Lal Masjid: rewarding an insurrection

Published: May 21, 2012
Email
The writer teaches physics and political science at LUMS. He holds a doctorate in physics from MIT

The writer teaches physics and political science at LUMS. He holds a doctorate in physics from MIT

The honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan says he is losing patience with the Capital Development Authority (CDA). In a court-initiated (suo motu) action, he wants a quick rebuilding of the Jamia Hafsa madrassa, flattened by bulldozers in 2007, after it became the centre of an insurgency. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the CJ, is now dragging procrastinators over the coals by issuing notices to the CDA chairman, Islamabad’s chief commissioner and the interior secretary. The Court has also expressed its “displeasure” over the status of police cases against the Lal Masjid clerics and ordered the deputy attorney general to appear before it next week.

It is dangerous to comment on Pakistan’s highest level of judiciary. So let me solemnly declare that the highest wisdom must lie behind this extraordinary judicial activism. Nevertheless, I must confess my puzzlement because — as was seen by all — Lal Masjid and the adjoining Jamia Hafsa had engaged in a full-scale bloody insurrection against the Pakistani government, state, and public. Hundreds died. That those who led the insurrection should be gifted 20 kanals of the choicest land in sector H-11 of Islamabad is, I think, slightly odd.

Such thoughts crossed my mind last week when a flat tyre occasioned me to walk along the outer periphery of the freshly-painted and rebuilt Red Mosque. I momentarily stopped to read a large wind and rain-weathered monument which, placed on the government-owned land that Jamia Hafsa once stood upon, declares (in Urdu) that “The sacred Islamic worship place here was destroyed by a tyrannical ruler to prevent Sharia from becoming the law”.

The story of the insurrection and its tragic end is well-known. In early January 2007, the Lal Masjid had demanded the immediate rebuilding of eight illegally-constructed mosques that had been knocked down by the CDA. Days later, an immediate enforcement of the Sharia system in Islamabad was demanded. Thereafter, armed vigilante groups from this madrassa roamed the streets and bazaars. They kidnapped ordinary citizens and policemen, threatened shopkeepers, and repeated the demands of the Taliban and other tribal militants fighting the Pakistan Army.

At a meeting held in Lal Masjid on April 6, 2007, it was reported that 100 guest religious leaders from across the country pledged to die for the cause of Islam and Sharia. On April 12, in an FM broadcast, the clerics issued a threat to the government: “There will be suicide blasts in the nook and cranny of the country. We have weapons, grenades and we are expert in manufacturing bombs. We are not afraid of death….”

Lal Masjid was headed by two clerics, the brothers Maulana Abdul Aziz and Maulana Abdur Rashid Ghazi. They had attracted a core of militant organisations around them, including the pioneer of suicide bombings in the region, Jaish-e-Muhammad. Also on April 12 2007, Rashid Ghazi, a former student of my university, broadcast the following chilling message to our female students:

“The government should abolish co-education. Quaid-e-Azam University has become a brothel. Its female professors and students roam in objectionable dresses. They will have to hide themselves in hijab otherwise they will be punished according to Islam…. Our female students have not issued the threat of throwing acid on the uncovered faces of women. However, such a threat could be used for creating the fear of Islam among sinful women. There is no harm in it. There are far more horrible punishments in the Hereafter for such women.”

For months, unhindered by General Musharraf’s government, the Lal Masjid operated a parallel government that was barely a mile or two away from the presidency and parliament. Its minions ran an unlicenced FM radio station, occupied a government building, set up a parallel system of justice, made bonfires out of seized cassettes and CDs, received the Saudi Arabian ambassador on the mosque premises, and negotiated with the Chinese ambassador for the release of his country’s kidnapped nationals. But for the subsequent outrage expressed by Pakistan’s all-weather ally, the status quo would have continued indefinitely.

Nevertheless, our courts say that they cannot find any evidence of wrongdoing during the entire six-month long saga. They say there are no witnesses or acceptable evidence. Abdul Aziz and Umme Hassan (his wife, who heads Jamia Hafsa), therefore, stand exonerated. Also lacking, they say, is proof that the Lal Masjid accused possessed heavy weaponry.

But Islamabad’s residents know better. When the showdown came in July 2007, machine guns chattered away as mortars and rocket launchers exchanged their deadly fire. Copious TV coverage shows armed madrassa students putting on gas masks to avoid the dense smoke. The final push left 10 of Pakistan’s crack SSG commandos dead, together with scores of defenders. A tidal wave of suicide attacks — as promised by the clerics — promptly followed.

Some speculate that the land gifted to Aziz and Hassan is actually the price for keeping hornets inside their nest. This is not impossible because suicide bomb attacks inside Pakistan’s major cities have decreased dramatically in the last two years. The authorities claim credit, saying the reason is better intelligence about violent groups and better policing. But anyone driving through Islamabad knows how trivially easy it is to conceal weapons and explosives; the security measures are certainly a nuisance to citizens but hopelessly ineffective otherwise. So, could the H-11 land offer be part of a much wider peace deal with various militant groups?

The temptation to make deals has grown after the battle for Lal Masjid. It is clear who won and who lost. Even as they fought tooth and nail against the Pakistan Army, the madrassa clerics were never dismissed and continued to receive their full government salaries. On the other hand, General Musharraf — who acted only after things went out of control — now sulks in exile. All madrassa curriculum reform plans are dead; the government does not talk about them anymore — let the clerics teach what they want.

Appeasement is the hallmark of a weak state and dithering leadership. Once again, Pakistan is showing its helplessness in the face of those who carry guns and bombs. For a country alleged to have the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal, this is surely ironical.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (152)

  • Zafar saeed
    May 21, 2012 - 1:44AM

    Why are the people who killed our soldiers and police being rewarded with huge amounts of free land? Is this the reward given to anyone who kills our soldiers in the name of religion? What sort of message is this sending to the religious people in our society.That you can raise arms against the state,kill our soldiers and then you’ll be rewarded and applauded for your efforts!
    What sort of a society are we moving towards,where those who violently defy the state are the ones upon whom the state bestows the most financial benefits.

    Recommend

  • Nasir
    May 21, 2012 - 2:01AM

    The fact of the matter is that the CJ is a mullah in a black coat and tie , otherwise their is no difference. This man is a champion for terrorists who is obviously allergic to Shezaan juice

    Recommend

  • Aqua
    May 21, 2012 - 2:01AM

    I salute you sir for writing the truth the way it should be!

    Recommend

  • Khalid Aziz
    May 21, 2012 - 2:02AM

    A brilliant piece, yet again. Thank you Dr. Hoodbhoy and ET.

    Recommend

  • Kanwal
    May 21, 2012 - 2:03AM

    A brilliant article. The million (jihadi) dolla question is: who will take the Suo Moto notice of the honorable Cheif Justice for blatantly ignoring all this? We can not expect any better to come from him anyway, considering his background and relations/relationships.

