th, 2007 12:12 am

    Thanks Kruman! However like always this is the censored version…
    You can read the entire text on your blog
    http://free-pakistan.blogspot.com/

    Problem is that we should call a spade a spade… things are so obvious between MQM and Mush that only the dumbest would not see it. Mush labels all as terrorist to the extent that he calls Imran Khan as one. He’s alarmed at Jamia Hafsa being used as an ammo dump but as for MQM, he is blind. He did not mention guns when massacre took place in Karachi. No word from him after Altaf’s speech was broadcast on national TV, nothing…Something is not right here and we should question it and if this forum will censor it or make an effort to keep that topic out of discussion, so be it as I put my views on several others including your and in my e mails to media, Mush himself, etc.

    I understand that it might piss-off a lot of people but we can’t stay silent about this like our politicians because they might need MQM’s support tomorrow. Imran had the courage..real courage and especially being entrenched in politics in Pakistan. However my point is that MQM/Mush must understand and I hope those who support them understand that we as Pakistanis know what is going on and have a clear picture of the game-plan.

    Politically correct we should be but not to the extent where we have to be dishonest with ourselves to achieve that correctness.

    I spend more time on your blog now to take out my frustrations but sometimes old habits die hard…Ha! Ha!

  114. KAWA1 says:
    July 8th, 2007 12:44 am

    Shareef Shaitan
    I do not understand your FYI..
    >>> FYI, I like musharraf as a president compare to other rulers of PAK, but in this case I am with LAL-Masjid.

    You surprise me that of all the things that this devious man has committed, the one that has a little bit of reason to it (Lal Masjid), you condemn!!!!!!!!!!

    Since this is the only one that you do not agree with him on, please enlighten us all by stating those cases where you agree with him? Let’s just start from the beginning; overthrow of a constitutionally elected government; Killing a Baluch national leader, handing over hundreds of Pakistani citizens without approval of our justice system to USA for $10,000 or more dollars a head, importing a PM from U.S who is not even a Pakistani citizen, massacre of Pukhtun’s in NWFP and tribal belts, the Chief Justice injustice, the media ban, the MQM massacre….

    I seriously think that we should ban excess consumption of wheat in Pakistan as the only staple diet… as a nation, too much “atta” has made our brains slow to function. Definitely, something to do with our diets or eating habits. Seriously, some veggies might help!

  115. Kruman says:
    July 8th, 2007 2:29 am

    Kawa1,
    Please send me an email from youtube. I am kruman17 there. I have a couple of topics in mind where we can put our disappointment with Mush and (most of the) political leadership to good use on our blogs.

    Sorry moderators!

  116. Shareef Shaitan says:
    July 8th, 2007 4:16 am

    2 KAWA1;
    Dear,
    wat ever Musharaf did, was (as he said) for the bettement of PK.
    Baloch leader Bughti; well killing him is a success to all of the pakistani ppl, and I suggest we should killlll all of these kind of “Chowdhriez, Sardarz & Otherz” who think themselves as GOD.
    (Ref: A case in NEWS came up last year a poor man came to Karachi to SELL his KIDNEYS to FREE his father from a cruel ruler of his area) – can u believe that,
    and all these ppl were made and built in BiBi and Nawaz govt.
    so my comment above were compared to these 2 rulerz basically.

    PS. I dont support any political party, I dont even live in PK. Just worried abt PK like any other Pakistani.

  117. Toryalai says:
    July 8th, 2007 6:16 pm

    From another website:

    Kuch Bacchiyoon ko Ajal key War lay gaey
    Kuch ko bana key Behan Serkar lay gaey
    Main Kaisey bahir jaoon koee sabab karo
    Burqa tu mera Sohar-e-Namdaar lay gaey

  118. KAWA1 says:
    July 8th, 2007 10:25 pm

    Shareef Shaitan

    Thanks.
    By the way, you missed the biggest tyrant of them all!
    Altaf Hussain…how come? Thought you had no affiliation to any political party?

    Would really like you views on Altaf Bhai/MQM and their history of how many people you think they have butchered. The waderas and chaudry’s cannot have that kind of blood on their hands to the likes of what this man sitting in London has, yet that name is very conveniently missed from your vocabulary and of many other…

    Incidentally, there is so much similarity in your text and the speeches of the man who sits in London who talks about Pakistan being the greatest blunder in the history of sub-continent!! Hopefully that’s just a coincidence!

    Let’s not make living outside Pakistan as an excuse to justify our neutrality. Makes no difference at all and as the old saying goes; If you walk and talk like a duck, you probably are one. Does not matter which continent you live in!!!!!!

