ISLAMABAD: Two separate complaints have been lodged by civil society representatives with Aabpara police, for the registration of a case against Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz on Friday.

One of the complaints, lodged by Khurram Zaki, stated that Maulana Aziz and Jamia Hafsa-Lal Masjid recently released a video message which was well distributed over social media (a CD of the video was attached to the application), in which the cleric attempted to incite sectarian hatred and violence against Shia Muslims by blaming them for leading the civil society campaign against him and Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa.

The complaint said he also accused Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its officials of supporting and promoting a sectarian agenda by trying to concoct false and fabricated evidence against him. He specifically accused an unnamed serving brigadier in the agency, who he claimed belongs to the Shia sect, the complaint added.

It stated that such allegations are obvious and deliberate attempts from his side to malign and divide the national institution on sectarian lines, by fomenting sectarian hatred among the rank and file of the intelligence agency. It went on to say that such attempts to scandalise ISI falls out of the fair perimetres of genuine academic criticism of the wrongdoings of any state institution as no evidence was put forward to support his allegations.

The complaint said that “request was made to lodge and register an FIR against Molvi Aziz under ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act), including sections 6 and 8 and PPA (Protection of Pakistan Act) (Scheduled Offence II) and other appropriate sections of CrPC and other relevant laws and arrest him accordingly.”

Another complaint was lodged by Mohammad Jibran Nasir, which stated that a video was uploaded on the internet by unidentified students of Jamia Hafsa, which was also aired by an ARY news channel, which he also saw.

In the video, students pledged support to the banned organisation Daesh – otherwise known as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL – and asked it to avenge the Pakistani military’s operations against Osama bin Laden, Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa.

Ume Hassan, the chief patron of Jamia Hafsa, and Maulana Aziz, also commended Daesh in their video messages, the complaint said, and expressed their desire for caliphate in Pakistan, and confirmed that the students had ‘invited’ Daesh.

The complaint added that, in an interview with a newspaper, they said that the students recorded the video message with their permission.

The complaint stated that a terrorist organisation called Insarul Islam, which pledged allegiance to Daesh in August 2014, was operating out of a training camp named after Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, Maulana Aziz’s brother.

The complaint said such acts were a declaration of war against Pakistan, as well as a conspiracy and threat. It said a case should be registered against those mentioned, including the students.

Aabpara police said they have received the complaints and would send them to the police prosecution department for its legal opinion. They said the matter was sensitive, and advice would also be taken from the political corridor before any action is taken in response to the complaint.

In January 2015, capital police registered a case over the video of Jamia Hafsa students, and was given a green light from the prosecution department, a police official said on condition of anonymity. However, the official said that when permission was sought from the political corridor, they were denied.

Lal Masjid spokesperson Ehtesham Ahmed said: “In my opinion, cases would not be registered in response to the two complaints, as I hope.”

Regarding the complaint by Mr Nasir, he said the students in the video inviting Daesh had completed their studies at Jamia Hafsa and had left the seminary. He said they were not students at the time the video was recorded and had nothing to do with Jamia Hafsa.

He said the police may identify them and register a case against them, but Maulana Aziz and Ume Hassan never invited Daesh and there was no evidence against them in this regard.

Regarding the complaint by Mr Zaki, he said: “According to my information, the police already examined and watched the video, and did not find any hate speech.”

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2016

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