    Recommend

  • @plarkin
    May 21, 2012 - 2:03AM

    I hope ET will allow me to vent my spleen. I have always thought the Lal Masjid fiasco went on for too long. It should have been stamped out at the get go. I’m furious that no justice has been served. One of the terrorist mullah is still at liberty and we are about to gift him land to start the whole nest of vipers again.

    What is the SC interest in this? If anything they should be asking why that mullah has not been hung from the nearest pole. Lack of evidence? The sheer size of the battle to overcome these criminals should be evidence enough. Musharraf why didn’t you finish this off for once and for good when you had the chance? And the good people of Islamabad why do you tolerate this? Go out in your thousands and pull down any structure this criminal mullah is allowed to put up. The final power is in your hands.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 21, 2012 - 2:05AM

    Once all criminals who desecrated and violated the sacredness of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa are punished, The honourable Chief Justice must take action those who killed thousands of Taliban in Swat. The mission and method of Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa Mujahideen and Taliban in Swat was one and same. It would be a great injustice and discrimination if fighters inside Lal Masjid/ Jamia Hafsa are provided justice but Taliban of Swat are ignored.

    Recommend

  • Max
    May 21, 2012 - 2:07AM

    The author is correct. It is the appeasement that has brought Pakistan to this point. Had laws and policies been enforced in their true spirit and in the most secular way, the things might have been different.
    I honestly do not what to make or how to take Supreme Court’s decision. Did they also look at the destruction of public property next door (some ministry office)?

    Recommend

  • AFPAK
    May 21, 2012 - 2:10AM

    Islamic republic of Pakistan Army has many system of laws, first is the constitutional, second Sharia and third the “doctrine of necessity”.

    Who says the doctrine is dead?

    Recommend

  • Adil
    May 21, 2012 - 2:27AM

    I just don’t understand why people sympathize with THEM. You’re right! I don’t understand the judiciary and our governments silence. Obviously there’s much more to it. I remember Islamabad before ‘Lal Masjid’. I remember how we’d walk freely all night long. Without any fear. I remember how peaceful our beloved city was. But these mullahs with their SHARIAH. I hope they all get burned ALIVE. This is the amount of hatred I have for these beghairats. I’ll lose all the respect for our CJ if he doesn’t stop these lunatics.

    Recommend

  • Irfan Husain
    May 21, 2012 - 3:08AM

    The SC’s bizarre support of the Lal Masjid gang is a reminder of where Pakistan is headed. Parvez Hoodbhoy’s lucid article is a wake-up call.

    Recommend

  • Supressed, Opressed, Depressed
    May 21, 2012 - 3:13AM

    completely agree with the author, many people still hold musharraf responsible for what they call a grave ‘mistake’ on his part. But i think it was totally justified, the clerics and their group of militants were wrecking havoc on islamabad (i lived just a mere 100 m away from the Lal masjid) and they had to be dealt with with an iron fist.

    Recommend

  • afzal
    May 21, 2012 - 3:14AM

    simple solution Ban the weapons in cities it will be hard but if hard punishment were to handed down things can be controlled Any body who attacks Law enforcement agencies should be killed at the site orr at least arrested if some one supported them militarily should be treated in similar way Law is law only if its enforced. If police would have killed those terrorist before hand by doing their job SC would not be able to do any thing. its duty of parliament to make law. As the DR of science Doc sahib should have known that its police duty to gather evidence and SC can only decide on that its prosecution and flexible laws to be blamed not the judges.

    police should be depoliticized heavily trained with state of art weapons many problems can be solved SC is not stopping Govt in doing that and Pakistan should stop using army for every internal security problem Law and order is duty of police i will Blame police of islamabad for Lal mosque and off course those who were incide

    Recommend

  • jibran
    May 21, 2012 - 3:26AM

    @Zafar saeed:
    The reason is that our chief justice also believes in the same sect of radicalized Islam as the terrorists flushed out of jamia. He’s just extending his faith, but at the cost of state exchequer.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    May 21, 2012 - 3:36AM

    Is this the wy sovereignty is being exercised i Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • You Said It
    May 21, 2012 - 3:38AM

    Why is anyone surprised that the SCP thinks there is no evidence against Abdul Aziz and his wife in all of the charges related to the Lal Masjid fiasco. One must remember that Pakistani courts let Malik Ishaq go free. The Mumbai attacks case keeps getting adjourned. Since the conduct of the Rinkle Kumari case I have dropped all remaining expectations from the court.

    Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 21, 2012 - 4:13AM

    Funny that President musharraf who tried to stop these maniacs is facing resentment, and those who killed army soldiers are heroes. Certainly the state is at its weakest.

    Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    May 21, 2012 - 4:26AM

    I am happy that you explicitly stated the unerring wisdom of the highest court of the land. All hail to the CJSC.

    Recommend

  • khanmohsin
    May 21, 2012 - 5:10AM

    to the point! you are an asset to this country!

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 21, 2012 - 5:15AM

    Political expediency, my dear Sir, political expediciency. You are puzzled?! I’m outraged by this unwanted and unncessary popularism. It’s not within the purview of our SC to intervene here and act in appeasement of terrorists- this wrong and must be called so.

    Recommend

  • NoFear
    May 21, 2012 - 5:23AM

    These are exactly the reasons the people of Pakistan are silent on SC's decision on contempt case against PM and also due to LHC's decision of declaring innocence of Hafiz Saeed and other known & declared violent extremists. Only God with innocent citizens' prayers can save Pakistan from this madness.
    Recommend

  • Ibs
    May 21, 2012 - 5:28AM

    Ironically, it all comes down to faith. We, the ‘liberal’, secular strata of society simply do not have enough faith in our ideals to die for them. They do, hence they can get away with a little bullying. When you’re ready to take a bullet in the name of secularism then appeasement will no longer be necessary. But that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, is it?

    Recommend

  • Adeel759
    May 21, 2012 - 5:34AM

    Most Jogis die due to the bite of one of their Snakes kept in their Pataris.

    Recommend

  • aysha
    May 21, 2012 - 5:59AM

    @Zafar saeed:

    Too late to ask this question, the kind of society that we have become today is an outcome of what happened in 1974, when it was brought in public domain to identify an individual’s faith. The state has no business to declare people as muslims or non muslims. When the state took on the responsibility of this nature, there was no stopping the madness. Once it was the decision to identify muslims and non-muslims, then it went on to become the question of who are good muslims and who aren’t. In the end some individuals felt the need to decide the fate of those who were judged as not so great muslims hence the case of Salamn Taseer. It is important to recognize that an individual’s faith and the kind of life he leads, is between him and Allah, alone. Nobody is a ‘darougah’ assigned with the responsibility to fix others.

    Recommend

  • Hamza Arshad
    May 21, 2012 - 6:44AM

    Dear Hoodbhoy excellent as ever. None other than you can dare write on such topics. Things brewing up in FATA, Islamabad (Lal Masjad), Southern Punjab and near the shores of the Arabian Sea are turning Pakistan into Somalia or the like. Armed groups dictating their strong and unrelenting will onto the common citizens while state institutions tumbling under corruption or incompetence leads to the demise of the state.