    All said and done, I really appreciate your response and you have a right to your opinion and seriously I respect that. Unfortunately my views are different and nothing can ever change my one single stance and that is; Our beloved country was created to be a democracy and I would never accept to be ruled under the boots of military tyrants. May the military be run by a man from Jehlum, Karachi, Baluch or NWFP or my dad. I was always deadly vocal against Ayub Khan from my school,college days, Yahya Khan and now Mush for that matter because at the end they all brought miseries. As for MQM, I have seen MQM closely and know the truth about this organization.

    For me, the worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship even if that means a Pakistan with Altaf Hussain being the President/PM of Pakistan (being duly elected, of coarse).

  119. baber says:
    July 9th, 2007 1:01 am

    Shareef Shaitan

    Killing people doesn’t solve problems, thats military/mullah mentality which to my opinion are not smart people. Killig Bugti and supporting other sardars, do you see hypocricy. What benefit of killing bugti did govt or people get. Instead it created more nationalits and made them more stronger. Don’t kill people instead punish culprits and create awareness.

  120. KAWA1 says:
    July 9th, 2007 1:58 am

    Yahya Khan and his goons (Corps Commander) wanted to hang Mujeeb Ur Rehman. Thank God Bhutto had more sense and stopped the mad general from taking that step,..

    Zia murdered Bhutto and Sind has never been the same. For anyone who has experience of living in the interior of Sind would know that the word Punjabi is a “gali” (abuse) as they blame the Army as being Punjabis.

    I remember visiting Dhakka in 1985 and was shocked the hate I drew when anyone found out that I originated from Punjab. Ordinary citizens in shops and in shopping places openly showed their contempt. Things might be different today…don’t know.

    What we have done with Bughti will never be forgotten by the Baluch people and it would takes years to heal this wound..

    I am shocked that ever since Mush took over the reins of our country, the word “kill” is used so callously that it haunts every civilized person in Pakistan. If it was up to people like our friend Shareef Shaitan, they would like for Mush to kill BB and Nawaz Shareef as well. The only person who actually deserves to be killed (heavens, I don’t mean it and it should never happen) is Altaf Hussain, if anyone and on that neither Mush nor his supporters will ever say a word. This is the height of hypocrisy! If you take life so callously for all politicians then why spare the one who has brought the greatest destruction to the minds of our people and is against the very creation of our country.

  121. HASSAN says:
    July 9th, 2007 4:50 am

    This is only one story. There is a Lal Masjid like situation ready to blow up in every town . we need to curb this extremism everywhere.

  122. Fayyaz Ahmed says:
    July 9th, 2007 12:37 pm

    These extremist mullahs need to be taught a lesson. If this means dealing with these elements all over the country so be it. The change has to come from within, the silent majority of people need to speak up now. This is not Islam, defying the law, kidnapping and killing people, holding hostages. These people are not above the law.

  123. zuhaib rafaqat says:
    July 9th, 2007 2:25 pm

    its a self made issu by govt.they want to effect all parties conference and fame of cheif justice of pakistan mr Iftikhar muhammad chaudrey,and govt success in his ambition.peoles who first feel cereocity in the reference agaist cheif justice,but now they worry about Lal masjid and jamaia hafsa.

  124. Nazir says:
    July 9th, 2007 3:03 pm

    @baber:

    [quote]Killing people doesn’t solve problems[/quote]

    Really? Then why did prophets do it? You are doing hasty generalisation. Each situation requires its own treatment and sometimes treatment needs to be changed mid -situation. Use of force is sometimes not only necessary but occasionally it can be criminal not to use force.

  125. baber says:
    July 9th, 2007 3:18 pm

    An eye for an eye will leave us all blind.
    Its important to make a criminal realize for his crime then just killing him which is a way to create fear among other people, but you see fearless people are still out there. As we can’t give anybody life we should not take what we din’t give.

    I don’t want to comment on “Then why did prophets do it”.

    But think for a sec, has the world changed because we have been giving death penalties? certainlity not.
    The end of human race is when the civilization ends.

  126. baber says:
    July 9th, 2007 6:00 pm

    okay if you are insisting so much….
    GOD told prophets to kill and they told their follower to kill. And why GOD told them cause HE created good and evil. Why HE created evil I really have no idea? I haven’t got a chance to talk to HIM yet. So don’t expect me to defend religion or GOD.
    Abida parveen song..Tu nay dewana banah yeh…
    Nigah-e-Naz say poochain gay kisi din yeh zaeen
    Tunay kiya kiya nah banayeh koi kiya kiyah nah banah

  127. Zahra M. says:
    July 10th, 2007 1:08 am

    Adil Najam, very good column today in The News. I wish govt had read that las night.

