SC terms Lal Masjid victims innocent, orders compensation for their heirs

Published: May 25, 2012
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Justice Jawad S Khwaja says those killed were innocent as police had not produced any criminal records against them. PHOTO: FILE

Justice Jawad S Khwaja says those killed were innocent as police had not produced any criminal records against them. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday directed the relevant authorities to pay compensation to the heirs of those killed during the Lal Masjid operation. The administration has so far only paid compensation for three people who were declared innocent.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, found that Islamabad Police had not initiated an inquiry to determine the status of those killed in the operation, as this was required for the compensation.

“Since there is no such base to deny the compensation to all the deceased, we cannot deny the same right to all the deceased considering them innocent,” Justice Jawad S Khawaja said.

The chief justice asked Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Operations Tahir Alam about the categories of the deceased. Deputy Attorney General Babar Ali told the court that 11 were personnel of security forces, three were innocent passers-by and 89 people were militants who were in a “state of war with the armed forces.”

Chief Justice Chaudhry asked how they had been identified as militants or that they were in a state of war. “Have you recorded the statement of the legal heirs of the deceased?”

The police said that they had not, and were not able to produce an enrollment register as had been claimed by the administration in 2007.

Chief Justice Chaudhry remarked that this was a “fit case of contempt” as the police had been directed by the court to conduct this exercise so that compensation could be paid to those who were innocent.

The court also summoned the then acting inspector general of Islamabad Police, Shahid Nadeem Baloch, to appear and explain his position on how much commitment he had shown towards the task as per his undertaking before a sessions judge in Islamabad. Baloch is currently posted with the FIA.

Islamabad Police also submitted two reports regarding the operation.

The deputy attorney general said the heirs of those who were “waging war against the state” had not been compensated. The chief justice responded to this by saying, “Do not use the term ‘waging war against the state’ for such small issues.”

“What do you mean, if today a mob come here and staged a protest while pressing their demands it would mean that they were waging war against state?” the chief justice remarked.

The court also asked Islamabad Police to register an FIR on the complaints of the parents who had said their son was missing and the police was not investigating the issue.

In its written order, the court asked the police to avoid scandalising institutions and register an FIR in accordance with the law.

The court also approved a deal between Lal Masjid chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and the Islamabad administration over the allocation of 20 kanal land in Sector H-11/4 for the reconstruction of Jamia Hafsa.

The hearing was adjourned for a period of two weeks.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • ahmad
    May 25, 2012 - 1:56PM

    PCO judges,PCO decisions…..

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  • May 25, 2012 - 2:24PM

    No need to repeat, who is working for whom.

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  • Innocent........
    May 25, 2012 - 2:36PM

    The issue of Lal Majid was just simple, internal and petty issue even simplest than the present situation in the country specially Karachi…..but the one hostile and permanent psychopathic person Musharraf along with imported puppets used it as propaganda war on terror that pull the country into the worst crisis and after crisis, weaken ideology of Pak, damage the esteem of arm forces, based sectarian conflicts, instability, insecurity and hostility. All the culprits of the case should be punished as a symbol. May Allah Bless All the Martyred. Ameen.

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  • Khan
    May 25, 2012 - 2:48PM

    They were not innocent who challenged government.

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  • Faisal
    May 25, 2012 - 3:06PM

    PPP Govt. will continue it’s who cares attitude regarding SC orders

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  • Shuaib
    May 25, 2012 - 3:13PM

    Ok good but how about bringing to justice those who planned and were responsible for the whole operation?? When is the SC going to stand up and deliver equal justice!? It is adopting the doctrine of necessity when it comes to matters concerning the executive and the establishment i.e it doesn’t want to rock the boat! But the result of this is that the high and mighty are not held accountable and this whole farce in state matters continue. Then people will start abusing the court and the court cannot cry foul as it is implicating itself in the decline of the state by issuing half hearted and selective judgements! May Allah give the court courage and deliver true justice for all!

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  • Freedom Seeker
    May 25, 2012 - 3:30PM

    I hope one day this CJ and his team will announce compensations for those who were killed by these terrorist also. With every new decision this CJ and SC are becoming more biased and sectarian. They are passing all the limits of being neutral, honest and just.

