A New Wave Of Tension In The Capital

LalMasjidWomen.jpgTensions resurfaced in Islamabad Monday when the religious students of Lal-Masjid and others took to the streets after a military helicopter performed a low-level flight over the seminary in the early morning.

The baton-wielding religious students blocked the road in front of the controversial Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in anticipation of a police or military operation against the seminary. The students apparently believed, wrongly, that the helicopters were initiating a military siege.

The students raised anti-government slogans and prevented people and vehicles from coming close to the mosque and the adjacent seminary. However, unlike on previous such occasions, the female students of Jamia Hafsa remained absent from the scene.

The deputy principal of the seminary, Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, told the media that the military helicopter remained in the air over the Jamia Hafsa school for 15-20 minutes and that one of the personnel in the helicopter took photographs of the inside view of the seminary.

The local officials completely denied that there was ever an attempt by the government to launch an operation against the seminary or the mosque.

Meanwhile, intelligence agencies have warned that three would-be suicide bombers have set out for Islamabad to target government functionaries if law-enforcement agencies crack down on Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Fareedia. Daily Times has learnt that intelligence agencies submitted reports to the Interior Ministry a few days ago warning that the three men, including two Uzbeks, had left Darra Adam Khel for Islamabad to undertake suicide attacks.

Elsewhere in Karachi on April 15, tens of thousands rallied in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, to protest against the demands by a radical religious school which has begun a Taliban-style anti-vice campaign in the capital, Islamabad.

9 Comments so far

  1. JayJay (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

    While we brace for mullahs to blow themselves up to kill the innocent of Islamabad, watch this:


  2. Fargham (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

    I wondwe why Government has not talken any solid action against it till yet!

  3. Fargham (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

    I wonder why Government has not talken any solid action against it till yet!

  4. JayJay (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

    “Unfortunately, many members of civil society are succumbing to the climate of fear being generated not only by the Hafsa brigade itself accompanied by their baton-wielding Lal Masjid, but also by the state’s decision not to assert its writ firmly against these lawbreakers. The fear is based on the premise that if the state is unable to protect the ordinary person from the diktat of the violent extremists then there is little choice but to either stay locked up indoors or fall in line with this extremist diktat. So, effectively the damage to civil society has already been done and the dye of extremism has been cast.”


    This wonderful article highlights the visible impacts on civil society of the Lal Masjid episode and the inability of the government to enforce its writ.

    I wish we could have a quick end to this episode as the repercussions on the society becoming dire with each passing day. A protracted diaogue by the government with criminals is considered unacceptable all over the world but not in our unique country.

  5. jahnanara (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

    I agree with JayJay. This Govt is unique in that it is negotiating with terrorists.

  6. Neena (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 9:39 am
  7. JayJay (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    Backpacker: There should have been a post on yesterday’s rally against mullahgardi. Cheers

  8. HASSAN' (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 3:06 am

    Goverment not gona take any millitary action against the LAL MASJID….but cant comment on the issue that y they took snaps from a chopper????

  9. whatever (unregistered) on April 24th, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

    The government itself is ifested by relegious zealots.

    Hint: Take a look at the constituency of Q League.

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