  128. esha says:
    July 10th, 2007 3:53 am

    this is a funny situation!we all should be ashamed over that i really want to know y only such problems are repeatedly created in our country………now we have shuned our religion,ok if ghazi brothers are doing so called jihad(ridiculous)i think first of all these two molanas should first get knowledge of Holy Quran and find the right way f jihad and then jump into the field…wtever they did its a coward step……shame on them!

  129. esha says:
    July 10th, 2007 3:56 am

    i m really feeling sad for the situation in pakistan but most f the ppl attitude is that pakistan main tu aisa hi hota hai…….shame on that so called molanas and jihadis i think they should better study the QURAN in detail and then find the right way f jihad……this is wut they done is just a coward step i think the whole nation shoul condemn them!

  130. Dr. Syed Javed says:
    July 10th, 2007 11:59 am

    What have we made of ourselves?

    http://www.ambassadorsofislam.com

    Whatever may have caused it; whatever may have provided the inspiration; whatever may have given the impetus to the present killing spree in the lands of Islam, one thing is certain: the onus of responsibility lies on Muslim leadership especially the religious leadership. The religion whose stress on the sanctity, dignity and inviolability of human life, its propagation and its institutions is so great that it calls saving of one human life an act equal to saving the whole of humanity. “.. whoever slays a soul, unless it be for man slaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men… “ 5:32

    to read on please long into http://www.ambassadorsofislam.com

  131. Ishaq says:
    July 10th, 2007 2:34 pm

    For a guy who is supposed to be a religious scholar (ulema!) this Abdul Rashid guy turns out to be a serial liar.
    1. He said there are only students and no militants in the mosque. LIE
    2. He says they only have 14 Klashnikovs and nothing else. They must be pretty amazing Klashnikovs. LIE
    3. He says he wants to avoid deaths but he stubbornly brainwashes kids, holds them hostage an forces them to die. LIE
    4. He says he has proof against women he accused of prostitution but is never able to produce it. LIE
    5. He says that his compound is just a mosque and madrassah but it was obviously built as a fortress and it was their plan all along to wage war against innocent Paksitanis. Lie.
    I don’t believe much of what teh govt says either but this guy takes teh cake for lying. He is an insult to Islam and an insult to Pakistan. He is responsible for having so many Pakistanis killed needlessly. He should be put on trial after death.

  132. JHA says:
    July 10th, 2007 2:42 pm

    Adil Najam, very good analysis in The News today. I agree with you fully. Although it is now too late after teh operation but the questions you raise still need to be answered

  133. Jamal K. says:
    July 10th, 2007 3:55 pm

    Hats of to police, local admin and military for the sacrifices they have made and the great patience with whcih they worked to make sure that least number of people may die. Shame on th Lal Masjid people (I agree with someone who said that they are not Maulana because they are anti-Islam themselves) for waging a war against muslims and against Pakistanis.

  134. KAWA1 says:
    July 11th, 2007 12:49 am

    Jamal K.
    Well said!

    I wish they had made a similar commitment to saving lives when 50 innocent people were butchered in Karachi on March 12th and not just stood idle watching the massacre.

  135. moha says:
    July 14th, 2007 2:23 pm

    just wana say totally a drama n da whole bavakoofffff people ov pakistan enjoyed it a lot cz pervez musj=haraf da director created it very well but i think musharaf will face sooo many nice things in future

  136. ASADULLAH says:
    July 15th, 2007 12:54 pm

    I agree with many others on this blog that the killing of innocent young children was a great national tragedy. The killers must not be allowed to go scott free. I think the only way to restore national dignity after this tragedy is to make sure that justice is done. In this case that will mean putting this Ghazi murderer on trial posthumously and also put his brother and other captured leaders on trial not only for inciting violence but for the murder of the children killed in the Lal Masjid as well as the soldiers and the journalist. If I send my children to school and the principal there acts in ways that directly endangers there life and uses them as a human shield to hide his own crimes then I want justice against the principal. That is what is needed here.

  137. chudhary says:
    July 15th, 2007 5:55 pm

    i don’t see a single comment on this page that justifies the lal masjid massacare !

  138. Bushra says:
    July 16th, 2007 12:45 pm

    While the issue is hot the govt shd push to clean all militant madrassas. They are bringing bad name to Islam, bad name to Pakistan and bad name to madrassas.

