ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz has said that he is ready to forgive former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and all other figures for their involvement in the 2007 bloody siege of Lal Masjid.
Talking to journalists after an additional district and sessions judge granted him pre-arrest bail in two separate cases – extending threats to the civil society and inciting sectarian hatred — Aziz said he would make an announcement in this regard in a press conference soon.
"I think Musharraf made a mistake. He is our Muslim brother ... I say we take the first step and forgive him," he said.
Aziz said he is in talks with his family members and will convince those who disagree on pardoning Musharraf "as an act of goodwill, for peace in the country, for the end of terrorism and for peace in children's schools".
"Nations quarrel, forgive and then unite. Why can't we unite for the application of Quran and Sunnah?" he said, after speaking about the importance of forgiveness in Islam.
"We are soon going to announce that we forgive all persons involved."
"Aside from me, sisters from my family are also ready to forgive him," he said, asserting that the decision has been taken without any sort of pressure or deal.
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"If the teachings of Quran and Sunnah were implemented in the country, Musharraf would not have made the mistake [of Lal Masjid operation]."
Aziz claimed Musharraf had over 40 bogus cases registered against him and his family.
On request of a reporter, Aziz said he condemns the attack on Charsadda University "where our brothers were martyred", as he did the Army Public School attack.
Counsel for Aziz disagrees
Meanwhile, Aziz's lawyer advocate Tariq Asad said even if Aziz forgives those involved in the Lal Masjid siege, he will have new First Information Reports (FIRs) registered in the name of "martyrs of Lal Masjid".
He would even register an FIR against Aziz if he goes ahead with the decision to pardon Musharraf, Asad said.
Musharraf faces a string of court cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, including case over death of Abdul Aziz's brother Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, one of more than 100 people killed after army soldiers stormed Lal Masjid in Islamabad on July 10, 2007.
The mosque was the scene of a week-long military siege against radicals that unleashed a wave of militant attacks across Pakistan.