    Recommend

  • Pashtun voice
    May 21, 2012 - 7:05AM

    Are these the supreme court judges for whom we raised our voice and took on a dictator? Maybe they should go into politics and join PTI.

    Recommend

  • White Russian
    May 21, 2012 - 7:14AM

    Terrorists are the direct murderers of our soldiers, citizens, men, childern, women. However indirect responsiblity also lies with sympathisers and supporters of terrorists, in judicary, bureacracy, media, and politics.

    Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 21, 2012 - 7:40AM

    The Supreme Court should be stepping in and ensuring that those who broke the law and created a parallel state in the heart of Islamabad do not ever get that power again. But, what we are seeing is the opposite of that, the esteemed court is facilitating the re-establishment of a fascist extremist nerve center again. I feel for the true shuhada of the Lal Masjid tragedy – those 10 SSG commandoes who laid their lives fighting the terrorists disguised as religious persons. There is no other example in the modern world where the highest courts of the country side with the enemies of the state, the criminals, law-breakers, and those who, ironically, don’t even believe in the court !

    Recommend

  • Schazad
    May 21, 2012 - 7:48AM

    Stories like this keep people like myself away from own beloved land. I am not against judiciary but this is crossing limits. The fact that jamia hafsa was built on illegal land from the beginning is breaking the law and SC could see that, this is just telling them to stay safe and we are with you. Do what ever you want to kill and harass people as much as you want under SC’s umbrella. Thumbs down SC.

    Recommend

  • American Desi
    May 21, 2012 - 8:03AM

    This CJ is the biggest usurper of power in Pakistani history and is in serious need of impeachment. But knowing the hybrid and hotch potch governing system without any checks and balances that is a far fetched dream. M. Jinnah’s myopic vision is bearing fruit in all aspects.

    Recommend

  • Cynic
    May 21, 2012 - 8:09AM

    The first time I have ever agreed with a single word from
    Hoodboy.

    Recommend

  • Chulbul Pandey
    May 21, 2012 - 8:17AM

    Sir, it sounds like that the crazies with the guns and very little respect for human life are running amuck. They even run a parallel government with impunity. The “actual” Govt. writ is being challenged right inside the capital of the country.
    They are even ready to throw acid on female students…all in the name of Islam? Simply appalling. The circumstances don’t leave any scope of optimism. You, sir, are fighting a lost battle. But your patience and courage must be lauded.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    May 21, 2012 - 8:22AM

    Talibanisation has already crept in esp into the Judges’ mindset.

    Recommend

  • May 21, 2012 - 8:34AM

    We are a double standard nation..Recommend

  • asim
    May 21, 2012 - 8:44AM

    Article provides No solution ?

    It is very strange that religious elements have not acted on corrupt elements? The present government is the highest corrupt in history but religious elements are sleeping.

    Recommend

  • Obaid Ullah Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 8:44AM

    To me main culprit is former president Musharraf who appointed CJ and who mishandle the removal procedure of CJ later.

    Recommend

  • Karachite
    May 21, 2012 - 8:51AM

    Thanks Prof Hoodbhoy! Voices of sanity must be kept alive.

    Recommend

  • Syed
    May 21, 2012 - 8:52AM

    These mullahs and their legal enablers should be treated like Hazrat Ali dealt with Kharjis. Our judiciary lets go of mullah outlaws due to ‘lack of evidence’ while it goes after Ahmadis for ‘posing’ as Muslims.

    Recommend

  • Kafir
    May 21, 2012 - 8:53AM

    Professor , I am your wellwisher and worried about your safety.

    Recommend

  • BlackJack
    May 21, 2012 - 9:02AM

    Extensive gun battle in a large city; hundreds killed; cleric responsible cannot be tried because there is no evidence connecting him with the entire sordid affair despite being the chief of the entire operation; Pakistani courts happily acquit him to continue his charitable activities; anyone see the pattern here?

    Recommend

  • AFPAK
    May 21, 2012 - 9:04AM

    Sir Ejaz Haider where are you? Please rush your rejoinder with all verbal acrobatics and tongue twister quotes to justify SCP’s stance.

    Recommend

  • Lalai
    May 21, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Killing one man makes you a murderer whereas killing one million makes you a conqueror. Our Mullahs, more than any one else knows about it and they are working exactly according to it.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    May 21, 2012 - 9:12AM

    @Uza Syed: “Political expediency, my dear Sir, political expediciency. “

    How does this amount to political expediency? It is not as though politicans are being spared.

    The only people this judiciary tries to convict is the institutions of the state (party in power, party in opposition, army). But the impression an outsider observing these events would get is non-state actors are free to bully torment and oppress within and outside Pakistan (Malik Ishaq, Lal Masjid Clerics, Hafiz Saeed).

    Recommend

  • Shyam
    May 21, 2012 - 9:13AM

    Thank God for the partition and creation of Pakistan!! atleast that allowed us to build a long fence

    Recommend

  • s shah
    May 21, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Thank you, ET and Mr. Hoodbhoy for an excellent article. Agree with you 100%. You are a voice of sanity and wisdom. I am totally disillusioned and very disappointed with the CJ.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishaq
    May 21, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Brilliant.

    Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 9:27AM

    This is the same judicial system that exonerated a notorious sectarian killer Malik Ishaq Jhangvi because of “lack of evidence and eyewitnesses” since our outdated judicial system thinks that unless people come and testify in court, all other evidences are bogus.

    What a joke!

    Recommend

  • GhostRider
    May 21, 2012 - 9:29AM

    And when one-third of Pakistan wants to leave the country because of such nonsense…our convicted PM replys “Who is stopping them?”

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishaq
    May 21, 2012 - 9:47AM

    Benizir got bullet because of her open stand. More than that PPP and ANP has lost so many near and dear people. And still with their all follies they are really suffering at the hands of negative propganda by these thugs.

    Recommend

  • Ali Wali
    May 21, 2012 - 10:09AM

    Lets keep our morality of killing innocents aside, CJ knows the power of bullets and bombs, he is an opportunist who will do whatever to keep his job, putting his life on the line is not an option for him. Unfortunately what Talibans are doing is self proclaimed mainstream Islam, just read the 1400+ years old history and all the bloodshed, gore, terror, occupation, forced conversion, and traditional QUITNESS of ordinary Muslims for the sake of their lives and prejudice, and read how Talibans of past even murdered Prophet’s SAWW family because They did not condon their terror. Unless we change our perception of the World, till that time expect no good. Today Islam is outward piety, murders, abducting people and uploading terror and inhumanity on YouTube, it is just a tool used by ugly unintelligent murderers and haters to subjugate humans, nothing else. Also it is cat and mouse game, Talibani Islam does brutalities, then NATO chases it and circle of violence, humanity is helpless Sir.

    Recommend

  • ahmer
    May 21, 2012 - 10:11AM

    i agree with the author. well written. It is unfortunate we have juveniles in the supreme court. This is nothing short of judicial terrorism. No wonder we are the laughing stock of the world and also going towards isolation. Ban the army, mullah and judiciary. Things will improve by themselves. The chief justice is too busy in his own ego and he is charging everyone with contempt.