  139. Qureshi says:
    July 16th, 2007 1:19 pm

    Insightful and well written analysis of what is happening in Pakistan by William Dalrymple in New Yorker

  140. Abdul says:
    July 16th, 2007 1:29 pm

    The extremists are now using this Lal Masjid excuse to broaden their killing and murders. Nearly 70 people, many innocent civilian Pakistanis, have been killed by these terrorists in NWFP and Northern areas now. Why are people not outraged at THIS war against Pakistanis by these religious extremists?

  141. July 25th, 2007 11:59 am

    UPDATE From Dawn:

    The government has appointed Maulana Ashfaq as new Khateeb of Lal Masjid, sources told Dawn late Tuesday night. Maulana Ashfaque, 55, is presently khateeb of Bilal Masjid, which is located near Covered market in the sector G-6. The new khateeb of the Lal Masjid has been appointed in basic pay scale-12 and he would be given extra perks and privileges.

    A senior official of the local administration said the new Khateeb, belonging to Deobandi school of thought, is a balanced man and free from any controversy. He said Maulana Ashfaq will lead Friday prayers in the mosque which will be opened for prayers after remaining closed for over 20 days due to an operation against militants which claimed 102 lives including security personnel.

    Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is expected to visit Lal Masjid on Thursday to inspect the renovation work of the mosque and formally announce the appointment of its new khateeb. The sources said that the prime minister will also announce construction of an Islamic Centre at the site of Jamia Hafsa which is being demolished, the sources said. The centre would have a library, an auditorium, a marriage hall and a mini sports gymnasium, the sources said.

    Meanwhile, interior ministry spokesman Brig Javed Iqbal Cheema said Lal Masjid would be opened for prayers on July 27. A foolproof security plan has also been made for Friday prayers in the mosque. It is pertinent to mention here that the Muttahida Majlis-i- Amal (MMA) had warned to stage a protest demonstration and rallies against the government if the mosque was not opened for prayers by July 27. He said, the renovation work of Lal Majid was going on at a fast pace and it would be completed by Friday.

    The Capital Development Authority (CDA) which is renovating the mosque had painted apple green colour on the interior walls of the main hall of the mosque while the outer walls had been painted with binge colour. The sources said about 80 per cent building of Jamia Hafsa had been demolished and the government had decided to bulldoze the Children’s Library adjacent to the women seminary which was illegally occupied by the students of the seminary on January 21, this year. The interior ministry spokesman said National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) had suggested that both Jamia Hafsa and the library buildings had badly damaged in the military operation against militants therefore they could not be used any more. “We have no other option but to demolish them,

  142. July 25th, 2007 1:59 pm


    is a balanced man

    But senior official didn’t bother to define what’s considered “Balanced” for him or his seniors? I think that unless the khateeb don’t give any speech against Musharraf’s Liberalism/secularism and enlightenment and moderation,he’s a balanced person otherwise he would be ignorantly labeled as a “right wing extremist Mullah”,”Backward” or what not.

  143. baber says:
    July 25th, 2007 2:23 pm

    Barq girti hay tho baycharay musalmano par…….:(

  144. mazhar butt says:
    July 25th, 2007 3:40 pm

    Aren’t all Mullahs the same??
    The official appointment of Maulana Ashfaq as the new Khateeb of the Lal Mosque will soon lead to a new sectarian controversy !

  145. Saadia Habib says:
    July 27th, 2007 6:42 am

    hey Dear all who are supporting Government now your most favorte America is also coming up to help you come on and help them as well u all are not muslim just munafeen………

  146. July 27th, 2007 7:11 am

    butt sb,no secterian thingie. People didn’t want a govt’s mouthpiece as an Imam so they rejected him. Namaz was later offered by some student of Jamia faridya. and waisye bhe, you re free to not offer namaz behind an Imam which you don’t accept.

  147. mazhar butt says:
    July 27th, 2007 12:07 pm

    Adnan Siddiqui

    I bet the situation is going to get worse in Islamabad due to Lal masjid occurrence. I dont know what’s the criteria to judge whether or not an imam is fit to lead the jamaat by an iterant?
    Afterall who were the people who said their prayers for years after the Ghazi bros? Is the mosque reserved for a specific sect?
    Dont yo think the adherents of that specific sect will never allow people from other sects to take over their place of worship? By pissing off the sarkari Khateeb don’t you think the Jamia Hafsa loyalists have not again challenged the writ of the government? I think matters of religious controversy are not so easy to be forgiven and forgotten (as the Islamic History suggests)

  148. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    July 27th, 2007 2:54 pm


    Is the mosque reserved for a specific sect?

    usually Yes and this is not with Islam only. It does make sense as well but the current issue is not due to maslak. As adil najam quoted that new Imam was also a debobandi follower. The issue is that He was not accepted because he was considered an ally of Govt.

