ISLAMABAD: A civil society member has approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking its intervention for registration of a criminal case against the firebrand cleric of Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz.
Muhammad Jibran Nasir has approached the IHC requesting to set aside an order of the district court and direct the respondents to register an FIR against Aziz, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa for pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
Nasir, who is a lawyer by profession, moved the high court after Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Asif Mehmood, dismissed his application on March 7, observing that the complainant lacked legal standing.
He has made the Islamabad’s Justice of Peace, MINISTRY of Interior, inspector general of police, the SSP and the SHO Aabpara Police Station respondents in the case.
In the petition, he said that some students of Jamia Hafsa released a video on social media wherein they invited the so-called Islamic State to intervene in Pakistan and kill soldiers and civilians, chop off their hands, behead them, and tear their bodies apart to take revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden and the Lal Masjid operation.
He maintained that after the release of the video, Aziz through another video appreciated and endorsed the students’ message and “stated that the mission of the proscribed terrorist organisation Daesh/ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State for implementation of the caliphate system and his mission are the same.”
While referring to a story published in The Express Tribune in December 2014, the petitioner stated that Aziz not only owned the message, but also admitted that the video was prepared with his consent.
He also mentioned in the petition that Aziz’s name was present in the list of proscribed persons in the 4th Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, adding the cleric, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa had earlier taken up arms against the state, which resulted in the infamous Lal Masjid operation in 2007.
Moreover, Nasir stated that a Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organisation called “Ansarul Islam” had joined the so-called Islamic State in 2014, and “now runs a militant camp in Syria named after Abdul Aziz’s brother Abdul Rasheed, who was killed in the Lal Masjid operation.
He added that pledging allegiance towards the so-called Islamic State, propagating and supporting its agenda and calling them for revenge, clearly constituted cognizable offences of serious nature that threatened national security as well as peace and order in the society.
“Openly showing allegiance to it [the so-called Islamic State], supporting and furthering its agenda in Pakistan and urging it to attack the armed forces and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, are acts, which cannot and must not be ignored,” Nasir stated.
Despite all this, he adds, the respondents failed to take any action against Aziz and others.
Nasir maintained that the district court committed a “grave error” and the impugned order was liable to be set aside.
Moreover, the activist prayed the court to direct the respondents to register a case against Aziz, his wife, and students of Jamia Hafsa.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2016.