    Maybe when these taliban terrorists hit the homes of these people in power, then only will thier eyes open.

    Recommend

  • Silent Observer
    May 21, 2012 - 10:14AM

    I my self is very pleased that at least someone had courage to talk +ve and stand firm.

    Recommend

  • Silent Observer
    May 21, 2012 - 10:15AM

    I really admire Mr. Hoodbhoy for an excellent article. keep it up Sir.

    Recommend

  • Selvam
    May 21, 2012 - 10:20AM

    Many today receive the Hereafter punishments while being alive in Pakistan and not having done much major mistakes. Only the elite can live nicely and therefore have to fear the Hereafter after death.

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 21, 2012 - 10:43AM

    The state resembles a car speeding rapidly downhill without a clutch and brakes. It is prayer time.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    May 21, 2012 - 11:26AM

    Now I understand what Pakistan means when it says “insufficient evidence” to prosecute mumbai massacres. If it cannot prosecute the monsters of Lal masjid ,who did havoc right in the middle of Islamabad and Pak govt had to call in the army to get them, for lack of “evidence”, God save Pakistan.
    Could somebody in Pak highlight what they mean by “evidence” and what kind of “evidence” is acceptable to Pak judiciary.

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 21, 2012 - 11:45AM

    A very courageous article, insightful and analysed with integrity. Most worryingly, while it ignores blatant facts the Urdu press is making out the Lal Masjid rabid traitors to be true patriots. Can we rely on a judiciary that voices demagoguery?

    Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore
    May 21, 2012 - 11:47AM

    I congratulate ET for appointing Mr. Hoodbuoy as a columnist. I admire him for his views and agree with them. I am happy to see so many comments supporting him.

    Recommend

  • megamind
    May 21, 2012 - 12:01PM

    sir spot on! iam in awe of ur courage

    Recommend

  • psyche
    May 21, 2012 - 12:14PM

    They were all killed in a jiffy. Had they arms, this would have happened. After all how could they take over the whole country? They couldn’t fight for a few days.

    Recommend

  • Irfan
    May 21, 2012 - 12:32PM

    so encouraging to see comments on the article, have a voice of sanity. If only we could translate this voice into actions.

    Recommend

  • Dr Sahib (PIA)
    May 21, 2012 - 12:40PM

    Bravo Professor Sahib. Never wonder on silence of our media who has all the courage against one NRO only. . . .

    Recommend

  • ishtiaer hussain
    May 21, 2012 - 1:03PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:

    Heart-touching comment: Nowhere else in the world, the highest court of a country sides with the enemies of the state.

    Recommend

  • Hasnain Shabbir
    May 21, 2012 - 1:09PM

    @Nasir:
    I think it is a wrong statement.We have to analyze the situation by seeing both the aspect of side.
    No one should criticize the others on the basis of one’s interest.

    Recommend

  • Khalida
    May 21, 2012 - 1:11PM

    Pakistani Justice: Punish the innocent and reward the guilty

    “Justice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel” ~Judge Sturgess

    Recommend

  • Hasnain Shabbir
    May 21, 2012 - 1:15PM

    @Kafir:
    Thinking deeply on the critical issues of our country is more important than any others things.

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 21, 2012 - 1:33PM

    So we all agree that we have to do something to save our Supreme Court from transforming into a ‘lunatic asylum’. Right? If so, then let do something to remove the lunatics from its chambers and clean the benches and make sure that all the sickos are where they must be.

    Recommend

  • Elhaan Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 1:40PM

    Chief Justice is only after moderate forces in Pakistan and will not punish Taliban. Those who do not agree with Hussain Haqqani’s New York Time article about judicial turning blind eye towards terrorists, should see for themselves now.

    Recommend

  • Syed Farrukh Hussain Shah
    May 21, 2012 - 1:47PM

    Professor Hoodby is always awesome in his writings and lectures, we need to promote such voice, for the sake of development of Pakistan and our moderate social system..

    Recommend

  • zubair yaqub
    May 21, 2012 - 1:53PM

    Question is what evidence was exactly provided in the court. If no evidence is provided what exactly can a judge do. Isnt it possible the evidence just wasnt provided. Do we have the whole picture of the situation. Can someone provide the details of the proceedings inside the court. This article is prejudiced providing no details about the proceedings upon which the decision has been given rather using the fiery speech blasting mullahs then laying the blame on the courts. Courts do not get influenced by articles and they shouldnt be …. it would had been better if you signed on as a witness in the case and actually provided some hard facts there.

    Recommend

  • Mohammed Arif
    May 21, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Jamia Hafsa should be reconstructed but must be controlled fully by the Governemnt. Apart of insurgency, this Jamia was also producing the students that we require in the coming generation. I know some people those never have any essence of insurgency or anti governement activity. I wonder how Supreme Court released the captured peoples from the Lal masjid within 3/4 days who later fought in Swat with Pakistan Army and destroyed schools.

    Recommend

  • S. Ahmed
    May 21, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Very timely article. Especially before the ‘ultimate wisdom’ of the highest court comes into play. I hope that the lords of justice read this column and the responses to it before they sit in judgment on the issue.
    I also hope that those who unthinkingly accuse the state of killing “innocent” persons in the mosque stop calling them innocent.

    Recommend

  • Bilal
    May 21, 2012 - 2:35PM

    The author has conveniently ignored the resposibility that falls on the moderate coalition in power. How are they different from Ijaz ul haq who got his picture taken with the maulanas. Why blame everything on the cj … What abOut ppp or are they too moderate for mr hoodbhoy to make fun of

    Recommend

  • Mansoor
    May 21, 2012 - 2:54PM

    Is the Honourable Chief Justice listening?

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 21, 2012 - 2:54PM

    You are usually good but this time you are brilliant.
    Personal intimidation is a powerful tool and these criminals in religious garb resort to killing without compunction. Yes, the judiciary must deliver without fear but then they are but human. What has to be understood is that the solution lies elsewhere and now after decades those who could have solved this are being systematically neutralised.
    Dr Hoodbhoy’s article needs to be taken very seriously.

    Recommend

  • anticorruption
    May 21, 2012 - 2:59PM

    This article is spot on. It is an obvious failure of the state institutions that the Lal masjid administration is not being punished. The judiciary is wrong on this one.

    That said, I wish the govt had been defying the courts on this issue, rather than taking on the judiciary to protect Zardari’s loot.

    Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist
    May 21, 2012 - 3:02PM

    @Ayesha who writes “Too late to ask this question, the kind of society that we have become today is an outcome of what happened in 1974, when it was brought in public domain to identify an individual’s faith.”

    I think you got the numbers wrong. It should be 1947 and not 1974.

    The day a country was created on the bigoted idea of religion, is the day the fate of that country is sealed to be DOOMED!!!!

    Recommend

  • kilo
    May 21, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Lal masjid operation was perhaps the only good thing Musharaf did in his whole tenure.. I know CJ considers ETa respectable Newspaper.. even took suo mato on one of ET news item..I hope that he will find some time to read this all.. ‘khalq e khuda kehti hay tujeh ghaibana kia’

    Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore
    May 21, 2012 - 4:02PM

    And further to Lal Masjid, the day Americans leave Afghanistan countdown for existence of Pakistan starts. Taliban will have no enemy except Pak Army. First Afghanistan, second Pakistan (for its nukes) and third Saudi Arabia (for its oil).