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  • Nadir
    May 25, 2012 - 3:33PM

    “Do not use the term ‘waging war against the state’ for such small issues.”…There is a bid differnece between a mob staging a protest, and armed thugs running parallel courts, “arresting people” and damaging public property over a long period of time, brandishing weapons, wearing gas masks? The fact that so many people died shows that it wasnt a “small issue”!

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  • Umer
    May 25, 2012 - 3:56PM

    Chief Justice Chaudhry asked how they
    had been identified as militants or
    that they were in a state of war.
    “Have you recorded the statement of
    the legal heirs of the deceased?”

    Umm, Mr Justice, normally someone firing upon security forces can safely be assumed as at war with the security forces. There is plenty of live footage of Lal Masjid goons firing at others that should be sufficient evidence.

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  • Azim
    May 25, 2012 - 3:58PM

    Yes a few innocent, and hundreds of extremist!

    I lived in the neighbourhood, the roads around the Masjid used to be blocked by these innocent mullahs – asking for permission to cross once I was told this is not a place to cross for ordinary people.

    Sad that our law enforcement has failed us again, they should have provided the recordings and the evidence so that the world and the people of Pakistan knew how not innocent were these people.

    These mullahs / thugs have taken the entire nation on a ride, and all we can do is watch the show, and handover our loved ones to graves (thanks to these same innocent people) as well as see our future going bleak by every day.

    Today, am am more annoyed and angry over our law enforcement agencies – who the blame the poor judge as he did what he was presented.

    May God please bless Pakistan / actually Pakistaniess.

    Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • Mj
    May 25, 2012 - 4:14PM

    By that logic, even Hitler was innocent as he was not tried in court. When anyone, even if they are students, picks up arms to wage war against the state and its army, I don’t think it is right to consider them innocent — they were after all given ample time and opportunity to lay down their arms and surrender. The judges are once again showing their sympathies for the militants and violent groups operating in the country.

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  • jibran
    May 25, 2012 - 4:36PM

    The conduct of the PCO judges is sickening. They have crossed all limits of partiality to protect PML-N and the terrorists involved in the butchery of pakistanis. Now they want the killers to be called “protesters”.

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  • faraz
    May 25, 2012 - 4:59PM

    What about the 3 day long gun battles CJ?

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  • Cautious
    May 25, 2012 - 5:02PM

    So if a bunch of religious fanatics took control of the courthouse where the Supreme Court presides the govt would be required to try and convict them before taking back control? Seems to me this court decision lacks common sense – innocents may have been killed but that doesn’t make the govt action inappropriate or make it liable to anyone but the voters.

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  • Wellwisher
    May 25, 2012 - 5:13PM

    If they were innocent why no action was taken against the persons who conducted the operation.

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  • Alucard
    May 25, 2012 - 5:15PM

    The residents of Islamabad need to march to the SC and present the facts -how lal masjid admin was making life hell for the people. Maybe then SC will start listening to the voice of the people and respecting democracy instead of operating a parallel government.

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  • jibran
    May 25, 2012 - 5:17PM

    For some cases, he uses TV reports as evidence, for some cases if a politician goes to the court with the Holy book, he takes his words as evidence, for some cases he takes the words of an American citizen as evidence…. Yet in this case despite complete and compelling TV footage, our lordship fails to see the terrorists.Recommend

  • jibran
    May 25, 2012 - 5:21PM

    This is what happens when you allow on judgeto hand pick others. Now he has assembled likes minded judges who follow the same sect of radical Islam, who have animosity towarday secular parties, and contempt towards anyone who questions their judgment.

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  • bangash
    May 25, 2012 - 5:31PM

    This is ridiculous. Lal Masjid gang committed many crimes and fought the state. The coverage of their rebellion is recorded in many many media. Judiciary in Pakistan is scared of militants.

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  • Umer
    May 25, 2012 - 5:32PM

    If someone still considers the judiciary as having any sense of fairness then they ought to have their head examined.

