ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court granted on Tuesday pre-arrest bail to Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz in two criminal cases against the surety of Rs50,000 each.
Additional District & Sessions Judge Raja Asif Mehmood granted bail to the firebrand cleric after he appeared before the court early Tuesday morning.
On Monday, the court had refused to grant pre-arrest bail to Aziz in two cases, directing the capital police to produce him before the court today.
The court had directed SHO Aabpara Police to produce Aziz before the court if he was not already in custody in any other case. “If he is in custody then a report be submitted,” the court had ordered.
The Aabpara Police had registered a case under Section 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section ¾ of the Amplifier Act against Aziz and others.
Further, a separate case under Section 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the PPC was also registered.
Aziz’s counsel Tariq Asad had submitted on Monday two pre-arrest bail petitions, along with an application, seeking exemption from personal appearance of his client before the court. He had also filed an application under Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code for grant of bail.
However, the court had decided to take up all the petitions together on February 2, and ordered to file a fresh bail application in the cases.
Speaking to the media after securing a pre-arrest bail, Aziz said he is ready to forgive former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and others in the Lal Masjid case.
“I will soon be able persuade some of my family members and will announce the forgiveness publicly,” Aziz told newsmen, saying he did not make any deal with anyone regarding the case.
The cleric claimed that Musharraf would not have committed such a mistake had the Sharia law been enforced in the country. “Musharraf is my Muslim brother and I will pardon him after consultation,” he upheld.
Aziz further claimed that some “fake” cases had been registered against him, saying his lawyers were taking up those cases in the country’s courts.
Meanwhile, the cleric’s counsel expressed his opposition to Aziz’s statement to pardon the former military dictator during his media talk. “I will register a case against Aziz if he pardoned those involved in the Lal Masjid operation,” Tariq Asad told the media.
On July 3, 2007, Musharraf had ordered a military operation against the mosque administration for challenging the writ of the state. The military besieged the mosque for 12 days before launching an operation, in which deputy chief of the mosque. At least, 40 militants and three soldiers were killed on July 10, 2007.