    Recommend

  • yasi
    May 21, 2012 - 4:09PM

    This shows how much deep extremism has penetrated inside our society. Besides the bearded Mullas in the streets, we have clean shaved extremists sitting on the benches as well.

    Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Haider
    May 21, 2012 - 4:16PM

    Thank you Pervez Sahib for saying something, which I wanted to say but could not gather the courage. You are an asset for a civilised segment of our society. May God bless you.

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 21, 2012 - 5:01PM

    I was in the UK during the Lal Masjid affair, following it on TV channels. The things that stand out in my memory are the pleas of Bilquis Edhi, Shujaat Hussain, Imran Khan and Maulana F. Rehman with the people in charge of the “seminary” fortress not to use children and women as human shields. The loudspeaker pleas to the children and particularly girls to come out did not immediately result in a single child being let out. However, later the “ghazi” principal was apprehended trying to escape in a burqa! How cowardly, how stone-hearted, how anti Islam. Yet these bestial cowards, the murderers of children in their care are lauded as Shaheed and Ghazi. What kind of mental sickness is this?

    Recommend

  • Athar Chattha
    May 21, 2012 - 5:05PM

    @Kanwal: The one who took action and referred the case to Supreme Judicial Council is now spending an exiled life. If all those allegations were wrong, then he should have fought his case (as per the provisions in the constitutions). But that did not happen. Remember that black-caors movement – the REAL BLACK movement. That very episode proved that CJ of Pakistan is himself above the law.
    Now if Gilani or Zardari or for that matter anyone else defies courts’ orders then there is no point for CJ or SC to cry that they are defying the law. Tit for Tat … But alas the nation, the country is suffering to limits.

    Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    May 21, 2012 - 5:13PM

    @Author:

    “For a country alleged to have the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal, this is surely ironical.”

    One of the rather rare occasions when I agree with your narrative except for the last line of your article. The state of Pakistan is not a weak state by any standard, but it is the quality of our leaders imposed on us and the establishment; who over a long period successfully perpetuated the incompetency and corruption as a mechanism of self-preservation; being at the helm of affairs let the people of Pakistan down and put the state into a myriad of problems. You accurately presented the account of the illegal and criminal activities of these religious hooligans and very rightly criticized the actions of the Supreme Court. Regarding their demand for implementation of Sharia, one wonders which Sharia they talk about, Sunni, Shia, Deobandi, Brailvey, JI’s, JUI’s, and the list goes on. What I have learned from the experience of my life and by living and visiting several countries, only a truly Secular system of government can guarantee smooth functioning of a state with multi-ethnic, multi-religious populations.

    As for as the nuclear arsenal is concerned, perhaps the rate of growth does not but the total number of devices and their quality matter. USA and Russia both have negative growth rates, but only an insane will try to compare Pakistan with them, or even with China, France, or UK for that matter.

    Recommend

  • Athar Chattha
    May 21, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Will our ‘vibrant’ media have the courage to have talk shows on this ‘blessings’ on those clerics ???? But all these are for sure controlled through Puppet Strings, which are in hands of those who can also feed their own objectives well. Everytime we say hope is dying but looks the fate of nation is now nose-diving to finish it quickly. Who knows what is next !!!

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 21, 2012 - 5:17PM

    @Ali Wali I agree wholeheartedly with the article and also with your comments. Yet with hindsight I see that the military operation to clean up the den of murderers who used women and children as human shields was flawed. Who was responsible? Who was in charge? Why did so much loss of innocent life occur?
    As a citizen I demand answers. Was a police officer or an administrative officer in charge of the operation? Did the military consult its civilian superiors, were less bloody alternative solutions considered? Why were they not implemented, the government officials, uniformed or civilian who were responsible must be tried.Recommend

  • Athar Chattha
    May 21, 2012 - 5:19PM

    Writing articles like this and then having a walk close to Lal Masjid … Come on doc .. have some sense… Nation needs you Sir ….. Please be careful,

    Recommend

  • Andrea
    May 21, 2012 - 5:20PM

    These kinds of decisions will encourage the extremism and terrorism in Pakistan. Pakistan is becoming a big dangeour for the world. I wonder that this article is written by some Pakistani. Sir i salute your courage to speak the truth.Recommend

  • mohammed ali jawaid
    May 21, 2012 - 5:26PM

    i did not see any such directive of the CJ so i will not comment on that. however, if at all there is any such directive to CDA it may be or should be to the extent of what was legally theirs and, not what they encroached upon illegally as I understand they were initially allotted 500 sq.yards piece of land and the rest was illegally obtained. religious fanaticism is a sensitive issue and cannot be resolved with such articles. it requires a serious non partisan solution, which is not seen any where. using force is not a solution. we have seen this in Egypt and before that in Turkey and now at Lal Masjid. the suicide bombings accelerated soon after and hundreds of precious lives were taken away as a revenge. situation demands a much saner approach. author should contribute towards the solution not the problem. Recommend

  • AFPAK
    May 21, 2012 - 5:27PM

    @M Ali Khan:

    This is the same judicial system that exonerated a notorious international terrorist HAFIZ SAYEED of a banned outfit LeT because of “lack of evidence and eyewitnesses” since our outdated judicial system thinks that unless people come and testify in court, all other evidences are bogus.

    What a joke!

    Now you know what is meant by “There is NO SOLID” evidence against Hafiz Sayeed.

    Recommend

  • Hunzai
    May 21, 2012 - 5:32PM

    excellent Article..

    Recommend

  • Bilal Salim
    May 21, 2012 - 5:39PM

    Dr. Hoodbhoy, If there is evidence, there is a judgement. If there is evidence, then that evidence is scrutinized. If there is no evidence, then the case is dismissed. Can you name me a single court in the whole world which does not follow these principles I just wrote down? And most certainly a court does not prosecute on the following:

    TV/Video footage
    Hearsay
    “Residents no better”.

    If residents knew better than why did the army jump into the affairs of residents and their corner madrassa? All the hooliganism you mentioned warrants action by the police, not the army.

    Recommend

  • smj
    May 21, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Clearly the Chief Justice of Pakistan is siding along with the terrorists. He is giving away land, and wash away all the crimes everyone witnessed on live tv by the mullahs of lal masjid and the madrassa students. At the same time he let go criminals like Malik Ishaq and Hafiz Saeed despite of mounting evidences against them. No sou moto was ever taken for the masacre of Shias in Pakistan but he is after our agencies fighting with the terrorists.Recommend

  • smj
    May 21, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @Bilal Salim: Footage of hundreds of tv channels are the evidence. If the chief justice can ask for footages and reports in other cases what made him look the other way? Stop givin the excuse of evidence was not presented before the court. The judiciary is part of the dirty game being played against Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 21, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Ground reality is that the extremists/ terrorists/ fanatics are a force to reckon with in Pakistan. All arms of government, be it army, judiciary or politicians, want to use them to further their interests. Who bothers about public opinion in Pakistan..