    What I think that Govt is determined to demolish Masjid as well by bringing such SHOSHAS.

  149. mazhar butt says:
    July 27th, 2007 8:35 pm

    I think the government would be vying to demolish the Red Mosque in the first minute but cannot do it due to the horrendous implications her act would bear in the act. It will surely anger all Muslims in general and cast an ugly blur on the history of Pakistan for decades to come.

    I heard Ghamadi’s statement about the issue on the TV today and I endorse his opinion which is quite logical and sane enough to save the situation. Ghamadi was of the opinion that ”Is it necessary that anyting which may be right be enforced indiscriminately in all situations without considering the circumstances of the case?”" ”that the imam for the mosque be appointed in consultation, inter alia, with the residents of the area as it would be they who would be ultimately saying their namaz there.”"

  150. Musalmaan says:
    August 3rd, 2007 1:43 pm

    Adnan Razzaq, maybe you should ask your mind again.

    What they were doing was ghunda gardi and extortion. They were running a den of sin by highjacking a mosque. They were kidnapping people without cause. Slapping false accusations on people for being whores without any proof. The leader of this criminals even kept his own mother hostage and is ultimately responsible for murdering her by not letting her go out even when Bilquees Edhi and others were begging him to let her go. And in all of this they forced (like all criminals do) the death of innocent people too.

    Nearly every thing that this military government has done is wrong. Everything except this one thing of removing these criminals who had highjacked this mosque!

  151. Imran says:
    August 22nd, 2007 12:50 pm

    The army president knows that his hands are on guns while he said he was in the line of fire. Is he a muslim ?

  152. basit says:
    August 30th, 2007 11:21 am

    I guess we can never really be sure of the inner machinations of the army/ISI

  153. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 10th, 2007 1:39 pm

    Just went thru 150 comments of the Blog lal Masjid
    strong majority of them pure demagogy in hidden
    Islamophbia, calling the contestors as terrorists as if
    seculars and communists can not be terrorists ?

    Nearly all of them took defence of this diabolic Govt.
    and their touts asking them to finish ” them”.

    Lal Masjid’s tragedy was triggered by the provokation
    came from left seculars, because they had the media
    and the govt ( infiltrated by leftist) behind them.

  154. Zakir Hussain says:
    February 4th, 2008 8:49 am

    it was a misserable event, occured at the religious place. which caught the lives of many leaning students, and preachers. The attack over Lal Masjid is an open threat to Islam.which shows the graet controversy and a hidden hand of Amrican to holocaust the Pakistan.

  155. February 4th, 2008 9:13 am

    The sunset of Baby Pinky
    The daugter who remained for a short period in the lape of her mother, supporter as pillar of PPP and dream of Pakistanis often remained under the threat of the corrupt and unloyal politicians and bars. but she reacted those all with her couragious and sympathetic views and showed them not be bitter to her.the daughter of the east in her hole life gave the lesten of justice and a hand of blessing over deserving. we all the Samo family along with the team of Knowledge Centre and indus school larkana pray to Almighty Allah to award her Paradise.

  156. ashi says:
    March 17th, 2008 7:45 am

    salam,its really very miserable thing..jin logo ne itna zulm kya ha Allah un logo ko bdtareen injamm se nawaze..Aamin

  157. March 18th, 2008 12:47 am

    HAJI AKHTER MOAZZAM……………………….
    u said that u love PAKISTAN , u love the people of PAKISTAN and u love human being.
    Can u answer that y u r disconnected form ur parents.
    A aged man with white beard and weak eye sight is still waiting for his son in Pakistan.
    A old lady , a dbts patient is looking the way of her son in ur Pakistan.
    A young girl died hopping that she ll c her brother in her life in Pakistan.
    A Child died with out meeting his brother in Pakistan.
    How do say that u love Pakistan?

  158. YLH says:
    March 18th, 2008 12:49 am

    Get a life.

  159. shumaila jameel says:
    May 6th, 2008 12:02 pm

    slam,,,
    this type of incident is not suitable for a muslim country it realy a shamful fact in the history ofn pakistan,may Allah give the visdom and tolerence to the govt of pakistan,,,amin.

  160. ammalkhan says:
    May 6th, 2008 12:45 pm

    AOA
    it really miserable event which occur at the religious place so i pray to Allah that he give patience to all the people .amin

  161. June 5th, 2010 3:04 pm

    yeas what thay do?
    really shown bad massages here
    i am dislike it

  162. farahan says:
    February 2nd, 2011 1:56 pm

    jahannam me jaye ga INSHALLLAH jis ki wja se b ye hua he/.

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