Fiery speeches mark Lal Masjid crackdown
July 07, 2008
MABAD - Thousands of participants of the Lal Masjid Shuhda Conference on Sunday vowed that the mission of late Abur Rashid Ghazi would continue and every kind of sacrifice would be rendered to enforce Islamic system in the country.
The Conference was held on the premises of Lal Masjid to commemorate the first anniversary of those killed in the 'Operation Silence' conducted by security forces against the students of the mosque and Jamia Hafsa.
Besides others, a huge number of religious scholars and seminary students attended the conference. Large numbers of women also present on the occasion, however, they were in a separate hall with Ume-Hissan, wife of Maulana Abdul Aziz.
Haroon Ur Rashid Ghazi, 15-year-old son of late Abdur Rashid Ghazi, Mulana Hanif Jalandhri, Nazim Wafaqul Madaris, Mulana Abdur Rashid, President Punjab Wafaqul Madaris, Dr Abur Razaq Sikandar, Muhtmem Banori Town Karachi, Sheikh Ul Hadees Mulana Saleemullah, Mulana Ahmad Ludhyanvi, Mulana Alam Tariq, brother of assassinated Maulana Azam Tariq, Ali Sher Haideri, and many others addressed the conference.
In his speech, Haroon Ur Rashid Ghazi said that mission of his assassinated father late Abdur Rashid Ghazi, grandmother and brother Hassan, and hundreds of students, who were martyred on the behest of America, would be completed.
"The sacrifices of Lal Masjid will not go in vain. These will definitely bring Islamic revolution in the country," the younger Ghazi told the huge gathering of seminary students, who came here from far-flung areas of the country to attend the Convention.
He claimed that lethal weapons were used by security forces of the country against the innocent students, including children, women and aged people of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa.
Maulana Alam Tariq claimed that the people of Pakistan hate Musharraf as he had unleashed brutal force on the students of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa one year before.
"Pervez Musharraf is one of the cruel who shed the blood of innocent people. He has lost popularity among masses owing to the operation against the innocent students," he added.
Maulana Hanif Jalendhri believed that the Lal Masjid operation was a conspiracy hatched by anti-Islamic elements with full support of America. He also condemned the military operation in the tribal areas of Pakistan. He said that they would remain united at the platform of Wafaqul Madaris.
Faisal Muawia from banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan strongly condemned the role of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mufti Kifayatullah, saying people would never forget their interest-based politics during the Lal Masjid operation.
On the occasion, a resolution was passed unanimously in which they demanded honourable release of Lal Masjid's former Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz, reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa in the light of Supreme Court's decision and a strict action against the responsible persons of Lal Masjid operation.
The participants of the Convention chanted slogans against President Musharraf and demanded his execution.
Strict security measures were taken at the convention premises and no one was allowed to enter without proving his identification.
Police fanned out in thousands in Islamabad and also laid a tight security ring around the gathering in front of the mosque, as emotional protesters waved black flags and chanted slogans praising 'martyrs' of the siege.
Police set up barbed wire and pickets around the Lal Masjid to prevent vehicles from entering the area while pedestrians were searched for arms.
Heartbroken scenes were witnessed during the speech of Late Ghazi's son as participants were weeping loudly with tears rolling down their cheeks.
Agencies add: The crowd, mainly young students from religious schools, shouted 'revenge, revenge' as speakers blamed Musharraf for the carnage and demanded reconstruction of a female seminary destroyed in the raid.
In fiery speeches, speakers condemned the 2007 military operation against the mosque, blaming Musharraf for the carnage which they claimed was carried out at the request of the United States.
Speakers also threatened unspecified action if the mosque's jailed leader, who was caught fleeing in a woman's burqa on the second day of the siege, was not released.
Others urged jihad or holy war against US and NATO forces fighting extremists in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Former Islamist MP Shah Abdul Aziz condemned what he called a crusade by the United States against the Muslim world and urged jihad against forces in Afghanistan and their unnamed backers in Pakistan.
"We must wage jihad against the American, NATO forces (in Afghanistan) and their cohorts in Pakistan who are part of the conspiracy against Muslims and our own country," he told the crowd.
An official from an organisation of madrassas said a murder charge should be brought against Musharraf and all those who took part in the operation.
"A criminal case of mass murders should be registered against Musharraf and others responsible for the killings," Hanif Jalandhri told the crowd. "Musharraf should be executed publicly in front of the Parliament after an open trial."
A spokesman for the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) Action Committee said the protest was to demand the government release mosque leader Abdul Aziz and hand back control of the complex to its former administration.
"We will also demand action against those who were responsible for ordering the operation and killings of innocent people," Mufti Abdul Rehman told AFP.
"Today our protest will be peaceful but we cannot guarantee the same if the government fails to meet our demands," Rehman said, without setting a deadline.
The protesters also want students to be allowed back to a boys' madrassa in a separate part of Islamabad.
Thousands of students from around the country had arrived in Islamabad overnight, with some of them camping out near the mosque.
The Shuhda-e-Lal Masjid Conference also announced setting up Markaz-e-Ghazi. In a written statement released on behalf of the wife of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Humaira Rashid Ghazi, it is said that the setting up of Markaz-e-Ghazi has been decided for looking after the Lal Masjid operation affected families.
Monitoring Desk adds: The organisers of the conference refused to accept lunch and 100 mango crates sent by the government.
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