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  • Not me
    May 25, 2012 - 5:35PM

    There is law and the law needs to be followed.Emotions apart the decision of Honourable Supreme Court is correct.if there was evidence against those killed it should have been produced before the court

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  • @plarkin
    May 25, 2012 - 5:42PM

    This makes me ill. I don’t want to repeat what I’ve said often here about the Lal Masjid fiasco. Under no circumstances should land be given to these people and they musty not be allowed to rebuild.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 25, 2012 - 5:42PM

    The violence in Pakistan, and the decline in the fortunes of the state, really began with the tragic assault on the hundreds of children gathered inside Lal Masjid.

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  • May 25, 2012 - 7:09PM

    @Umer:

    “Umm, Mr Justice, normally someone firing upon security forces can safely be assumed as at war with the security forces. There is plenty of live footage of Lal Masjid goons firing at others that should be sufficient evidence. “

    The SC latest move is to show its indebtedness to the right lobby. The stick wielding Black Burqa Ninjas were obviously on a mission, to impose peace and tranquility in Islamabad. The sophisticated weaponry was toys for the little kids of the seminary.
    .
    SC should order, that each of the Red Mosque mullahs be allotted farmlands, at least as big as that of IK, and a life time seat in the senate. Under the period the property is being developed, all the veterans of Red Mosque, should be sent to Afghanistan to get a refresher course in handling of sate-of-the-art NATO weaponry.

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  • Syed Hamid Ahmed
    May 25, 2012 - 7:27PM

    In recent pas,t CJSC has requested reports from media, CCTV coverage etc as evidence and asked that this be put before the court as part of record, why CJ has not asked for footage of shooting coming from “protesters” for hours and hours, day after day, so much that law enforcement was not able the reach the masjid.in a peaceful manner?
    Point is clear, in a recent judgement, our SC said that interpretation of law is “exclusive” domain of Courts. Well now we all see this exclusive domain being openly abused to promote agenda of SC.
    What the historian will say about this SC?
    I agree if judges are allowed to appoint new judges then there is no hope left. Nwaaz Shareef and Imran Khan please note this, it was your “wise” thought, at least register your regret if you have one. Kurd and many other from lawyer’s movement did.

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  • Imtiaz Gul
    May 25, 2012 - 7:43PM

    This sis really bad news for PMLn. They along with others use to say that thousands of innocent people had died in lal masgid and Mush use to say number was 103. Who is lying now !!!

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  • Umer
    May 25, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @kaalchakra:

    The violence in Pakistan, and the
    decline in the fortunes of the state,
    really began with the tragic assault
    on the hundreds of children gathered
    inside Lal Masjid.

    No it was since the 1953 Punjab riots on religious grounds causing the first martial law in the country. Read up on your history before making historical claims.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 25, 2012 - 8:12PM

    The state must begin, first and foremost, by apologizing unconditionally to the parents of the little children whom it killed barbarously inside Lal Masjid. Then suitable compensation, along the lines Abid P. Khan suggests, must be paid immediately. The closure will come only when those two things are done and Lal Masjid is fully restored to functioning freely and fully as before.

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  • NuPak
    May 25, 2012 - 8:54PM

    I want to know if our government has any method of registering these institutions and a religious authority to set the policy guidelines which they will follow. Or is everything is based on personal interpretations or clerics' own spiritual agenda? That will be a horrible scenario. I strongly believe our civil courts are ill-equipped to handle religious cases like these and it must be handled by a religious court set-up by the board of Islamic Affairs. After all, British were handling it too, and believe me that was no peaceful times either.

    All this is just a matter of civil law and it’s application. These cases shows the legal ambiguity when it comes to full implication of Roman Law on variety basic Islamic beliefs in Pakistan. It’s the responsibility of our Public Leaders and not the Courts to foresee such problems. Courts only work like a “mathematical computation machine” where the Formulas to the Solutions are provided by the Law-Makers in the Parliament.

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  • Umer
    May 25, 2012 - 9:01PM

    @kaalchakra:

    little children whom it killed
    barbarously inside Lal Masjid

    Name those little children if this is really true. Here is the list of people killed. Do you see any ‘little children’ mentioned?

    Deputy Attorney General Babar Ali told
    the court that 11 were personnel of
    security forces, three were innocent
    passers-by and 89 people were
    militants who were in a “state of war
    with the armed forces.”