    Recommend

  • s shah
    May 21, 2012 - 7:13PM

    @ Dr. Imran Ahmed: Among the many excellent comments on this article, yours stands out. Very sad and very true. Agree with you totally.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    May 21, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Brilliant article.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    May 21, 2012 - 7:18PM

    Brilliant article..

    Recommend

  • May 21, 2012 - 7:25PM

    has shown the one sided picture No banned weapons like Rocket luncher and Machine gun were found and even the SSGS commando were also killed by the PaK army soldiers as no medical report is available to substantiated that the said commando was killed by the firing of the Lal Masjid stutents. Even the insurgency of the Lal Masjid students was possible to be controlled by other means but in order to show the west the carnage was committed by our army that the extremist could be controlled by the Army ruler not by the democratic government. The attacked on Iraq by US and it supporters on the pretext of mass destruction weapons and the attacked on the lal Masjid are 100% analogous to each other as after the genocide no such destructive weapons were recovered.
    never raised any fingers upon the atrocities committed by the Pak army in the name of operation in Swat and waziristan were more than thousand peoples were killed in the army custody. The then so called commando has run away from this country in order to save himselves form the legal punishment and their cronies are still misguiding the nation hiding the real stories from the peoples, Recommend

  • ashar
    May 21, 2012 - 7:51PM

    long time has been passed. I expect the reality should come into the limelight, either by the Madrassa people or the government. The author has disappointed me by not taking up the real issues. He actually carries the pain of allotting the Madrassah people the prime land of Islamabad. Well, every move in Pakistan seems for the sake of land since all of the influential peopla are now a days involved in it. One can easily clear his concept with ever expanding DHA’s and ever growing highrises. No body bothers what impact it brings to the overall resources and existing services.

    BTW who was that colonel martyred in the operation? wasnt he the same who carried out operation against Bugti……there are so many question unanswered in this untold story Mr. Hoodbhoy.Recommend

  • AIN
    May 21, 2012 - 7:55PM

    great article,..

    Recommend

  • alamgir
    May 21, 2012 - 8:19PM

    Hoodbhoy is wrong. Lal Masjid victims did nothing wrong. Similarly, India should stop harping on Saeed because there is no evidence of wrongdoing against him either. They are only doing their duty.

    Recommend

  • anticorruption
    May 21, 2012 - 8:26PM

    For those who think lal masjid did nothing wrong, here is a clip where Um-e-Hassan admits having suicide bombers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDhovtARSFM

    Recommend

  • Abbas
    May 21, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Very very well written. Its really sad that these people who should be safe guarding the law and people of Pakistan are themselves seeking fame and glory for the masses. CJ knows that by these actions he will get even more famous with the extremists. May God save Pakistan ! :(

    Recommend

  • ayesha_khan
    May 21, 2012 - 9:12PM

    @Bilal Salim: In Sarfaraz Shah case the Supreme court took suo moto notice and even dismissed the Rangers Chief based on TV footage. http://tribune.com.pk/story/224183/sarfraz-shah-murder-case-rangers-reject-terrorism-charges/ . An otice of Wahida Shah case was also taken based on TV footage.

    So your statement that the court cannot use TV footage is used selectively by the court.

    Recommend

  • Adnan Khan
    May 21, 2012 - 9:22PM

    The chief justice is duty-bound to follow the rule of law. If there aren’t witnesses available to give testimony against the red mosque vigilantes, or the prosecution (as usual) failed to come up with credible and admissible evidence, whose fault is it ?. Iftikhar Mohd. Chaudhry ?.
    .
    No. It is the inept, unmotivated, unprofessional and corrupt govt prosecutors, who time and again, fail in their duties to make cases against criminals and terrorists, the likes of those who crawled out of Laal Masjid.
    .
    If the CJ of SC started deciding cases on whim or popular opinion, ignoring the rule of law, that… would be insane. Courts of law don’t work like that. If the inheritors of Laal Masjid have legal rights to that property, then as citizens of this country they have the right to do what they wish with that piece of land. Whatever they do, as far as it’s legal and proper, it should be honored by the courts and respected by all law-abiding citizens. Be they right-wing nuts, or liberal fascists.
    .
    But I do hope, that this time around, CDA will NOT look the other way, when anybody in Islamabad starts constructing illegal structures (as they did inside Laal Masjid), and the intelligence will stay awake and not allow any yahoo to amass the kind of arsenal that came pouring out of Laal Masjid, last time around. That, was the real crime, behind that sorry episode.

    Recommend

  • I read it too...
    May 21, 2012 - 9:34PM

    The whole Jamia-Hafsa incident was set-up by Musharraf, to reinforce his ‘anti-Taliban’ credentials. How could the ISI, police etc. not know that literally hundreds-of-dozens of (illegal) weapons being smuggled right into the heart of the State’s capital? It was all wrong; just set-up to polarize opinions, cast madrassahs at large in a bad light, and for Mush ( to strenghten his ‘anti-Taliban’ credentials (which bordered on anti-Islam-ism actually)) to meet his political ends…! :(

    Recommend

  • Dinar Wali
    May 21, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Excellent article worth reading in fact I read it more then three times, Hoodbhoy is a giant intellect each piece of him reflect sanity, wisdom and logic. Proud to have you with us Sir, wishing You good health.

    Recommend

  • Nangdharangg Pakistani
    May 21, 2012 - 10:31PM

    HURRAH for Prof. Hoodhbhoy !!!!

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 21, 2012 - 10:32PM

    @I read it too I have to disagree with you at every level. For one you are equating Taliban with Islam although in my view the Taliban are further away from Islam than perhaps the worst of the Quraish Kuffar in the time of jahlia.

    Recommend

  • Ali Wali
    May 21, 2012 - 10:51PM

    @Dr Imran Ahmed:
    Sir any loss of innocent life is abhorant, be it someone’s brothers, sisters, dad, mom or friend. Lal masjid operation was flawed but do we want all local Mullas to behave like these two brothers! perhaps not.

    Recommend

  • Handle the Truth
    May 21, 2012 - 11:14PM

    These extremist are out of the bound of any Islamic Scholars or Spiritual person’s jurisdiction_ they are their own Saint, Wali, and Self Proclaimed_God forbids “Prophets Companions”(as they named their groups & killer armies). We must ask at this time for sane scholars and religious to come out and denounce the extremists or considered themself in the same catagory.

    I used to wonder what kind of modern Calamity/Azaab will befall on us from Sky due to our wide spread corruption, lawlessness, bribery, abuse of women and children, robbery, miss use of time, assets and employees at work. Arrogance, Corruption, Greed & illitracy of religious Scholars. Now I know the "Full Blown Extremism" that is protected by many in our society is perfect example of an Azaab no less than a Cancer for a body..
    Recommend

  • IMRAN KHAN
    May 21, 2012 - 11:29PM

    the judges that are sitting are cowards that can’t face Mullahs…they can indict PM but lack the courage to indict a mullah that ran away in a burkah….SO MUCH FOR INDEPENDENT AND FREE JUDICIARY…!Recommend

  • Logic Europe
    May 21, 2012 - 11:36PM

    may be there were opportunities to defeat these people in a different way, force was avoidable

    Recommend

  • IMRAN KHAN
    May 21, 2012 - 11:55PM

    Bravo….Dr pervez hoodbhoy…!

