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Lal Masjid operation: Umme Hassan wants perpetrators punished

January 02, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2: The spouse of Maulana Abdul Aziz, cleric of Lal Masjid, on Wednesday, in her lambaste before the one-man commission constituted to probe Lal Masjid operation, demanded severe punishment for perpetrators of the operation. She also praised General Ziaul Haq and criticised General Musharraf.

The commission is headed by Justice Shehzado Sheikh of Federal Shariat Court (FSC) and district and session judge Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah and additional sessions judge Kamran Basharat Mufti are assisting the one-man commission.

The 13 other women witnesses, including teachers and students of Jamia Hafsa Madrassah were reluctant to record their statements before the commission.

Majida Younis alias Umme Hassan principal Jamia Hafsa in her statement recorded before the commission praised military dictator Gen (retired) Ziaul Haq for promoting Jihadi culture but criticised Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf for branding the Jihadis as terrorists.

She alleged that Gen (retired) Musharraf, Gen (retired) Rashid Qureshi then spokesman of President House, and a serving three-star general Waheed Arshad, then director-general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), were responsible for the Lal Masjid operation.

In her one hour long testimony, Umme Hassan said that during the Zia regime, her family (in-laws) was freely collecting funds for fighting the war against Soviet Union and Arab warriors were frequent visitors to their home.

She recalled that in 1998 the relations between Lal Masjid and the government deteriorated, when her father-in-law, Abdullah, went to Afghanistan to discuss the imposition of Sharia with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Umar.

According to her, within a month of his return from Afghanistan, the father-in-law was killed by unidentified people, on August 17, 1998.

The Aabpara police refused to register a FIR, she added.

“During 2004 and 2005 Musharraf government in order to please its Western allies, started discriminatory actions against my family members and declared 80 mosques as a security risk and demolished them,” she informed the commission.

In early 2007, when the government had demolished 7 mosques in the federal capital, some women students of Jamia Hafsa occupied the Children’s Library at G-6, in retaliation, she said.

She also justified the act of kidnapping of Aunty Shamim and employees of a Chinese massage centre, stating that they were involved in activities inimical to Islam.

According to her, Aunty Shamim was running a prostitution den and had connections in higher places as a minister in the cabinet of Mr Musharraf was her client.

She claimed that the former minister for religious affairs Ijazul Haq had preemptively warned her family of the impending military operation.

Contradicting government figures in which the death toll is stated to be 103, with no causality of women students, Umme Hassan alleged that the military killed over 350 women students during the operation.

After Umme Hassan, Justice Sheikh asked the students of Jamia Hafsa to record their testimony but the students requested the commission for recording of testimony while keeping their identity secret.

The learned judge told them that the statement under the law could not be recorded in a secret manner.

Tayyaba Dua, daughter of Maulana Aziz told the commission that the women witnesses were already facing threats and were concerned about the safety of their relatives.

However, the judge offered that the girls, who wanted to keep their identity secret, could give written statements to Umme Hassan but in such a case the statements would be examined, not recorded.