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  • Mirza
    May 25, 2012 - 9:20PM

    An undated and unsigned Memo is dangerous and treason. Armed revolt is not. If only Red Mosque armed occupiers were PPP members they would have been hanged. The more time goes by the more exposed Islamist PCO judges. No terrorist left behind is the order of the day. The victims of the terrorists never get any justice let alone compensation.

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  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    May 25, 2012 - 11:28PM

    “It was a small matter…no one was waging war against the state”

    Absolutely shocking and unbelievable. Those so called innocent Lal Masjid occupiers held out for a significant period when faced with the elite Army commandos onslaught. They even managed to kill 11 of them. Maybe they simply used their hands and wooden sticks to batter the security forces.
    GOD IS GREAT.

    Editor ET: Whats your problem with the above comment?

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  • ashar
    May 25, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Great Job, Justice Sahab, the entire nation is with you.

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  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2012 - 1:24AM

    self created issue of lal masjid marked the beginning of american war on terror for which ” starting from hundreds of innocent children, women n men in lal masjid, to 35000 plus innocent civilians and 8000 plus armed forces soldiers laid their lives”

    not for Islam, not for motherland, not for sovereignty, etc… but for american war on afghanistanRecommend

  • May 26, 2012 - 1:51AM

    @ashar:
    .
    “Great Job, Justice Sahab, the entire nation is with you.”
    .

    All those black-coats, who showered a murderer with rose-petals, weren’t they the ones who re-throned the Hon CJP. Its an Islamic country, mullah rules the roost. If you don’t like it here, then get lost to Kaafir West.

    Who would like to risk earning the anger of Ghazi Qadri?

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  • LionOfPunjab
    May 26, 2012 - 3:16AM

    So let me get this, the terrorists thugs of the lal masjid were ‘innocent’ victims worth state compensation, but Dr. Afridi gets 33 yrs guilty of ‘treason’ for helping to get rid of person responsible for killing and brain-washing tens of thousands of ‘real’ innocent pakistanis!!!! What a country!!! I feel like I should stop sending my $$$ to country run by hypocritical thugs, morons and crooks. Alas! I have family in this land of pure!!!

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  • Ali
    May 26, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @Not me: Then he should take suo-moto (his hobby) to charge those armymen and generals who ordered these ‘innocent’ killings. Get your reasoning straight!

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  • Pashtun voice
    May 26, 2012 - 7:42AM

    The CJ should also give the heavy duty weapons back to the Lal Masjid brigade. Make sure they re-establish themselves as they did before so they can be a menace to Islamabad once again.

    This Supreme court is turning into a JOKE

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  • Pakland
    May 26, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @Pashtun voice:
    It’s not a joke! His next move is to make Pak Army and it’s affiliates apologize to Taliban and all bombers of innocent women, children and shoppers or Masjid attendees who retaliated against Pak Army’s actions.

    Recommend

  • @plarkin
    May 26, 2012 - 11:10PM

    @Abid P Khan:

    Bring it on. I’ll gladly take that murderer on. He’ll find that it isn’t so easy when he’s not shooting someone who trusted him in the back.

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  • ayesha_khan
    May 27, 2012 - 6:40AM

    ” “Do not use the term ‘waging war against the state’ for such small issues.”

    Yet that phrase was used against Shakil Afridi in what was really a medical malpractice case. Recommend

  • ayesha_khan
    May 27, 2012 - 6:42AM

    @Freedom Seeker: “They are passing all the limits of being neutral, honest and just.”

    I think you meant failing not passing

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  • Lala Gee
    May 27, 2012 - 1:08PM

    “Deputy Attorney General Babar Ali told the court that 11 were personnel of security forces, three were innocent passers-by and 89 people were militants who were in a “state of war with the armed forces.””

    “The chief justice responded to this by saying, “Do not use the term ‘waging war against the state’ for such small issues.””

    “What do you mean, if today a mob come here and staged a protest while pressing their demands it would mean that they were waging war against state?”

    I am really disappointed for making their personal inclinations blatantly so obvious and letting them overtake their professional dignity. Even though I am a big supporter of the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry and the current judiciary of the Supreme Court, but , it is a real bad message to the world that decisions at this highest level could be made based on personal orientations than the true spirit of the law.Recommend

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