    Recommend

  • The Invisible Hand
    May 22, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Provoking radical mindset yet again a great piece of article written by my all time favorite Professor.Thanks for sharing the ultimate truth with us once again. I hope every rational person would now be able to understand the Lal Masjid Dilemma without going into much confusing details.

    Recommend

  • faraz
    May 22, 2012 - 12:22AM

    Amazing, nobody is talking about hundreds of innocent students inside that building, who got killed and killers were no other but our own forces. I strongly protest against those who are voicing support in favor of the dictator. It was him who created all this mess!!!

    Recommend

  • May 22, 2012 - 1:28AM

    Have beard, throw tantrum and the whole nation bows down!

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2012 - 2:43AM

    It is a good article, but only one side of the story. I hope Ejaz Haider finds time to highlight the other side.

    Recommend

  • Ercelan PILER
    May 22, 2012 - 3:39AM

    Sadly, my friend PhD PH is becoming careless with words, perhaps because he is growing old like a normal human. Insurrection is against states with moral legitimacy, which our state neither has nor deserves even if it keeps PH, and me, and many others of our ilk, from joining the “missing.” The irrational hatred of P.H for the ‘believers’ is as dangerous for democracy as is the reverse. Hence no point in reading him, except as self-congratulation for privileging (us) the profane over (them) the sacred.

    Recommend

  • Cynical
    May 22, 2012 - 4:49AM

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart Professor.
    May your tribe increase and prosper.

    Regards.

    Recommend

  • justice to be done
    May 22, 2012 - 8:22AM

    For all those so called believers who believe in extremism and hate … We have just enough religion to make us hate not enough to love each other. Remember Islam, if taken and understood fully, teaches love and peace and not otherwise.

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 22, 2012 - 9:03AM

    @faraz There is no doubt in my mind that the responsibility for the death of minors and non combatants (women) lies squarely on the shoulders of the vile bearded creature who sneaked himself out of the fortress compound in a burqa abandoning his wife and wards. The women and children were deployed as (unwilling or brainwashed) human shields by the cowards wearing beards who are truly responsible for murder.
    The burqa man and his fellows need to be recognised as the cowardly killers of children in addition to being traitors. Any humiliation or punishment meted by humans on them is insufficient. The court may have been legally constrained to do what it has done to favour the beasts but this seems unlikely and is deplorable.
    With hindsight it appears that if the military operation had been carried out differently some children could have been saved. In my mind there is no doubt that ultimately it is the mullahs who are the murderers of the children entrusted to their care although the government forces could have done more to rescue the innocents from the beasts.

    Recommend

  • TS
    May 22, 2012 - 9:37AM

    The laws are only for Ahmadies in Pakistan as they are Law abiding citizens. CJ was silent when extremist killed nearly 100 of innocent Ahmadies in Lahore. NO laws for extremist in Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Shayan
    May 22, 2012 - 10:30AM

    Dear Dr. Hoodboy do not claim to speak for the residents of Islamabad. What happened in Lal Masjid was our failure as a society to clearly define our identity.

    We are a society that was fed news after 9 about Indian Soldiers forcing their way into mosques with shoes on as a great sin and then we were watching Pakistan Army Commandos blowing up entire sections of mosque inside our very own capital. Force was not the only option available.

    An alternative would have been to just continue the siege. They were Pakistanis after all. Did we need to use Phosphorous grenades on our very own ?

    It was just a show by Musharraf to show the west how close to the capital these Talibans had come.

    Recommend

  • Umer Pakistani
    May 22, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Thanks God somebody in our media has the courage to speak truth. The media in its Musharraf bashig had been telling lies and nothing but the lies, day in and day out. BRAVO.

    Recommend

  • Munir Kakar
    May 22, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Hoodbhoy is rare voice of sanity in the chorus of lunacy which is now clearly audible everywhere. This chorus is being sung vociferously and obsessively in streets,schools, and court of laws. In the cotext of the issue that he dilated upon, it must be pointed out that the judge has to judged when the judgement is fraught with serious consequences for the future of the people and the country. It is this factor which i reckon may have provoked the author to analyze the court decision. I have forgotten who said it but remember what he said that ” the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. Perheps evidence in the instant case was too visible to have been seen and felt. The fact is that the Azizs ruthlessly violated sovereignity of the country so dear to us all , shamelessly trampled the sancity of mosque and brought about bloodshed of innocent people. When there are so many Azizs out there rewarding Aziz is an invitation to mayham and havoc. May the country is spared from the viciosness of this lot.

    Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed
    May 22, 2012 - 11:04AM

    @Ercelan PILER: Not an irrational hatred of “believers” but a rational love for justice, freedom of choice and fair play amongst holders of diverse views drives sane people like PD.
    Who shall speak for the mangled victims of the believers? Who mourns the 300 dead Shia Baloch or should we all acquiesce apathetically to the tyranny of sacred believers?

    Recommend

  • Tahir Xaman
    May 22, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Wonderful and clear cut article………….Thumbs up for Great hud boy…….:)

    Recommend

  • A J Khan
    May 22, 2012 - 1:50PM

    I agree with every point and word of Mr Hoodbhoy. Personal vendetta against Pervez Musharraf should not be taken to this an extent that terrorists are declared heroes on the graves of the Shaheeds of Pakistan Armed Forces and the innocent Pakistanis.
    The burqa clad running fugitive should be punished for Killing and injuring soldiers and innocent Pakistanis, and declaring war on the state of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Shoaib Akif
    May 22, 2012 - 1:55PM

    First time in the history of ‘land of pure’ now. my dear Anam, Pakistan has become the land of pure truly- a part and parcel of great Indian civilization- as it had been for more than 5000 years. Political religion was invention of Objective Resolution of 1949. Militant and violent export quality religious terrorism was the invention Gen. Zia.in 1979. All the inhuman inventions have gone physically though not theoretically, yet. Time is not far away when the terrorist theories will be gone either, once most of wealth of the nation will go back to the people and the provinces where exactly it comes from. Peace has returned in the Afghanistan plus most of Pakistan- as no more suicide attacks are done and directed – the peace process is very much on the way with India and the prosperity will follow suit, most definitely. Pervez Sahib is a great guy basically but he is teaching in an institution where the children of merchant of chaos and death study, unfortunately. So, his fears are well justified but there is a big difference between a real fear and an apprehension. Long live Pakistan, Long live Asif Ali Zardari- Best, Shoaib-

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 22, 2012 - 2:16PM

    After reading all the comments and the original article (op ed) one more time, may I conclude that our equivocal message to our judiciary is simple and staright—— please, do not play politics. By providing protection to these enemies of Pakistan and Pakistanis you are not doing any service—–these fundos can not and will not ever be in a position to give you more power than we did, these mulla Aziz & Hafiz Saeed types are no political entities and they neither have, nor would ever, to provide you any political forum, so, please, please treat them for what they are and stand for. Now do your job and dispense justice, and justify the trust and admiration that we the people have for you.

