The son and daughter-in-law of a diehard Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activist were killed in a recent drone strike in the North Waziristan tribal agency.
The funeral prayers in absentia were offered for Eng Ahsen Aziz, son of Commander (retd) Abdul Aziz Jiraal, and his wife at Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Stadium in Mirpur Thursday evening.
Former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad led the funeral prayers attended by scores of JI supporters. The octogenarian Abdul Aziz Jiraal had held senior positions in the JI Mirpur chapter.
Eng Aziz had disappeared from the AJK in 2004 and later it transpired that he had first joined Kashmiri jihadi outfits and then the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.
Jiraal told The Express Tribune that his son last spoke to him by phone from an undisclosed location about five years ago. Jiraal added that they were informed about the death of Eng Aziz and his wife by his colleagues in North Waziristan.
The couple was killed in a US drone strike in the Shawal area of North Waziristan on August 18.
Eng Aziz was the youngest of eight siblings. His two brothers are senior retired military officers and his father is a retired commander of Pakistan Navy.
Addressing the mourners after the funeral, Qazi Hussain Ahmed warned the government against launching a military operation in the Waziristan region.
“It would be a foolish decision if the government goes for an operation in North or South Waziristan,” Qazi said. “The massacre of innocent people in the so-called war against terrorism is spawning hatred.”
He also reiterated his opposition to drone strikes saying that America’s unmanned war was a threat to Pakistan’s solidarity and sovereignty.
Paying glowing tributes to late Engr Aziz, Qazi said he was a true Muslim who was imbued in the spirit of jihad. “Engr Aziz laid down his life for the Kashmir cause. He participated in ‘Jihad-e-Kashmir’ and ‘Jihad-e-Afghanistan’”.
Commander (retd) Jiraal, on the occasion, said that his son made him proud. “My son and daughter-in-law embraced martyrdom for a noble cause,” he added.
The head of the Muttahida Jihad Council Syed Salahuddin also attended the funeral.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2012.