The siege of Lal Masjid

Many mosques are built on encroached land and no one seems to have the requisite courage to demolish them.

Letter July 04, 2011

ISLAMABAD: This is with reference to Asad Munir’s article of July 3 titled “Lal Masjid siege — four years on”. According to most credible estimates, the number of people killed by drones is around 1,500 and around 98 per cent of these were terrorists.

As for the clergy, it is a truly privileged class in this country and can get away with anything. But if women, especially those working at an NGO, armed with batons, take out a procession, they will be beaten and arrested in the minimum possible time. No such thing happened, of course, to the Jamia Hafsa students who were called “qaum kee betian” (‘Daughters of the Nation’) and no action was taken against them for their illegal acts.

Many mosques all over the country are built on encroached land and the rationale is simple. Doing so allows the peshimam to get living quarters for themselves and their families at absolutely no cost. And no one in a position of government authority seems to have the requisite courage to demolish these illegal mosques.

Abdul Jabbar

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.


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Shuja | 9 years ago | Reply Dear Mr. Abdul Jabbar Though I respect your right ti have an opinion, I'd like to point out that your facts are incorrect to start with. From the New America Foundation, I quote: Our study shows that the 257 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, including 44 in 2011, from 2004 to the present have killed approximately between 1,575 and 2,486 individuals, of whom around 1,282 to 2,015 were described as militants in reliable press accounts. Thus, the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 20 percent. In 2010, it was more like five percent. Interestingly, they also describe militants "according to reliable press accounts" which simply don't exist. Therefore, even via abiased sources, the number of militants is somewhere around 2/3 of original number of deaths. this report is available at: (Last updated 30 June 2011- accessed July 4 2011). Perhaps you could provide me with a reference of your "most credible estimates". I agree with your opinion about clergy with a correction that it is possible for ANYONE with political power to get away with anything in Pakistan, regardless of their associations (Does the name Raymond Davis rings any belles??). However EVEN IF ALL THE ARGUMENTS WERE TRUE, there is or can be no humane justification of what happened in Jamia Hifza/ Lal Masjid. Those actions were gross breach of Human Rights convention and inexcusable. Regards; Shuja Hussain
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