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 22, 2012 - 2:48PM

    @gp65: You know what, “political expediency” doesn’t mean what you assume it does. My advice—-it’s worth investing a few Rs. in buying a dictionary and using it—it’d make you understand things and you’d be askin smarter question whatever you are —-“gp65”!

    Recommend

  • Aasim Mukhtar
    May 22, 2012 - 3:10PM

    I used to Live in G-6 Islamabad, and I Completely agree to the writer on what happened, although there have been many false tails of the Incident. The problem is that these clerics are efficient enough to use Religion to get emotions on thier side, and ours being a confused Nation when it comes to Religious followership, is being manipulated under the hands of these clerics. May Allah have Mercy Upon Us..

    Recommend

  • Bloom
    May 22, 2012 - 5:04PM

    where have all the Talibs gone, they must be around to write against the author.

    Thank God, there are so many who can feel the truth.

    Recommend

  • observer
    May 22, 2012 - 6:02PM

    @Mohammed Abbasi

    Have beard, throw tantrum and the whole nation bows down!

    You have beautifully summed up the issue in one sentence.

    Recommend

  • Lord
    May 22, 2012 - 6:03PM

    Why CJ is supporting Land grabbers and Hate preachers and ignoring Hazara killing in Quetta. Any sane person can understand what he stands for.He is with oppressors not oppressed.Pathetic.

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2012 - 6:19PM

    “The irrational hatred of P.H for the ‘believers’ “

    Bravo Erclan Pilers, for your courage in speaking out the truth, for saying something many of us know but don’t say it loud enough.

    Pakistan elite is full of Muslim Islamophobes, and Express Tribune is their home of choice and their house of engorgement and promotion. Sad that Islamophobia has arisen from Pakisan itself.

    Recommend

  • May 22, 2012 - 11:37PM

    @I read it too…:
    “The whole Jamia-Hafsa incident was set-up by Musharraf, to reinforce his ‘anti-Taliban’ credentials. How could the ISI, police etc. not know that literally hundreds-of-dozens of (illegal) weapons being smuggled right into the heart of the State’s capital? It was all wrong; just set-up to polarize opinions, cast madrassahs at large in a bad light, and for Mush ( to strenghten his ‘anti-Taliban’ credentials (which bordered on anti-Islam-ism actually)) to meet his political ends…! :(“
    .
    Musharraf set-up the whole thing to impress the West. All the participants were actors. Child-extras are cheaper by the dozen.Recommend

  • Ali Wali
    May 22, 2012 - 11:43PM

    @kaalchakra: Equating Mullas with Islam is not clever, Yes Mullas hijacked Islam for secular purposes like getting properties, ruling ordinary people, feeling powerful with AK47 etc list of their illicit activities is long lets not go there, however they are not Islam in themselves, it is funny numbhead Mullas and their blind followers can’t understand why ordinary Pakistanis have no love for them.

    Recommend

  • @plarkin
    May 23, 2012 - 1:41AM

    @Muniruddin Khan:

    Mr. Khan,

    Leaving aside for the moment what weapons were found or not found in the compound do you understand that the administration of the mosque had illegally occupied land? It also tried to enforce its ridiculous notion of Islamic law on the citizens of Islamabad. Now you maybe in favor of Islamic law but I’m not. I will obey the laws enacted by a properly constituted legislative body within the constitution of the Republic of Pakistan. But I’m damned if I’m going to obey the edicts of a jumped up, illiterate mullah.

    The time will come when the common person will realize the hypocrisy and criminality of these mullahs who manipulate and misguide our people. They will rise up and sweep the mullahs, Taliban and their ilk into the Arabian sea. The Taliban might seem invincible against our security agencies but they can’t withstand the righteous anger of the people.

    Recommend

  • syed
    May 23, 2012 - 2:27AM

    Excellent article. May Allah keep yopu safe, Dr. Hoodbhoy. It is about time that the judges of the supreme court take stock of their actions. They are being humiliated day in and day out……..but they very well deserve it. If they have an iota of self respect , should resign and go home. In hind sight probably Musharraf was justified in packing the chief off. Now his closest aide and “driver” of the bad times is also spitting on his face.

    Recommend

  • Nadeem Akhtar
    May 23, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Good work.To the point and the truth with out fear.
    next time you come to Texas please be my guest.

    Recommend

  • aysha
    May 23, 2012 - 4:19AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    1974 when constitution made provision to identify the faith of inividuals. Muslims or non-muslims!

    Recommend

  • K B Kale
    May 23, 2012 - 5:35AM

    @Zafar saeed:
    Actually Pakistanis should worry about what sort of message this action (of rewarding members of the institution that killed Pakistani soldiers) will send to the Pakistani soldiers? Will they have the heart to fight in such battles in future if the Pakistani government doesn’t dismiss the two chief maulavis & Ms. Hassan, continues to pay their full salary till date even though what they did was treason and on top of that it also gives that institute the choicest land in Islamabad!
    Down with such government!

    Recommend

  • M.Waseem
    May 23, 2012 - 11:42AM

    nice article,

    Recommend

  • z.h.
    May 23, 2012 - 12:44PM

    very good, but writter missed one importent point related to the double face of media?
    First two days of this incident, all the media was taking in favour of the operation, and third day rite from the morning media flipped and start talking againt the operation by pakistani government. you can understand what i am trying to tell.

    Recommend

  • tariq khan
    May 23, 2012 - 5:44PM

    CJ Peshawar High court is one step ahead than supreme court he released all those terrorist arrested by the our security forces in the name of missing person what is this whats our judiciary doing HUMILIATING INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS/FC/POLICE AND GIVING BAILS TO KNOWN TERRORISTS THIS IS SHAME FOR OUR MEDIA ALSO BY NOT FOCUSING THIS ISSUE

    Recommend

  • Sial
    May 23, 2012 - 5:49PM

    Brilliant! article Mr. Hoodbhoy, only a very brave man could write with such truthfullness.

    Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed
    May 24, 2012 - 2:09AM

    I fail to understand why our nation always hangs at extremes. I condemn such appeasement by SC but at the same time I cannot acknowledge that whatever happened at Lal Masjid in 2007, more importantly the way it happened, was by any means justified.

    Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed
    May 31, 2012 - 1:46AM

    Reading Hoodbhoy’s articles are equivalent to reading college essays of geeky wannabe-liberal (read agnostic) students in high schools who are dying to make it into Ivy League.

    Recommend

  • Sultan Khan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:00PM

    The present judiciary is the worst judiciary in the history of Pakistan. The present judiciary taking the advantage of the rift in between the politicians and also some politicans want to come to power on the toes of the judges, passes taunting remarks against the learned politicians and learned generals but when it comes to murderous mullahs and religious murderers the “evidence ” is always lacking. Recommend

More in Opinion