ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry came under immense pressure to take action against Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz after four key legal documents, asserting that the cleric was an absconder, were presented before the upper house by Senator Farhatullah Babar.

Babar, who also sought the chair’s permission to move a privilege motion against Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for misleading the house, said Nisar incorrectly stated in Senate that the government did not move against Aziz because of a lack of evidence in the case lodged against him.

Also read: Chairman bars defence minister from attending Senate session.

In a policy statement presented to Senate on Dec 30, 2015, on the implementation of the National Action Plan, the interior minister had also said that if anyone came up with documentary evidence against Aziz, immediate action will be taken regardless of political considerations.

The documents Babar produced included a copy of the FIR against Aziz, dated Dec 19, 2014, arrest warrants issued against him, a court order declaring Aziz an absconder, an advertisement declaring Aziz an absconder and copy of an official notification issued to cellular companies to suspend services in areas in the vicinity of the Lal Masjid to prevent dissemination of Aziz’s Friday sermons.

Also read: Security beefed up as Lal Masjid cleric launches fresh movement in Islamabad

Aziz had publicly declared allegiance to, and sought the support of, Daesh, Babar claimed, adding that the government was “deliberately not apprehending him [Aziz] either because of fear or complicity.”

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered on December 19, 2014 against Lal Masjid’s chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz at Aabpara Police Station upon unremitting pressure exerted from protesting civil society.

Related: Lal Masjid cleric asks SC to ‘impose’ Sharia.

Babar said the documents, which were also available with the interior ministry, proved that Nisar’s statement in Senate on Dec 30 was not based on the truth.

He urged the Senate chairman to send the matter to the privilege committee or ask the government for a formal explanation on the contradiction between the minister’s statement and the facts highlighted by these documents.

Read: Report cites Lal Masjid, Jamia Hafsa ‘waging war’ against state

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani then directed that these documents be handed over to Nisar, from whom he has sought a comprehensive reply on the issue.

Opinion

Editorial

A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...
Back to politics
Updated 29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

PDM and PTI must realise that neither will get what they want if they keep fighting bitterly at every turn.
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...